Gun recall how Stones started them up
Gun frontman Dante Gizzi has recalled how the Rolling Stones changed their fortune by inviting them to become the support act on their 1990 Urban Jungle tour.
The Scottish outfit, then fronted by Mark Rankin, were immediately pulled off their depressing US “toilet tour” and given the run of Mick Jagger and co’s stage and backstage areas.
Gizzi – who put down his bass and took the mic after LIttle Angels singer Toby Jepson bowed out in 2010 – tells the Sun: “The tour in America was demoralising. You had to play these gigs for the record company, doing shows in the middle of nowhere.
“Halfway through we got an inkling the Stones wanted us. I thought, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’
“After a heavy night in Dallas the call came through: we had to stop the American tour as the Stones wanted us. That was it – we were suddenly on a flight to Rotterdam.”
Gizzi met Jagger in a bar in Munich, where the iconic frontman explained Gun had impressed them with their answer to a technical enquiry. “I remember them sending through a fax, asking what we’d need to do the tour,” he recalls. “The other bands sent back asking for all sorts of stuff. They wanted to be looked after. We sent a fax saying, ‘We’ll take whatever you can give us.’
“Mick told me: ‘You reminded me of us when we started out. You have that same hunger.’
“I said, ‘Thanks very much – let me buy you a pint.’ He laughed and told me, ‘It’s a free bar, Dante.’ So I ordered a double Jack.”
The drinks didn’t stop flowing there. Gizzi says: “Their security guy let us access their dressing room whenever we wanted. When they were on stage we could go in and play snooker or whatever.
“And almost every night they came through our dressing room to get on stage. Keith Richards would always be carrying a bottle of Jim Beam – he’d take this huge gulp, look at us and carry on.”
The then-bassist remembers meeting his opposite number, Bill Wyman: “One of the first things Bill said was, ‘Show me your fingers.’ I did and he said, ‘Big, long fingers. Very nice.’ Then he lifted his hand, saying: ‘Look at these fucking stumps.’ I couldn’t work out how he played.”
Gun recently released comeback album Break The Silence and they’ll play four dates in Scotland ahead of touring further afield in 2013.
The Stones play the second of their five 50 And Counting shows at London’s O2 Arena tonight, with Eric Clapton rumoured to be among the guest performers.