Well, we don’t want to always be reporting sad passings of Rock n Rollers we love sometimes we should celebrate some of the good guys who’ve had a big influence on what we’ve listened to over the years so today we’re celebrating the Birthday of Jeffrey Dean Isbell born on this day in 1962 in Lafayette, Indiana to an engraver and phone company worker. His folks divorced when he was just eight years old.
His first instrument was a drum kit after he was influenced by his grandmother and this led him to form a band with a guy named William Bailey (W Axl Rose) which was the beginning of a magical journey that was to see the pair become two fifths of the biggest band in the world at the time. In 1980 he moved to California and formed a punk rock band. By ’83 Isbell had left the drums behind and moved onto bass and ultimately the electric guitar it was around this time he reacquainted himself with Rose and wrote ‘Reckless Life’, ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Shadow Of Your Love’ three of Guns n Roses best songs as it goes and ones that have stood the test of time. Hollywood Rose morphed into Guns N Roses and the rest, as they say, is history. Stradlin was always considered the cool Keith Richards like member of Guns and its believed to have been the driving force for their better songs. ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’, ‘Paradise City’ and ‘Patience’ to name a few. After the phenomenal success of Appetite Stradlin sobered up (allegedly) and by the time the band reconvened to push Use Your Illusions one and two he was losing interest. Still, he was responsible for the best songs on the albums with the likes of ‘Dust n’ Bones’, ‘Don’t Cry’ and ’14 Years’ Stradlin in true Rock and Roll fashion upped and fucked right out the door never to return.
It wasn’t the last of him of course as we got the magnificent Ju Ju Hounds album as well as a string of less successful albums throughout the ’90s a few of which were only released in Japan and then some only via the internet or Itunes but if you wanted to investigate he was still writing excellent rock and roll albums no bloated rock operas for Izzy just good honest three minute rock and roll tunes.
He has since cropped up contributing to Velvet Revolver but declining the offer to join the band permanently then in 2006 he got up with his former band and played a couple of tunes at a show in New York City. A year later he released two albums in twelve months the excellent ‘Miami’ only through iTunes then at the tail end of the year he knocked out ‘Fire’ and acoustic album which took his output to an impressive eighth album. There were a further two Internet-only albums by 2010 before he played on the debut solo album from Slash before blowing out the Rock and Roll hall of fame when the band was inducted and the attention-shy songwriter had Duff read out a prepared press statement. He then refused to join the reformed Guns N Roses due to the money not being shared equally between the band and I’d like to think without Adler in the engine room it wasn’t really a Guns N Roses reunion, was it? with only three-fifths of the line up reforming so again good on Stradlin’ for sticking to his guns (no pun intended). He also refused to join the band onstage after turning up for soundcheck at a show but it was never confirmed if it was the show that Adler played a couple of classic tunes on.
So, right up to the here and now Izzy remains active in Rock n Roll having cropped up on the last Mellencamp album guesting on ‘Grandview’ so who knows whats next – Me I’d love to see him do a few club dates in the UK with the Ju Ju Hounds and play that debut album in full now that would be something really special. Izzy if you’re out there get in touch RPM Online loves ya and wishes you a Happy Birthday.
Buy Izzy Stradlin Music Here
Also on this day Donita Sparks, L7 was born in 1963. Happy Birthday, Donita.