All 23 Musicians Who’ve Been in Guns N’ Roses
Few bands have had more lineup changes than Guns N' Roses. They've officially been a band since 1985, and there have been a total of 23 musicians who've been in and out of the band since then.
Most of us like to think of their Appetite for Destruction lineup of Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler as the "original" lineup, and it's often referred to as such. However, when the band actually became Guns N' Roses, it was a fusion of two Los Angeles bands — L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose.
Rose's right hand at the time was guitarist Tracii Guns, and their names together were combined to form the band's name. Therefore, the "original" lineup actually consisted of Rose, Guns, Stradlin, Ole Beich and Rob Gardner. Beich didn't last very long — some sources say he was only a part of the group for one or two sessions — but he was still a part of their history, so he counts. McKagan, who'd played in another L.A. band called Road Crew with Slash and Adler, was hired in Beich's place.
The band was set to play a handful of shows in 1985, and Guns and Gardner quit at the last minute. McKagan suggested they call Slash and Adler, and thus, the lineup they became known for was born.
But, it only lasted for Appetite and its follow-up, 1988's GN'R Lies. When they entered the studio to start working on the Illusion albums in 1990, things really started to fall apart. Throughout the '90s, more and more members were fired or quit, and it got a bit chaotic during the latter half of the decade through the early 2000s when they were working on Chinese Democracy. The band essentially had a revolving door of musicians coming in and out, with W. Axl Rose as the sole original member throughout it all.
Slash and McKagan were the last members of the Appetite lineup to leave the band in 1996 and 1997, respectively, so when they reunited with Rose in 2016 for the extremely highly-anticipated Not in This Lifetime tour, it marked the trio's first time onstage together in 23 years.
And they're still together today.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn about all 23 musicians who've been official members of Guns N' Roses.