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Duff McKagan: ‘We definitely wanted’ Izzy Stradlin for Guns N’ Roses reunion

Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has elaborated more on why founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin was not involved in the “Not In This Lifetime” reunion tour, saying that he was originally supposed to participate and offering more information on his absence in a new interview with Classic Rock magazine.

McKagan explained, “I don’t know what the actual truth is. We definitely wanted him to do it, and I think he entertained the thought, but he never came down and rehearsed. We had amps for him, ready to go. The first month of rehearsal went by . . . nothing. The second month of rehearsal came by, and we’re talking to him: ‘We’re getting close, Iz.’ The third month of rehearsal went by . . . nothing. I guess he just didn’t want to tour this big and for so long.”

McKagan added, “I love that dude, but I gotta say that (current Guns guitarist) Richard Fortus is a hell of a player and we couldn’t ask for a better guy.”

McKagan said in an interview earlier this month about Stradlin, “That is something that we tried to make happen at the beginning. It just didn’t work out.” Last year, Stradlin blamed his absence from the Guns reunion tour on the fact that the other founding members didn’t want to “split the loot equally.”

McKagan is promoting his new solo album, Tenderness, which is out May 31st. Guns N’ Roses will tour this fall and is reportedly planning to make a new album.

Fast Facts:

Izzy Stradlin, whose real name is Jeffrey Isbell, was born and grew up in Lafayette, Indiana, where he was high school friends and bandmates with singer William Bailey — later known as Axl Rose.

His first and only post-Guns band, Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds, broke up in 1993 after recording one LP. He has since released 10 more solo albums between 1998 and 2010.