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Interview with Tracii Guns

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Interview with Tracii Guns Empty Interview with Tracii Guns

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:50 pm

Here's a story and some words form Tracii Guns, former GN'R member:

L.A. Guns performs Wednesday in Bay City

Published: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 8:00 AM Updated: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 9:55 AM
Sue White | The Saginaw News Sue White | The Saginaw News

Tracii Guns sat down with Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P. a little while ago, talking about working together, “and just like that,” Guns said, “I was the 15-year-old fan, hearing my 26-year-old rock idol ask if I wanted to play in his band.

“He’s a pretty self-righteous kind of guy, and he says to me, ‘You’re one out of a million guitarists in the world, you know. You can play with your own band, you can go out with other bands, you can still do it all.”

And Guns, who will bring his band L.A. Guns, as well as Faster Pussycat and John Corabi from Motley Crue, on Wednesday to The Vault in Bay City, says Lawless’ words sum up the way he feels these days.

With a family waiting at home — “Not a mansion but a good home” — he’s done all right in the business. And when he hits the stage, “I’m that little kid, obnoxious and loud and being bad. You lose all sense of reality when you sign that first major record deal, which means I stopped maturing at 21.

“But when you’ve done this for as long as I have, and when you see what’s happening everywhere else, with people living in tents and streets in big cities like Detroit quiet during rush hour, you appreciate the fact that you can still go out there and have fun. I have a greater sense of accomplishment these days.”

Guns was only 17 when he started playing with his first band, and 19 when he merged forces with Axl Rose to form Guns N’ Roses. The two parted ways in 1987, and Guns formed L.A. Guns, rocking the charts with the hits “The Ballad of Jayne” and albums “Cocked and Loaded” and “Hollywood Vampires.”

And through the many member changes, collaborations and recordings, Guns continues moving forward with lead singer Jizzy Pearl, bass player Jeremy Guns and drummer Chad Stewart.

He’s writing a book, too, telling the stories that marked his career, from the euphoria of the teen bands to the uncertainty of later years and today’s sense of success.

“A lot of athletes, people like Michael Jordan, have said it would be great to be a touring musician, living the glamorous life on stage, untouchable, but the truth is I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Guns said. “For me, it’s been the psychological ups and downs that knocked me down. When I was 27, I thought I was an old man and that no one cared anymore. I actually started having panic attacks.

“But it didn’t kill me and by the time I was 31, I perked back up and stopped taking what I had going for granted. As Keith Richards once said when he lost a great sum of money, ‘It was part of the education. I’m still learning.”

Guns remembered playing a little more than a year ago at the Emerald Theatre in Detroit, “a really good show on the Fourth of July,” he said, “and there was this lonely kind of feel to the city. I talked to a lot of people and they told me how tough it is, and that you can’t count on your community to pull you out anymore.

“It’s happening everywhere. Las Vegas, we went there to pick up Jizzy, and when you get away from the glitzy strip, you see families camping out. Real estate is down; casino jobs are drying up. It’s happening everywhere.”

Touring the country gives you a good fix on the mood of the people, Guns said, and when you head overseas, you gain some perspective.

“We travel all over the world, and especially in Europe, we see these ancient cities and realize that we’re still a very young country. Over there, they’ve learned how to live the simple life, shopping for their meals each day, cooking at home. They’re very realistic and happy with what they’ve got.”

The cool part of being a musician, he added, is getting to know people along the way, “and most are really sweet. They are very soft and giving of themselves here; you sit down with them and they speak from their hearts. Even when they get frustrated, they’re pretty cool people. They’ve come to grips with it all.”

So has Guns.

“We’re out there to have fun,” he said. “Our original fans are still out there and they’re bringing their teenagers. The first 30 seconds after we hit the stage, we’re checking each other out, figuring out what we’re going to do together.”

Then, he said, on a good night, it clicks “and that’s when it’s unforgettable,” he said. “Those are the shows you use to judge the rest. I’m an emotional guitarist; I really have to be feeling it to play my best. And I’m bringing it on now. I’ve been doing this 27 years and instead of criticizing myself all the time, I’m looking at what I’m doing right.

“If you play live enough, it keeps you in this time-lock. It’s a gift, something you give back like some kind of medicine man, making all of us feel good.”

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