With the Guns n’ Roses reunion in full flow and the 1980s rockers entertaining the hordes with songs your mamma would know, many fans are still wondering if the reformed Gunners are the real deal without what many regard as the heart and soul of the band — Izzy Stradlin.
Take Nashville Guns n’ Roses fan Caroline Campos for example. Alongside thousands of other hard-rocking enthusiasts, Caroline trundled off to see Axl Rose, Slash, Duff, and Steven Adler summon up blast after blast from the past and prove middle-aged men can still rock hard.
Being a massive Izzy fan, Caroline opted to take along a sign she had made herself and which was first made famous in the Gun N’ roses video for “Don’t Cry,” and which read “Where’s Izzy?”
As original Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Alder made his way to the drum stool like a happy and obedient golden retriever who had been reunited with its owners after years in the wilderness, to play “My Michelle” and “Out Ta Get Me,” Campos held high the sign which asked “Where’s Izzy?”
Considered by many as not just the coolest member of Guns N’ Roses but the bleeding heart and beat-up soul of the group, Izzy Stradlin is an essential ingredient in the making of the Roses unique brand of juice, yet sadly, or perhaps inspiringly, the cat with rhythm has chosen to continue to plough his own furrow as opposed to mixing it up with the likes of Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan once more.
The Inquisitr recently opined that any Guns N’ Roses reunion would be dead in the water without Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler before asking, “If the Guns N’ Roses reunion hasn’t got all five of the original ingredients, is it really gonna cook?”
The answer had to be a resounding “No!” It doesn’t even simmer. It’s just be a money grab and an empty exercise in nostalgia by a handful of aging rockers who should know better.
Rock legend Alice Cooper was so perturbed by Izzy’s lack of involvement in the Guns N’ Roses reunion he also asked Rolling Stone magazine, “where’s Izzy?”
And the wrinkled veteran of rock compared the cool cucumber’s no-show as like The Rolling Stones without Brian Jones — if Brian was available that is.
“You’d think if Slash and Axl are working together… Izzy would be a shoo-in.
“I’m just wondering why isn’t Izzy in there? I don’t know about drums, but certainly Izzy is viable. You’d think if Slash and Axl are working together – and Duff is one of those guys that gets along with everybody – then at least Izzy would be one of the guys who would be a shoo-in.
“And maybe he is, I don’t know. I don’t what their setup is with him. But it’s like not having Brian Jones with the Rolling Stones, if he were available.”
Obviously Izzy, maybe for the sake of dignity, or maybe out of preference for a quiet life lived on the down low, has decided not to be part of Guns N’ Roses traveling circus. However, his absence has definitely been noticed.
TeamRock.Com reports that when Campos held the “Where’s Izzy?” sign aloft, she claimed Axl Rose spotted it and began laughing before saying, “That’s a good question.”
“When the original drummer Steven Adler came out to play his set, I held up my sign with cheers from most of the people in my section. Axl looked at my sign and started laughing and said, ‘That’s a good question!’ He seemed to appreciate the sign.”
Yet 10 to 15 minutes later, while the band were performing “November Rain,” Campos claims that her section was swarmed by security guards, hell-bent on finding and destroying the “Where’s Izzy?” sign… on orders of the band, which presumably means Axl Rose.
“I put the sign away during actual performances so I wouldn’t block the people behind me, only held it up between songs when the lights came on. But about 10 to 15 minutes later, while GNR were playing November Rain, our section got swarmed by security and stage crew with headsets on.”
“They went row by row asking ‘Who has the sign? Who has the Where’s Izzy sign?’ Eventually they made it to the row behind me and saw the sign tucked under my chair.
“A guy in jeans and a black shirt tapped my shoulder and said ‘Is that your sign? You need to give it to me.’ I said ‘Why? Who are you?’
“He showed a badge and said ‘I’m with the band and they’ve asked for the sign to be removed.’ I said, ‘We aren’t allowed to have signs? But I read that..’ and he cut me off and said ‘You can’t have that sign. Give it to me.’
“I gave it to him and he walked away folding and ripping it up.”
Could such an order to destroy the “offending” sign have come from Axl Rose? It sure came from somewhere, because it was hardly an issue of health and safety.
It’s long been documented that Axl regards Guns N’ Roses as his band, but many beg to differ, even the former manager of Guns N’ Roses, Alan Niven, once wrote Izzy Stradlin was the heart of Guns N’ Roses, and it was “Izzy’s f****n’ band.
“A band is like a chemical molecule. Not all the elements are of the same size, power or energy, and perception does not always define significance, but remove even the slightest grain and the molecule collapses.
“When Steven lost his mind and got himself fired that changed the feel of the rhythm section, the rush was done, but when Izzy left it meant that the band was no longer the Guns N’ Roses that I knew and loved, the band that I was addicted to. It was just Dust n’ Bones – “just f****n’ gone.”
“As I said, if it was anyone’s, it was Izzy’s f****n’ band.”
Now one more time, for the benefit of those at the back, all together now, “Where’s Izzy?”
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)