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Izzy Stradlin May Be Involved in the Guns N’ Roses Reunion, According to Former Manager

Ethan Miller / Scott Harrison, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Scott Harrison, Getty Images

As of now, only Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan have been confirmed as taking part in the Guns N’ Roses reunion. However, it’s quite possible that a fourth member of the band’s original lineup, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, could wind up joining them.

Speaking to John Holmberg of 98KUPD in Phoenix, Alan Niven, who managed Guns N’ Roses from 1986 until shortly before the release of Use Your Illusions I and II, spoke about Stradlin’s involvement. Calling him the “magic factor that’s gone missing” and that without him, the reunion is “Velvet Roses,” he said, “Izzy will sit on the sidelines until he feels like he wants to get his toes in the water. He doesn’t like all the palaver and drama.”

Although Niven didn’t say whether or not that would happen, he did say that Stradlin has “written with them…recently.”  It’s possible he’s referring to the news we reported back in August about Stradlin and McKagan collaborating on “How to Be a Man,” a song from the EP which served as a companion to McKagan’s book, How to Be a Man (And Other Illusions). Stradlin’s last album was 2010’s Wave of Heat. Recent unconfirmed rumors have also suggested the group is assembling two new songs for a forthcoming greatest hits album.

Niven also shared some insight into the circumstances that led to the dissolution of the original lineup. He recalled a dinner Rose had with David Bowie. “Over the course of dinner,” Niven said, “he told Axl that the reason why he and Mick Jagger were so successful was that they were businessmen first and artists second.” He thinks that Bowie’s advice “probably did more damage to Guns N’ Roses and myself than I could possibly estimate.”

Towards the end of the interview, Niven reveals what he wants most from the reunion. “My genuine wish is, for one thing, that Slash reclaim legacy under the [Guns N’ Roses] logo,” he said. “I want him to be happy […] He places a lot of value on what he’s spent a lot of time building on his own.” But more importantly, he just hopes “they enjoy themselves. And on top of that, I hope that a lot of people go out there and go see a damn good rock n’ roll show, and remember what great rock n’ roll shows were about.”

Earlier this week, Guns N’ Roses confirmed the reunion will take place at the Coachella Festival in Indio, Calif., on April 16 and 23. It is believed that Slash and McKagan will join the current lineup, which includes guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman. And while Stradlin has not yet said anything about wanting to take part, original drummer Steven Adler is reportedly negotiating for a role. So far, the reunion is limited to Coachella, although a full-scale tour is rumored to be in the works.

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