Listen to Guns N’ Roses’ First-Ever Interview
Former Guns N’ Roses associate Raz Cue has released a recording of the band’s first-ever radio interview. Taped in March 1985 before Slash's arrival, the KPFK session was led by Izzy Stradlin after Axl Rose failed to turn up in time. The interview, embedded above, also features an early version of “Don’t Cry.”
The lineup at the time was Rose, Stradlin (who called himself “Izzy Stranded”), guitarist Tracii Guns, drummer Rob Gardner and bassist Duff McKagan, who’d only just joined. Cue, who managed L.A. Guns before some of the members merged with Hollywood Rose to become Guns N' Roses, introduces the recording by saying: “Having banded together just two weeks prior in my nearby living room, the boys are giving their first-ever radio interview. The highlight of the night – songs recorded just hours earlier. … Keep in mind that this is Guns N’Roses’ fourth rehearsal, and Duff’s very first with the band.”
The version of “Don’t Cry,” which was then known as “Don’t Cry Tonight,” bears a striking similarity to the one that was eventually released in 1991. Stradlin explains: “It’s a song Axl and I just wrote it a couple weeks ago, and it’s kinda a sad song, but it’s cool. You know, everybody grab a Kleenex.” He adds of the recent recording session: “We just actually did 'em before we came in here. … We got an EP coming out; it’s gonna be a picture disc.”
McKagan had taken over for original bassist Ole Beich, while Gardner was soon switched out for Steven Adler. Slash then replaced Tracii Guns, thus forming the classic lineup. Guns N' Roses began a partial reunion in 2016, without Adler (who was fired in 1990) or Stradlin (who’d quit the following year).