They are one of the most famous and popular rock bands of all time, but have had their fair share of problems with line-up changes over the years. Of course we talk about it Guns N’ Roses, a band that had more members than spring rainstorms. One of those members was OG guitarist Izzy Stradlin (née Jeffrey Isbell), who left the famous band in 1991 when they were at the height of their fame (he returned a few more times many years later). But what actually triggered the separation?
Why did Izzy Stradlin leave Guns N’ Roses?
Stradlin, born in 1962, was a founding member of the famous band, which formed in 1985. He was part of the classic lineup that included singer Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler.
Stradlin was instrumental in the songwriting during these early years and appeared on the classic album Lust for destructionwhich sold more than 28 million copies.
He co-wrote/authored classics such as “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” “Paradise City,” and “Patience.” GN’ R Read. The more popular the band became, the more legendary and debauched they became.
In 1989, during the opening for The Rolling StonesStradlin called out Slash on stage and threatened to quit if he didn’t stop “dancing with Mr. Brownstone,” i.e. taking heroin, which Slash wrote about in detail in his 2008 autobiography.
Still, he would stay for the albums Use your illusion I And Use your Illusion IIand co-writer of the hits “Don’t Cry” and “You Could Be Mine.” After a legendary one pee on a plane After this incident, he sobered up and began to see things in a new light.
“I moved back to Lafayette because I thought it would be harder to score,” he said in a 1998 interview with Rolling Stone. “In the late ’80s, you had to go to Indianapolis or Chicago. It helped to be far away from it. But you really have to want to stop. I would never have thought of using it at home. But after I quit drugs, I couldn’t help but look around and ask myself, “Is this all there is?” I was just sick of it; I had to get out.”
There were other problems too. He disliked Rose’s famous diva behavior (showing up hours late at all) and was also plagued by a management dispute that reduced his royalty percentage. That was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
He returned to the band for five shows in 1993 to replace his successor Gilby Clarke. He rejoined the band at the Hammerstein Ballroom in 2006 and toured Europe for 13 shows. He returned to the band for a third time in 2012 after they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Stradlin performed at a few gigs, but famously refused to join the band in its current lineup, which reformed in 2016. The reason? The band “didn’t want to split the spoils evenly.”
Slash, in an interview with Classic rock magazine, shared his side of the story. Of Stradlin’s drug withdrawal, Slash said:
“At the time, the fact that he quit wasn’t a problem. There was no judgment on that. I don’t think anyone judged anyone else based on their behavior, other than the fact that they were able to show up and do the gig. Admittedly, I was upset about the whole trip when Izzy left, because whatever had happened to him that forced this sudden change, I thought, “Man, I’ve died eighteen times before this!” It didn’t faze me!”
He also said he was upset about Stradlin’s departure and didn’t really know where Stradlin was coming from.
“But when he stopped, he looked at us and said, ‘These guys are going to fucking die!’ My whole attitude was, “I’ll move on.” Don’t worry. I’ll manage.’ So there was a certain kind of resentment – that Izzy wasn’t really understood or appreciated. Looking back, I think I still feel the same way. Do not worry about me.”
He said the band “wanted to work it out, but we couldn’t agree on the whole thing. So it just never happened.”
Who replaced Izzy Stradlin in Guns N’ Roses?
The first replacement for Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin was Gilby Clarke. Clarke remained with the band from 1991 to 1994 Chinese democracy era, Guns had Paul Tobias.
The band’s current rhythm guitarist has been Richard Fortus since 2002. Fortus is the band’s longest-serving continuous member, alongside Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed. But will there be a point in the future where the band gets their Izzy back? Given Stradlin’s history of coming back temporarily but not staying forever, the best answer would be a hesitantly murmured “Maybe.”