Just as Geffen Records announced that Guns N' Roses' two new albums sold a record 2.5-million copies each during their first week of release, there were reports Monday that rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin may stop touring with the Los Angeles hard-rock band.
Neither Geffen Records nor Doug Goldstein, the group's manager, would comment on reports of Stradlin's rumored action--rumors that began after the guitarist failed to show up for a video shoot Sept. 15 in Los Angeles.
Bryn Bridenthal, vice president of publicity for Geffen, said at that time that Stradlin was taking advantage of the first break in a two-year, worldwide tour to take a vacation in Europe and didn't want to return just for the video.
But Tom Atencio, the co-manager of rock group Jane's Addiction, said Monday that David Navarro, the group's guitarist, has been contacted about sitting in for Stradlin if the guitarist decides to stop touring. Guns N' Roses is scheduled to resume touring in the U.S. late next month.
"This isn't the Steven Adler situation all over again," a source close to the band said Monday, referring to the 1990 decision by Guns N' Roses to fire former drummer Adler because of what band members maintained was excessive drug use. Adler subsequently sued the band.
"This is totally Izzy's decision, and it appears to be based on whether he wants to spend the next two years of his life on the road in such a highly volatile situation."
Even if Stradlin decides to stop touring, he presumably would continue to write and record with the band.
The guitarist plays a prominent part on the new "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" albums--singing lead on some songs, including "14 Years," as well as writing or co-writing a dozen songs on the album.
Geffen estimated that the albums sold more than 2.5 million copies each in the U.S., which--if correct--would make the albums enter the U.S. sales charts at No. 1 and 2 when the rankings are announced later this week by Billboard magazine. "Illusion II" and "Illusion I" already entered No. 1 and 2 respectively in the British charts, a company spokesperson said Monday.
Jane's Addiction's Navarro would be available for touring because that group's Sept. 26 in Honolulu will be its last, Atencio said. "David Navarro has been approached by Guns N' Roses to play on tour but has made no decision as of yet."