Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 42 - L.A. Guns

No one can deny L.A. Guns was one of the original American glam rock bands of the 80s. Its founder Tracii Guns also co-founded the successful Guns N’ Roses and in the last decade co-formed Brides of Destruction with bassist Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe. Talking from Brazil, the guitarist shared with Mónica Castedo-López some very positive philosophy, an extreme sense of humility and highly appreciated honesty. In good spirits, the chatty Tracii spared the time and humour to answer all of the questions regarding the present co-existence of two versions of L.A. Guns, his and the one with drummer Steve Riley and singer Phil Lewis, as well as the main reason for this interview, which is the deluxe re-issue of the 1999 album ‘Shrinking Violet’ featuring Jizzy Pearl.

I’d like you to clarify the pretty confusing situation of the co-existence of two versions of L.A. Guns, yours and the one with singer Phil Lewis and drummer Steve Riley.
I don’t understand it, but I’ll tell you why I don’t play with Steve Riley. When I did Brides of Destruction I found out from one of our record companies that they had been sending royalties to our publishing company with Steve Riley’s address and he had never been paying me royalties. I dug further and found out that he’d been receiving royalties since 1994 that I never received. So I said, okay, I’m not going to play with this guy anymore, for obvious reasons. Then when I was finished with the Brides my band is L.A. Guns and I had to figure out how I was going to do it. Those guys are lucky enough that when I went to do the Brides I said ‘Hey, you guys continue on and when I’m done, we’ll continue’. They took advantage of the situation and if they’re comfortable playing in somebody else’s band without that person, more power to them. It doesn’t affect me, but they are the subject of a lot of jokes. They’re in their 50s and whatever, I really don’t think about it that much.

But you’re on friendly terms with Phil Lewis.
I talk to him, but you know what? There’s something wrong with that guy. He sends these really beautiful emails saying he wished things were different and then he’ll go in the press and say things like ‘Tracii is just the mascot for L.A. Guns’. It’s like ‘dude, fuck you!’ I don’t care about Phil Lewis. I don’t care about Steve Riley. They’re people that were in my band for a few years and we made some great music and had some good times, but most of the time they’re these arrogant old rock and roll people that are ugly people. I don’t want to know them, I don’t care anymore. I like to have fun and play music, I don’t care about being a rock star or pretending that I’m in Led Zeppelin. These guys like to fancy themselves as special ...and Elton John is special, not Phil Lewis. I’m not special, I’m not Jimi Hendrix, I’m Tracii Guns, but some people have to take themselves very seriously and I just don’t and never have. It’s more important to have a great time because I’m going to die someday and I don’t want to be that special to myself to where it gets in the way of having a good time and travelling the world doing it. That’s always been a problem with my life because I’m very free-spirited and I like to do a lot of things with music and people don’t like that. They want to hold me down in one place ...‘you belong to us’. Fuck you!

Who owns the L.A. Guns name?
Legally there’s a trademark of the shield logo that is on the very first record. That trademark is owned by me and Steve Riley. It was an idea he had in 1994 because no one had ever trademarked a logo. You can’t copyright a name, like a word, it has to be a logo or a brand, so when that happened that gave Steve the right to use that logo, which includes the name of the band, but in no way, shape or form does anybody own the name L.A. Guns except me. It’s something I created when I was 17 years old, nobody is ever going to argue that fact, that’s just the way it is, but since legally there’s a trademark and I tried to cancel it but I would have to follow with a lawsuit to go after the royalties. It’s very expensive and it takes a very long time, so a few months ago I decided to walk away from it because it’s not affecting the production of my band or what my band does.

Is Steve angry at you for naming your band L.A. Guns?
Oh, yeah! They’re so mad, they can’t believe it! How can Tracii Guns have L.A. Guns? That’s what I mean, it’s that attitude of denial where they think that they should have the name even though not one of those guys ever had an original idea or a creation in their lives. Phil had a band called Girl, which I liked very much and he had a lot to do with that band. He put that band together, but he did not put L.A. Guns together. Steve Riley was always a hired drummer in L.A. Guns. It’s a joke! It’s ridiculous and desperate! In the end, it’s stupid, that’s all I can say.

Given the success of Guns N’ Roses and the fact that you were a co-founder of that band, do you have any regrets?
No, because once again it’s the people you have to live with. If everything is about money, you are going to kill yourself, because if somebody is making your money and you get angry about it, it makes you feel sick. So I was very lucky to re-do L.A. Guns when I left Guns N’ Roses and be able to continue on what I always wanted to do. It seemed the bigger Guns N’Roses got, the more proud I got. I have two bands, one I don’t play with anymore that’s huge, and I have my own band that is doing really well. So I felt like I had two great things at the same time, as opposed to competing with my old band, because the most important part of that was that ‘Appetite For Destruction’ was such a great record that I was a fan of that record. I love that record, so it’s really hard to become sad about anything that happened. I felt I had the best of both worlds: Guns N’ Roses is my band, I helped create that but now I don’t have to deal with the drama and the band is very successful. Now I’m back in L.A. Guns, we’re very successful but I can still walk around the street and I don’t have people up my ass all the time and I didn’t have to deal with people doing lots of drugs in L.A. Guns. It’s always a happy spot for me more than anything, but if I dwell on the amount of money, then it could make me sick, so I never really thought about it, but every lawyer and every manager I ever had they thought about it. They’re like: ‘Let’s go sue them’ and I’m like: ‘Let’s not! Let’s concentrate on what I’m doing instead of what already happened’ because there’ll be managers and lawyers and agents that are not being creative, they’re only there to make money. And in the music business you don’t sue other musicians. People don’t like those who do that. I want people to like me and my music, not to be known as the guy that’s suing people.

Read the full three page feature with LA Guns in Fireworks #42, out now!

la-guns



Share this on the web.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

William Shatner - 'The Blues'
13/10/2020 | James Gaden
article thumbnail

One of his best albums to date.


Latest News on Rocktopia

Pre-order FIREWORKS MAGAZINE #97 now!
29/11/2021 | Central Electronic Brain


The latest issue of FIREWORKS sees us chat to one  [ ... ]


Member Login



Calendar

<<  November 2021  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  8  91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 2 hours, 7 minutes ago
  • Berny : You can pre - order FIREWORKS MAGAZINE #97 now!
  • Deeppurple#1 : Hi,I downloaded my free copy of issue #87 but I can't seem to open the file. Any advice?
  • Berny : RIP Alan Lancaster! :(
  • Berny : @Barneypippa: I forwarded your mail to the Fireworks team. You should receive a reply asap.
  • Barneypippa : My magazine (#96) hasnt arrived yet - should have been here last week
  • Rocktopia Te : @bakerstreetish: Pls. check your email for download instructions.
  • bakerstreeti : Hi, I just bought digital download #96. How will I be able to receive/access it? First time on this site. Thanks!
  • zom414 : Have they been posted out yet? Not received mine yet but may have the release date wrong!
  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
  • Berny : Fireworks #96 is out now! :)
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Pls. check your email!
  • Paul wiv : I have paid for issue 92 but it hasn't downloaded yet.
  • Berny : @Adamson: Bitte kontaktiere mich direkt, meine Mailadresse lautet «email»
  • Adamson : kann man hier auch auf Deutsch schreiben? denn ich hätte eine Frage?
  • KI2000 : Wow, issue #95 has to be the BEST one so far. Congratulations guys!!
  • Hysteria : GREAT MAGAZINE! Keep on rockin' guys!!!
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #95 is out now!
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Many thanks for your purchase, pls. check your mail.
  • Paul wiv : I have bought issue 89 on download but it has not appeared on my account
  • Berny : @pomper: BOTH of your mails were forwarded to the Fireworks Team, please contact me directly at «email» should you still haven’t received a reply.
  • bpomper : trying to confirm my fireworks 94 order with no answer from team rocktopia??
  • bpomper : i ordered fireworks number 94 but never got a conformation other than my paypal receipt. can you confirm it went out. i have transaction id if you need it
  • Berny : @ALL: Should you have any questions about your Fireworks orders, pls. contact me directly at «email»
  • Berny : Hi @Stuey6666: You are using two user names on Rocktopia. All current orders were assigned to your second account, pls. check your mail again.
  • Stuey6666 : Hi Berny - ordered 4 issues last week - still not arrived - have checked spam etc not there. cheers stu
  • Berny : @Adolfo: I've also just sent you the magazine via WeTransfer. But please check you junk mail folder, the mail was definitely sent earlier today.
  • Berny : Hi @Adolfo: Have you already checked your spam folder? If the mail cannot be found, pls. contact me at «email»
  • Adolfo : «email»
  • Adolfo : My e - mail
  • Adolfo : I don't have any e - mail.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site