Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds

Today, we're going to begin examining solo albums and side projects by the current and former members of Guns N' Roses. We'll begin at the beginning with Izzy Stradlin's debut album, "Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds."

In the Fall of 1991, shortly after the release of the Use Your Illusion albums, Izzy Stradlin quit Guns N' Roses. Remeber the Don't Cry video where Slash holds a hand written sign that reads: WHERE'S IZZY? Izzy leaving truly was the beginning of the end for this band. Guns were like a 5 headed hydra, that just had its country and western head sliced off. Why did Izzy leave? Well, there are many reasons/theories.

1. Izzy got busted on a commercial flight for peeing in the aisle. After that he had court-appointed drug tests and rehab. Once he was clean and sober - the rest of the band's antics were less than fun for him. He traveled separately while on tour and began to drift away.

2. Axl's increasing madness. Izzy left the band shortly after the roits in St. Louis. The first leg of the Use Your Illusions Tour was marked by now-typical behavior from Ax. Going on late, leaving in the middle of shows, and inciting riots. This would make anyone want to leave. In fact, at one gig with The Rolling Stones, Axl didn't show up at all - much to Izzy's emabarrassment.

3. The sacking of drummer Steven Adler. Adler was famously fired from GN'R for being too much of a drug addict. Izzy felt that the band was never the same with Matt Sorum on drums.

Anyway, after Izzy left, he went back to Indiana, and began writing songs for his first solo album. And what an album it is: an Alt-Country masterpiece. The best way I can describe it for you (can you really "describe" music?) is: The Rolling Stones crossed with The Jayhawks crossed with The Clash. Standout tracks include: Somebody Knockin, Shuffle It All, Cuttin the Rug, and of course the Ju Ju Hounds' cover of the Toots and the Maytals' classic: Pressure Drop (featuring Mikey Dread on vocals).

Released on October 13, 1992 by Geffen Records.

Somebody Knockin
Pressure Drop
Time Gone By
Shuffle it All
Bucket O'Trouble
Train Tracks
How Will It Go
Cuttin' the Rug
Take a Look at That Guy
Come on Now Inside
Morning Tea (hidden track)

Izzy Stradlin: Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica, Percussion
Jimmy Ashhurst: Bass, Backing Vocals
Charlie "Chalo" Quintana: Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Rick Richards: Guitar, Percussion

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