Guns N' Roses has decided to clear up the status of guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, saying he is indeed out of the band -- and has been for some time.
A confirmed source with the band tells us that, "Bumblefoot quit last year. I don't understand why he continues to be evasive on his status with the band -- he quit in South America. He told Axl he was done and (Las) Vegas would be his last run with the band."
Bumblefoot, who joined GNR in 2006 to replace Buckethead, has hinted at his departure for some time, even telling us recently that "I think there's enough clues out there for you to figure out what I'm up to now" but adding that he was "honoring a request not to make any public statements" about his membership in the band. The GNR source's statement is the first confirmation of his departure.
The news follows in the wake of fellow guitarist DJ Ashba's announcement that he's left GNR to focus on his other band, Sixx: A.M., leaving Richard Fortus as the group's only guitarist. GNR drummer Frank Ferrer, however, said in an interview this week with Stone Chrome Radio that the group is "forging ahead;" "There's a plan in place, and it's happening, so that's all I can say."
GNR released the film Appetite For Democracy 3D: Live at the Hard Rock Casino -- Las Vegas last fall, but there's no word yet on a follow-up to its last album, 2008's Chinese Democracy, even though various band members have said there's new material around and some recording has been done.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.