Where Are They Now: Past Members Of Guns N’ Roses

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Since its formation in 1985, Guns N ‘Roses has existed in some shape or form. As you might guess from a group that has rocked the faces of the world for three and a half decades, there have been some changes to the lineup over the years. In fact, at this point, the only constant member of the group has been singer Axl Rose. All other positions in the band have been a revolving door of new faces, returning and visiting briefly, to the point that apart from their active lineup in early 2020, there are no fewer than 16 people (plus touring members assorted) a part of Guns N ‘Roses history. You may know some of them, others that you know from very different circles, and others that you may hear for the first time.


The original 1985 lineup of the band called Guns N ‘Roses was more than a little different from the classic lineup of the 1990s: Axl Rose, Tracii Guns, Izzy Stradlin, Ole Beich, and Rob Gardner. . Some of these names are decidedly darker than others, and Rob Gardner definitely qualifies on the “wait, who?” category.

According to Guns, Gardner’s girlfriend didn’t care much that he was in the band, so she forced him to leave the band early on. Unfortunately, she subsequently left him, and Gardner has not been the center of attention since, despite Guns noting that he was a “great drummer.”


Hard rock fans are probably quite familiar with Tracii Guns. As Allmusic tells us, he was the original guitarist for Guns N ‘Roses, and Ultimate Classic Rock points out that he is also the “Guns” in the band’s name; obviously “Roses” is Axl Rose. Guns left the band early on to form his own group, LA Guns, which has performed more or less consistently to this day. As AL.com points out, as of 2019, his three and a half decades as a musician have left him with his own share of rock hits and no fewer than 12 studio albums with LA Guns. On top of that, Guns has also worked with several notable artists including Motörhead, Johnny Thunders, Poison, and WASP.


Of all the original members of Guns N ‘Roses, Danish bassist Ole Beich cuts through perhaps the most tragic (and possibly the darkest) figure. According to Ultimate Guitar, former GN’R member Tracii Guns describes his former bandmate as a metal boy who had already played with Mercyful Fate and (possibly) King Diamond. As such, Beich soon became frustrated with the glamorous hard rock direction Guns N ‘Roses were taking, and he was the first, but far from the last, member to leave the band.


Izzy Stradlin was a founding member of Guns N ‘Roses, but as Ultimate Classic Rock tells us, she finally started to feel like her role in the band was waning. The public first discovered the situation in 1991, when the “Don’t Cry” music video featured a sign asking “Where’s Izzy?” instead of the man himself. Stradlin left the band shortly after this.

Slash has stated that his former band member got tired of touring and left the rest of the band hanging. Meanwhile, Stradlin says he was frustrated by the lax attitude of his gang members, and the “growing tyranny” of his old friend Axl Rose in particular. Regardless of what his real reasons were, the rhythm guitarist has remained a semi-elusive figure ever since. According to Blabbermouth, Stradlin’s only band after his tenure at GN’R was the short-lived Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds, after which he released 10 solo albums (the last of which came out in 2010). More recently, he has been in the limelight as his negotiations to join the “classic” Guns N ‘Roses lineup continue to unravel. Even Rose has commented that Stradlin is a remarkably difficult guy to negotiate.


Drummer Steven Adler joined Guns N ‘Roses in time for their “disastrous” 1985 tour that involved a broken van and a season of hitchhiking. He was present during the band’s rise to success, but developed an addiction to both cocaine and heroin, and began to have trouble with his playing. For this, he was finally fired in 1990, although Adler himself has argued that the band deliberately made him play a song he hadn’t rehearsed with them to make him sound like “a bad, ill-equipped drummer” and have a reason to kick him out

According to Loudwire, Adler has made bitter comments about his firing as recently as 2019, and even considered suing at one point. However, he has remained friends with Slash, and even took the stage with the band for a few concerts in 2016. Other than that, Loudwire tells us that he has been making moves with his own band, Adler’s Appetite, which is … basically a Guns N ‘Roses cover band.


Over the years, Guns N ‘Roses has been through enough drummers to make Spinal Tap proud. Matt Sorum sat behind drums after Steven Adler was fired, and according to Blabbermouth and Alternative Nation, he too was shown the door in 1997, courtesy of Axl Rose. However, Sorum was unwilling to begin to rest on his laurels. He has played with Velvet Revolver, The Cult, and Hollywood Vampires, and Loudwire notes that as of 2019, he was working with Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler on a project called Deadland Ritual. As Forbes tells us, in 2018 he also founded a “crypto-based” concert hosting platform called Artbit.

In addition to his various ventures and successes, Blabbermouth reports that Sorum has also seen his share of the darker side of life and, starting in 2020, he will tell the world all about this in Double Talkin ‘Jive, his autobiography that he claims is ” the juiciest of the GN’R books. ”


Gilby Clarke’s Guns N ‘Roses season was a roller coaster ride, to say the least. As Ultimate Classic Rock tells us, it took the place of guitarist Izzy Stradlin in 1991 after the founding member left the group. In 1994, he found out that he was no longer part of the band in a strange way: First, because his checks just stopped coming in, and Slash informed him that Axl Rose no longer wanted him in the group. Slash later assured Clarke that he was still in the band, but the checks never came back, so Clarke got the hint.

Despite the strange manner of her firing, Clarke says she doesn’t hold a grudge. He has collaborated with Slash on his project Slash’s Snakepit and, as Blabbermouth reveals, has recently been keeping busy with his solo career. In February 2020, he released a solo single called “Rock n ‘Roll Is Getting Louder” and is reportedly working on his first solo album in over 15 years called The Gospel Truth.


Rhythm guitarist Paul “Huge” Tobias replaced Gilby Clarke on Guns N ‘Roses, which Ultimate Classic Rock tells us had huge implications for the band. Slash was not enthusiastic about Axl Rose’s insistence on bringing Tobias on board and his views on the new man’s abilities were, to put it diplomatically, less than enthusiastic. This controversy played a role in Slash’s departure from GN’R in 1996.

“Huge” and Rose were childhood friends, which may have been a factor in the singer’s insistence to bring him in despite Slash’s protests. Unfortunately for Tobias, even the old friendship failed to make him a permanent member of the band, and in 2002 he was replaced by current GN’R member Richard Fortus. After Tobias’s departure, mentions of him have been few and far between. In November 2018, GN’R Central reported that an old song by their other band, Mank Rage, had been “leaked” online.


As Rolling Stone reports, Robin Finck first played guitar for Guns N ‘Roses from 1997 to 1999. He was part of a quirky “recording” lineup that included Axl Rose, Paul Huge, Dizzy Reed, Josh Freese and Tommy Stinson. , and although his time with the group was comparatively short, a spokesperson for his label said that he recorded “material from various albums” with them. In fact, Ultimate Guitar tells us that it was one of the “top contributors” in the 2008 Chinese Democracy.

Finck rejoined the band, only to leave again in 2008. His departure was somewhat of a shock to Guns N ‘Roses, although Guitar FX Depot notes that he had a pretty decent reason for leaving Rose’s troops behind. Look, Finck is a longtime guitarist for a little band called Nine Inch Nails, who were about to start a tour. As of September 2019, he still has the six-string fort for Trent Reznor.


For some people, playing Guns N ‘Roses is the highlight of their life. For Josh Freese, it was a Tuesday. As the Drummers’ Journal tells us, Freese is a notable session drummer who had a two-year contract with GN’R from 1998 to 2000, but chose not to renew it because the band was practically buried in the abyss of the studio at the time. .

Rather than dedicate his career to Axl Rose, Freese decided to work with … well, almost everyone. He has been a prominent member of The Perfect Circle, and at various points in his career he has played drums for Queens of The Stone Age, Bruce Springsteen, Weezer, The Replacements, Chris Cornell, Avril Lavigne, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Michael Bublé., and Miley Cyrus … among others. As Modern Drummer notes, he has several world tours with Sting under his belt, and he maintains his punk side as a member of The Vandals. Oh, and in case the hat didn’t tip you off, he’s also a longtime Devo member. Axl who


Tommy Stinson held the bassist role on Guns N ‘Roses from 1998 to 2014, when he left the band semi-accidentally due to his failed marriage and hectic home life, forcing him to retire from the band tour. However, he says he doesn’t particularly miss his time with the band. Although he was fine with the people involved, he says he’s happy that he moved on.

To be fair, Stinson has had his fair share of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, even without the whole GN’R concert. He is arguably best known for his long tenure with alternative rock icons The Replacements, where Rolling Stone tells us that he has played since the ripe old age of 11. Since moving from that group as well, he has resurrected his old band, Bash and Popular. Oh, and according to Ultimate Classic Rock, he was also in Soul Asylum from 2005 to 2012.


Chris Pitman joined Guns N ‘Roses as a backup vocalist, second keyboardist, and second bassist in 1998. However, he fell out with the band (read: Axl Rose) for money. By 2012, Rose owed Pitman about $ 125,000 for a year of work, and when Rose did not pay on time, Pitman took him to court for $ 163,000. They finally reached a settlement in 2016, although TMZ reports that the money Pitman actually received was significantly less than what he was seeking.

Although Pitman was supposed to join the band on their 2016 tour with classic-era members Duff McKagan and Slash, their current member was eventually taken over by Melissa Reese. This may or may not have something to do with the various acidic and extremely public comments about said tour such as “a money robbery” and “an old-time reunion.”


Buckethead, the prolific guitarist who wears a KFC mask and bucket hat on stage, spent four years as a member of Guns N ‘Roses, but Rolling Stone tells us he left to do his thing in 2004. (Blabbermouth says this it may have had something to do with his frustration with the band’s “inability to complete an album”). In 2017, the man, whose real name is Brian Carroll, gave a surprisingly honest out-of-character interview for the Coming Alive podcast (via Spin). He revealed that he had been through a roller coaster of difficulties, involving the death of his parents, a nasty back injury, and a condition that caused his heart to beat out of rhythm.

Thankfully, Rolling Stone reveals that, judging by his recent music production, Buckethead seems to be more or less on track, as he has been collaborating with his music hero, legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins. In October 2019, they released a maniacal funk-metal version of “Monster Mash,” of all things.


Drummer Bryan “Brain” Mantia is one of those guys who has played with just about everyone. According to Drummer World, he tends to work with cult characters like Tom Waits, Primus, Godflesh, Praxis, and the aforementioned Buckethead. However, his accolades also include a six-year stint with Guns N ‘Roses: According to Blabbermouth, Axl Rose invited the band’s drummer in 2000, and he performed with them until 2006.

Although Mantia is known for his tenure at GN’R, he in no way characterized him. A drummer and “one of the leading drummers in contemporary music”, he is an advanced music (and music theory) enthusiast who has released instructional DVDs and columns written for Drum. Magazine. Oh, and you’ve almost certainly heard his work, even if you’ve never knowingly listened to any artist he’s played with. He is a member of Brain and Melissa, a musical duo responsible for a wide range of music from all areas of culture. The pair have contributed to B-movie soundtracks, original music from NFL and MLB games, various high-profile commercials, and even video games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4, not to mention, and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. It’s the sound world of “Brain” Mantia, the rest of us are just living in it.



As Blabbermouth tells us, guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal first joined Guns N ‘Roses in 2006, and while he says he doesn’t want to dwell on the negative sides of the job, he found it difficult to fit into the group and even had to “get a little violent” to gain respect at first. He remained with the band until 2014, and while Louder notes that his departure was never officially announced, he says the decision to leave was extremely difficult and at least partially fueled by the knowledge that some of the more well-known band members were planning a meeting.

After leaving the GN’R ship behind, Thal’s official website reveals that he has focused on solo work, music camps, and a supergroup called Sons of Apollo. Interestingly, it also has a line of award-winning hot sauces. Chowhound ranks its “Bumblef ** ked” ginger-ginseng-caffeine sauce among the spiciest in the world.


DJ Ashba joined Guns N ‘Roses in 2009 and, as Billboard reports, resigned from the band in 2015. He said he wants to spend more time with his family and his other music ventures, although, as Loudwire tells us, Okay. It is worth noting that Slash’s return to the band was announced that same year.

After leaving the GN’R lead guitar venue open for the big comeback of the most famous hat shredder, Ashba has been keeping pretty busy. He plays guitar in Mötley Crüe main man Nikki Sixx’s Sixx: AM, and his official website reveals that he has his spoon in many other soups as well. In addition to the occasional television appearance and his upcoming band Pyromantic, he owns a company called Ashba Media, which “specializes in building themed designs and stage fabrications for the entertainment, hospitality and hospitality industries and a wide range of others. business customers. ”