Former Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Remembers Metallica Tour: “They Were Always a Core Unit”
You’ve probably heard stories about the famous Guns N’ Roses and Metallica tour when the two bands headed out for a 1992 stadium run. The tour is best known for a few ill-fated moments, such as a pyro-gone-wrong incident that left James Hetfield with a broken arm, but former guitarist Gilby Clarke—who played on Guns N’ Roses’ Live Era and The Spaghetti Incident—remembers it fondly in a new interview.
“Look, we had a lot of great times. Lars hung out with us every single day of that tour; he really was like one of us. Every day that we hung out together, we partied after the show. Before the show, [we] went and did — you know, whether it’s going to museums during the day, he really was a part of us. We got along great.
“When [the tour] first started, I watched a lot of the Metallica shows because they always went on first, and then we didn’t go on for a long time. So after a little while, I kind of — it’s not that I stopped watching them, but it would be such a long day for us. So I started coming a little bit later. I saw Metallica in the very early days, and then I hadn’t seen ’em until they blew up. So I really admired their professionalism, and I really loved the way that they were always a core unit. They ate dinner together; it’s like they did things [together]. I really, really enjoyed that part of them. And as far as sound, I mean, they were huge. They’re still huge. Their sound was so big and it was so tight and so Metallica.”
The interviewer on the radio show also asked Clarke what his favorite Metallica song is. If you were hoping for a deep cut, you’ll have to keep hoping; Clarke’s favorite is a popular one.
“It’s such a standard thing, but ‘Enter Sandman’ is still my favorite song. I mean, look, I’m not really a metal guy — I grew up on The Clash and stuff like that — but I always loved that song because it had a little bit more melody to it and stuff, and that riff is just the greatest riff ever.”
Clarke released his first new solo album in 20 years in 2021.