Izzy Stradlin

Jeffrey Dean Isbell (born April 8, 1962), best known as Izzy Stradlin, is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was a co-founder and rhythm guitarist of the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, which he left at the height of their fame in 1991, and with whom he recorded four studio albums.

American guitarist
Izzy Stradlin

Stradlin performing at a Guns N’ Roses concert in 2012
Background information
Birth name Jeffrey Dean Isbell
Born (1962-04-08) April 8, 1962 (age 59)
Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Instruments
  • Guitar
  • vocals
  • drums
  • bass guitar
  • harmonica
Years active 1979–present
Labels
Associated acts
Musical artist

Following his departure from Guns N’ Roses, Stradlin fronted his own rock band Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, before continuing to record as a solo artist. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses in 2012.

. . . Izzy Stradlin . . .

Stradlin was born as Jeffrey Dean Isbell in Indiana.[1] His father, Richard Clyde Isbell, was an engraver, and his mother, Sonja LaVern Isbell, née Reagan, worked for a phone company. They divorced when he was eight [2] and his mother moved with Stradlin and his two younger brothers, Kevin Thomas Isbell and Joseph “Joe” Isbell to Lafayette, Indiana. His father remarried in 1975 and had two daughters with his new wife. Of his hometown, Stradlin later said, “It was cool growing up there. There’s a courthouse and a college, a river and railroad tracks. It’s a small town, so there wasn’t much to do. We rode bikes, smoked pot, got into trouble – it was pretty Beavis and Butt-Head actually.”[3]

Stradlin developed an interest in music early in life; by the age of eight, his musical favorites included Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, and Led Zeppelin.[3] His biggest musical influence was his paternal grandmother, who played drums in a swing jazz band with her friends.[3] Inspired, Stradlin talked his parents into buying him a drum kit.[3]

In high school, Stradlin started a band with his friends, one of whom was singer William Bailey, later known as Axl Rose.[3] 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.”[3] Despite his aversion to school, Stradlin graduated in 1980 with a D average, the only original member of Guns N’ Roses with a high school diploma.[2] Set on a career in music, he subsequently moved to Los Angeles, California.[2]

. . . Izzy Stradlin . . .

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. . . Izzy Stradlin . . .

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