|The musician accused of breaking up the original Guns N' Roses has been replaced by guitarist Richard Fortus, co-founder of Love Spit Love and later a member of the Psychedelic Furs.
A press release confirming GNR's just-announced London Arena show fails to mention Axl Rose cohort Paul Huge (a.k.a. Paul Tobias), and instead lists Fortus' name as a third guitarist, sans any detail. Sources close to the Furs confirm that he has indeed joined Guns N' Roses.
Huge was Rose's childhood friend from Lafayette, Ind., who was brought on board in the mid-'90s to fill the rhythm slot vacated first by Izzy Stradlin and then Gilby Clarke. Huge was openly despised by then-lead guitarist Slash, who quit the band largely due to his presence and was soon followed by bandmates Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan.
Huge played rhythm guitar on GN'R's rendition of "Sympathy for the Devil" on the Interview with the Vampire soundtrack in 1994, and is credited as a co-writer on "Oh My God," recorded for the movie End of Days in 1999. He's appeared with the new band at all four of their shows to date, in Las Vegas and Rio De Janeiro.
Fortus initially co-founded Love Spit Love with Furs frontman Richard Butler and Butler's brother, Tim, when that band broke up in the early-'90s, and later he toured with the Butlers when they resurrected the Furs early in 2000. Fortus has also worked with his own projects, including Pale Divine and Honky Toast, and did extensive session work with acts like BT, Gravity Kills, 'NSync, and most recently, Enrique Iglesias.
The release also names keyboard player Dizzy Reed (listed as an original member since 1991), guitarists Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails) and Buckethead, bassist Tommy Stinson (the Replacements), drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia (Primus), and second keyboard player Chris Pitman (the Replicants).
Although Guns N' Roses have only announced dates in Japan, England, and Belgium, a few more are expected to be confirmed in the near future.
-- Sorelle Saidman