Why oh why did Izzy Stradlin choose to sit out the Guns N’ Roses reunion when his participation would have brought joy to millions of fans, to say nothing of his accountant? Stradlin has said it was because his bandmates — specifically Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan — “didn’t want to split the loot equally.”
Which is either news to Duff McKagan, or otherwise McKagan is playing coy. Classic Rock recently asked the bassist about Stradlin declining to participate in the reunion, and McKagan had this to say:
“I don’t know what the actual truth is. We definitely wanted him to do it, and I think he entertained the thought, but he never came down and rehearsed.
“We had amps for him, ready to go. The first month of rehearsal went by… nothing. The second month of rehearsal came by, and we’re talking to him: ‘We’re getting close, Iz.’
“The third month of rehearsal went by… nothing. I guess he just didn’t want to tour this big and for so long.
“I love that dude, but I gotta say that Richard Fortus is a hell of a player and we couldn’t ask for a better guy.”
Of course, it’s unlikely that McKagan was gonna say “We didn’t wanna give him an equal share of the earnings.” From a PR standpoint, he almost had no choice to play the whole thing off as Izzy being Izzy (Stradlin is notoriously private and reticent to tour). But… I mean… I guess it’s possible that either Izzy was fibbing or Duff is somehow unaware that Stradlin was offered a raw deal? It does seem unlikely, though, right?
McKagan’s new solo album, Tenderness, is out May 31.