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L.A. Guns

Although veterans of the Sunset Strip's hair metal scene, L.A. Guns are also known for being one of the two bands (along with Hollywood Rose) that merged in the mid-'80s to form Guns N' Roses. Formed in 1983, the group's first lineup included Tracii Guns and vocalist Axl Rose, the latter of whom eventually left to form his own group with childhood friend Izzy Stradlin. Rose and Guns decided to combine their two bands in 1985, thus creating the earliest incarnation of Guns N' Roses. Tracii Guns handed lead guitar duties for several months before being replaced by Slash; suddenly finding himself without a band, he bounced back by rejoining his old bandmates in L.A. Guns, who'd continued playing shows in his absence under the leadership of vocalist Paul Black.

With Guns back in the lineup and Black writing most of the songs, the band landed a deal with Polygram Records and made plans to record a debut album. Black was replaced by former Girl frontman Phil Lewis before L.A. Guns could enter the studio, though, and the rest of the lineup shifted as well, eventually solidifying around Guns, Lewis, drummer Nickey Alexander, bassist Kelly Nickels, and guitarist Mick Cripps.

In 1988, L.A. Guns released their self-titled debut album, featuring a raunchy, Aerosmith-influenced sound and a number of songs that had been written by ex-member Paul Black. Former W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley joined the lineup during the tour that followed, and L.A. Guns quickly returned to the studio to bang out a second album, Cocked and Loaded. Released in 1989 and propelled by the Top 40 single "The Ballad of Jayne," Cocked and Loaded went gold, giving the band a minor stake in the hair metal explosion that Guns N' Roses had helped spark. Released two years later, Hollywood Vampires managed to hold the band's audience's attention by peaking at number 42. Nevertheless, the guys laid low for four years, waiting for grunge to fade away.

When L.A. Guns released their fourth album, Vicious Circle, in early 1995, they retained a core group of followers but failed to capture the mainstream's attention. It was their weakest-selling album to date and set off a chain of lineup shifts, with Johnny Crypt taking over bass-playing duties, Chris Van Dahl assuming the frontman role, and Guns serving as the band's sole guitarist. Polygram dropped the band in the wake of Vicious Circle's slow sales, and 1996's American Hardcore introduced the band's new lineup but fared no better.

Greatest Hits & Black Beauties, a collection of re-recorded favorites and new material, followed in 1999 after a succession of new vocalists that included Ralph Saenz (on 1998's Wasted EP) and Love/Hate singer Jizzy Pearl. That same summer, the group released a Gilby Clarke-produced collection of new material, entitled Shrinking Violet, with Pearl serving as lead vocalist. For 2001's Man in the Moon (again produced by Clarke), Phil Lewis and Mick Cripps returned to the lineup, joining Guns, Riley, former Pretty Boy Floyd member Keff Ratcliffe and new bassist Muddy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

L A Guns music never gets old, keep rockin
luckyheartz7 7
<3 Annie.
Phil Lewis of LA Guns and Phil Collen of Def Leppard were in a band called Girl. Really good stuff. Sheer Greed and Wasted Youth were their 2 albums.
like la guns ,good jams wonder if they are touring this summer
Solid jam!
80's hair metal rulz
cool
Phil Lewis and Def Leppard 's Phil Collen were in a band called Giirl. They recorded two good albums Sheer Greed and Wasted Youth. Check it out.
Just because we wear makeup and lipstick doesn't mean we cant kick your a**! The exact words Vince Neil said in 87 interview. La Guns were glam metal but they sure as hell weren't p**sies. Banged tons of whores ; drank lots of whiskey ; partied hard. That's what a lot of metal heads don't get. Just because you wear makeup dont mean you're a f*g.
fivecnts77
I seen the "real guns" at the electric ballroom in tempe, az when they put on a show with dokken and they kicked a**!!!
guns awsome
Saw them in Sarasota in March Awsome show.
saw this band back in 1988 w/ Laaz Rockit. Good show.
steventausch e r
They rule there old band girl is the top s**t talkin early 80 s phil collen aka def lepard great stuff standard romance ect...
I saw these guys play this song with my baby 5 years ago. The whole show rocked!!!! They r all as sexy as ever!
Kick a**
jswa09
Good straight ahead rock band. Reminds me of the good ole days!
Hey samthealliga t o r dont you like crue's healter skelter?
I dont care if its 2033, these bands will still rock!!!
La Guns rocks, Crue rocks , Skid Row with Sebastian rocks, Kiss rocks, Ratt rocks, Cinderella definitely rocks, I also love Alice

Cooper and Iron Maiden
La Guns Was and Still is one of my All time favorite bands, still sounds good Today.
They were one of the only hair bands that actually made great music back in the 80s
bobonnit thumbs down loser!
Sometimes I wish I lived in L.A. back in the 80s.
If I was a virgin I would die my hair black and join a convent.
One of the best bands to ever come out of California
L A. Guns kick a**.
nicko252008
Guns is the real deal rock n roll baby!!!
i like thier drum player doni grey
i was seeing them play and the whole band sighned my guitar
Still have a crush on Phil Lewis after all these years!! He still brings it every time.
Went to see them last week end in Foxboro Ma, no Tracii Guns but Phil Lewis was there & they sounded GREAT! Rock On!!
Tracii Guns, the glam Dave Mustaine
Killer band. Saw 'em in a club, met & hung out with them after the show. Great guys... don't believe the BS... they rock, on stage and off!
tlea96
Great band. Got to play with them years ago. All nice guys except Tracii, his reputation as a D-bag was well earned. Still love their music though. Hollywood Vampires is still one of my favorite discs to put in and crank
I just saw them perform and they were great. Unfortunatel y , they only played a few songs, but they were great, I would love to see them again.
tracii guns, phil lewis, and mick crips need to get back together, and put anyone else the want in the badn those three are boss.
Similar Artists:
Guns N' Roses
Ratt
Motley Crue
Firehouse
White Lion
I love this band!
stevens.chri s
Can't go wrong with 80's big hair...
OLDIE BIT A GOODIE!
I saw these guys in a shithole of a bar in Iowa. Great musicians, cool as hell, and tore the place up. I saw them again many years later, but without Phil. Not as good without him I'd say, but I still love their songs.
dion436
la guns brings back memeorys of when i was in a band that held 10 grey hound busses and we had two bands performing. One would take a break and the other would play. This was one of our covers
www.Dapinves t o r s . n e t
saw these guys back in 88 drunk and dirty lol sundance li i think?
I'm glade Axel got a fat head Mr.Guns is awsome L.A. Guns made 2 albums before Guns & Roses did and Traci helped write the first one anyway :}
I really think La Guns is a unique band to listen to. Really rocks! Not to sound 'GAY' but I really love their ballads too.
I loved L.A. Guns and still do. Their cd is in my player right now.

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