Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus discussed Izzy Stradlin in a recent KSHE interview. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.
“On my way back to the U.K. to finish that tour, I was sitting at LAX, and this guy comes up to me and says, ‘Excuse me sir, are you who I think you are?’ Of course I said, ‘Probably not.’ He said, ‘You’re not Izzy Stradlin?’ Nobody had ever said that to me before, and I looked around like, is this a joke? I said, ‘No I’m not, but I think I just took his gig.’ He just sort of looked at me like, thanks for being a jerk.”
“Yeah, I don’t know. It was just a funny thing that happened.”
He also told the full story of how he joined Guns N’ Roses.
“I was actually on tour, believe it or not, with Enrique Iglesias. I was in the middle of a tour in Europe, I had gotten a call. Tommy Stinson was a friend of mine, Brain was a friend, or was it Josh Freese [at the time]? Anyways, I had played with those guys, and worked with them doing studio work. They had called and said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in auditioning?’ I said sure. So I found a three day window, after I finished our last show at the Albert Hall, I had a car waiting, went straight to the airport, flew to LA, did the audition.”
“Everybody in the band, Axl was there. Then I hung out with Axl all night, talking, listening to music in his car and stuff like that.”
“He pretty much told me that night [that I was in the band]. We spoke about it, and he said, ‘Well, we’re going to start rehearsals in two weeks.’ I was like, ‘I can’t start in two weeks, I’m in the middle of a tour.’ He looked at me like, are you kidding me? He thought about it for a second, and he goes, ‘Well, we’ll wait for you, because I know you won’t do it for me.