Gilby Clarke Recalls Slash Making Him Learn Entire GN’R Catalog In One Week

Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist sat down with Guitar World, recalling the time he had to learn the entire GNR catalog for their shows.

Clarke revealed that the Guns N’ Roses audition was unexpected, initiated by a phone call from Slash. Clarke mentioned that he was already occupied with other musical commitments, making it impossible to learn the songs for the audition in such a short period. Despite the challenges, Clarke managed to secure the position shortly after, but it involved learning the entire back catalog within less than a week. He recalled:

“Slash calls and says, ‘You got the gig. We leave next week. Learn the whole catalog.’ I was like, ‘What? The whole f*cking catalog? Don’t you have a set of 20 or 25 songs?’ Slash goes, ‘There’s no setlist. Axl just calls ’em out, so you gotta know the whole catalog.'”

As a result of the call, the rocker had 50 songs to learn in less than a week.

Why Clarke Was Fired

The rocker replaced Izzy Stradlin in 1991 and was fired from the band three years later. The reason? His paychecks stopped, leading him to stop his career with the band, though he was not officially ‘fired.’ According to Clarke, Slash met him to say that Axl Rose no longer wanted him in the band, but that it was not something permanent.

Following the incident, the guitarist started working on his solo album, later followed by a call from Slash, saying he was still in the band. With the paychecks still not coming his way, the rocker eventually left the band himself.

Clarke’s Recent Performance With Slash

Despite leaving the band 30 years ago, Clarke recently joined one of the live performances of a member.

Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist made a special appearance with Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators on February 13 at Teatro Caupolicán in Santiago, Chile. They performed the classic Guns N’ Roses song ‘Nightrain’ together.

This event marked Clarke’s return to South America after almost a decade, with the last time being when Slash joined him on stage in Brazil back in March 2015.

You can watch the fan-recorded performance down below.