Dizzy Reed

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Dizzy Reed
Reed performing in 2006 with Guns N' Roses
Reed performing in 2006 with Guns N' Roses
Background information
Birth nameDarren Arthur Reed
Also known as
  • Dizzy
  • Dizzy F'n Reed
  • John Wildblood
Born (1963-06-18) June 18, 1963 (age 59)
Hinsdale, Illinois, U.S.
  • Musician
  • Keyboards
  • guitar
  • vocals
Years active1985–present

Darren Arthur "Dizzy" Reed (born June 18, 1963) is an American musician and occasional actor. He is best known as the keyboardist for the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he has played, toured, and recorded since 1990.

Aside from lead singer Axl Rose, Reed is the longest-standing member of Guns N' Roses, and was the only member of the band to remain from their Use Your Illusion era until the 2016 return of guitarist Slash and bass guitarist Duff McKagan.

In 2012, Reed 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.

Early life[edit]

Reed was born as Darren Arthur Reed on June 18, 1963 in Hinsdale, Illinois, and was raised in Colorado.[1] Reed was described as reclusive and introverted, however he has since denied this.[2] 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.[1][3]

Music career[edit]

Reed after a Guns N' Roses concert in 2010.

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.[4]

Reed met the classic lineup of Guns N' Roses in 1985 while his band, The Wild, rehearsed in a neighboring studio.[1] He kept in touch, and in 1990 was invited by friend Axl Rose to join their recording of the two Use Your Illusion albums and their subsequent tour.[5]

Reed soon became an accepted member of the group and appeared on every album from Use Your Illusion I onward. As a member of Guns N' Roses, Reed has become well known for his keyboard, piano, and backing vocal work on such songs as "Estranged", "Live and Let Die", "November Rain", "Garden of Eden", "Civil War", "Yesterdays", and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". In addition to playing keyboards or piano, Reed frequently provides backup on percussion and vocals during live Guns N' Roses performances of older 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.[6] Although Reed did not co-write any songs during the Illusion sessions, for Chinese Democracy he co-wrote "Chinese Democracy", "Catcher in the Rye", "Street of Dreams", "There Was a Time", "I.R.S", and "Oh My God". 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. The song was re-worked and released as a single under the title "ABSUЯD" in 2021.[7]

Work outside Guns N' Roses[edit]

Reed playing with The Dead Daisies in 2013.

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.[8]

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.[9]

Reed has also dabbled in acting, appearing as 'Mumbles' in the 2005 film Charlie's Death Wish.[10][11]

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.[12]

Reed played keyboard on the 2019 album “You’re Welcome” by Cokie The Clown, a solo effort by NOFX frontman Fat Mike.

Personal life[edit]

Reed was married for 20 years to wife Lisa, an author, and special education teacher. They divorced in 2010. They have two daughters; Skye, born in 1992 and Shade born in 1996.[citation needed] He also has a daughter named Megan and one son (Justin Gunn-Reed born in 1988) from a previous relationship.[6] In 2017, he also had a grandson, Riley, who is Morgan's son.[6]

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.[10][13]




Title Release date Label
Rock 'n Roll Ain't Easy 2018 Golden Robot Records

Other appearances

Year Song Album Notes
1996 "Chopin's Raindrop" Steinway to Heaven Frédéric Chopin cover

with Guns N' Roses[edit]

Studio albums

Title Release Date Label
Use Your Illusion I 1991 Geffen
Use Your Illusion II
"The Spaghetti Incident?" 1993
Chinese Democracy 2008

Live albums

Title Release Date Label
Live Era '87–'93 1999 Geffen

Compilation albums

Title Release Date Label
Greatest Hits 2004 Geffen


Song Title Release date Label
"Sympathy for the Devil" Interview with the Vampire soundtrack 1994 Geffen
"Oh My God" End of Days soundtrack 1999

with Johnny Cash[edit]

Title Release date Label
Unfinished Business 2008 Suncity Records

with The Dead Daisies[edit]

Title Release date Label
The Dead Daisies 2013 Spitfire Records
Revolución 2015

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Artist Release Date Label
Coneheads soundtrack various artists 1993 Warner Bros.
Believe in Me Duff McKagan Geffen Records
Pawnshop Guitars Gilby Clarke 1994 Virgin
Wish Across The Land The Merchants of Venus WEA
Live At 14 Below Mick Taylor 1995 Shattered Music
Coastin' Home
It's Five O'Clock Somewhere Slash's Snakepit Fontana Records
Playtime Michael Zentner Warped Disc
Not What I Had Planned Maissa 1996 Sonic
Copper Wires Larry Norman Solid Rock Records
Steinway to Heaven various artists 1997 Magna Carta
Electrovision Doug Aldrich 2001 Pony Canyon
Rock N' Roll Music Col. Parker V2 Records
Hammered Motörhead 2002 Castle
Ready to Go Bang Tango 2004 Shrapnel
Village Gorilla Head Tommy Stinson EMI
Strangeland Court Jester 2006 Cellar Records
Bare Bones The Blessings 2006 Basement Boy Records
The Still Life various artists 2007 Albion Entertainment
Gilby Clarke Gilby Clarke Spitfire
Backyard Babies Backyard Babies 2008 Universal
Spirit of Christmas Northern Light Orchestra 2009 VSR Music Group
One Man Mutiny Tommy Stinson 2011 Done To Death Music
III Atomirotta 2018 Monsp Records
IV Atomirotta 2020 Atomi Records
Punching the Sky Armored Saint 2020 Metal Blade Records


  1. ^ a b c "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.
  2. ^ "Guns N' Roses' Dizzy Reed - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. August 26, 2015. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Dizzy up the Girl": Interview with Debbie Rao". glammetal.com. May 9, 2004. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  4. ^ "Dizzy Interviewed". Rock Journal. July 11, 2004. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  5. ^ "GUNS N' ROSES Keyboardist DIZZY REED Is A Grandfather". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. July 7, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "GUNS N' ROSES Keyboardist DIZZY REED Is A Grandfather". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. July 7, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  7. ^ Lewrypublished, Fraser (August 6, 2021). "Guns N' Roses release new single ABSUЯD". loudersound. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "Q&A: Alex Grossi talks rock and roll's past present and future - buzz". buzz. February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "Rockies 2007 list of winners". Rock City News. December 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  10. ^ a b "Dizzy Reed does marathon interview". Metal Sludge. January 29, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  11. ^ Dizzy Reed at IMDb
  12. ^ "RICHARD FORTUS And DIZZY REED Exit THE DEAD DAISIES To Take Part In 'Momentous Project'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. January 27, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  13. ^ "Famous Zetes". Zeta Psi Fraternity website. Archived from the original on January 26, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-30.

External links[edit]