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Back Problems Allegedly Prevented Steven Adler from Doing the Entire Guns N’ Roses Reunion Tour

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The Guns N’ Roses semi-reunion has been a massive success, and even cynics like me have had to admit that the band sounds killer and puts on a great show. Still, one way it the tour might have been even better is if it had a been a full-on reunion that included rhythm guitarist/unsung hero Izzy Stradlin and original drummer Steven Adler.

In Stradlin’s case, we know that money was the stumbling block to his participation in the outing… but Adler’s reasons for being relegated to select guest appearances has remained a mystery. It seemed highly unlikely that financial terms entered into the decision; whereas Stradlin has been almost as reclusive as Axl Rose since quitting GN’R in 1991, Adler has, by his own admission, been dying to get back into the band since being fired in 1990. So what happened?

Well, according to Enuff Z’Nuff vocalist/bassist Chip Z’Nuff — who also worked with Adler in the band Adler’s Appetite — claims to know the answer. Z’Nuff tells Spain’s Popular 1:

“[Adler] was going to be part of the tour, but lawyers screwed it up. The second day of rehearsals he did not do well because of pain in his back, and management had an excuse to kick him out.”

What’s most interesting about Z’Nuff’s version of events isn’t the revelation that Adler, like so many of us, suffers from back pain — it’s that “management had an excuse to kick him out,” which implies that management wanted to kick him out. Which naturally begs the question: why did management want to kick Adler out?

I’d assume the directive came from Axl Rose himself. Asked about Adler during a 1992 interview with RIP Magazine, Rose had few flattering things to say about his former bandmate:

“At one point, in order to keep this band together, it was necessary for me to give him a portion of my publishing rights… he threw such a fit, saying he wasn’t going to stay in the band. We were worried about not being able to record our first album, so I did what l felt l had to do. In the long run l paid very extensively for keeping Steven in Guns N’ Roses. I paid $1.5 million by giving him 15 percent of my publishing off of ‘Appetite for Destruction’. He didn’t write one goddamn note, but he calls me a selfish dick… l even forgave him after he nearly killed my wife [Erin Everly]. I had to spend a night with her in an intensive-care unit… She was hysterical, and he shot her up with a speedball. She had never done jack shit as far as drugs go, and he shoots her up with a mixture of heroin and cocaine… Steven had a lot of fans, but he was a real pain in the ass.”

The bottom line is, the reunion needed Axl and Slash to be successful. It did not especially need Steven Adler. If Rose still feels like Adler is “a real pain in the ass,” he really had no incentive to just strap an ice pack to his butt and collect the check.

[via Alternative Nation]

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