The Hollywood Vampire's return, or just more sucking? As if we all didn't see this coming - re-union mania has finally hit L.A. Guns. The most recent press release from LAGunsweb read as follows : "A lot of L.A. Guns fans have wanted this forever...L.A. Guns is back to it's original lineup of Tracii Guns, Phil Lewis, Steve Riley, Kelly Nickels and Mick Cripps. They will be recording the live record at the Key Club on October 7, 1999. They will also be doing all of the California area dates that are currently listed on the website. A complete L.A. Guns reunion. The band feels that this is in their best interest and that it's where the future is at. And there's no reason we shouldn't give them our utmost support because the original lineup released a lot of incredible music and I'm sure they're gonna kick ass in the future.
Longtime L.A. Guns fans will remember that this is not the first time. Not by a long shot. After the Hollywood Vampires tour, somewhere between1991-1992, Guitarist/Founder Tracii Guns found himself ousted, only to return later. The project had splintered into assorted other projects (Killing Machine, Filthy Lucre, Crumble Pie etc.) and namecalling. Later they re-hired Tracii split up entirely. They got back together to release the incredible Vicious Circle which was to be their swansong. Tracii got together with vocalist Chris Van Dahl and new bass player Johnny Crypt and put out the rather shocking American Hardcore. As fan loyalty dropped to an all time low, they lost Van Dahl and got together with (no joke) the vocalist for a Van Halen cover band. This line-up released the aptly titled "Wasted" (reviewed elsewhere in Glitzine) and, predictably, crumbled.
Finally hooking up with Jizzy Pearl (ex-Love/Hate) on vocals, they began recording "Shrinking Violet" (look for the review by yours truly VERY soon). Having seen this line-up opening for Poison, Ratt and Great White inCleaveland, OH, I have to say that this was the best frontline since the "classic" line-up. In there, somewhere, Johnny Crypt left and was replaced by Stephen Adika. Then Stephen Adika left and was replaced by someone who's name I'd probably remember if I hadn't lost track (as well as interest) by now.
It seems the center of controversy lay around the recording of the release "Greatest Hits and Black Beauties", a BEST OF compilation featuring new recordings of classic songs. Johnny Crypt admitted to "Electrinic Gypsy" (then the premier LAG site) that he no longer felt that the new line-up was the first priority.
At the time, Glitzine had contacted Tracii for an interview. He agreed and was sent the questions, but never returned the answers. Now, despite Philip Lewis writing an open letter to Tracii Guns to "bury L.A. Guns with some dignity" while Tracii has referred to Philip as someone who "isn't going to do anything (musical) ever again", they've gotten back together. Whether this is a full-on, real reunion or a Dokken-esque "business agreement" is anybody's guess. These guys have had more line-up changed in their history than Pretty Boy Floyd.
At the moment, we can only assume that it was a combination of flagging sales for ALL of the newer lineups, lukewarm response to Philip's solo album "More Purple Than Black" and everyone else getting sick of their "real" jobs that led up to what so many LAG fans have been screaming for and so many other LAG fans have been dreading. Will it work out? Will it last? Will it have the same fire as before, or will age continue to smooth out their edges? In other words, will it blow out of proportion or just blow up in everyone's face? We have NO idea but we'll let you know as we find out. One thing is for certain, though - as of this very moment, Axl Rose (yet ANOTHER former LAG vocalist) has NOT returned to the band. But, at this rate, it wouldn't surprise me...
by Adolf Chri$t
Read Reunion Ruins Repetation Part 1