Ex-Guns N' Roses Axeman Nurses His Hangover

Gilby Clarke takes second stab at soloing with 11-track mix of glam-punk '80s metal.

Guitarist Gilby Clarke has been to the top of the rock 'n' roll mountain, and, he'll tell you, he's not impressed.

"Looking back, those were great times," said the 35-year-old Clarke, a touring member of Guns N' Roses from 1991-96 and for the recording of the band's 1993 covers album, The Spaghetti Incident?. "It was really fun, but it's always disappointing when you try to re-live those times."

So, Clarke has taken another spin at climbing down from the musical mountain

back into clubs with his second solo album, The Hangover (on Paradigm Records, a division of Addicted to Noise's parent company Paradigm Music Entertainment -- hey, that's what we call a disclaimer). The 11-track car-crash of glam, punk, drink, '80s metal, drug and late-night tales stumbles, then trips out of the block with the T. Rexish "Wasn't Yesterday Great."

Over shambling guitars and out-of-place piano, Clarke croaks, "Sold my Stones 45's/ And traded in my 'stang/ I lost it all in a time warp/ My generation boomeranged. "I know it's weird," said Clarke, "but it's just some old-fashioned rock 'n' roll. I always wanted to make records that I'd enjoy listening to and that I would buy myself. I don't think this is the kind of record that will offend anybody."

Maybe in your world, Gilby.

Although songs such as the "Ziggy Stardust"-honoring "Mickey Marmalade" and the flat-out wasted "Higher," are dusted with a gloss of pop sheen and amiable riffs, it seems unlikely far-right conservative Pat Buchanan or gangasta rap foe C. Delores Tucker will be jamming out to the latter's lyrics: "Bitter pills washed down with vodka and hope/ Beautiful, but strung out, socially stoned/ Cold sweats and fake charms, tranquilize my heart/ Tattoo euphoria on the battle scars."

"It's not exactly a theme record," Clarke said from Oklahoma City, Okla. the third stop on his current tour. "But I was just trying to write about what I was experiencing at the time, from an observers point of view."

Clarke said lines such as "Jonesin' sweet desperation/ Captain Chaos/ So young, strung out n' numb," from the Beatles-influenced ballad "Captain Chaos" (riding on cool hammond-organ ), chronicle the years he spent going from touring with G N' R, to his own tour and one with fellow ex-Guns guitarist Slash's Snakepit.

"I mean, yeah, we sat around and drank and lived the old-fashioned rock 'n' roll lifestyle," he said. "When I write that's the only thing I can relate to. Everyone in my world is like that."

And despite such debauched, white trash-chronicling songs as the punk-edged "Zip Gun," Clarke, who is married and has a child, said he doesn't go out every night as in the old days. Still he can remember those long nights well enough to turn them into song.

"Everybody I know is still sort of caught in that world and we do go out and drink and laugh and stay up way too late," he said. "Because the Guns existence was just a reflection of the "Rolling Stones days". When the band got to that point all we wanted to do was go, 'Hey, we have a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card right now let's just fucking live it. Let's enjoy it to the max and do everything we always wanted to do, just because we can. You know? We all know it's going to go away one day, but while it's here let's fucking enjoy it."

Color="#720418">[Sat., Oct. 25, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]