“Slash says, ‘You got the gig. Learn the whole catalog.’ I was like, ‘Don’t you have a set of songs?’ Slash goes, ‘There’s no setlist. Axl just calls ’em out’”: How Gilby Clarke got the Guns N’ Roses gig – and learned the band’s back catalog in a week

Slash and Gilby Clarke
(Image credit: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)

In the early ‘90s, Guns N’ Roses underwent a personnel change that saw the departure of electric guitar player Izzy Stradlin. As such, Slash and co – who were in the midst of the Use Your Illusion tour at the time – were in need of a new guitarist who could hold down the Guns rhythm slot for the foreseeable future.

In 1991, Stradlin was formally replaced by Gilby Clarke, who would serve as Slash's right-hand man for a three-year period that saw him close out the Use Your Illusion tour and feature on 1993’s The Spaghetti Incident?.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.

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