On this day (December 2) back in 1991, Gilby Clarke replaced Izzy in the band. Izzy left to protect his sobriety and was replaced within a month because of the band's Use Your Illusion Tour. While the autobiography Slash talks about Izzy suddenly going sober, many details that led to that life-changing decision are left to the imagination.
Whatever the case, the band's sound was changed immensely after the firing of original drummer Steven Adler and departure of Stradlin.
For better or worse, Clarke was in, with little or no fanfare. I always thought this was weird that a major band could have such a dramatic change without much media scrutiny.
The band publically made light of Izzy's departure in the "Don't Cry" video, with the "Where's Izzy?" sign. I wonder if that sign made Clarke feel uncomfortable? After all, he was in and Izzy was out...I'm sure the awkward position wasn't ideal for Clarke from the beginning.
In 1994, Axl Rose decided Clarke wasn't a good songwriter, so he was out of the band.
The new Slash autobiography talks about Izzy working with Velvet Revolver during the search for a singer. Izzy jammed with the other members, and even suggested touring without a singer. I can't help but wonder if Axl Rose destroyed Izzy's drive to be in a national band. While he's continued to make several solo records, it just doesn't seem like he has the desire to be on top of the world like he was during the Appetite for Destruction hey day.
I wasn't one of the lucky ones to see Guns n' Roses on their massive Use Your Illusion tour. From everything I've read, it seems like it was a quite a show. It makes me sad that rock bands just don't put on massive stage performances these days. I'm sure such spectacles are cost prohibitive, but sure would be great fun.
Photo credit: Gilby Clarke official Myspace page.