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You Wanted the Best...Number Seven

biglaguns.jpgOur top ten glam band countdown continues. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

10) Badlands
09) Winger
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.


Reader Comments (7)

I definitely agree with the L.A. Guns choice. They have been a favorite of mine for a long time.

Seeing Tracii in those videos only makes me wish he would rejoin the Phil Lewis faction.

Nonetheless....L.A. Guns kicks ass!

Rob Rockitt
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRob Rockitt
He wanted to rejoin, they wouldn't have him. And fair enough to, he left them
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Graus
I agree with the pick, LA Guns should have been a lot bigger than they actually become. Great band that made great music. Unfortunately, Tracii's band is terrible and I am sorry, Paul Black cannot sing and certainly butchers Phil Lewis' songs. Allyson, I love your blog and agree with many of your comments but how you can say the LA Guns with Paul Black was the second best performance at Rocklahoma is almost laughable! How about Jackyl, Steelheart, Queensryche, Firehouse, Poison, Bulletboys, Rhino Bucket, and I could go on and on. LA Guns sounded terrible because Paul Black cannot sing and certainly cannot sing Phil Lewis' songs!
Again I still love site!:>
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKixRules
You are doing a really good job with this. It is a great read and it has me looking forward to the next one!
Keep up the great work.
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
la guns amazing underrated band beautiful songs and image
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwarbaz
Forgot about L.A. Guns.....I always thought they were great but never seemed to get the success I thought they deserved.

Heavy Metal Addiction
Thanks for all the great content on this site. I'm a big LA Guns fan, and I'm glad you recognize them in your countdown list. My preference is for the current Phil Lewis version, however. Their album, Tales From The Strip, is amazing, Stacey Blades' guitar work is amazing, and it proves to me that Phil Lewis' version is better than Traci's. I'm still waiting for Traci and Paul Black to release something new that is worth purchasing. If Paul and Traci are such great songwriters, maybe, sometime soon, they can whip up something better than "I Do," which I believe was written by Jeremy Guns.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSean

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