|By Ryan Ritchie
Long Beach turns into Paradise City Saturday when original Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler brings his new group, Adler's Appetite, to the Blue Cafe for an evening featuring many of his old band's hits.
The drummer came out of a 15-year seclusion in March 2003 to form his latest group when a friend convinced him to return to music after Adler performed with Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil in Las Vegas. Adler's friend introduced him to bassist Robbie Crane, guitarist Keri Kelli and singer Jizzy Pearl, and the foursome quickly began playing live and recording. The band recorded its first EP with that lineup but has lost Pearl since its release. The band now features Sheldon Tarsha on lead vocals.
Adler's Appetite's first EP includes original material by the group, but Adler says the live show features Guns N' Roses classics written while he was in the band such as "Sweet Child O" Mine" and "Paradise City." The members might be different, Adler says, but the sound remains pretty much the same.
"The songs sound how they're supposed to," Adler says. "This is the closest you're going to get to what we used to be, until the five of us get back together."
For more than a decade, Adler, who performed on Guns N' Roses' "Appetite for Destruction" and "G N" R Lies" albums, "didn't do anything," but now says he's happier than he's been in years — thanks to playing music again.
"I didn't live 15 years of my life the way I wish …," Adler says. "It was a very hard thing that happened to me, leaving the G N" R guys. It took me many years to be able to handle it and move on."
Adler fell headfirst into drug addiction to ease the pain of being kicked out of a band he helped start. Heroin and cocaine took over his life, and things became so bad that he knew he was due for a change when his two dogs began calming his paranoia regarding people outside his house who didn't exist.
"When I was looking out at the people through the door," Adler says, "and my dogs looked at me and said, 'Hey Steve, if there was somebody out there, we" d tell you." That's when I decided to put the pipe down. It was time to do something."
One of the hardest parts about leaving Guns N' Roses, Adler says, was losing his friendship with former Guns N' Roses and current Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash, with whom he grew up. The pair lost contact for years, but Adler says the old friends are slowly building a new relationship. The duo partied hard in their heyday, only to see everything they worked so hard for slip away.
"It was everything we dreamed of," Adler says. "Me and Slash threw a TV out a window of the Hyatt on Sunset. We did everything we always wanted to do and we always thought that that's what rock 'n' roll was about. If you were a rock star, that's what you did. They didn't have those 'Behind the Music' things back then."
Since their inception, Adler and company have performed across the globe with three stints in Europe, two in South America and one in Asia. Although he readily admits he enjoys playing in his new band, he still remains hopeful that the original Guns N' Roses lineup will take the stage one more time.
"Let's get it together," Adler says. "So many bands are getting back together and being successful again. If anybody could be as huge as ever, it would be the five of us."