Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal indicated that he no longer speaks to Axl Rose in a new Face Culture interview. Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.
“My dream was always to be in a John-Paul-George-Ringo, not John-Paul-George-and-a-hired-guy.
“Not to put it down and not to understate the eight years that I had with them [GN’R] – and I did write and play my own parts on ‘Chinese Democracy’ – but for me, I need to be a founding member and a writer of the music and a creative part of it.
“When I played with Guns, it was cool playing all the big stages and everything – yes, that was wonderful, and it’s what you aspire to as a kid when you start out.”
Could you describe your time with Guns N’ Roses in one word?
“Intense. It was very intense. It was high highs, low lows, and everything in between. And I made a lot of good friends.
“I hate to say I learned a lot of things ’cause it’s not supposed to be education; you’re supposed to be there ’cause you don’t need an education, but you never stop learning, and that’s the truth.
“And I got experiences and learned things that I didn’t do yet. So that was good. But at the same time, I was touring a lot before Guns – a good 10 years of international touring.
“I mean, I played Russia before Guns did, doing solo stuff, things like that, so it’s not like I was completely inexperienced.
“I was just inexperienced at being a hired gun in a stadium band – or an arena band.
“So with that, that was a whole new thing ’cause for me, bands were your friends that you played together and you had this familial kind of relationship – you’re not just brought in to play with strangers.
“And I have done that kind of thing as well, where I’ve been called in to play gigs, but never on something on such a big scale and where it would be something that really is the biggest thing of notable name recognition or anything that I had done.
“So that was different. And there’s lots that come with that that you didn’t expect.”
Do you still speak with Axl Rose?
“[Laughs] He’s doing his thing, I’m doing my thing, and I wish them all the best. And I’m so happy to see how great they’re doing with Slash and Duff. I’m very happy for them.”