When Izzy Stradlin abruptly left the band in 1991, it created one of the most coveted openings in all of rock. The position was ultimately filled by Gilby Clarke until 1994, but it appears Ford was in consideration to join GN’R after receiving an invite from Slash as the band quickly sought to find Stradlin’s replacement, as he exited during the touring cycle for the Use Your Illusion double album.
As a guest on the Black Crowes-themed podcast “State of Amorica,” (audio below) Ford relayed that he had also been asked to join a depleted Guns N’ Roses in the early 2000s as singer Axl Rose retooled the lineup and continued work on new music.
“I got asked to join that band a couple of different times,” said Ford (transcription via Blabbermouth).
“Once when Axl was still finishing that record that was taking forever,” he continued, presumably referencing Chinese Democracy. “Right about when I was about to make [my 2002 solo album] It’s About Time, I got offered to join that band.”
Looking back roughly a decade, Ford, who joined The Black Crowes in 1991 and played on three records before leaving in 1997, recollected, “But the first time, I had just come back from a sort of ‘unofficial official,’ or whatever it was, joining of The Black Crowes weekend in Atlanta. When I got back home, that Monday morning, Slash had called and offered [me the open spot in Guns N’ Roses]. He said that Izzy was leaving, and did I want the spot?”
Ford told Slash he had just joined The Black Crowes, who had released their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker, one year prior. “[Slash] was very cool and he said, ‘That’s a good gig for you. Right on.'”
As a member of The Black Crowes, Ford played on 1992’s The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, 1994’s Amorica and 1996’s Three Snakes and One Charm.
The Lost Crowes, a compilation record released in 2006, also featured Ford and was comprised of material initially recorded during his first tenure with the band. He later rejoined in 2005, but departed the group just one year later and was not part of the reunion lineup that was assembled in late 2019.
Marc Ford Guests on the “State of Amorica” Podcast