IZZY STRADLIN: WHY HE'S NOT INVOLVED IN GUNS N' ROSES REUNION
With the Guns N' Roses tour barreling ahead, co-founder Izzy Stradlin is nowhere near the reunion tour. He made a statement to The Wall Street Journal and wrote: "The current GNR tour has been a great success for the guys. My nonparticipation was simply - not being able to reach a happy middle ground through the negotiation process. That's life. Sometimes things don't work out."
The touring lineup includes singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan and an occasional guest appearance by drummer Steven Adler. Stradlin has not taken part in any shows on the tour.
- Joining Rose, Slash and McKagan on the "Not In This Lifetime" tour are drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus and second keyboardist Melissa Reese.
- There are unconfirmed reports claiming that Stradlin turned down a five-figure fee to play at the April 2016 reunion shows.
- Stradlin was a major contributor to the band's classic 1987 debut LP "Appetite For Destruction" and the two "Use Your Illusion" albums in 1991, but quit the group that same year.
- The guitarist has maintained a low profile over the years, resurfacing periodically to make several surprise appearances at GNR shows, including during the band's residency in Las Vegas in 2012.
- Rose told Brazil's Globo TV in a 2016 interview that wasn't optimistic about Stradlin rejoining his former bandmates. "I don't really know what to say about Izzy," Axl said. "It's like you could have a conversation and think it's one way and the next day it's another way. And I'm not trying to take any shots at Izzy. It's just his thing is kind of his thing, whatever that is."
- In response, Izzy called Rose's comments "bullsh#!" and explained that the band didn't want to "split the loot equally."
- Stradlin allegedly showed up for a soundcheck rehearsal in Nashville, but things fell apart at the last minute. Adler was there as well and did play — if Stradlin had performed, it would have been the first time the founding GUNS lineup played together in 26 years.
- Stradlin's last solo album, 2010's "Wave Of Heat", featured a guest appearance by McKagan.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH DEBUTS AT #4 ON 'BILLBOARD 200'
Five Finger Death Punch had a huge week on the Billboard 200 chart, as their seventh studio album, And Justice For None, debuted at # 4. They last landed in the Top 10 (at #2) with Got Your Six, in 2015.
This marks the first time they've had an album available on Spotify for the first week of release. In a radio interview, bassist Chris Kael said, "The other years, they didn't count streaming towards physical sales and album sales. But now, they've gotten together and streaming actually counts towards album sales. So this is the first time we've actually gone in - guns blazing on every single platform. Whether it be physical sales, your vinyl, all that stuff, streaming, Apple Music, everything. It's all available now right out of the gate."
The Billboard chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
- A look at the numbers shows it launched with 71,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 24, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 60,000 were in traditional album sales.
- According to Billboard, the group's only studio album to miss the top 10 was its debut effort, The Way Of The Fist, which topped out at #107 in 2008.