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Steven Adler: It Was ‘Heartbreaking’ to Watch Frank Ferrer Play My Guns N’ Roses Songs

Steven Adler (Guns N' Roses / Adler)
Valerie Macon, Getty Images

Guns N’ Roses have been dominating around the world since reuniting with Slash and Duff McKagan. While fans have still clamored to see the entire classic lineup onstage, including Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin, those at select shows have been fortunate to witness Adler in action for a couple songs. In a a recent interview on Eddie Trunk‘s Trunk Nation on SiriusXM, the drummer revealed it was “heartbreaking” to stand on the side of the stage watching Frank Ferrer play while awaiting his turn to reclaim the drum throne, even if just for a few moments.

He began the conversation by stating how “magical” it was for the semi-reunion of the Guns N’ Roses lineup. Turning his attention towards his guest contributions, Adler said (transcription via Blabbermouth), “It was just too hard last year, because they’d have me come down and do just one or two songs, and it’s, like, I’m standing on the side of the stage and I’m watching Frank, who’s a wonderful guy and a great drummer, play my songs when I’m standing right there. I’m going, ‘Dude, why don’t you f–king let me play? I’m right here! Let me play the songs.’ And it was just too hard to do that. And then the South American thing, flying 15,000 miles for just one song each night. It was just too much.”

Adler began rehearsing with the band before the band’s first show back at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, but pinched a nerve in his back, which sidelined him for 10 days. McKagan then informed the drummer he would not be taking part in this show, which led to a temporary spat between the two, ending with an apology from Adler.

In July, he got the call to hop onstage with Guns in Cincinnati, Ohio and Nashville, Tenn., but the feeling he had hoped for wasn’t there. “It’s just not the same,” he said. “I was thinking it was gonna be the same as it was 25 years ago, but not having Izzy there and just playing one or two songs, it was very hurtful and heartbreaking for me. And Richard [Fortus] is a phenomenal guitar player — he’s a great guitar player — and the crazy thing is, from 10 feet away, he f–king looks like Izzy.”

Noting the band did pay him for his services, he was grateful despite lamenting, “But still, to be on the side of the stage and to watch somebody else play the songs, it’s heartbreaking.”

Guns N’ Roses will return to North America once again this summer for another round of stadium shows. The run starts on July 27 and will stretch to Sept. 8 and a list of all stops can be found at our 2017 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

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