Our top ten glam band countdown continues. Here’s what we’ve got so far:
08) Twisted Sister
In the seventh spot…L.A. Guns.
Today there are two touring versions of L.A. Guns – one featuring famed singer Phil Lewis and the other featuring guitar genius Tracii Guns.
While Phil Lewis was making phenomenal Glam with the British band Girl, Tracii Guns was working the Sunset Strip circuit, creating the first incarnation of the band. Yes, Axl Rose sang vocals in a very young L.A. Guns that would eventually turn into Hollywood Rose.
That didn’t last too long, and Tracii reformed L.A. Guns with Paul Black on vocals, bassist Mick Cripps, drummer Nickey Alexander and guitarist Robert Stoddard.
The band is best known for their second album Cocked and Loaded, released in 1989. That albums features Tracii on lead guitar, Phil Lewis on vocals, Mick Cripps on rhythm guitar, Kelly Nickels on bass and Steve Riley on drums.
While L.A. Guns have not enjoyed the same level of commercial success as many of their counterparts - including Guns n’ Roses - their importance to glam is immense for many reasons. First, the band helped lay the framework for Guns n’ Roses. Second, Tracii Guns was a huge figure on the Sunset Strip scene, jamming with nearly every glam musician at one time or another. Third, L.A. Guns were able to create commercial rock with a street –sounding edge. That’s thanks to great songwriting and Tracii’s amazing technical ability. For whatever reason, he’s remained completely underrated despite having some of the best chops of any guitarist in any 80s Metal band.
These days, you’ve got twice as many chances to hear your favorite L.A. Guns tune live. Paul Black and Tracii are back together, along with bassist Jeremy Guns and drummer Chad Stewart. Phil Lewis fronts his own version, featuring guitarist Stacey Blades, bassist Scott Griffin and drummer Steve Riley. I continue to defend the Black/Guns version of the band, despite your incessant criticism. Yesterday, I said Twisted Sister gave the best performance at Rocklahoma 2007. L.A. Guns (Black/Guns version) comes in a close second.
In the spirit of fair and balanced reporting, today you get two videos. Here’s Tracii’s version of the band performing “LAPD” on the Sunset Strip sometime in 2006.
Now here’s the Phil Lewis version performing “No Mercy” in 1988.
Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number six on the ten best glam bands of all time list.