Gilby Clarke is a full-on master of the guitar with a stunning resume to back it up. This man has been well-recognized for his talents as evidenced by his close affiliations with both Guns N’ Roses and the MC5. You realize those are both trendsetting, legendary, Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame member, beloved bands? Alright, just making sure.
Clarke most famously played with GNR on their The Spaghetti Incident, Live Era ’88-’91 and Greatest Hits albums and also spent years with the band out on the now legendary Use Your Illusion World Tour which took place between January 1991 and July 1993. His career as a guitarist has taken him pretty much everywhere, from playing live with Gene Simmons to Slash’s Snakepit to Heart to even Nancy Sinatra. Let’s not forget the artist’s own music, which has included the band Candy, his own quartet Kill For Thrills, and Col. Parker, a group he formed with Slim Jim Phantom. We’d be here all day running down this man’s list of career accomplishments, but we encourage you to delve deep into his catalogue of music and varied projects.
Clarke himself is a modern artist with an old school heart, keeping alive the spirit and tradition of Keef, Johnny Thunders and B.B. King. He specializes in writing fist-pumping rock n’ roll tunes with big choruses that are ideal for the stage. Clarke is a full-on guitar hero who has written and recorded his own solo records, including Pawnshop Guitars, The Hangover, Rubber, Swag and his self-titled greatest hits collection. In terms of new material, he’s been working on a solo album titled The Gospel Truth for a couple of years now that will include guest appearances from Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction and Matt Starr of Ace Frehley’s band.
Watch this cool short feature on how Clarke acquired his first Gibson guitar and the story behind it:
With new music soon on the way, Gilby Clarke joins us today for a special Top 10 feature that offers us a quick look at his favourite solo records from an impressive list of legends such as Syd Barrett, the aforementioned Ace Frehley, and Keith Richards.
10. Tom Waits – Heart Attack and Vine
– The deepest, most soulful voice around. Favourite Track: “Mr. Siegal.”
09. Syd Barrett – Wouldn’t You Miss Me
– He was a strange motherfucker… Favourite Track: “Long Gone.”
08. Ace Frehley – Ace Frehley
– There was no contest who cut the best solo record of the four Kiss guys? Favourite Track: “New York Groove.”
Check out Ace Frehley’s “New York groove” here:
07. John Doe – Meet John Doe
– The beginning of outlaw country. This record was in rotation on many long bus rides through the U.S. and Europe. Favourite Track: “A Matter of Degrees.”
06. Lou Reed – Transformer
– He was a strange motherfucker and this record proves it. Favourite Track: “Walk on The Wild Side.”
05. Keith Richards – Talk Is Cheap
– We waited a long time for Keef to make both his solo records. With the help of Waddy Wachtel they are intense classics. Favourite Track: “Take it So Hard.”
04. Johnny Thunders – LAMF
– Many of us young teenagers in Hollywood stole his haircut. Unfortunately I saw him live and he was always sloppy and trashed. Favourite Track: “Born to Lose.”
Here’s Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers and the video for “Born To Lose”:
03. Eric Carmen – All By Myself
– All By Myself is incredible, but very sad. Favourite Track: “All By Myself.”
02. Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive
– That black Gibson Les Paul Custom on the cover is one of the most iconic guitars of all time. At the time I only knew Frampton from Humble Pie. This record really showcased how talented he is. Favourite Track: “Do You Feel Like I Do.”
01. Mick Ronson – Slaughter on 10th Avenue
– The David Bowie guitarist was very influential with me. his guitar sound and creative arrangements really resonated with me. Favourite Track: “Growing up and I’m Fine.”
A video featuring the Mick Ronson song “Growing Up and I’m Fine”: