“If you’ve ever seen Slash give that look to whoever when they hit a bad note… You get that look once, man. You don’t want it twice”: Gilby Clarke survived a baptism by fire in Guns N’ Roses – but one day the pay checks stopped coming

Gilby Clarke and Slash onstage in 2013
(Image credit: Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Gilby Clarke’s versatility is not a trick of the light. His influences include The Clash and Mick Ronson, while his resume lists time with Guns N’ Roses, Slash and Nancy Sinatra. 

Whether rocking stadiums as GN’R rhythm guitarist at the height of their fame or providing tasteful leads in the studio, Clarke’s mindset remains the same: “I just consider myself a guitar player,” he tells Guitar World. “I don’t consider myself a rhythm or lead player.”

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.