What more can be said of the iconic ’80’s Sunset Strip Rock Band L.A. Guns? Their long and sordid history has been well documented over the years and the list of former members of the band reads like a who’s who of the genre. Over the last two (2) years I have covered no less than six bands, that contain former members of L.A. Guns. I liken it to the old Kevin Bacon adage: “Six Degrees of Separation”. But, in reality… there is only about three (3) Degrees of Separation from L.A. Guns.
There is no question that this legendary band (and it’s former members) have lived the stereotypical “Rockstar” experience. Sex, drugs, women, marriages, divorces, boozing, legal problems, deaths, losses, and overdoses. But despite of all of that (or perhaps as a result of it)… the band still delivers the goods onstage at every performance. They are sexy, they are sleazy and they will still… turn you on, or piss you off!
I attended two Michigan gigs on a short leg of their 2013 Tour and watched them captivate crowds at both the Perfect Pitcher in Detroit, MI and Planet Rock in Battle Creek, respectively. From the opening chord, to the resonating sound of the final drum beat the current line-up of Phil Lewis (guitar/vocals), Steve Riley (drums), Scotty Griffin (bass), and Michael Grant (guitarist) deliver exactly what L.A. guns fans want to see and hear.
The band arrives on the premises, enters the building and takes directly to the stage. They plug in, and do a quick last minute tune-up. Phil Lewis grabs the microphone. Steve Riley takes his place behind the drum kit, Scotty Griffin make a few last minute adjustments to his bass and Michael Grant tips his hat and adjust his microphone. Phil Lewis has an intense and serious expression as he begins to sing but he loosens up quickly showing the fans the youthfulness that he still possesses and before long his hips are thrusting and swaying and the ladies in the front row are smiling.
Scotty Griffin is a helluva bass player and a truly animated showman, who (at the pleasure of female fans) always appears to be striking a pose or giving some tongue while he plays. His charming and mischievous personality on-stage (and off-stage) has earned him the female invented nickname of “Hottie Scotty” which he seems to happily embrace. But, male fans should not be mislead by his obvious charm and sex appeal… he is an incredible bass player who plays with a rawness and raunchiness that along with Steve Riley’s ace drumming helps carry the band throughout the set.
The newest member in this incarnation of L.A. Guns is guitarist Michael Grant, a seasoned guitarist and performer, who toured worldwide in other bands/projects prior to joining L.A. Guns. Grant is not to be under-estimated, he easily claims his own definitive place within the group as an expert level guitar player and he has an ominous (dark and sexy) stage presence to boot! The combination of Grant’s talent and skill, his sex appeal and his style earn him respect from long time L.A. Guns fans and cements him as another iconic musician amongst the ranks of the incredible artist’s and performer’s associated with the L.A. Guns franchise.
All in all, each member is an intricate piece that cements the bands solidarity when they perform. No small feat for a band that has seen it all, and done it all! If you are not a fan of the L.A. music scene from the 80’s, L.A. Guns will never impress you. But, if you are a fan of the Sunset Strip scene L.A.Guns defines the epitome of what that scene was and is about. Keep Rocking with your Cock Out and your Shirt Off! ~KK
Photography by: KK Rocktography, and Tracy DeBlair