GN’R Reunion: Izzy Stradlin Was Reportedly Offered a Five-Figure-Per-Show Fee

  • Axl Rosenberg

Guns N’ Roses is now the twelfth largest economy in the world, having just surpassed Belgium. But one founding member of the band who won’t be tipping his mailman with a private island this holiday season is rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, who, in case ya didn’t hear, did not participate in the reunion.

Any why, pray tell, did the artist born Jeffrey Isbell not participate in the reunion? Well, according to the man himself…

Now, a new source claims to know more about the raw deal Stradlin may or may not have actually received.

Guitar World reports that a “band insider” known to the public only as ‘MSL’ wrote the following on GN’R Insider:

“We know Izzy was in rehearsals at one point and was negotiating to appear at a few of the April gigs. Equal pay was never discussed. A 5-figure fee per cameo is what was being negotiated. But there is a lot of room for negotiation on a 5-figure fee. 10k? 99k?

“Whatever it was, they were far apart and Izzy bailed. He doesn’t need their chump change and they don’t need to throw away a bunch of money on a guy that isn’t gonna sell many tix.”

If we take this MSL chap at his word… well, we still don’t really have enough information to judge the situation. It sure does seem like just giving Izzy an even cut would be fair, given that he and Axl Rose have been friends since they were kids and Izzy wrote a ton of GN’R’s classic songs (the band continues to perform “Double Talkin’ Jive” to this day, even though it’s so much Stradlin’s song that he actually sings the lead vocals on its studio recording). It’s not wrong to say that Izzy wouldn’t sell many tickets, because his public profile has never been very — but given how involved he was in the creation of the songs the band is playing every night, it’s certainly disrespectful.

Still, as the source says, “there is a lot of room for negotiation on a 5-figure fee,” and I’d be curious to know the exact figure Stradlin was offered. You gotta figure that as successful as the tour has been, with so many crew members, managers, lawyers, etc. to pay, GN’R’s holy trinity of Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan are probably taking home only (“only”) six figures a night. So if Izzy’s five-figure offer was in the high five-figures… maybe it would have been worth it?

Oh well. At least Richard Fortus still has a gig. I love that dude.

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