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Gilby Clarke Opens Up About His Final Guns N’ Roses Gig

Gilby Clarke
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Gilby Clarke stepped into the Guns N’ Roses lineup at a time when the band sorely needed a replacement for guitarist Izzy Stradlin, so one might assume that GNR frontman Axl Rose would be extra nice to him. Then again, maybe not.

Clarke recalled the end of his three-year tenure in the band during a recent interview with Songfacts, opening up about the subject when asked if he could sense that things were reaching a breaking point during the sessions for GNR’s 1994 cover of the Rolling Stones classic ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ “I might say yes and no on that,” he mused. “I wasn’t that involved with the ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ recording — they did that while I was on the road touring for my solo record.”

Still, admitted Clarke, “I knew that that was the ending because nobody told me about it. Officially I was in the band at that time, and they did that song without me. That was one of the last straws for me, because nobody had said anything to me, and they recorded a song by one of my favorite bands. It was pretty clear I’m a big Rolling Stones fan, and they recorded the song without me. So I knew that was it.”

Clarke recalled that his last moments in Guns N’ Roses came in an unsurprisingly abrupt fashion. “My official end was actually at the last show of the last tour,” he continued. “Axl was jokingly saying ‘bye’ to everybody, but he was really saying ‘bye’ to everybody. He even came up to me and said, ‘Hey, enjoy your last show.’ At that point I thought he was being funny, but he wasn’t being funny. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a smart guy. So I knew it was the end at the last show.”

Next: Top 10 Guns N' Roses Songs

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