The hassles being in Guns N' Roses were too much for guitarist Izzy Stradlin. He threw it all away - and now he couldn't be happier! Paul Elliot reports.
By Paul Elliot
R/R Countdown - Feb. 1993
All of a sudden Izzy Stradlin is looking healthy, tanned, and happy - all because he's now a free man who left the clutches of Guns N' Roses.
The band's rhythm guitarist quit in November last year and says he's only too glad to leave the Gunner madness behind.
In fact, Izzy has already released his acclaimed Ju Ju Houndsalbum. It's full of dirty, grunty rock'n'roll, and it spells out one obvious message: Izzy don't need no Guns N' Roses in his life.
He says he's not bitter about the band, but is quick to state: "I was sick of it!"
In his lazy, dry voice, Izzy continues, "I was just completely fed up with it. It didn't feel like it used to be...A lot of it is personal stuff.
"The last time I saw Axl, there were a lotta harsh words - from him - so I kinda left it alone.
"I'm waiting for him to call me back, to discuss the things we haven't really resolved."
The main problem with the band, says Izzy, came down to his frustration with Axl Rose's habit of delaying gigs for up to three hours.
"I never really thought about leaving the band til our last tour - I didn't feel it was fair to our audience to wait for two or three hours. That's just not right!
"Okay, that's the way Axl is and the way he works, but it's not right for me.
"When we were playing the gigs, a lotta times it was a case of, 'How long's it gonna be before Axl comes back onstage?' You're going, 'Anybody see where he went?' We filled it in with a blues jam and drum solo, but that shit gets tiring.
"I don't wanna talk down on these guys, because we made some great music, and God knows we had a lot of fucking crazy times, good times!"
Izzy says he was bummed out when the band sacked drummer Steven Adler.
"I took it pretty hard; it was upsetting. But I actually spoke to Steve probably a month ago - against the advice of the legal system, the attorneys, all that fucking bullshit! That part of the band's business is such a load of shit.
"I just tried to offer a little support, y'know? I told him to clean himself up and start doing studio work or something...He's a good guy, and he was funnier than shit on the road. We had this party in a New York hotel once for two days. I remember him being naked, and his fucking eyes were red and swollen like goggles, when the maid came in. It just freaked the shit out of her - this fucking red-eyed ape!"
When Izzy stops laughing, he repeats that his days in GN'R were a blast of wild, wild fun. He remembers the time he was arrested for pissing on a flight: it earned Izzy his nickname of "Whizzy", and also led to going on probation.
"Yeah, it's a federal offence if you fuck up on an airplane.
"I was outta my mind, there was a queue to the bathroom, and I said, 'Well, I'm either gonna piss in my pants or piss on the fucking rug!' Everything was real quiet on the plane after that..."
He laughs again. Yeah, good times, crazy times, fun times.
But you believe Izzy Stradlin when he looks at you and says that sometimes the fun just stops.
He's found it again. Solo.