An Interview with Steven Adler

I can still remember the first time I heard Appetite for Destruction, the debut album of then unknown Sunset Strip graduates Guns N’ Roses.

Axl Rose’s primal screams, vocal dexterity, and awe-inspiring range caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. Slash’s guitar riffs were just the right combination of nasty and aggression. Key songwriter Izzy Stradlin’s rhythms peppered each song with perfect complexity. Duff McKagan’s pounding bass lines ripped into me like an unending supply of bullets fired at close distance. And then there were Steven Adler’s drums.

There are drummers who play the drums. Then there are drummers for who the drums are an extension of themselves. Far from effortless, their attack on the skins is an emotional experience of adrenaline, rage, desire, and ecstasy.

That sums up Steven Adler – one of the greatest rock n’ roll drummers to ever come out of the LA music scene. As Izzy Stradlin pointed out, Adler’s approach to hard rock adds an element of swing that gives songs both a push and a pull.

To this day, my favorite workout song is Welcome to the Jungle, from GNR’s 1987 hard rock masterpiece debut album. I know if I get my heartrate to match the rhythmic intensity with which Steven attacks the drums, I’m in for a good sweat.

Steven has had some struggles. When you are 22 years old and you go from being a struggling musician to millionaire rockstar, it’s easy to fall victim to vices. It is enough to say that Steven has fought his battles and come out on the winning end. He’s a platinum selling recording artist who was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Steven Adler is one of my idols. Not only is he an amazing musician, but he is also someone who has fallen from grace and fought his way back to being a shining example of a talented, fun, and utterly humble guy. He’s just a guy in love with playing music and connecting with people.

I too have had my battles. Steven’s openness about his battles in interviews and in his book My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses helped me in the dark times. I’m sure he has inspired many people not to give up.

It’s not every day that you get to interview one of your idols, especially a member of rock n’ roll royalty.

Steven will be in Chicagoland to tear down the house at the Arcada Theatre on Friday, June 3 with his band Adler’s Appetite.  

Gearing up for that show, Steven recently joined me for an interview that will air Friday, May 27 at 3 PM Central on my radio program It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee. Broadcast out of Chicago’s Huntley township on WHRU, the show can be streamed nationwide at

The show promises to be a whirlwind of hard rock, featuring classics from Adler’s days with Guns N’ Roses as well as originals from his album Back from the Dead (under the band name Adler) and EP’s Adler’s Appetite and Alive (both with Adler’s Appetite).

For tickets to the June 3, epic Adler’s Appetite concert at the Arcada Theatre call the box office at (630) 962-7000 or go online to The theatre is conveniently located in St. Charles, just a short jaunt from Chicago and easily accessible from most suburbs.

I hope you’ll make plans to tune in to my It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee interview with Steven Adler this Friday, May 27 at 3 PM Central on 101.5 FM and streaming at Episodes are also available to listen to as podcasts on the website.

I won’t spoil the interview, but I will tell you that Steven is a vivacious and fun guy to talk to. He’s still in love with music and putting on a killer performance every night. And he loves coming to Chicago.

There are a lot of drummers out there – but there is only one Steven Adler.

I highly encourage you to pick up tickets to the Adler’s Appetite concert at the Arcada Theatre on Friday, June 3. It promises to be a rock n’ roll experience you will never forget.

I’ll be there. I hope to see you there too.

For more information about this and other upcoming concerts at the Arcada Theatre visit:

In addition to continuing to thrill fans with Adler’s Appetite, Steven has a line of limited-edition collector’s art pieces he created celebrating the music of Appetite for Destruction. The artwork can be viewed at

And don’t forget to catch my interview with rock n’ roll icon Steven Adler this Friday, May 27 at 3 PM Central on 101.5 FM and streaming at

Peace. Love. Trust.

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