Thursday, January 16, 2014

Video Of The Week: L.A. Guns

I touched upon this song last week, briefly, and figured it would be the best time to share the video with everybody. I'm talking of course about L.A. Guns' The Ballad Of Jayne, written in tribute to Jayne Mansfield, who died on the very same day that then-singer Phil Lewis was born.

But the story with L.A. Guns was never cut nor clear. Lewis was the band's third lead singer,though he is part of what many call its ''classic'' line-up, i.e. the 1988-1991 era. Of course, the most famous singer to have played with band namesake Tracii Guns is Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses, get it?), but Lewis remains the voice of L.A. Guns for most fans.

Which is why he's currently fronting the band, despite having left it in the mid-1990s - there are no original members in that version of the band, which has been touring and recording since 2002.

However... Tracii Guns also has a band called L.A. Guns touring and recording, with former members Paul Black and Nickey Alexander in tow, making it a ''more legitimate'' version of the band, despite not having the voice people expect to hear when listening to the band.

And how did this two-band-sharing-one-name-and-repertoire thing get to keep existing, you might ask? Simply put, Lewis re-joined a version of the band in the early-00s, an incarnation that Guns eventually left (to join Nikki Sixx's Brides Of Destruction). So that band had the right to keep using the name, since it was the same entity, kind of like a sports franchise roster changes a lot but remains the same team.

But Guns' The Tracii Guns Band was fledgling in the mid-00s, and he technically owns the band's name, so he decided to change his band's name to L.A. Guns because it had the m ost ''original members'' in it.

They fought it off in court and it was decided both entities would be allowed to continue mock-rocking and cock-blocking one another, as long as there was a distinction to represent which version for the band fans are paying for.

Case in point: this flyer from last July:

For the time being, Guns has disbanded his band (as of late 2013), which since that decision, Lewis' band has gone through three lead guitarists. It's a safe bet that one of Lewis or Guns - probably both - will make some sort of arrival and/or departure from an incarnation of the band in the near future, though.

Still, despite its rocky history, the band has some pretty good songs, most of which are on their second (Cocked and Loaded) and third (Hollywood Vampires) albums (out of 13), such as this classic:

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