“I named it after a GUNS N’ ROSES song, ‘Double Talkin’ Jive’,” Matt said (see video below). “[Then-GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist] Izzy Stradlin wrote that song. We played it together — on the [‘Use Your Illusion I’] album, me and Izzy tracked that in one take. And the premise of the lyric was based around the kind of pitfalls of the music business and success. There’s this undercurrent that’s not pretty. And I talk very truthfully about things that I went through, from my perspective.
“I didn’t wanna come off jaded,” Matt continued. “I have to tell the story the way it went for me, and I hope that people don’t take it as I sound jaded or something. I just wanted to be as truthful and honest as possible, from my perspective, if that makes sense.
“I think there’s a misconception that maybe, as musicians, we’re a bit elitist or privileged, or things are handed to us, and we just automatically appear, and now, all of a sudden, we’re famous. So I just look at it, I’m, like, well, yeah, I have a great job. I’ve got a great life. I’m super grateful for all the things I’ve been able to do. But in the book, you can see that it was a lot of hard work. It was a lot of bruises along the way. And then, as the career goes and you get successful, stuff happens. There’s, of course, the famous drug-and-alcohol shit that is kind of like ‘Behind The Music’ VH1 — I mean, that all happened to me. You know, the pitfalls of rock and roll stardom and all that shit.
“For me, when I was doing it,” referring to the rock-star lifestyle, “and when I was at the height [of GUNS N’ ROSES‘ success], I’m, like, ‘If I don’t do this now, I’ll regret it later.’ So I just tried to live my life as I thought I would wanna live it as a kid dreaming to be in a rock and roll band.”
Sorum, who replaced Steven Adler in GUNS N’ ROSES, recorded the highly successful albums “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II” (both 1991) and “The Spaghetti Incident” (1994). He also supported the group on the “Use Your Illusion” tour and can be heard on GUNS N’ ROSES‘ “Live Era: ’87-’93” (1999) and “Greatest Hits” (2004).
Sorum has said in the past that a GUNS reunion tour should have included both him and Adler, with each playing the songs they recorded with the group. Sorum was inducted as a member of the band into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2012.
Back in March 2018, Sorum told the “2 Hours With Matt Pinfield” podcast about his upcoming autobiography: “It’s going to be the juiciest of the juiciest of the GN’R books, for sure, plus all the other crap I’ve done. I’m being really truthful about everything that happened. I’m not a jaded individual; I’m not a bitter guy. There’s a lot of bad shit that went down, but I just want to tell the story straightforward, and I don’t want to, like, hold back. I will edit some things — my wife’s got to look at it. [Laughs] I’ve had such an amazing life, and I go, ‘Wow, man. If I don’t write it down now, I don’t want to forget.’ There’s a lot of good shit in the book that doesn’t pertain to GN’R.”
He continued: “Before I was in a rock band, I was a drug smuggler. I used to smuggle cocaine across borders. I’d fly on airplanes with two kilos strapped around my waist. Most of my deliveries were in Hawaii, because I had a big connection there. I thought about the title ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Smuggler’. Imagine the movie ‘Blow’, and then think about coming up in rock ‘n’ roll, before I got into bands that I was in. My way to pay my way was smuggling, and that’s what I did. A lot of the book, there’s probably going to be at least a chapter or two on my drug-dealing days. The last time I smuggled two kilos to Hawaii, I remember thinking I was being followed, and it wasn’t because I was paranoid on cocaine — I really felt that I was being followed. So, I told the guy that flew this stuff for — I was the mule, and I got, like, a couple grand every time I went — ‘I can’t do this. I’m being followed.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, man, you’re just high.’ I’m like, ‘No, man. I’m not doing it. I’m going back to L.A.’ The guy that took my place got arrested. 20 years in a federal penitentiary [for] international drug smuggling. That would have been me.”
Photo credit: Michael Segal