Today L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns turns 45. To celebrate, here’s a video of “The Ballad of Jayne.” It was the group’s biggest hit, peaking at Number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990.
Tomorrow L.A. Guns are playing at The Nest in Fostoria Ohio and Angels Sports Bar in Corona California. How is that possible? A few years ago L.A. Guns split into two warring camps, one fronted by by Tracii Guns and another by the group’s lead singer Phil Lewis.
“They’re running the name into the ground,” Guns told Rolling Stone in 2009. “They’re a couple of dirty motherfuckers, man. That’s why I hired them in the first place. They’re dirty, sleazy, scumbag rock and rollers.”
This isn’t the first time that Guns had difficulty with a former bandmember. In the early Eighties he formed Guns N’ Roses with Axl Rose (he’s the Gun and Axl is obviously the Rose), but he was replaced by Slash in 1985 — though Axl kept his name in the band.
He has mixed feelings about his weird role in rock history. “When Guns N’ Roses was huge it was something I was proud of, even though I wasn’t in the band,” he told RS. “I’m like, ‘Yeah! That’s my name on all those T-shirts and all those records!’ But to put out a shitty record…Dude! Not only are you not Guns N’ Roses, but stop using my name. Unless you put out something good, you can’t use my name.”
He continued: “It’s kind of funny, but I’m more likely to play with Axl than I am to play with L.A. Guns at any point in the future. The reality is that they both are consistently writing crappy fucking music.”