GUNS N' ROSES have replaced guitarist Paul Huge (a.k.a. Paul Tobias) with ex-LOVE SPIT LOVE/PSYCHEDELIC FURS axeman Richard Fortus, according to Allstar.
A press release confirming GNR's just-announced London Arena show fails to mention Huge, and instead lists Fortus' name as a third guitarist. Sources close to the FURS have reportedly confirmed that he has indeed joined GUNS N' ROSES.
Huge was Rose's childhood friend from Lafayette, Indiana, who was brought on board in the mid-'90s to fill the rhythm slot vacated first by Izzy Stradlin and then Gilby Clarke. Huge was openly despised by then-lead guitarist Slash, who quit the band largely due to his presence and was soon followed by bandmates Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan.
Paul, who co-wrote the early GNR cuts "Back Off Bitch" and the B-side "Shadow of Your Love", was originally brought in to play rhythm guitar on the single, "Sympathy For the Devil" for the Interview With the Vampire movie soundtrack. He was subsequently credited with co-writing and playing on the track, "Oh My God" on the End Of Days soundtrack and is believed to be heavily featured on the group's upcoming album, Chinese Democracy.
In addition to LOVE SPIT LOVE and PSYCHEDELIC FURS, Fortus has done extensive session work with acts like BT, GRAVITY KILLS, 'N SYNC, and most recently, ENRIQUE IGLESIAS.
GUNS N' ROSES' current line-up is as follows:
Axl Rose – lead/vocals
Dizzy Reed – keyboards
Robin Finck (NINE INCH NAILS) – guitar
Buckethead – guitar
Richard Fortus (LOVE SPIT LOVE/PSYCHADELIC FURS) - guitar
Tommy Stinson (THE REPLACEMENTS) – bass
Brian "Brain" Mantia (PRIMUS) – drums
Chris Pitman (THE REPLICANTS) – (second) keyboards