Hair Metal Holiday featuring Ace Frehley, Dokken, L.A. Guns, Enuff Z'nuff, Graham Bonnet's Alcatrazz
L.A. Guns got their start on Los Angeles ' Sunset Strip more than 15 years ago. The band was formed in 1986 and signed with Polygram Records in 1987, recording their first album that summer. This first album, titled “L.A. Guns”, went on to sell 750,000 copies and earned the band its first gold album award. Tours with AC/DC , Iron Maiden , and Def Leppard followed. A compilation of the videos made from this first album also earned the band a gold video award. L.A. Guns went into the studio to record their second album, “Cocked and Loaded”, in the spring of 1989. It was a hit right away with the release of “Rip and Tear” as the first single and video. “Never Enough” and “The Ballad of Jayne” followed, pushing album sales over 1,000,000 and earning the band its first platinum record award. The video compilation from this album earned the band its second gold video award. A successful world tour followed. The band's third album, “Hollywood Vampires”, was recorded in the fall of 1990. With the release of “Kiss My Love Goodbye” as the first single and video, and another successful world tour, the album went on to sell 700,000 copies and earned the band its third gold album award.
The band went back into the studio in 1994 to start work on their next album “Vicious Circle”. It was released in early 1995 and was followed by another successful world tour. Between 1996 and 1999, the band's members branched out recording and working on outside projects. In late 1999, L.A. Guns went into the studio to record a greatest hits package titled “Black Beauties” that also included five new songs written for the album. The band toured with Poison, Ratt, and others throughout the summer of 2000. In 2001, the band released its sixth studio album, “Man in the Moon”. The band also changed bass players with Adam Hamilton joining. A successful world tour followed. The reviews of the album were great and the band was determined to follow this up with an even stronger set of songs for the next release.
L.A. Guns entered the studio for their seventh album in early 2002 with veteran producer Andy Johns, who had worked with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Van Halen , to record “Waking the Dead”. The album was released in late 2002 and garnered LAG some of the best reviews the band had ever received. It was also when Tracii Guns decided to work on outside projects as well as some solo material. That same year, L.A. Guns acquired Stacey Blades to handle the guitar slot. Blades had been around the L.A. music scene for many years recording and playing lead guitar in both Roxx Gang and Smack. He fit the bill perfectly coming from the same school of rock that LAG was from.
After a 2003 world tour to support “Waking the Dead”, L.A. Guns went into the studio during the summer of 2004 to record “Rips the Covers Off” with producer Andy Johns. This was a collection of 70's rock songs that the band grew up listening to. Once again, the band went on a full world tour to support the new CD. In January of 2005, L.A. Guns began work on “Tales from the Strip” with Andy Johns again producing. The “Tales” CD was released August 2005. Reviews were great with many saying it was some of the best music out today. LAG hooked up with WASP for a late summer, early fall tour. In early 2006, LAG did some local L.A . shows and recorded them for a new live CD. This new live CD, “Loud and Dangerous”, was released late August 2006 with the band again supporting it with a world tour. Look for “Loud and Dangerous” and L.A. Guns on the road in 2007.
ALCATRAZZ was formed in 1983 in Los Angeles, California by legendary rock vocalist (and Australian pop sensation) Graham Bonnet. Bonnet was a veteran of both Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, with whom he enjoyed a worldwide hit with a cover of Russ Ballard's "Since You've Been Gone", and Michael Schenker Group. Using Rainbow and MSG as templates, Bonnet enlisted Swedish guitar sensation Yngwie Malmsteen, whose only work of note up until then had been as a member of Ron Keel's Steeler. Filling out the band's ranks were keyboardist Jimmy Waldo and bassist Gary Shea - both of 70's AOR underdog New England, and ex-Alice Cooper drummer Jan Uvena. The group's debut record, 'No Parole from Rock 'n Roll' (Polydor), yielded a hit single, "Island in the Sun". The video for the song became somewhat of a staple on MTV, and a follow-up video was made for "Hiroshima Mon Amour". Alcatrazz then released 'Live Sentence' (Polydor), recorded during the band's inaugural Japanese tour. The album would effectively close the band's first chapter. By the time Alcatrazz returned to the studio for its sophomore album, guitarist Malmsteen felt he had outgrown the group. He left to embark on a solo career, and the band drafted in ex-Frank Zappa guitarist Steve Vai. 1985's 'Disturbing the Peace' (Capitol) redefined the band's vision. Lead single "God Blessed Video" was fresh, innovative and featured in high rotation on both MTV and USA's Night Flight. However, Vai would leave for greener pastures, opting to join up with David Lee Roth, who had just left Van Halen. Alcatrazz returned to the well a third time and came away with ex-Derringer/Alice Cooper guitarist Danny Johnson. The band recorded 'Dangerous Games' (Capitol) in 1986, but the instability of the group's lineup had taken its toll. Alcatrazz called it a day, and its members went on to other projects with varying degrees of success. Bonnet went on to record with guitarist Chris Impellitteri, before resuming his solo career. 1998 saw the release of 'The Best of Alcatrazz' (Dreamcatcher), which compiled tracks from all eras of the band, and was intended to be the final word on the band. In 2003, bassist Tim Luce introduced Graham Bonnet to guitarist Howie Simon. At the time, Simon was working with vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Journey) and the Swedish group Talisman. Bonnet, Simon and Luce invited powerhouse drummer Glen Sobel (Impellitteri/Beautiful Creatures) to sit in with them at a few low-key LA concerts. The group discovered they had a unique and exciting chemistry, but prior commitments kept them from venturing any further until 2007, when the band was invited to co-headline a sold-out Japanese tour with Joe Lynn Turner. The band rang in the 2008 New Year with Bay Area legends Y&T, and in January, 2008 Alcatrazz was a featured performer at the Fender Guitars Custom Shop’s annual ‘Fret Fest’ at NAMM. In July the band was invited to headline the 2008 BerkRock Festival in Berkovitsa, Bulgaria.
ALCATRAZZ is back! The band is currently writing material for a new album, and will be hitting concert stages worldwide in 2009. The band's high-energy live show incorporates all the Alcatrazz classics, as well as highlights from Graham Bonnet's years with Rainbow, MSG and Impellitteri. The return of Alcatrazz to the scene of the crime proves there really is no parole from rock 'n roll!
Todd Seely 2009