Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Guns N’ Roses’ Melissa Reese Reveals How She Deals With Sexism

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Like many rock ‘n’ roll bands, Guns N’ Roses have pretty much been a rotating sausage factory since Day One.

Not so surprisingly, even with the two dozen or so musicians who’ve played on record or onstage over the past 30 years, not one of the full-time band members has been a woman … until Melissa Reese joined the group last year for the celebrated Not in This Lifetime … Tour.

Guns N’ Roses have included women as horn players and backup singers occasionally in the past, but keyboardist Reese earned full-time band-member status when she joined Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Dizzy Reed, Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer on the road in April 2016. So how have the past 12 months been for her, traveling with one of rock’s most aggressively macho bands?

In a new interview with L.A. Weekly, the blue-haired keyboardist and singer said she totally expected, and was prepared, to be treated by some fans as the “chick in the band.” “I’m one of the only women doing what I do, so I use the hate to fuel my composing, or just rip onstage,” she said.

Reese – who has been nicknamed “blue” by her bandmates – spent two weeks getting ready for the tour by learning more than four dozen Guns N’ Roses songs. “I studied Axl’s phrasing like a hawk,” she noted. In the end, she became the band’s “enhancer,” cutting into the corners of all those classic songs with her keys. “I don’t want to get in the way of these songs,” she says. “I add sonic layers to thicken our sound, without sticking out like a sore thumb.”

She came into the band with a list of scoring credits for TV shows, movies and video games. And since joining the tour, she’s gotten a taste of what it’s like to be a role model in a band that isn’t exactly known for treating women like equals. “Little girls waited in hotel lobbies to tell me that they played piano because of me, which warmed my heart,” Reese said. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But I’m eternally grateful to Axl and the rest of the band for taking a chance on me.”

A Guide to Guns N’ Roses Lineup Changes

Next: Top 10 Guns N' Roses Songs

Best of KOOL FM

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://koolfmabilene.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KOOL VIPs quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KOOL VIPs contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.