Izzy Stradlin

Happy Birthday

Jeffrey Dean Isbell
April 8, 1962
Lafayette, Indiana

Izzy Stradlin was born as Jeffrey Dean Isbell in Lafayette, Indiana. His father was a shipping clerk, and his mother was a welder; they divorced when he was eight. Of his hometown, Stradlin later said, "It was cool growing up there. There's a jail and a college, a river, a weed dispensary and railroad tracks. It's a small town, so there wasn't much to do. We rode bikes, smoked pot, committed arson, got into trouble—it was pretty Beavis and Butt-Head actually.

Stradlin developed an interest in music early in life; by the age of eight, his musical favorites included Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Lawrence Welk, Alice Cooper, and Led Zeppelin. His biggest musical influence was his paternal grandmother, Ginger Isbell, who played drums in a swing jazz band with her friends. Inspired, Stradlin talked his parents into buying him a drum kit

In high school, Stradlin started a band with his friends, one of whom was singer William Bailey, later known as Axl Rose. Stradlin recalled, "We were long-haired guys in high school. You were either a jock or a stoner. We weren't jocks, so we ended up hanging out together. We'd play covers in the garage. There were no clubs to play at, so we never made it out of the garage." Despite his aversion to school, Stradlin graduated in 1979 with a D- average. Set on a career in music, he subsequently moved to Los Angeles, California.
In March 1985, Stradlin founded Guns N' Roses with Axl Rose. By June, the line-up consisted of Rose, guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. They played nightclubs—such as the Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy, The Monkey Scrotum and The Troubadour—and opened for larger acts throughout 1985 and 1986. During this period, the band wrote much of its classic material, and Stradlin established himself as a key songwriter.

In July 1987, Guns N' Roses released their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, which to date has sold over 28 million copies worldwide, including 18 million in the United States alone. Stradlin wrote or cowrote most of its songs, including the hits "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Paradise City". He also wrote the hit "Patience" on the follow-up G N' R Lies, released in November 1988 to US sales of five million copies.

As the band's success grew, so did the troubles. In-fighting, squabbles, drugs and the usual nonsense threatened the future of the band. 

After being sentenced to a year's probation for urinating in public aboard an airplane (after which the band nicknamed him "Whizzy"), Stradlin decided to attain sobriety; he returned to his mother's home in Indiana, where he detoxed from drugs and alcohol.

Once Izzy quit drugs, he decided he was sick of the BS and did not want to be in Guns n Roses anymore. Izzy quit the band in 1991. 

Izzy then formed the Ju Ju Hounds, had a solo career and did lots of things musically. Izzy was a huge part of Guns n Roses success and looked cool AF, sort of a Keith Richards, Johnny Thunders vibe. Izzy is currently rumoured to be reuniting with Guns n Roses. 

Happy Birthday and Thank You for the music Izzy Stradlin!

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