“I hear that song come on the radio and I still get goose bumps,” says Eric Gagne of Guns’n'Roses’ “Welcome To The Jungle” in a confessional conversation with the L.A. Times’ T.J. Simers. Perhaps distracted by comparing his own career to that of Izzy Stradlin, Gagne — trying to win a job at Dodgers camp after 3 years toiling (badly) for Texas, Boston and Milwaukee — proves to be one of the easier suspects to break. Frank Pembleton, not required!
“Why did you use HGH?” I ask, and he says, “I didn’t.”
But he knows better. He and I have had a long relationship.
“You were using HGH, weren’t you?”
“I did,” he says. “I hate to talk about it. It just doesn’t do anyone any good. But I thought it would help me get better when I hurt my knee. I just don’t want that to sound as an excuse.
“I’m so ashamed. It wasn’t smart. If I knew what I know now. . . . I didn’t need it. I regret it so much, just now maybe getting over the guilt. It was stupid.”
“That’s all part of my past, part of my resume,” he says, and when he’s asked if he was doing HGH during the entire time he dominated or just part of the time, he says, “part.”
But you cheated — weren’t you cheating Dodgers fans?
“In my head it was different,” he says, but what will he tell his own kids about his tarnished career?
“I’ve been asking myself the same question, but I’ll tell them straight up like I do everything else. I’ll make them understand action and reactions to those actions, and making a decision and living with the consequences.
The last five years his body has betrayed him, one injury after another, and so does he think it’s because he was on HGH?
“I don’t know how it reacts on your body like that,” he says, “but from what I’ve heard, it doesn’t help.”