LA GUNS – Hollywood Forever

Album review: LA Guns – Hollywood Forever

By STEVE MASCORD

THERE are no hard and fast rules for an eighties hair metal band aiming to eke out a living this decade.

Some, like Motley Crue, have studiously avoided the nostalgia circuit and aligned themselves with young bands. Others, like Whitesnake and Def Leppard, have their pre-Sunset Strip heritage as English blues and metal (respectively)  bands to fall back on.

There are those like Tyketto and Junkyard who have day jobs and tour in their vacation time. But for the likes of Ratt, Queensryche, Slaughter and LA Guns, it’s a fulltime job that now involves keeping their support base’s  attention, one fan at a time, via social media and the speciallist press which has been chased out of the physical realm and onto the internet.

As many readers will be aware, until recently there were two LA Guns, one headed by Phil Lewis – the singer from the band’s late eighties heyday – and the other by founder Tracii Guns. To the relief of confused punters everywhere, Tracii’s version is apparently now on ice indefinitely.

Hollywood Forever is from Lewis’ version and it’s a timely reminder that this genre is still turning out quality material – even though the mainstream has long since moved on. If you liked the new Van Halen album, dig a bit deeper to the likes of LA Guns and you won’t be disappointed.

The biggest compliment you can pay a band from the big haired eighties (Motley Crue might consider it an insult) is that the album sounds like the last twenty years never happened. That is certainly the case here – Phil Lewis is probably the number one torch-barer, anywhere,  for the Strip scene of the eighties and Hollywood Forever would have been a massive album back then.

Its biggest strength is its diversity. “Hollywood Forever”chops along metallically at at a cracking pace, “Eel Pie” is a sleazy grinder and “Sweet Mystery” is a dreamy radio ballad – and that’s just the first three tracks.

“Burn” is the sort of glammy blues lament meant to blast from convertables back when the riots were the number one topic of conversation in Lala Land and the “Vine Street Shimmy”  is the sort of song that makes you visualise the video clip (all low-slung guitars and sneers) even though there actually isn’t one.

My favourites are “Dirty Black Night”, a monster of a chugga-chugga glam rock epic that dares you to listen passively without the slightest nod or smile, and “You Better Not Love Me” which is a perfect example of the commercial LA metal genre.

People thought these eighties metal bands recorded catchy songs to get on the radio and please the record company execs. Maybe they even used this excuse themselves as an alibi for “wimping out”. But the radio and the execs are long gone – and the hooks keep coming because that’s actually the sort of music these guys like.

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LOUDMOUTH: November 15, 1989

Compiled by STEVE MASCORD

IT appears Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora fooled everyone when he called 2MMM last Friday week claiming to be Eddie Van Halen and announced David Lee Roth had rejoined the band. 
Sambora made the call from his nearby hotel about an hour and a half before doing on stage at Sydney Entertainment Centre.
He told Triple M’s receptionist he was Van Hcilen and that he had a phone interview with a Di who was not in the building, and was instead put live on air on zany drive time program Club Veg.
Sambora, sounding rather intoxicated, then proceeded to stun listeners with news of Sammy Hagar’s sacking and an Australian nightclub tour to begin six days later!
“I am reliably informed by someone on tour with Bon Jovi that it was Richie Sambora,” said Club Veg co-host Vic Davies.
“He was just trying to get back on us for some of the good-humoured little digs at him in the program, like calling him a big jobby.”
WEA and management of both Roth and Van Halen had been mystified by the call, which was thought to have emanated from a drunk Australian tourist somewhere in America.
According to Loudmouth’s sources, Jon Bon Jovi may have been responsible for a phone call the next day to the Seven television network in Sydney in which the caller claimed to be AxI Rose and announced an Australian promotional tour by Guns N’ Roses.
Also on the Jovi trailin your weekly loudmouth, the video “Living In Sin” off nine-million- seller New Jersey, has been banned throughout Europe and by US MTV.
The video, the first concept clip the band has done in four years, failed a censorship board meeting at MTV and will be cut severely before being aired overseas but may still be shown in its entirety here.
Jonny boy says: “It’s been banned everywhere, no-one will take it. I know that England won’t take it . . . the English won’t even sell it at retail.
“We finally did a conceptual video after having not done one for four and a half years because the song just didn’t lend itself to being performed live on stage.
“We spent a lot of effort and money on it and no-one will take it.”
The video reportedly depicts a young couple living together and finishes with a confrontation between the pair and the girl’s parents.

• STAYING on the newsy, PolyGram, and rock star with a co-incidentally convenient surname side of things, LA Guns founder Tracii Guns has been arrested by Los Angeles police after a riotous chain of circumstances during the filming of the video for latest single, “Rip And Tear”.
The live performance video, which has since been banned by MTV for obscenity reasons, required the usual police officers whose job it was to control 3000 fans got talking to Tracii, with Guns jokingly requesting they help him get out of a few tickets with which he had been issued.
The cops apparently radioed the station to check on him, found he had nearly a dozen outstanding warrants for his arrest, and apprehended him at the next tape break!
Guns said after being handcuffed, searched, booked and jailed: “At first I thought it was some kind of joke. I was asking them if they’d haul me on stage cause I thought it would be great footage for the video. Then they handcuffed me and put me in the back of their black and white so fast I didn’t know what was happening.”
Guns was fingerprinted and thrown in a holding tank for two hours until his tour manager came up with several hundred dollars in bail.

ACE Frehley’s third album, Trouble Walkin’, is out this week on WEA.
The record features yet another version of current KISS single “Hide Your Heart”, which has also been recorded by Bonnie Tyler, Molly Hatchet and Robin Beck
Frehley chose the Desmond Child-Paul Stanley song after it was left off the last KISS studio album, Crazy Nights.
“Yeah, its on Ace’s album,” Stanley told Loudmouth from New York. “I heard it. It’s very good.
“We told him that it might not be a great move because, quite honestly, if Ace records the same song and we put it out people aren’t going to, certainly radio isn’t going to, play his version.”
A song called “Hot Lips”, which Frebley wrote with Gene Simmons and which Simmons describes as “a cross between “Addicted To Love” and “Cold Gin”, has been mysteriously left off Ace’s album.
Simmons said he didn’t feel insulted by the omission.
A humble bass player said: “The great thing about it is I’m just glad I can write songs, y’know? And that some of them are good enough to appear on records.”

The CHOIRBOYS were officially back on the road as of last night, when their Empire tour kicked off in Grafton.
This Friday the boys are back in town at Rooty Hill RSL, and then they don’t return until a December 22 gig at Tiffanys, followed
by Christmas Eve at Parramatta leagues.

Filed for: ON THE STREET