Ex-Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford declined offers to join Guns N’ Roses twice

Guitarist/singer Marc Ford of The Magpie Salute and Black Crowes performs onstage at The Fonda Theatre on September 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford has claimed in a new interview that he was offered the electric guitar slot in Guns N’ Roses twice, and turned it down both times.

Speaking to the Black Crowes-themed podcast State of Amorica, Ford said the first time came after Izzy Stradlin abruptly exited the band in 1991 during the Use Your Illusion tour.

Ford said he was approached again roughly a decade later, in 2002, while Axl Rose was working on Chinese Democracy, which was eventually released in 2008.

"I got asked to join that band a couple of different times," Ford said (via Blabbermouth). "Once when Axl was still finishing that record that was taking forever [Chinese Democracy]. Right about when I was about to make [Ford’s 2002 solo album] It's About Time, I got offered to join that band."

He continued, "But the first time, I had just come back from a sort of 'unofficial official,' or whatever it was, joining of the Black Crowes weekend in Atlanta. When I got back home, that Monday morning, Slash had called and offered [Ford the open spot in Guns N' Roses]. He said that Izzy was leaving, and did I want the spot? And I said I just joined the Black Crowes. And he was very cool. And he said, 'That's a good gig for you. Right on.' "

Ford joined the Black Crowes in 1991 and played on three albums – 1992’s The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, 1994’s Amorica and 1996’s Three Snakes and One Charm –before leaving the band in 1997. 

He rejoined briefly in 2005 when the Crowes first reunited. Additionally, Ford has played with, among others, Burning Tree, Ben Harper and the Black Crowes offshoot the Magpie Salute, as well as released a series of solo albums.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.