This Guns N’ Roses article was written by Al Hall, a GIGsoup contributor
Yesterday, the announcement that classic-era Guns N’ Roses fans have waited on for over two decades was made. Axl Rose and estranged guitarist Slash will once again the share the stage, alongside fellow GNR co-founder Duff McKagan for the first time since 1993. This historic reunion will take place at Coachella festival in April 2016, and ends months of speculation following the announcement that Axl and Slash were friends again after a bitter feud that lasted over twenty years.
What is becoming increasingly clear, however, is that the classic-era GNR reunion that many fans had hoped for, is off the cards. The announcement on the band’s official website yesterday made no mention of the other founding members, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler, and the two have remained suspiciously quiet throughout.
Whilst Axl and Slash, and to a lesser extent Duff, are the iconic faces of the classic Guns N’ Roses lineup, can we really call this a Guns N’ Roses reunion if it doesn’t not involve Stradlin and Adler? Both have been out of the band for a while. Adler was the first member of the original line-up to leave, fired in 1990, and Izzy quickly followed him out of the door. Izzy’s presence has, however, always been more greatly missed. As well as writing some of their best known songs, Stradlin kept GNR grounded. Next to Axl’s extravagant stage outfits and Slash’s famous top hat, Izzy’s laid back, no-nonsense demeanour was the glue that kept the band together, he was the beating heart of Guns N’ Roses.
Since his departure, Izzy has kept the lowest profile of any of the original gunners, churning out a consistent stream of solo albums but rarely touring or appearing publically. He, alongside Axl, chose not to attend GNR’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, issuing a bizarre statement in which he thanked “all of the people on this planet (including, but not limited to, the entire universe and beyond…who have supported Guns N’ Roses from day one”. His apparent decision not to join in this year’s reunion is, therefore unsurprising, but still disappointing for those holding out for a classic-era reunion.
What we can hope for, however, is that if, Guns N’ Roses follow up Coachella with a tour, Izzy, and possibly Steven, will join his former bandmates on stage as he has done in the past with Axl’s most recent incarnation of Guns N’ Roses.
Another thing that Guns N’ Roses fans can take away from this is that whilst the reunion itself may have been one of the worst kept secrets in rock history, at least Izzy keeps things interesting. Guns N’ Roses’ man of mystery remains just that, retaining the rebellious refusal to fall in line that characterised Guns N’ Roses in their glory days.