‘My bones ache’

‘My bones ache’

As Guns N’ Roses prepped for Thursday’s night UAE show, keyboardist Dizzy Reed 
shared with us some of his jovial wisdom

By Adam Zacharias

Published: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 8:54 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:26 AM

Given that heisn’t a lyricist, Dizzy Reed certainly has a way with words.

“It’s like leaving out peanuts for the squirrels, but a lot more fun for everyone and a little more complex, logistically.”

(The question we’ve asked is why his band, Guns N’ Roses, are back at Du Arena on Thursday night just two years after they last performed at the venue. Thankfully, the keyboardist quickly provides a less cryptic addendum: “Because it rocks. They asked us to come back, we have returned.”)

The Illinois-born musician, born Darren Reed, is the hard rock act’s second-longest serving member behind founder and frontman Axl Rose.

He joined in 1990, three years after the band’s debut album Appetite for Destruction had turned them into international stars (as well as poster boys for rock and roll excess). Though not an original member, Dizzy was the group’s first keyboardist - helping to shape their sound for 1991’s epic double album Use Your Illusion I and II, which boasted songs such as Yesterdays and November Rain.

Dizzy admits to growing frustrated with the lingering perceptions about Guns N’ Roses, whose line-up has proven famously changeable over the years.

“Although the band got its start in the ‘80s, I don’t consider us to be an ‘80s hair or metal band, says Dizzy,

“I don’t feel we ever were, even though it would seem that way to the fans, due to the categorisations that the industry has decided to assign to everything and everyone.”


It has already been four-and-a-half years since the band’s sixth studio album Chinese Democracy was released - becoming the most expensive and arguably the most delayed record in history (costing $13 million and taking 15 years respectively to finish).

Unsurprisingly then, Dizzy is reticent to put a date on the group’s next release.

“A new album will be on the way soon, since ‘soon’ isn’t really an exact given or assigned amount of time,” he replies with the rehearsed inexactness of a politician.

“When I‘m not touring, I spend the majority of my time writing and refining songs and song ideas.

“And when I have the courage, I bounce them off the other guys in the band. Somehow, amazingly, I still find time to do other enjoyable things with my wife and kids (daughters Skye and Shade).”

After 23 years in one of rock music’s biggest bands, we ask Dizzy how life has changed.

“It’s harder to get up and start moving in the morning. My bones ache,” he replies. “Actually, the main difference there would be that I actually get up in the morning!”

But as he approaches his 50th birthday in June, the keyboardist hasn’t lost his laid-back sense of humour - closing our interview with this monologue about his typical pre-show ritual in 2013:

“I like to start show night off by reading the stock market quotes in the local paper, having a drink, realising that I own no stock of any kind, putting the paper down, looking at my keyboard, cursing at it, having another drink, warming up by playing some songs and trying not to touch any of the white keys, having a drink, reversing the process so I don’t touch any of the black keys, peeing, having a drink and a smoke, then taking to the stage. I’m not sure what the other guys do...”


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