|GN'R guitarist Izzy Stradlin returns as his former band does the same
Izzy is ready to rock.
Reclusive former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin is resurfacing with a new album next month, but U.S. fans will be disappointed to hear that it's only being released in Japan. A spokesperson for Stradlin confirms that the CD, titled Ride On, is set to go on sale in that country on Dec. 16. It features former GN'R bassist Duff McKagan along with Stradlin's other regular cohorts, Rick Richards (formerly of Georgia Satellites) on guitar and Taz Bentley (formerly of Rev. Horton Heat) on drums. The self-produced album was started at the guitarist's home studio last year, and later finished at a Los Angeles-area facility. Stradlin and crew are scheduling live appearances in Japan for early in the new year. Stradlin, one of GN'R's main songwriters, walked away from the group in the middle of a video shoot at the peak of the band's career back in 1991. Fed up with the drug-addled Hollywood scene, the music business and the chaos known as Guns N' Roses, the guitarist headed home to the quiet obscurity of Indiana.
A year later, he somewhat half-heartedly launched a solo career, releasing the Izzy Stradlin and the JuJu Hounds album in 1992 and touring to support the CD. He spent the next few years travelling around the world with extended stays in Spain, England, Trinidad, Costa Rica, Denmark and Sweden before he eventually followed it up with 117 Degrees in 1998. However, reportedly angered by the media's insistence on asking GN'R-related questions, Stradlin also walked away from his press and promotion commitments, and the record quickly dropped off the musical map, prompting flat sales and strained relations with his then label, Geffen. A short time later, Stradlin extracted himself from his contract.
Stradlin, true to form, does not appear to be actively seeking an American release, although an unconfirmed Web report says that the guitarist might eventually sell the album on his own label through his Web site. His spokesperson says no plans exist at this time to release the album outside of Japan. Sources close to the guitarist, however, say that a U.K. deal is a good possibility.