Gilby Clarke is basically a talented musician that came to fill the role of Izzy Stradlin’ of the dysfunctional band, Guns N’ Roses. Gn’R is my most favorite band. I even have a tattoo of their band logo on my right shoulder. It’s awesome. When Izzy left the band in 1991, I was 11 years old. Too young to grasp the situation and too young to understand what was happening. Gn’R was owning America and Europe, and I was a sheltered youth in a non-religious home. For better or for worse, I’d be exposed to Gn’R and the world of rock and roll soon enough.
My first job was at an auto dealership where I was able to get fired from all three departments (sales, service and parts) in a matter of two years. Mainly, for my candid “I don’t give a fuck” attitude and my willingness to seek out other skills necessary to survival, like, learning how to properly do an oil change instead of emptying trash cans, from learning how to do brake jobs, installing radiators, overhauling engines, and learning how to balance tires. My boss was furious that I wasn’t outside pulling weeds and washing cars. Fuck him.
I first heard “Patience” on the radio in 1996. I was 16 years old, nearly turning 17, and I had my foot in the door of becoming an auto mechanic with the short lessons my Dad had taught me in my earlier teen years. I learned quite a bit of car savvy skills. More so if I had a boss that wasn’t hell-bent on making sure I was taking the trash out and whatnot. Before too long, I was working at another car dealership with a boss that was more of a push over than ever. I even had the mechanics trained to throw around the word “tippy toes” if said boss was even remotely close to the shop floor. That way I could help the mechanics swap out clutch plates faster, get oil changes done, and rotate tires in half the time.
I ventured off into the world of Guns N’ Roses and found out they had an array of songs my parents would probably be against. I didn’t care, though. They had meaning and I found insight in every Gn’R tune. From Paradise City to Mr. Brownstone, I was excited and proud of the fact that I could relate to songs so deep. These songs were gritty and mean. They made me angry and energized! I loved it! I wanted to sing Paradise City where ever I went. When I joined the Army at the ripe ol’ age of 19, I sent away for my Use Your Illusion albums. My Mother sent them and the reaction from the drill sergeant that opened my package was epic.
“What the fuck, soldier? What the fuck do you know about Guns N’ Roses?” he growled.
“More than you, apparently.” I retorted.
I did push ups the rest of the night to the tune of Don’t Cry and November Rain.