Skid Row’s Rachel Bolan Recalls Duff McKagan’s Confession About Izzy Stradlin

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In a recent interview with Appetite For Distortion podcast, Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan looked back to the old memories from their 1991 tour with Guns N’ Roses and shared bassist Duff McKagan’s surprise revelation about Izzy Stradlin.

The dynamics within Guns N’ Roses had been complicated since day one. Izzy Stradlin co-founded the band alongside his childhood friend, Axl Rose. The guitarist was there from the very beginning, and he had recorded four studio albums with the band, which were widely regarded as classics. Even though Guns N’ Roses had gained international recognition and a solid following, the inner peace within the band started to fall apart as the days passed.

Many of the band members, including Stradlin, Slash, and Steven Adler, were addicted to heroin. The usage of the drug was affecting the musicians’ health and artistic abilities. Some shows were even postponed due to their inability to perform. In 1989, frontman Axl Rose threatened to leave the band because of this reason, stating that they had to quit dancing with ‘Mr. Brownstone,’ alias heroin. The relationship between the band members was quite tense.

In 1991, Skid Row’s second studio album ‘Slave To The Grind’  had recently topped the Billboard Top 200 chart. The band was on tour with Guns N’ Roses, promoting their new popular record. During this period, the members of the two bands interacted almost on a daily basis, and these interactions would often give Skid Row members an insight into the GN’R members’ personal relationships with one another.

In a recent interview, Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan opened up about the 1991 tour, recalling old memories with the Guns N’ Roses members. He stated that Izzy Stradlin didn’t travel with his bandmates. Stradlin had his own tour bus, while the other members preferred to travel via airways. Bolan mentioned that Stradlin was a really talented musician and remembered the time he and the former GN’R guitarist talked about their interests for almost two hours. So, when bassist Duff McKagan heard about this interaction, he was shocked because none of the GN’R members talked to Izzy that much in the last year.

Bolan explained as he recalled:

“When we started the tour, Izzy was still in the band, but he wasn’t traveling with the guys. The guys were flying, and Izzy had his own bus with his brother, his dog, and his girlfriend at the time. We talked about Motocross and trials for; I don’t know, almost two hours. He was a cool dude. He was really cool, so low-key, and obviously a very talented guy.

So, Duff [McKagan] comes in — I think it was the next morning — he comes into our dressing. He was looking for cranberry juice, and we were talking. I go, ‘Hey, dude, Izzy’s a really cool guy. We spoke for like two hours.’ [Duff] goes, ‘Dude, I think the whole band collectively hasn’t talked to him for two hours in, like, the last year.’ I didn’t know what to say. … I didn’t know the dynamics [of GNR].”

Shortly after the tour ended, Guns N’ Roses announced that Izzy Stradlin was leaving the band. Stradlin has since kept a low profile, releasing solo material until 2010. He famously refused to reunite with his former band members for the Not in This Lifetime tour.

You can watch the entire interview on Youtube below.