L.A. GUNS – GUNS & BULLETS
Show Date: November 1, 2006
Location: Mankato, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Venue: What’s Up Lounge
I am a life long L.A. Guns fan. I remember sitting in the lunchroom as an 8th grader and trading my W.A.S.P. tape for a kid’s new L.A. Guns tape. I put it in my Walkman, heard “One More Reason”, and I was hooked. When I had saved enough to buy my first CD player ($500 back in those days!), L.A. Guns‘ debut CD was my first purchase. So 18-19 years later I get to see my guitar hero Tracii Guns play in a small club in Mankato, Minnesota. What a treat, it’s as close to having a band come to your house as possible for a guy like me.
I knew that it was not the line-up on the CD, but to see Tracii play his axe was all that it was about… or so I thought. The ticket stated 7pm but the BulletBoys, who I never liked back in the day, started at 9pm. They weren’t bad, but I was already upset about having to sit around for two hours like Axl freaking Rose was going to be performing. Actually, after getting to meet The BulletBoys after they performed and to see how they came up by the stage, and were right in the crowd with the rest of us, I gained huge respect for them.
Tracii and Jeremy Guns were running really late and the band didn’t get on stage until closer to 10:45. Nickey Alexander was there a good hour before the rest of the band and I saw Paul Black early into the BulletBoys performance… watched him collect the cash and everything, but he was absent for 90% of the first song. I was kind of bummed out about this until he actually started singing.
He screwed up the words to three songs. There was a keyboard player, and between a keyboard player and a singer that couldn’t hold a candle to Phillip Lewis or Joe LeSte (Bang Tango), or even the guy from the BulletBoys, I was starting to get bummed out.
The sound in the room was not exactly stellar, and the entire night was falling apart. But I still had my hopes of getting to meet my childhood hero Tracii Guns, but half way through the 7th of 9 songs that they played (one twice)… the manager came on stage and said that the van had been broken into. He came back later and said that everything was ok (my wife was standing right next to him), but Jeremy and Nickey ran off the stage and started screaming about going to get the “fuckers!”
The second best moment of the night, next to seeing Tracii play his guitar (and my God can he play that thing to death!!!) was him looking at Jeremy laughing and saying, “I’m sure they’re still out there waiting for you, let’s just play.” Jeremy isn’t a bad bass player either, so kudos to him. Nickey is a solid drummer and Tracii is a God, but Paul Black either had the worst night of his life on stage, or what my gut tells me is that it was the first time I’ve ever spent 12 dollars to see a show and felt like I got robbed. I got to see my hero and I still felt like I was the one robbed, not the van.
All I can say is that I pray that Tracii and Phil can mend whatever bridge they blew apart, and someday we can see them at a better club, with a decent sound system, and watch L.A. Guns as they were meant to be… Guitar God and angelic voiced Phil Lewis.
I will always be a fan of Tracii Guns, and I will continue to listen to the old CDs and hope for a better future than the show that I was at in Mankato, Minnesota on Wednesday Nov. 1st.