Phil Lewis posts photos implying that Steve Riley’s version of L.A. Guns is “the virus”
Here we go again! Singer Phil Lewis is back to taking public shots of the L.A. Guns‘ version spearheaded by drummer Steve Riley and bassist Kelly Nickels.
Lewis posted one word (“Truth”) along with two photos on his Facebook account yesterday and later provided an explanation of what he meant in the comments section.
Lewis joined L.A. Guns back in 1987 and handled lead vocals on some of the band’s best known records including L.A. Guns (1988), Cocked And Loaded (1989) and Hollywood Vampires (1991). The singer left the band in 1995 before rejoining in 1999. By 2002, L.A. Guns founder and guitarist Tracii Guns left the band leaving Lewis and drummer Steve Riley to continue on with the group since Riley owned 50% of the band name. From 2006 to 2012, Guns, who owned the other 50% of the band name, ran his own version of L.A. Guns with a number of different singers during that time period. Eventually in 2016, Guns resurrected his version of L.A. Guns and somehow convinced Lewis to play in both versions of L.A. Guns. In December 2016, Lewis announced his resignation from Riley‘s version of L.A. Guns but stayed in Guns‘ version of the band. Since then, the L.A. Guns version spearheaded by Guns and Lewis has released two studio albums, The Missing Peace (2017) and The Devil You Know (2019). Riley‘s version of L.A. Guns was on hiatus for about two years and underwent a major line-up overhaul with the return of popular bassist Kelly Nickels, the return of Scott Griffin but on guitar rather than bass, and with new lead vocalist Kurt Frohlich.
In an interesting twist, it was revealed by Metal Sludge in January 2020 that Guns has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Riley alleging that the band’s trademark was infringed by Riley touring under the “L.A. Guns” name and that Riley has also wrongly registered the band’s trademark in his name and misappropriated royalties.
Ever since Riley announced to the public in December 2018 that his version of L.A. Guns would be playing the M3 Rock Festival in 2019, Guns and Lewis have taken public shots at Riley and Nickels although the negative comments seemed to have simmer down after April 2019.
In an interview with Sleaze Roxx in March 2019, Lewis stated the following:
“I’m laughing my head off. I’m absolutely — this is fucking comic gold that Riley is even stupid enough to accept this offer and the offer came about only because the organizers at M3 are mad at us for not doing it. We have this on full authority. You know, they dug up some people. They told him put a band together. They’ll give him a slot. And very stupidly without thinking, he agreed to do it without having any band personnel. He hasn’t played in years. He managed to persuade our old bass player [Kelly Nickels] to do it. Two old bass players — he’s got Scotty Griffin from the ‘Hollywood Forever’ album. He’s actually taking it upon himself to play guitar in the band. Scotty’s nice guy, a good bass player but as far as guitar playing goes, he ain’t no Tracii Guns. Let’s face it. So there you go, we’ve got a drummer that can’t play anymore, a bass player that never could, a bass player that’s going to be playing guitar parts that he can’t play and the icing, the cherry on top is they don’t have a fucking singer!”