Cure Me Or Kill Me

Album: Pawnshop Guitars (1994)

Songfacts®:

  • Pawnshop Guitars was Gilby Clarke's first solo album, and "Cure Me Or Kill Me" was the only song on it that he didn't write before joining Guns N' Roses as rhythm guitarist in 1991. Clarke got the idea for the song while he was on tour with G 'N' R - one particularly grueling night, he said to bass player Duff McKagan as they were walking on stage: "Man, somebody has got to cure me or kill me."

    Duff told him that what he said sounded like a song title, and Clarke agreed. "That title I would have just let go by, wouldn't have even thought twice about it, but thank God Duff had mentioned it to me," Clarke said in our 2013 interview. Explaining how the song came together, he added: "I had had the riff lying around, and I wrote a song around that title. You need a good title, and that was it. Basically, I was just saying 'put me out of my misery.' I was beat up, my brain was fried, I was tortured. But I knew I had something to live for. It was just at that time where I needed a pick-me-up. I was saying, 'just put me out of my misery right now, I am beaten down. But I do want to live.'"
  • Along with "Tijuana Jail," this is one of two songs on the album that Slash played on. Clarke returned the favor by playing on the 1995 Slash's Snakepit album It's Five O'Clock Somewhere.
  • Waddy Wachtel produced the Pawnshop Guitars album. Labeled a member of the "Mellow Mafia" by Rolling Stone magazine because of his guitar work on albums by Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, Clarke credits Wachtel's efforts on this decidedly un-mellow album for bringing it all together. "He was strong enough to be able to talk with guys like Slash, guys like Axl, and all the guys that were helping record that record," Clarke told us. "I mean, that's not an easy job to do."

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