|What a difference seven years makes.
When guitarist and songwriter Izzy Stradlin left Guns n' Roses in 1991, he was walking away from one of the biggest acts in rock and roll.
Now that group seems to be down to one confirmed member, Axl Rose, and many record buyers wonder when they will hear from Gn'R again.
Maybe Izzy knew more than the rest of us. Stradlin is set to release his second post-Gn'R solo album, "117 °", on March 10, and the record packs more than a few flashbacks to his old band.
Not only does the album feature Izzy's former fellow Gunner Duff McKagan (who may or may not still be in the band) on bass, but the album's lyrics seem to pack at least a few references to what Stradlin openly refers to
as drug-fueled days with Gn'R.
"Famous for being f***-ups and substance-abusers more than anything else, we became legends in our own minds," Stradlin says of those days in his self-penned bio notes that accompany advance copies of the album.
Stradlin's lyrics echo that revisionist approach to Gn'R's salad days, with lines like "I don't really need no, no bag o' cocaine/I don't really need no, no fold a smack/been there and done that" on "Old Hat."
Gn'R allusions aside, the album is in the same blues-soaked honky-tonk vein as Stradlin's last solo outing, 1992's "Izzy Stradlin & The JuJu Hounds," as evidenced by Stradlin's cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis" on his new effort. In addition to McKagan, Izzy gets help this time out from guitarist Rick Richards and former Reverend Horton Heat drummer Taz.
Of course, this coat of the blues is slapped on a chassis with a punk pedigree as the album was produced by Eddie Ashworth (Sublime) and Bill Price (The Clash, Sex Pistols) and was recorded at London's Matrix Studios where the Pistols recorded their punk masterpiece "Never Mind The Bollocks.".
When "117 °" hits stores on March 10, here are the tracks you can expect to find:
"Ain't It A Bitch"
"Here Before You"
"Up Jumped The Devil"