Back in the 1980s, many hair metal bands tried to paint a picture that they were bands of brothers, running wild in the streets. But over the years, members of a few of these groups had more than one version of the band going by the same name -- not only confusing fans, but also showing that their "brothers in rock" schtick of yesteryear was mere malarkey. A case in point is L.A. Guns. Since shortly after the dawn of the 21st century, there have been two versions of the group on the scene concurrently -- one led by the group's original singer, Phil Lewis, and one led by the group's original guitarist, Tracii Guns. Both continue to play shows and issue recordings separately, as evidenced by the 2011 release Acoustic Gypsy Live (which is Guns' version of the band). For this release, Mr. Guns assembled a seven-man version of the band, including such hair metal vets as singer Jizzy Pearl (formerly of Love/Hate and Ratt) and multi-instrumentalist Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis (formerly of Guns N' Roses). As the title suggests, the album is comprised of 14 acoustic versions of L.A. Guns tunes, including such hair metal favorites as "Electric Gypsy" and "Sex Action" (the latter containing some oh-so-sophisticated lyrics…that is, if you were trying to impress Nigel Tufnel). Also featured is the group's biggest hit, "The Ballad of Jayne," as well as a reading of Nazareth's "Love Hurts," a tune that is often credited as one of rock's first-ever power ballads. If you don't mind the fact that only one original bandmember is featured on Acoustic Gypsy Live (admittedly, the renditions are surprisingly solid -- including Mr. Pearl's vocal performance), then you have another L.A. Guns album to add to your collection.
Acoustic Gypsy Live Review
by Greg Prato