Darren Arthur Reed (born June 18, 1963), better known by his stage name Dizzy Reed, is an American musician and occasional actor. He is best known as the keyboardist for the rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he has played, toured, and recorded since 1990.
Reed performing in 2006 with Guns N' Roses
|Birth name||Darren Arthur Reed|
|Also known as||Dizzy, Dizzy F'n Reed|
|Born||June 18, 1963|
Hinsdale, Illinois, U.S.
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, keyboardist, pianist, percussionist|
|Instruments||Keyboards, guitar, bass, vibraphone, percussion, vocals|
|Associated acts||Guns N' Roses, Johnny Crash, The Dead Daisies|
Aside from lead singer Axl Rose, Reed is the longest-standing, and was the only member of Guns N' Roses to remain from the band's Use Your Illusion era, until early 2016 when guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan returned to the band. In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N' Roses, although he did not attend the ceremony. He was also a member of the Australian-American supergroup The Dead Daisies with his Guns N' Roses bandmate Richard Fortus, ex-Whitesnake member Marco Mendoza, ex-Mötley Crüe frontman John Corabi and session drummer Brian Tichy.
Reed was born as Darren Arthur Reed on June 18, 1963 in Hinsdale, Illinois, and was raised in Colorado. Reed was described as reclusive and introverted, however he has since denied this. His grandmother began teaching him to play the organ when he was a young child, and before he was out of elementary school, he formed small local bands.
As an adult, Reed pursued a music career in Los Angeles. He was a founding member of the club band The Wild in the late 1980s, with whom he spent five years.
Reed met the classic lineup of Guns N' Roses in 1985 while his band, The Wild, rehearsed in a neighboring studio. He kept in touch, and in 1990 was invited by friend Axl Rose to join the group for the recording of the two Use Your Illusion albums.
Reed soon became an accepted member of the group and his work was heard on the majority of tracks on both albums. As a member of Guns N' Roses, Reed has become well known for his keyboard, piano, and backing vocal work during live performances, music videos and on such songs as "Estranged", "Live and Let Die", "Bad Obsession" "November Rain", "Garden of Eden", "Don't Damn Me", "Bad Apples", "Civil War", "14 Years", "Yesterdays", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", "Get in the Ring", "Pretty Tied Up" and "Locomotive", as well his contributions to some of the band's newer tracks, including "Chinese Democracy", "Shacklers Revenge", "Better", "Street of Dreams" "If the World", "There Was a Time", "Catcher in the Rye", "Scraped", "Riad N' the Bedouins", "I.R.S" and "Prostitute." When not playing keyboards or piano, Reed frequently provides backup on percussion and vocals during live Guns N' Roses performances. He is also known for playing percussions during live performances of songs such as "Mr Brownstone","Nightrain", "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Rocket Queen".
Reed continues to record and play live with the current Guns N' Roses line-up, and has now been a member of Guns N' Roses longer than any other member besides Axl Rose. However, since he joined the band in 1990, five years after its formation in 1985, he cannot be described as an original member. Although Reed did not co write any songs during the Illusion sessions, for Chinese Democracy he co wrote "Street of Dreams" with Axl Rose and Tommy Stinson and "There Was a Time" and "I.R.S" with Rose and Paul Tobias, as well as the non-album single "Oh My God" with Rose and Tobias. It has also been confirmed that the unfinished demo that did not make the cut on "Chinese Democracy" called "Silkworms" was written by Reed himself and the band's other keyboardist Chris Pitman. As well as singing during Guns N' Roses live performances, Reed also serves as a backing vocalist. He sang backing vocals on a few songs on the "Use Your Illusion" albums, notable examples were "November Rain", "Garden of Eden", "Bad Apples" and "Civil War" as well as "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" from "The Spaghetti Incident?".
Work outside Guns N' RosesEdit
Outside of Guns N' Roses, Reed played on albums for his former bandmates Slash, Duff McKagan, and Gilby Clarke. He also guested on former Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson's 2004 solo effort Village Gorilla Head. Reed is additionally a fan of Larry Norman, a pioneer of Christian music, and played on Norman's Copper Wires album. Most recently, he has composed music for the film scores The Still Life, released in 2006, and Celebrity Art Show (2008). His debut solo album will be released on February 16, 2018.
When he is not touring or recording with Guns N' Roses, Reed frequently tours with his hard rock cover band Hookers N' Blow, in which he plays keyboard and guitar and occasionally sings lead vocals. For his work with Hookers N' Blow, Reed was named Outstanding Keyboardist of the Year at the 2007 Rock City Awards ("Rockies"). Hookers N' Blow was also named Best Cover Band.
Reed was a member of The Dead Daisies alongside Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, both left the band in 2015 to focus on Guns N' Roses.
Reed was divorced after 20 years of marriage, to wife Lisa, an author, and special education teacher, filed for divorce in 2010. They have two daughters; Skye, born in 1992 and Shade born in 1996. He also has one son from a previous relationship, Justin Gunn-Reed, born in 1988.
In 2005, Reed took the unusual step of seeking admission to a college fraternity well after the traditional age of inductees, and on January 22, 2006 was admitted to the Cornell University chapter of Zeta Psi.
with Guns N' RosesEdit
|Use Your Illusion I||1991||Geffen|
|Use Your Illusion II||1991||Geffen|
|"The Spaghetti Incident?"||1993||Geffen|
|Live Era '87–'93||1999||Geffen|
GN'R Contributions and SoundtracksEdit
|Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal||Civil War||1990||Warner Bros.|
|Days of Thunder soundtrack||Knockin' On Heavens Door||1990||Geffen/Epic|
|Interview with the Vampire soundtrack||Sympathy for the Devil||1994||Geffen|
|End of Days soundtrack||Oh My God||1999||Geffen|
|Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy||2018||Golden Robot Records|
With The Dead DaisiesEdit
|The Dead Daisies||2013||Spitfire Records|
With Johnny CrashEdit
|Unfinished Business||2008 (recorded 1990)||Suncity Records|
- "This week in local music: Dizzy Reed's Hollywood Bulldozer: Interview with Kate Bredimus". Richmond.com. September 16, 2004. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- "Guns N' Roses' Dizzy Reed - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. August 26, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Dizzy up the Girl": Interview with Debbie Rao". glammetal.com. May 9, 2004. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- "Dizzy Interviewed". Rock Journal. July 11, 2004. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Q&A: Alex Grossi talks rock and roll's past present and future - buzz". buzz. February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- "Rockies 2007 list of winners". Rock City News. December 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Dizzy Reed does marathon interview". Metal Sludge. January 29, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
- Dizzy Reed on IMDb
- "Famous Zetes". Zeta Psi Fraternity website. Archived from the original on January 26, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-30.