was born in 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio. Music was early a big interest and he traded in a pair of speakers for his first guitar. After finishing high school Gilby moved to Hollywood and in 1981 he joined his "first real band"1 Candy
. He has described the music as a mix between Bay City Rollers
and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers
Gilby was not satisfied, however, and when Candy began disintegrating he formed Kill For Thrills
, in which he had a much more prominent role. They released an EP and an album before they too split up.
1991 saw a huge change in Gilby's life... Izzy Stradlin
, Guns N' Roses
' original guitar player, left the band in November. GN'R had a tour booked and desperately needed to find a new guitar player. Gilby was an old acquaintance and got a call from Slash
, asking him to come and try out. Apparently they were satisfied since Gilby was asked to come back the next day to rehearse. This was repeated for a week before he was asked to do the tour with the band. Since the tour wasn't far away, Gilby really had to commit himself: "I had like two weeks, two weeks! To learn about 40+ songs. So it's like I hadn't time to think of anything else."3
Just like Slash, Gilby didn't like not doing anything, so when the Use Your Illusion tour
finally was finished and nothing really happened with GN'R, he recorded his first solo album, "Pawnshop Guitars
". It was released in 1994, and during that year he also worked together with Slash and Matt Sorum
on the rejected Guns material that later became Snakepit
's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere
". 1994 also saw Gilby being fired from Guns N' Roses. Axl wanted to change the direction of the band and, according to Gilby, he felt that Gilby didn't "fit in with his plan."4
But he seemed just as happy as before and went on recording several solo albums and touring small clubs in the US and abroad. His fifth album, "Swag", was relased 2002.