Tracii Guns Calls L.A. Guns Situation “Spinal Tap Ridiculous”


February 25, 2009

One night last summer, L.A. Guns took the stage at the Taste of Lombard food festival in Lombard, Illinois. At the same time, 1,200 miles away, L.A. Guns hit the stage at the Muscle Party Rockfest in Sarasota, Florida. How was this possible? Because L.A. Guns, like a growing number of acts, are touring in two competing lineups: one fronted by the group’s original guitarist, Tracii Guns, and another led by his Eighties bandmates, singer Phil Lewis and drummer Steve Riley.

“Tracii’s L.A. Guns is bogus,” says Riley. “People want to hear the songs sung by the original lead singer.” Guns counters, “Those guys are a couple of dirty motherfuckers. I hired them for my band — if you get hired as a manager at McDonald’s, you don’t take over the McDonald’s.”

Two versions of the Guess Who, War, Jefferson Airplane, the Temptations and the Beach Boys are all battling for bookings next summer. Band members are crying foul, lawsuits are flying, fans are confused, and promoters are tempeted to give out shows to the lowest bidder.

“This has proved beyond Spinal Tap ridiculous,” says original L.A. Guns guiitarist Tracii Guns. “The next chapter would be us trying to book a convenience store and battling over the $300 they’d pay us.”

To read more about how bands are dealing with their doppelgangers, check out Andy Greene’s story from Rolling Stone issue 1072 at

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