Gunners keyboardist Dizzy Reed: “This is the real Guns N’ Roses”

Forget Slash, Izzy and Duff. ”[We are] the real Guns N’ Roses,” says the band’s longtime keyboardist and Axl Rose’s last ally Dizzy Reed.

Reed joined the band in 1990, just in time to be part of the Use Your Illusion album, and apart from Axl Rose is the longest-serving member of the current line-up. Speaking to FL ahead of Guns N’ Roses March tour, Reed reacted emphatically to suggestions the current incarnation of the Guns N’ Roses wasn’t the real deal. “Those people [that make accusations] obviously haven’t seen the band and I think people who do feel that way, when they come see the band will definitely change their tune.”

The original 1986 “Geffen-era” Gunners line-up consisted of Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler, however, Reed dismissed notions that the band’s current players are somehow less legitimate. “This is Guns N’ Roses, therefore it is the real Guns N’ Roses,” he said. “There’s not two Guns N’ Roses out there playing anymore. People can choose to live in the past as much as they want, it’s not going to change anything. This band is the best band I’ve ever been in, and we go out and we kick ass every night, give a thousand per cent.”

Today marks the 20th-anniversary of Guns N’ Roses infamous Calder Park Speedway gig in Melbourne, which saw 75,000 rock fans battle blistering heat, a lack of water and general amenities. It’s become etched into Aussie rock folklore for all the wrong reasons, but Reed says he doesn’t really remember all the problems on the ground. “You know, I guess I missed all of that,” he told FL. “I never really heard any of that stuff. I remember it being really hot and that there was a lot of people needing water.”

However, he did recall having a premonition-like dream the night before the event. “I was having all these crazy dreams about tornadoes and stuff and then we had to take a chopper out there, a helicopter, and there were some stormy skies. When we landed I remember some of the crew telling us there had been tornadoes, which was kind of weird. If I’d known they even had tornadoes down there I probably wouldn’t have got on the helicopter.” Last September we spoke to former bassist Duff McKagen about his recollections of the gig. Read about it here.

Guns N’ Roses will play shows in Perth, Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Brisbane alongside ZZ Top and Rose Tattoo presented by FL this March.

The full interview with Dizzy Reed will be published in the coming weeks.

FL presents Guns N’ Roses

Saturday, March 9 – Perth Arena, Perth

Tuesday, March 12 – Allphones Arena, Sydney

Wednesday, March 13 – Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Sunday, March 17 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

Wednesday, March 20 – Entertainment Centre, Brisbane