Shuffle It All – Izzy Stradlin

For my 18th Birthday all my high school buddies bought me music. This one was bought for me by my good friend Fizz. Fizz was a cool guy. He had some ethnicity in his genes from his old man which meant he rocked a huge Cedric from Mars Volta style afro, like 25 years before that was a thing. Fizz got his name from that crazy ‘fro and he was (fittingly) a naturally talented guitar player.

At that age we both worshipped at the altar of Joe Perry and Slash and those heavy rock dudes who came from the blues school but coated everything in a thin bourbon sweat.

Fizz would introduce me to The Amboy Dukes, I’d spin him some Bad Company. He’d raise the bar with Free and I’d lay down a hand of Alice Cooper. We’d hang out reading Sergio Aragones comics, punishing on our guitars and trading records we bought at boot sales.

We’d both heard Izzy and The Ju Ju Hounds cover version of Pressure Drop on their debut EP and were waiting patiently for the album to come into one of our possession.

Fizz got this for me on cassette so I could listen to it on my bus ride to college. I was studying art and he was still at our local high school. We bootlegged it pretty quick and would compare notes when we met up on which tracks had the best groove or which bass line was favourite.

It’s safe to say the Ju Ju Hounds record was considered a pretty major release to the little band of rockers who hung out on the market stalls after dark.

Shuffle It All was a laid back groove of a tune that stood right out for me. The dreamy slow slide intro and the Heartbreakers groove sounded great on the long ride home each night. Izzy’s languid easy vocals drawling out over those Ohh Ohh Ohhs and that Dylanesque organ sound were just soooo coooool.

I played the hell out of this record between 1992 and 1995. Then it sort of fell away after the cassette got mangled in a car tape deck.

Years later I bought a vinyl copy in a bargain basement for a couple of quid and it sat on my shelf unplayed for a few more years.

When I did get around to putting it on I instantly though of Fizz. I’d not spoken to him for a decade by that point. I don’t know where he is now or what he’s doing these days and that one decade has turned into two. One thing I can say is, as 18th birthday presents go that one was a real corker.

Cheers Fizz.


4 thoughts on “Shuffle It All – Izzy Stradlin

  1. This is a great track! Actually the whole album is great!
    Izzy and The Ju Ju ‘s opened for the Black Crowes here back in 93 but while the Ju Ju Hounds played Izzy was no where near the stage as Rick Richards handled the vocals….no songs from the debut album were played…so close to seeing this album palyed live….
    Bummer..but still a great show!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Crazy thing was the Crowes did not announce an opening act but man when those hounds took the stage we were stoked as it was like “izzy is in Thunder Bay” the middle of Canada in no mans land…hahaha

        After a minute of playing as a 3 piece it was apparant Izzy was a no show! ..who knows never heard to as why!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an underrated piece of the Guns n Roses. Yes, it’s easy to see how someone gets missed hanging out with the likes of Axl, Slash, and Duff, but he’s Izzy for crying out loud; I was so pleased when he started making his own music and showing everyone what he was capable of. I hadn’t heard this song in a long time; thanks for reminding me it exists. Cheers to Fizz from here too.

    Liked by 1 person

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