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September 19th, 2005
Guns N' Roses bandmate leaves fast lane behind but still rocking
By Emily Young

Dizzy Reed wasn't up and at 'em until 1 p.m. Friday.

The keyboardist of Guns N'Roses is touring the East Coast with his cover band, Hookers & Blow, and had a late-night show Thursday in Burlington, Vt.

The band will be here in Fitchburg tonight at the Compound.

"Put your drinking shoes on and come out to rock and roll," Reed said.

The band's name was "an idea that's been floating around for awhile," and took root after Reed rejected the idea of naming it after himself, he said.

"Basically, there are a bunch of guys from Hollywood who play in the clubs together," Reed said. "Hookers & Blow have come through this area six, seven times. A lot of times, it's a different line-up. We're not trying to get a record deal or anything. We just want people to come out and party."

Reed first befriended Guns N'Roses lead singer Axl Rose in Hollywood during the 1980s.

"Early on, Axl (Rose) said they were planning on adding keys and he wanted me to join the band," said Reed, who joined Guns N'Roses in 1990.

Reed resisted relating tales of back-stage insanity, but noted it was a signature part of the Hollywood scene.

"Hollywood in general at that time was nuts. When I joined the band, they were already pretty big. But we drank milk every night, tucked ourselves into bed, and got up for church in the morning," Reed joked.

The now 42-year-old rock star has changed his ways with the passing of time.

"I've mellowed out quite a bit. There are more important things in life than partying all the time. But we manage to have fun still," Reed said.

Reed noted that Rose has altered his lifestyle, too.

"He's just healthier, in a better space," Reed said.

Reed is the only original member of Guns N'Roses to stick by the band's frontman.

"I believe in Axl. We have three CDs worth of songs. Everyone contributed and it all goes into the mill," Reed said. "We did some touring about three years ago, but things are on hold for now. (Rose is) working hard to finish our first record in quite awhile."

Reed has not talked to the other former Guns N'Roses members since they quit during the 1990s.

"People don't realize that (the original band members) quit over time. That one person quit at one time and then the other guy quit. It was a gradual thing," Reed said. "I think no matter what, situations are hard. It's a little like being married to three, four other guys. A lot of musicians have big egos. Early on things are easier and then problems grow over time. But people were so (expletive) up back then that people didn't notice."

Reed considers himself from Colorado, even though his family moved to Boulder, Colo., from Chicago when he was 8 years old.

He first began playing keyboards as a young child.

"I started playing when I was really young, like 6 or 7. My grandma had an organ which I started playing on, and soon after I realized that the instrument was very cool in rock and roll," Reed said. "I was 11 or 12 when I formed my first band. It was called 'Hairy Bananas.' Yeah, from 'Hairy Bananas' to 'Hookers & Blow.'

Source(s): http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com  
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