“Where’s Izzy?” It’s the question Guns ‘N’ Roses fans have been asking for over two decades now. While it’s no doubt been incredible to watch lead singer Axl Rose snake dance across a stage next to his iconic foil Slash over the past couple of years in a reunited version of Guns, some of the group’s most ardent fans still pine for a day when the the band’s elusive, ex-rhtyhm guitarist Izzy Stradlin will rejoin the fold. As it turns out, they nearly got their wish in 2017.
According to Guns ‘N’ Roses’ one-time manager Alan Niven, Stradlin showed up to one of the band’s gigs last year with the full intent on hitting the stage. He even made it through a soundcheck before something set him off and he bailed. “It was somewhere out in the Midwest, when they were doing stadiums,” Niven told the Appetite for Distortion podcast. “Obviously, had it gone well and everybody had been happy, and there had been a little bit of brotherhood, I’m sure he would have stayed with it. But something must have really upset him, because he left after the soundcheck, and never turned up for another one or an appearance. I would think right now, he’s probably a little pissed off.”
Though the band has played with their Appetite For Destruction-era drummer Steven Adler a time or two over the years, the chances of seeing Izzy onstage with Axl, Slash, and bassist Duff McKagan now seem slimmer than ever. As to why he didn’t partake in the reunion from the outset? Izzy tweeted that the band “didn’t want to split the loot equally.”
You can listen to Niven’s entire interview below.