“[Izzy brought] the simplicity. If Guns N’ Roses were cool, then Izzy was the freon.
“And what I loved about him is that he had an insouciant that had formed the syncopation of his rhythm playing.
“His lyric writing was unimpeachable. And for me, as a rock ‘n’ roller, he was entirely authentic.”
Focusing on the gang’s ongoing reunion tour, Niven said:
“Who could see this coming?
“And I’ve had a number of people in the last week tell me that the show in New York was fantastic. I think part of the reason why it was fantastic was because it was confined in a smaller building, which amplifies the power.
“And everybody have said that Slash was sublime, and he is definitely the best of his life. His playing at the moment is magnificent.
“And I have to take my cap off to Axl. Who saw this coming? That was an incredible workload that he has gotten through already, and now they’re playing over three hours. I don’t know how he’s doing it, I don’t know if they’re injecting him with virgin’s blood.
“But whatever they’re doing, he has taken on an incredible workload and brought it. And let me tell you, when the reunion…
“And I have the hard time with the reunion, because for my personal perspective, if Izzy’s not there, it’s not truly Guns N’ Roses reunion
“But when this thing first got rolling, all the conventional was maybe they’ll get through five dates before it imploded and exploded. And I just have to say I’m mildly in awe at the moment.
“I’m absolutely amazed at how many shows they have done, I’m really stunned at the workload that Axl has shouldered. And I can’t figure it out. I can’t figure it out how he has done it.
“He’s in his 50s. I draw the analogy, people like Pavarotti sang long and hard at the performance well into their later years.
“But rock ‘n’ roll is three and a half hours, that’s a lot to take out of any human body. And it’s a lot of work even when you’re in your 20s. When you’re in your 50s it’s amazing! I’m really stunned by it.”