Compilation of interviews plus a live performance
L.A. Guns are an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1983. As of 2014, the lineup consists of Phil Lewis (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Steve Riley (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Kenny Kweens (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Michael Grant (lead guitar, backing vocals). The first incarnation of the group was formed by Tracii Guns in 1983 and merged with fellow Los Angeles group Hollywood Rose to form Guns N' Roses in 1984. In 1985, the group was reformed by Guns and singer Paul Black adding Mick Cripps and Nickey Alexander. Black would soon be replaced by former Girl singer Phil Lewis while former Faster Pussycat bassist Kelly Nickels was added to the group. Later, Alexander would be replaced by former W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley with this being known as the "classic lineup" of L.A. Guns. They achieved moderate chart success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, the group went through numerous lineup changes (with Riley being the most consistent member) and failed to regain mainstream attention.
The "classic lineup" of the group would reunite in 1999 and began recording new material. However, the group continued to change lineups and Guns eventually left to form the hard rock supergroup Brides of Destruction with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe in 2002. L.A. Guns continued without Guns, bringing in guitarist Stacey Blades, however, following his decision to put Brides of Destruction on hiatus in 2006, Guns formed The Tracii Guns Band. The group's lineup consisted of former L.A. Guns members Black, Alexander as well as Jeremy Guns (though the lineup would eventually change), with the group eventually changing their name to L.A. Guns. Both groups continued to record and tour under the L.A. Guns moniker until 2012, when the Tracii Guns led version of the group disbanded.
L.A. Guns were first formed in 1983 by guitarist Tracii Guns. The first lineup included singer Michael Jagosz bassist Ole Beich and drummer Rob Gardner. This lineup recorded the band's debut EP, Collector's Edition No. 1, before Jagosz was replaced by Axl Rose. Originally released on vinyl, the record was produced and engineered by Blues/Rock guitarist Chuck Rosa and came out on Raz Records (an independent Hollywood based record label, named after the band's manager, Raz Cue). The same material would later be released as a bonus disc with the compilation album Hollywood Raw in 2004. Rose would leave the group to front Rapidfire before going on to form Hollywood Rose, a group formed following the introduction of guitarists Izzy Stradlin and Chris Weber to each other by Guns.
Following the breakup of Hollywood Rose, in 1984, singer Rose rejoined L.A. Guns.However, Hollywood Rose reunited, briefly, with Rose, Stradlin, Weber and Steve Darrow returning while L.A. Guns drummer Gardner also joined the group. Weber, who left to move to New York City, was soon replaced by Tracii Guns. The group changed their name to Guns N' Roses (combining the names of L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose) with the lineup composed of Axl Rose, Tracii Guns, Izzy Stradlin, Ole Beich and Rob Gardner
Beich was eventually replaced by Duff McKagan while Guns left the group (after a falling out with Rose, being replaced by Slash. McKagan went on to book shows taking place between Sacramento and Seattle, which was dubbed "The Hell Tour". During this time, Gardner quit the group and was replaced by Steven Adler with this line-up becoming known as the "classic lineup" of Guns N' Roses.
Phil Lewis - lead vocals
Tracii Guns - lead guitar
Mick Cripps - rhythm guitar
Kelly Nickels - bass guitar
Steve Riley – drums, percussion
Later, in 1985, Guns and singer Paul Black reformed L.A. Guns with Mick Cripps and Nickey Alexander. Robert Stoddard, former The Dogs D'Amour singer, briefly became guitarist for the group, co-writing the song "Nothing to Lose" that appeared on L.A. Guns debut album. Initially, the group were to be called Faster Pussycat (later the name of another band; several of that band's members over the years were also in L.A. Guns)but soon re-adopted the L.A. Guns moniker.After writing material and playing shows, the group signed with PolyGram. Black was soon replaced by former Girl singer Phil Lewis while Kelly Nickels (formerly of Faster Pussycat) was added to the lineu
They recorded their debut album, titled L.A. Guns, with producer Jim Faraci. The album featured six songs co-written by former singer Paul Black ("No Mercy", "Sex Action", "One More Reason", "Nothing to Lose", "Bitch is Back" and "One Way Ticket") while, after album completion, drummer Alexander was replaced by former W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley (with Riley credited as L.A. Guns' drummer on the album's liner notes and Alexander only given drum credits. The album was released in 1988, through PolyGram/Vertigo Records, peaking at number 50 on the Billboard 200.