Things are getting ugly once again in the dueling L.A. Guns camps. As you probably know by now, there are two versions of the band: one featuring guitarist Tracii Guns, the other featuring vocalist Phil Lewis.
I'm continually torn by this on-going brouhaha. I love Phil Lewis because of Girl, but I think any L.A. Guns featuring Tracii is the real version.
At any rate, Tracii's version is set to hit the road for a winter jaunt, and they'll be coming to Dayton, Ohio. Not surprisingly, I'll be in the crowd.
The other day, Phil Lewis sent a not-so-nice Myspace bulletin berating Tracii Guns and his version of L.A. Guns. I didn't feel like getting in the middle of things by posting here, but since Tracii finally responded, I think it's O.K. to give my opinion on things. By the way, Tracii said he's disappointed in Phil and he thinks both versions should have the opportunity to make a living.
So, what do I think? I think it's very unprofessional for Phil Lewis to run down Tracii Guns. Both men are talented glam artists, so why sling mud? It's pretty clear a reconciliation isn't happening any time soon, so fans get two versions of the band. In some ways this is great: two versions mean twice as many chances to see a band I love.
People know I'm a fan of Paul Black, an original L.A. Guns vocalist who is now back with Tracii. Critics say Paul can't sing, but the problem is this: those critics don't get it. Paul Black is an entire package. When Tracii's L.A. Guns take the stage everyone has a good time. That's the point of going to a rock show in the first place.
Here's Paul Black and Tracii Guns version of L.A. Guns, performing "Wheels of Fire" live in the U.K.
Now, here's the Phil Lewis fronted version performing "Rip and Tear" at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles.
I'm equal opportunity, so I like them both. Which version do you prefer?