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Steven Adler on Guns N’ Roses Reunion: ‘I Got Closure and I’m Thankful I Got to Do What I Did’

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In 2016, Guns N’ Roses welcomed back classic era members Slash and Duff McKagan to their lineup, and for a handful of shows, drummer Steven Adler also returned as well. During a recent appearance on the One on One With Mitch Lafon podcast (heard in the player above), Adler spoke more about his experience and how while he was not able to take part as much as he wanted, he has found closure in getting a chance to play with three of his other four classic era bandmates.

According to Adler, he was practicing to be a bigger part of the reunion when a back injury unfortunately sidelined him. “It was, ‘Thank you, God, for this beautiful present,” Adler says about playing with the band for the first time. “I’d been playing Appetite [for Destruction] [songs] live, Use Your Illusion and the songs that, obviously, I didn’t get to play on Use Your Illusion, I was practicing them… I was playing twenty-five songs twice a day for two years. ‘Cause once I found out [the reunion] was probably gonna happen, I was, like, ‘Yes! I’m gonna be ready and on top of it.’ And then second rehearsal, I hurt my back and I had to have a minor surgery. I had a pinched nerve in the L4 [nerve root], and within an hour, I was out of the hospital and I was all better.”

The drummer tried to have himself ready for the opening show, but it didn’t pan out and the Adler admits he was initially resentful that he wasn’t allowed to take part. “I talked to them [and said], ‘Let me come back,’ but it didn’t happen, and I was resentful,” said the drummer. “And then I talked to my sponsor and I was, ‘Okay, you’re right. I’m not gonna give in to resentment.’ And then they called me, and I [went], ‘Holy s–t! Here it comes. This is gonna be so awesome.’ I’m still smiling about it. I have dreams about it.”

Adler says that it was his initial understanding that he was going to do all of the Appetite for Destruction and Lies material and three or four Use Your Illusion songs, with Frank Ferrer doing the Chinese Democracy material, but it didn’t turn out that way, with Adler guest appearances on the trek turning into just a handful of a songs. Still Adler concludes, “I got some closure and I’m thankful I got to do what I did.”

Asked if he still harbors any resentment toward the band, Adler was quick to state, “No, no, no, not at all. I love those guys. It is what it is. What I want it to be is the five of us, and what Axl wants it to be is what he wants it to be and I respect him for it. I’m just glad I got to be a part of it for the good part — when it was fun and exciting.”

The drummer says he has floated the idea of getting the five classic era members to play some shows saluting Appetite for Destruction‘s 30th anniversary and record it for a DVD, but he knows that’s not his call. Hear more of the discussion in the interview in the player above.

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