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L.A. Guns is a rock band from Los Angeles, California, originally formed in 1983 and continuing on today. During the 1980s the band's first two albums gained some commercial success, though historically the band is perhaps most noteworthy because its original members went on to form Guns N' Roses.

There are currently two bands touring as L.A. Guns, as of 2007. One fronted by Phil Lewis, the other fronted by Paul Black (featuring Tracii Guns).

Music and image:
The music of L.A. Guns is frequently associated with the L.A. glam metal scene which grew up around the Sunset Strip in the 1980s, in particular the sleaze rock subgenre, of which Guns N' Roses (which once featured three of the original L.A. Guns members) was the most prominent exponent, generally preferring an anti-social, white trash image to elaborate make-up and costumes. The music and image of L.A. Guns is often referred to as "sleaze", the group dressed in all black with cowboy boots.

History:

Foundation, merge with Hollywood Rose and reformation (1983-1985):
In the 1980s, Tracii Guns formed the band known as L.A. Guns with singer Michael Jagosz, bassist Ole Beich, and drummer Rob Gardner. Michael Jagosz was sent to prison for a short time and was replaced by singer Axl Rose. Axl soon quit to form Hollywood Rose and was replaced by Michael Jagosz after he had returned from his time in prison. After a while, Tracii Guns, Rob Gardner, and Ole Beich combined L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose, with members Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin. When this happened the new band became known as Guns N' Roses, which explains the name, Guns for L.A. Guns, and Roses, for Hollywood Rose. Tracii quickly left the band due to differences with Axl Rose.

Reformation (1985-1988):
For the second lineup of L.A. Guns, Tracii recruited Mau Maus and The Joneses drummer Paul Mars Black on lead vocals and guitarist Mick Cripps (who switched to bass) and teamed up with drummer Nickey "Beat" Alexander. They were later joined by ex Dogs D'Amour first singer, Robert Stoddard on rhythm guitar. This lineup demoed and gigged in 1985 and 1986, with Black contributing to most of the material that would be recorded on their debut album.

Paul was replaced by Phil Lewis of the British band, Girl. Mick then switched to guitar when Robert left, and former member of Faster Pussycat, Kelly Nickels, was added on bass. L.A. Guns then recorded their first album, released in 1988 on Vertigo Records, L.A. Guns. The debut album spawned the singles "One More Reason" and "Sex Action" along with many other L.A. Guns classics.

Classic lineup (1988-1992):
On the first album's supporting tour, Nickey was replaced by former W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley and this lineup remained until 1992. In 1989, they released their second album Cocked & Loaded. It contained the smash radio and video hit, "The Ballad of Jayne" which brought the album to gold sales status (over five hundred thousand sold), this was the commercial peak of their career. The album also contained the hits, "Never Enough" and "Rip & Tear". The band also released two home videos coinciding with these two albums, "One More Reason" (1989) and "Love, Peace, & Geese" (1990).
During 1991, the band released their third album Hollywood Vampires on Polydor Records. The album failed to re-achieve the gold status of Cocked & Loaded, but did spawn a few hits such as "Kiss My Love Goodbye" and "It's Over Now". And in 1993, their first album, L.A. Guns, reached gold status as well. Guns participated in the supergroup Contraband the same year. The L.A. Guns released a five song EP titled Cuts in 1992 and then in 1994 their fourth album Vicious Circle, drummer Michael "Bones" Gershima played on parts of these recording as this was around this time Phil Lewis fired drummer Steve Riley. Riley later returned to the band for the Vicious Circle club tour. After this, the L.A. Guns were dropped from Polygram (Vertigo/Polydor) Records. Phil Lewis and Mick Cripps then left the band.

Experimentation (1993-1998):
July 1995 saw Tracii Guns and Steve Riley recruit vocalist Chris Van Dahl and guitarist Johnny Crypt after seeing them perform with their band Boneyard. Six months into recording sessions, Kelly Nickels left the band and Johnny was asked to switch to the bass to avoid having to seek out and deal with yet another member. In 1996, the new L.A. Guns released their sixth record, titled American Hardcore. This new album built on the heavy music from Vicious Circle and projected a darker image for the band. They toured throughout 1996 and into 1997 when Tracii let Chris go in hopes of regaining Phil Lewis and the band's former glory. Phil refused, and so Chris was replaced by singer Ralph Saenz. Tracii, Steve, Johnny, and Ralph toured for the remainder of '97 and in early '98 released the six song EP Wasted.

Halfway through the band's 1998 Rock Never Stops tour, Ralph quit to form his own band, leaving Tracii to do another singer change. Joe Leste from Bang Tango and Jizzy Pearl from Love/Hate were considered as candidates. Tracii and Steve picked Jizzy and quickly geared up to tour. L.A. Guns toured clubs with Jizzy in late 1998 and early 1999 when they released Shrinking Violet, produced by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke. This release was followed shortly by Johnny Crypt's departure.

Reunion (1999-2003):
Tracii and Steve had been talking with their former bandmates, Phil, Mick, and Kelly about a reunion album and tour. When Johnny found out about the reunion he left on February 6, 1999. The reunion album Greatest Hits and Black Beauties was released on Deadline Records around the same time as Shrinking Violet.

While this reconstituted version of L.A. Guns was recording, Pearl released an album under the Love/Hate moniker called Let's Eat. As for the other L.A. Guns, the reunion tour was not ready to happen, so they then recruited Dad's Porno Mag and Gilby Clarke bassist Stefan Adika to tour in support of Shrinking Violet. Stefan was later replaced by Turd, Dio, Alice Cooper, and Eric Singer Project (ESP) bassist Chuck Garric and toured with Poison, Great White, and Ratt on the Exiled From The Mainstream tour in the summer of 1999. As of September 1, 1999, Jizzy and Chuck were fired from the band as the classic lineup of Tracii Guns, Steve Riley, Phil Lewis, Kelly Nickels, and Mick Cripps prepared for the full blown reunion. L.A. Guns set out on the reunion tour in October of 1999 and recorded a live album in their hometown of Hollywood, the album called Live: A Night on the Strip was released the following year.
After the reunion, Mick and Kelly couldn't commit to the summer 2000 tour, so they were replaced by guitarist Brent Muscat and bassist Muddy, respectively. Ratt and L.A. Guns teamed up with Warrant for a remainder-of-the-summer tour, which L.A. Guns dropped off in August due to booking problems.
In August 2000, L.A. Guns re-recorded and re-released Cocked & Loaded retitled Cocked & Re-Loaded on Deadline Records. Mick Cripps again rejoined the band briefly (Brent left) in late 2000 to record an album with the band, entitled Man In The Moon, which was released on Spitfire Records in April of 2001. Mick played keyboards on the album, but did not tour to support it. Muddy later left the band after a short promo tour for Man In The Moon. He was replaced by Adam Hamilton for the winter of 2002 Man In The Moon club tour.
In 2002, Andy Johns was hired to produce the next release, Waking the Dead. This album features Adam Hamilton as the new bass player. Hailed by fans as one of the strongest and heaviest material LA Guns has ever recorded, the album features "OK, Let's Roll" - dedicated to Todd Beamer and the people who rushed the cockpit of Flight 93 during the events of September 11, 2001 attacks.

L.A. Guns without Tracii Guns (2002-present):
During September 2002, founding guitarist Tracii Guns became very interested in a new project, entitled Brides of Destruction, with Mtley Cre bassist Nikki Sixx. Guns saw the project as an opportunity to recapture the mainstream credibility he had held in the late '80s and therefore became lead guitarist for the outfit. In 2004, Brides of Destruction embarked on a World Tour, and the future of L.A. Guns was in doubt until both Steve Riley and Phil Lewis told the "Hairball John Radio Show" that the band would continue despite Guns' involvement in Brides of Destruction.

With a new guitarist named Stacey Blades, L.A. Guns released the covers album Rips the Covers Off. They had gone through several guitarists since Tracii Guns departed in October 2002. The band released the album Tales from the Strip in August 2005, which was met with critical acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic, hailed as the best L.A. Guns album in years. It is the only L.A. Guns album not to feature Tracii Guns (with the exception of the Japan-only live album).

A second L.A. Guns forms (2005):
In 2005 a remastered set of demos, which were recorded around the time L.A. Guns wrote their first album (before Phil Lewis joined) was released, featuring Paul Black on vocals. Soon after this, as the Brides of Destruction's second album did not maintain the success of the first, Tracii Guns put together a "solo" band and focused his attention on that.
The line-up for the Tracii Guns Band, featuring former L.A. Guns members, Paul Black, Nickey "Beat" Alexander, and Tracii Guns, as well as Tracii's son Jeremy Guns was announced. The band are now also going under the L.A. Guns name, regardless of the fact that the Phil Lewis version are still together, recording and touring. It should also be noted that Tracii Guns owns 50% of the rights to the L.A. Guns name and Steve Riley owns the other half.
The second L.A. Guns has caused some arguments amongst the L.A. Guns fanbase, some fans have argued that the Tracii Guns Band is the "true" L.A. Guns as it features more original members. Other fans dispute this arguing that as Paul Black never appeared on any of the L.A. Guns albums until the demos featuring him were released in 2005, as well as the fact that Nickey Alexander never toured in support of the L.A. Guns records. Other fans see Phil Lewis as the "true" L.A. Guns singer due to the less notable material released during his departure from the band.
In an odd twist on October 10, 2006, Phil Lewis joined Paul Black and Tracii Guns onstage at "Cathouse 20th Anniversary" (a Hollywood club, ran by Riki Rachtman and Taime Downe), the two frontmen dueted a version of the band's song "Rip and Tear".

Recent events:
On August 29, 2006, Phil Lewis' L.A. Guns released "Loud and Dangerous: Live From Hollywood", a live compilation featuring the bands current line up, including a DVD of some recent live tracks as part of the package.
On January 2, 2007, the Phil Lewis version of L.A. Guns released a cover of the song "Crazy Bitch" - originally by fellow L.A. sleaze rockers Buckcherry.
On March 2007, bassist Adam Hamilton has been replaced by Scott Griffin.
On July 15, 2007, Paul Black's L.A Guns performed at glam metal festival "Rocklahoma."

Members:
-Paul Black.
-Tracii Guns.
-Jeremy Guns.
-Chad Stewart.
-Phil Lewis.
-Stacey Blades.
-Scott Griffin.
-Steve Riley.
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