Gilby Clarke: “I was never fired from Guns N' Roses”

Gilby Clarke: “I was never fired from Guns N' Roses”

The former guitarist of Guns N' Roses Gilby Clarke he said he was never officially informed of his dismissal and only realized it had happened when the band stopped paying him.

In an interview with Guitar WorldClarke recalled joining Axl Rose's band in 1991 for a three-year period, a turbulent period after Izzy Stradlin he left, but said he still enjoyed the experience.

“The entire operational machine that surrounded the Guns N' Roses was crazy,” he said. “But… I was already with the guys; they were more than nice to me. I had been around before; it's not like I was Joe Schmo joining the band (refers to an American reality show where people protagonists are led to believe that they are contestants; in reality, all the other participants in the supposed show – including the host – are actors, and their actions and the outcome of the supposed show are all scripted in an attempt to elicit comical reactions from the targets They were respectful and Slash wasn't saying, 'Do it this way or stay here'; they let me be myself.”

He continued: “There were big parts in the songs, but Slash said, 'Put your stamp on those songs and play them and make them what they were.' It was great advice because he took a lot of pressure off me because I was trying to be Izzy.”

After more than two years of “Use Your Illusion” Guns tour, Clarke said he offered songs to the band, but Rose didn't want to use them. This led (in 1994) to the release of Clarke's solo album “Pawnshop Guitars”, in which many of his bandmates took part as guests.

“As I was wrapping up the record, Slash called me and said, 'Hey, Axl switched gears. He wants to go in a different direction, he doesn't want anything to do with the early stuff and he doesn't want you in the band anymore.' He remembered Gilby Clarke then adding “I was surprised I was like, 'Okay… what did I do?' A week later, Slash calls back and says, 'Forget all this.' It's OK. Don't worry. I talked to Axl; we're back and we're fine.'”

This appears to have been Clarke's last communication from Guns. “After this chat my checks stopped coming,” she reported. “I imagined being out of the band. So I never got fired from Guns – my checks just stopped coming, which was very strange. I don't know… Axl just wanted to go in a different direction, and that was it.”

He also talked about his experience with Slash's Snakepit, formed by the lead guitarist around the same time. “Slash had the same experience as me: he had all these songs, but Axl wanted to go in a different direction,” he recalled.

“The truth is, between my songs and Slash's songs, we could have had the new Guns N' Roses record… if only we had put a little time into it.”