Gilby Clarke Says Axl Rose Never Fired Him From GN’R: ‘My Checks Stopped Coming’

Gilby Clarke has explained why he quit from Guns N’ Roses. Turns out, no one really fired him.

Clarke replaced the Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin in 1991 and was fired from the band three years later. The reason? His paychecks stopped coming.

In a new interview with Guitar World, the rocker shared his conversation with Slash and how it ended his career with GNR. He explained:

“Slash was there; I couldn’t get him out of the studio! We had a strip club across the street, and it was a great excuse to hang out and make music for a few months. But as I was wrapping up the record, Slash called and said, ‘Hey, Axl has changed gears. He wants to go in a different direction, wants nothing to do with the early stuff, and he doesn’t want you in the band anymore.'”

Though it was Axl Rose who did not want Clarke in the band anymore, things took a turn:

“I was like, ‘Okay… what did I do?’ A week later, Slash calls back, saying, ‘Forget all that. Everything’s fine. Don’t worry. I chatted with Axl; we’re back, and we’re good.’ But after that, my checks stopped coming in. I was like, ‘Oh, okay. Guess I am out of the band.’ So I was never fired from Guns – my checks just stopped coming, and it was very odd. I don’t know… Axl just wanted to go in a different direction, and that was it.”

Clarke Had To Learn 50 Songs In A Week

Clarke got the GNR gig back in 1991. But in his words, the audition was ‘unexpected’ because he received a phone call from Slash. The guitarist requested Clarke learn GNR’s entire catalog. Clarke mentioned that he was already busy with other musical commitments, so it would be impossible to learn the songs in such a short time.

Nonetheless, Clarke secured his position by learning the songs. In a previous interview, the rocker shared his experience and explained why it surprised him more than usual:

“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.'”

You can see a live performance of Slash and Clarke’s guitar solos below.