I Just Want To Talk About – Who Is Fronting L.A. Guns In This Video?

Wait a second, who is fronting L.A. Guns in this concert? It says it was recorded in 1997, and the guy looks like David Lee Roth. But it can’t be Diamond Dave, right?

No no, of course, it’s not David Lee Roth, even though he looks like him, it is not. However it is a guy who is well known in today’s rock music standards. But before we get i to that, let’s backtrack a bit into history.

The original L.A. Guns lineup, or should I say the one that released their best albums in the late 80s, finally disbanded after releasing the album ‘Vicious Circle’ in 1994. Two years later, in 1996, Tracii Guns and Steve Riley reunited to release another album, ‘American Hardcore’, which is unofficially proclaimed by fans as the worst L.A. Guns album to this day, or perhaps the worst album of any 80s hair/glam band trying to do something in the 90s.

Not that Chris Van Dahl (Cherry St., Angels In Vein), the guy who sings on this record, was bad, but the whole ‘let’s all of a sudden be like Pantera’ vibe was a big flop. And it remains so to this day.

The tour that followed the release of “American Hardcore” was also a flop, so Tracii Guns and Steve Riley decided to change the singer and return to their original sound. The choice fell on Ralph Saenz, a then 22-year-old Chicago-born blond singer. Yes, the one you all know by the name Michael Starr, as the frontman of the glam metal lunatics Steel Panther.

Together with him and bassist Johnny Crypt, who played on both “American Hardcore” and “Shrinking Violet”, LA Guns released an EP called “Wasted” in 1998. The Wasted EP included four new tracks, one cover and an new version of Ballad of Jayne recorded with Ralph’s vocals.

However, in 1999, Ralph would be replaced by another great frontman, Love/Hate’s Jizzy Pearl, with whom the band released the album “Shrinking Violet.” In the same year, just a bit later in the fall, Phil Lewis returned to the band along with Mick Cripps and Kelly Nickels. So even though “Shrinking Violet” was released as the new full length album, Jizzy Pearl hadn’t fronted the band for long this time. It’s weird, but hey, it’s L.A. Guns.

However, the point of this article was not to talk about the L.A. Guns history, but to recommend you a great concert that I stumbled upon on YouTube: L.A. Guns live in 1997. The quality is good very good (thanks to uploader) and the band really seems on fire. When you watch the concert, it seems like it’s a completely different band that is familiar to you in every way at the same time.

So check it out. Junkyard recommended!


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