Richard Fortus couldn't leave Guns N' Roses for Slash band

Richard Fortus
Communication: Richard Fortus (Image credit: Getty)

Richard Fortus has recalled how he was asked to leave Guns N’ Roses and join Slash’s solo band – and how he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

The invitation came before Slash and Axl Rose settled their differences and reunited for the current Not In This Lifetime tour, with guitarist Fortus, who’s been a member since 2001, remaining on board.

Asked how he and Slash connected, Fortus tells KSHE: “I had actually been asked to join Slash’s band a while ago, at a Thin Lizzy show.

“We were playing a festival and his manager came up and said, ‘Man, we’d love to steal you.’

“I couldn’t do that to my friend. That would be such a slap in the face.”

He says of working with Slash: “We clicked really quickly – we have a great rapport. We come from a very similar background, as far as classic rock and punk rock.”

Fortus says the good feeling is carried across the whole band. “We communicate all the time,” he reports. “Between Slash, Duff, Axl and myself, every night there’s texts going back and forth once we’re back in our hotel rooms. We hang out. We all travel together on the same plane.”

Asked about the suggestion that the Guns N’ Roses reunion is all about money, he responds: “I don’t think it was a motivating factor for anybody. The stars just seemed to align.”

He says of Rose: “I’ve never seen that guy motivated by money as long as I’ve known him. Otherwise this reunion would have happened a long time ago.”

The frontman told in September how his manager thought he was joking when he asked for Slash’s phone number.

Fortus reports: “I think Slash had been trying to get hold of him for a while. They sat down and Axl was like, ‘Okay, let’s just talk it through.’ They sat down privately, went through their laundry list of issues and were able to put it behind them – and here we are.

“It’s been really great. It’s been incredibly, actually.”

Guns N’ Roses continue their Not In This Lifetime tour in Japan in January, with dates in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, the UK and North America to follow.

Guns N’ Roses Not In This Lifetime 2017 tour dates so far

Jan 21: Osaka Kyocera Dome
Jan 22: Kobe World Memorial Hall
Jan 25: Yokohama Arena
Jan 28: Tokyo Saitama Super Arena
Jan 29: Tokyo Saitama Super Arena
Feb 02: Wellington Westpac Stadium
Feb 04: Auckland Western Springs Stadium
Feb 07: Brisbane QSAC Stadium
Feb 10: Sydney ANZ Stadium
Feb 11: Sydney ANZ Stadium
Feb 14: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Feb 18: Adelaide Oval
Feb 21: Perth Domain Stadium
Feb 25: Singapore Changi Exhibition Centre, Singapore
Feb 28: Bangkok SCG Stadium Thailand
Mar 03: Dubai Autism Rocks Arena, UAE
May 27: Dublin Slane Castle, Ireland
May 30: Bilbao San Mames Stadium, Spain
Jun 02: Lisbon Passeio Martimo De Alges, Portugal
Jun 04: Madrid Vincente Calderon Stadium, Spain
Jun 07: Zurich Letzigrund, Switzerland
Jun 10: Imola Greenfield, Italy
Jun 13: Munich Olympiastadion, Germany
Jun 16: London Olympic Stadium, UK
Jun 20: Gdansk Stadion Energy, Poland
Jun 22: Hannover Messe, Germany
Jun 24: Werchter Classic, Belgium
Jun 27: Copenhagen Telia Parken, Denmark
Jun 29: Stockholm Friends Arena, Sweden
Jul 01: Hameelinna Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto, Finland
Jul 04: Prague Letnany Airport, Czech Republic
Jul 07: Paris Stade De France, France
Jul 10: Vienna Ernst Happel Stadion, Austria
Jul 12: Nijmegen Goffert Park, Holland
Jul 15: Tel Aviv Israel Hayarkon Park, Israel
Jul 27: St Louis Dome At America”s Center, MO
Jul 30: Minneapolis US Bank Stadium, MN
Aug 02: Denver Sports Authority Field At Mile High, CO
Aug 08: Miami Marlins Stadium, FL
Aug 16: Buffalo New Era Field, NY
Aug 19: Montreal Parc Jean Drapeau, QC
Aug 21: Ottawa TD Place Stadium, ON
Aug 24: Winnipeg Investors Group Field, MB
Aug 27: Regina New Mosaic Stadium At Evraz Place, SK
Aug 30: Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium, AB
Sep 01: Vancouver Place Stadium, BC
Sep 03: George Gorge, WA
Sep 06: El Paso Sun Bowl Stadium, TX
Sep 08: San Antonio Alamodome, TX

Guns N' Roses Quiz: how well do you know Appetite For Destruction?

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.