The first album featuring both Lewis and Guns in 15 years, 'The Missing Peace' was released on Frontiers SRL in October of 2017. Notably, the lineup that includes classic members Guns and Lewis, does not include Steve Riley. At this time, despite both Guns and Riley owning the name, there is only ONE L.A. Guns at this time. There have still been some lineup changes but the main men are where they belong.
The Missing Peace brings back the sleazy sound that we love, the first single "Speed" is highly reminiscent of tracks on the self titled debut album from 1988.
We’ve spent the week delving into all things L.A. Guns and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I have discovered tracks I had never heard and found out a lot more about one of my favorite bands, which is still kickin’ ass today!
We hope you’ve enjoyed it as well!
Find Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here
Two L.A. Guns? Sadly there was a split in the band when Tracii Guns left to work with Brides of Destruction and then formed a completely separate band under the L.A. Guns moniker. This makes sense since he was the one who created L.A. Guns and it does bear his name. The other version of L.A. Guns was “owned” by Steve Riley somehow and there was a great deal of acrimony between the two camps.
Each of the bands kept recording and touring until Tracii disbanded his group in 2012. Phil’s version of L.A. Guns made a cover record titled “Rips the Covers Off” (excellent cover of Moonage Daydream) and produced “Tales from the Strip” and “Hollywood Forever” during this time.
As one of the early Sunset Strip sleaze bands L.A. Guns has worked hard over the years to remain relevant. Whether fans were hearing about their many lineup changes, the feuding or the new albums being released, all throughout the late nineties and early 2000s L.A. Guns were still making headlines in the music world. When many of our favorite hair bands have long since given up the fight it has been rewarding to be an L.A. Guns fan throughout all the years.
There’s not a whole lot more to say about the 2 L.A. Guns bands other than both of them had an astounding amount of members come and go. Come back tomorrow to find out all about the one and only L.A. Guns of today!
Find Part 1 Here
Yesterday we looked at the formation and early years of L.A. Guns. After releasing three studio albums and touring the Guns were a well known band. At this time the first member of the “classic” lineup was fired from the band. Drummer Steve Riley left the Guns after their European tour with Skid Row to support Hollywood Vampires. (Little piece of trivia from the Part 1 post)
After parting ways with Riley the other band members were relatively quiet for the next few years. Grunge was king at the time and many hair bands faded into obscurity. In 1995 the guys got back on track to make their fourth studio album Vicious Circle with Michael Gersema on drums.The album did not do well and the tour to support it included replacing Gersema with the previous drummer Steve Riley.
While our featured Vintage Spotlight artists L.A. Guns are still going strong and making news today we’re going to take a little trip back to the beginning. All the way back in 1983, when I was just an innocent 10 year old, a band was being formed that would rock my soul in just a few short years.
When it comes to lineup changes L.A. Guns probably holds the record, even their beginning was an eclectic mess. If I get any of this history wrong I apologize, it is somewhat difficult to untangle.
If you liked BULLETBOYS, you’d probably like Sweet F.A. as well. The band was formed in Indiana and got off to a wonderful and promising start. They played their first gig in November 1988 and were signed to a major label just 11 months later.
The debut album "Stick to your Guns" was a great album and featured excellent singles like "Prince of the City" and "Rhythm of Action". Despite the potential of the album it didn’t do well on the charts and MCA dropped the band in late 1990. At this time the band also dropped bassist Jim Quick (Quiggins).
The band disappeared from the music scene shortly after "Temptation" was released. In 2005 Metal Sludge did a 20 Questions interview with Tricky Lane. Other than that interview and a copycat glam band in the U.K. using the name Sweet F.A. they seemed to have simply vanished. There were rumors in 2007 that Sweet F.A. were reuniting and preparing for a new tour. One of our affiliate shows The Hair Metal Mansion with Andrew the Axeman featured an interview with singer Steven DeLong in 2009, at that time it seems as if Sweet F.A. was indeed touring again.
While we can’t provide a lot of information about what the guys from Sweet F.A. are up to today we can play their music for you as part of our Vintage Spotlight series on The Manamal Streaming Radio. Enjoy!
As a pretty boy, hair band, cock rock, fan Tuff is very near the top of my list of favorites. Now, this isn’t to say that I dismiss the talent and focus only on the looks. I do not consider "hair band" to be an insult it’s simply the genre of music that rocks my world and that’s the easiest way to describe it. While the guys in Tuff sure were pretty they also had talent to back up that appearance. Having recently started The Manamal Streaming Radio with our team I’ve been able to learn a lot more about all of the bands we loved back in the day and find out where they are now.
Tuff has often claimed that they are the biggest unsigned band in the world. And in fact their ventures with record labels mostly resulted in disaster. Their first ep “Knock Yourself Out” released in 1986 featured Jim Gillette of Nitro fame as the frontman. Gillette would soon be replaced by Stevie Rachelle and thus begin the true journey of Tuff on the Sunset Strip.
As the music world faded from sex, drugs and rock’n’roll into the dark gray depression of grunge music Tuff kind of got lost in the shuffle. Their 1991 official full length release “What Comes Around Goes Around” on the Atlantic Records label featured the most well known lineup for the band;. Stevie Rachelle, George DeSaint, Todd Chase and Michael Raimondo. “What Comes Around Goes Around” contained tracks that tugged at heartstrings with the typical hair band power ballads, and it also had the sleazy glam sound that people were missing at the time. However despite popular MTV videos this album didn’t get the attention it deserved, the release had come just a bit too late for the hair band genre. Grunge was taking over the music scene.
Over the years Tuff has done independent releases and tried a few different record labels but mainly remained “underground”. Those who loved and followed the band were in for some surprises through the years. The band released “The History of Tuff” in 2001. This compilation album included remixes of several fan favorites from over the years as well as the parody song “American Hair Band”. The original song, “American Bad Ass” by Kid Rock was turned into a song about the great hair bands and the introduction of grunge . This is absolutely a feel good hair band anthem and it recognized so many of the bands that made the hair band era so wonderful.
A piece on Louder Sound details the rise and fall of Tuff including the side projects of frontman Stevie Rachelle.
“In 1998, Stevie Rachelle created Metal Sludge, one of the early web’s most active rock sites and the meeting/beating place for anyone on either side of the “hair metal” debacle. During it’s heyday it was a must-read bloodsport spectacle, full of the snarkiest interviews imaginable, groupie reports, and salacious news items detailing the inevitable downfall of your favourite/least favourite bandana-abusers. Rachelle’s involvement wasn’t known – or at the very least advertised – and Tuff took as many knocks as their contemporaries, maybe even more. If you can’t beat ‘em, pretend to be one of ‘em and let the shitstorm ensue. Rachelle probably deserves some kind of award for that one, man.”
Metal Sludge is still going strong today, as are Stevie Rachelle and Tuff. You can see Tuff live, in 2018 at various events including the High Vol. Music SummerBash!
If you are interested in the real history of Tuff be sure to check out Rachelle’s Tuff Diaries on Metal Sludge and read in his own words how a young boy from Wisconsin stormed the Sunset Strip and began his journey of rock’n roll decadence!
As one of our Vintage Spotlight Featured Artists for this week, Tuff is a band that many may have missed out on, and we want to make sure you are introduced to one of the least appreciated, very talented and unique bands that missed the hair band heyday but still managed to rock both then and now!!! You can hear the ballads and the rockers as well as the “American Hair Band” anthem on The Manamal Streaming Radio!