Tracii Guns

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Tracii Guns
Traciibw (cropped).jpg
Tracii Guns performing live in 2007.
Background information
Birth name Tracy Richard Irving Ulrich
Born (1966-01-20) January 20, 1966 (age 51)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Hard rock, glam metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1983–present
Labels Polydor, Spitfire, Vertigo, Shrapnel, Sanctuary, CMC International
Associated acts L.A. Guns
Hollywood Rose
Guns N' Roses
Brides of Destruction
Gilby Clarke
Devil City Angels
Notable instruments
Dean Nashvegas Signature guitar
B.C. Rich Gunslinger guitar
Gibson Les Paul

Tracii Guns (born Tracy Richard Irving Ulrich on January 20, 1966)[1] is an American guitarist best known as the founder of glam metal group L.A. Guns[1] as well as the supergroups Brides of Destruction and Contraband. He was also very briefly involved in the formation of the first lineup of Guns N' Roses[1] but eventually left the group and was replaced by guitarist Slash.

Personal life[edit]

Tracii was born to Jewish parents but not raised in the faith. They were a secular family and very liberal. He was fond of a plethora of music genres as a child.


L.A. Guns (1983–1984, 1985–2002, 2005–2013, 2016-)[edit]

L.A. Guns was formed by Tracii in 1983 initially with singer Michael Jagosz, bassist Ole Beich, and drummer Rob Gardner. This lineup recorded the EP Collector's Edition No. 1 which would be the only release from the band with its current lineup and would be re–released as a bonus disc with compilation album Hollywood Raw.[2][3] Following Jagosz' subsequent exit from the band, Axl Rose joined as lead singer. However, Rose soon left to form the band Hollywood Rose with childhood friend Izzy Stradlin and guitarist Chris Weber. Within a year, Tracii himself would join Hollywood Rose, taking Bleich and Gardner with him, leading to the formation of Guns N' Roses and effectively (and as it would turn out, temporarily) putting an end to L.A. Guns.

Singer Paul Black reformed L.A. Guns, recruiting former Dogs D'Amour singer Robert Stoddard to be the new guitarist with the group, which was rounded out by Nickey "Beat" Alexander on drums and Mick Cripps on bass. Tracii (re)joined the group a short time later.[4] The group's lineup would change with Black being replaced by Girl frontman Phil Lewis, bassist Cripps switching to guitar, replacing Stoddard, and former Faster Pussycat bassist Kelly Nickels joining the group. L.A. Guns recorded their eponymous first album that was released in 1988 on Vertigo Records, charting at number 50 on the Billboard 200. On the first album's supporting tour, Alexander was replaced by former W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley with the lineup being regarded as the Classic lineup of L.A. Guns. This lineup remained until 1992. In 1989, they released their second album Cocked & Loaded, which charted higher on the Billboard 200 at number 38.[5] During 1991, the band released their third album Hollywood Vampires on Polydor Records. In 1995 they released their fourth album Vicious Circle, drummer Michael "Bones" Gershima played on parts of this recording as this was around the time Phil Lewis fired drummer Steve Riley in January 1992 after touring with Skid Row in support of Hollywood Vampires. Riley later returned to the band for the successful Vicious Circle club tour. After this, the L.A. Guns were dropped from Polygram (Vertigo/Polydor) Records. Phil Lewis and Mick Cripps then left the band.[6]

July 1995 saw Tracii and Steve Riley recruit vocalist Chris Van Dahl and guitarist Johnny Crypt (ex-Ripper, aka Johnny Crystal) after seeing them perform with their band Boneyard. Six months into recording sessions, Kelly Nickels left the band and Johnny switched to the bass. In 1996, the new L.A. Guns released their fifth record, titled American Hardcore. They toured throughout 1996 and into 1997 where Tracii let Chris go and was replaced by singer Ralph Saenz. Tracii, Steve, Johnny, and Ralph toured for the remainder of '97 and in early '98 released the six song EP Wasted. Halfway through the band's 1998 Rock Never Stops tour, Ralph quit to form his own band, leaving Tracii to do another singer change. Joe Lesté from Bang Tango and Jizzy Pearl from Love/Hate were considered as candidates. Lesté would last a week. Tracii and Steve picked Jizzy and quickly geared up to tour. L.A. Guns toured clubs with Jizzy in late 1998 and early 1999 when they released Shrinking Violet, produced by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke. This release was followed shortly by Crypt's departure.

In September 1999, the classic lineup of Tracii Guns, Steve Riley, Phil Lewis, Kelly Nickels, and Mick Cripps prepared to reunite. L.A. Guns set out on the reunion tour in October 1999 and recorded a live album in their hometown of Hollywood, enlisting Gilby Clarke as producer. The album, named Live: A Night on the Strip, was released the following year. After the reunion, Mick and Kelly couldn't commit to the summer 2000 tour, so they were replaced by guitarist Brent Muscat and bassist Muddy, respectively. Ratt and L.A. Guns teamed up with Warrant for a remainder-of-the-summer tour, which L.A. Guns dropped off in August due to booking problems. Mick Cripps again rejoined the band briefly in late 2000 to record an album with the band, entitled Man in the Moon, which was released on Spitfire Records in April 2001. L.A. Guns released the album Waking the Dead, the last album to feature Tracii Guns, in August, 2002, produced by Andy Johns, to mainly positive reviews from critics and fans.[7] The future of L.A. Guns was in doubt until both Steve Riley and Phil Lewis told the Hairball John Radio Show that the band would continue despite Tracii Guns' involvement in Brides of Destruction.

In 2006, Tracii announced he was to perform a 'Best Of" tour with former L.A. Guns members Paul Black on vocals, Nickey Alexander on drums and former Brides live member Jeremy Guns rounding up the lineup on bass following a brief stint with Quiet Riot.[8][9] With The Tracii Guns Band touring, this put Brides of Destruction on indefinite hiatus in 2006. Eventually The Tracii Guns Bands would become the second L.A. Guns. Drummer Chad Stewart eventually joined the group replacing Nickey Alexander. On March 4, 2008, Tracii Guns' L.A. Guns was announced as one of the acts of the second Rocklahoma festival.

In 2008, Tracii Guns' L.A. Guns signed a deal with Alexis Records and began working on material for a new album with producer Steve Thompson. Singer Marty Casey, of Lovehammers, was asked to co-write some songs with the band by bassist Jeremy Guns. Eventually Paul Black left the group and Marty was asked to replace him. They finished recording the album and set a release date for March 2009.[10] The group toured through 2008 and early 2009 and also recorded a pilot for VH1. While waiting for a release date to be set for the new album, as well as deciding on a new name for the band, Marty Casey returned to Lovehammers releasing new album Heavy Crown. Jizzy Pearl returned to front L.A. Guns for a summer tour while guitarist Alec Bauer departed the band.[11]

Guns N' Roses (1985)[edit]

In 1985 Tracii and Axl Rose decided to merge their groups L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose to form a new group. Rose named the band Guns N' Roses, combining the two names of the bands. The lineup featured Axl Rose on vocals, Tracii on lead guitar, Izzy Stradlin on rhythm guitar, Ole Beich on bass and Rob Gardner on drums.[12] Tracii had been trying to recruit Rose and Stradlin into a group before. However, Tracii, as well as the other former L.A. Guns members Ole Beich and Rob Gardner, departed the group and were replaced by Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler.[13]

Contraband (1991)[edit]

Contraband was a short-lived supergroup/side project that included vocalist Richard Black, of Shark Island, guitarist Michael Schenker, of Scorpions, UFO and Michael Schenker Group, bassist Share Pedersen, of Vixen, drummer Bobby Blotzer, of Ratt, and Tracii taking up the second guitar role. They released one self-titled album in 1991 which received lukewarm reviews. The album was a commercial failure and the band disbanded shortly after, while touring with Ratt.[14]

Brides of Destruction (2002–2005)[edit]

Despite signing a deal Spitfire Records, Tracii Guns left L.A. Guns during the recording of a new album,[15] to form Brides of Destruction with Nikki Sixx, initially with the name Cockstar, after Mötley Crüe went on hiatus. After a number of changes, the lineup was rounded off with singer London LeGrand and drummer Scot Coogan. They released Here Come The Brides, which charted at number 92 on the Billboard 200, in 2004[16] and was the first album featuring Tracii to chart since Hollywood Vampires in 1991. Nikki Sixx would leave the group in October 2004. Initially Tracii was to form a new band with the remaining Brides members and also offered his services to Axl Rose in a bid to join Guns N' Roses.[17] Eventually he continued with the Brides and Scott Sorry formerly of Amen was chosen as Sixx's replacement. Ginger of The Wildhearts was added as the band's second guitarist. The band then started writing for what would become Runaway Brides but soon after, Ginger departed the Brides.[18] The follow-up to Here Come the Brides, Runaway Brides, was produced by Andy Johns who had previously worked with Tracii on the L.A. Guns album Waking the Dead. Three of the songs of the album were cowritten by Nikki Sixx having been written during the Here Come the Bride sessions with former guitarist Ginger also contributing writing on 3 tracks prior to leaving. The album saw a change in a style with it leaning towards a heavy metal sound in contrast with the hard rock/post-grunge sound of the first album. "Dimes in Heaven" was written as a tribute to recently deceased Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell.[19] After signing a new deal with Shrapnel Records, the album was released in Europe on September 13 and on September 27 in the US.[20][21] A video was shot for "White Trash" but both the album and the single failed to chart. With the formation of The Tracii Guns Band, later the second L.A. Guns, the Brides were put on indefinite hiatus.

Tracii Guns' League of Gentlemen (2012-present)[edit]

In 2012, Guns formed a blues-rock band called Tracii Guns' League of Gentlemen with frontman Scott Foster Harris, a onetime member of the L.A. Guns.[22] Harris, a native Texan, provides vocals for the League.[23] Other musicians in this band playing alongside Guns' guitar include Craig "Patches" McCloskey, a Philadelphian bass-player, ex-L.A. Guns and ex-Burning Tree drummer Doni Gray, and Los Angeles keyboarder John Bird.[24] The League focuses on the genre's roots in 1960s and 1970s British and American psychedelic blues and rock music.[25]

In June 2013, the League released its first album, appropriately titled The First Record with California label Shrapnel Records. With tracks more traditional 60's blues-rock than what fans had expected from Guns, the debut record was met with positive responses from critics, one of whom professed that the album would "silence [any] Guns naysayers,"[26] as well as new fans.[27] In August 2014, The Second Record was released, again with Shrapnel Records.

Other work[edit]

In 1999, Tracii played a show in Hollywood, California with former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, who produced the L.A. Guns album Shrinking Violet in the same year, as part of his solo band with the performance being released the same year as 99 Live. In 2002, Tracii contributed guitars on the Clarke's solo album Swag,[28] with some of these tracks appearing on the 2007 compilation album Gilby Clarke.[29] Also in 1999, Tracii released his debut album Killing Machine, which was later re-released in 2004 with the new title of All Eyes are Watchin'.

Tracii was also in Poison[1] for a short time in early 2000, when C.C. Deville departed the band for a month over a dispute over his new band opening for Poison that summer. Tracii joined Quiet Riot in December 2005, a move that was to be short lived after he parted ways less than a month later.[8][9]

In 2004, Tracii featured on the album The Roots of Guns N' Roses, the album featuring the original demos by Hollywood Rose, on tracks remixed by Gilby Clarke.[30]

In the fall of 2005, Tracii was planning on collaborating with Adler's Appetite in a project titled "Guns N' Roses Revisited", with a tour of Asia planned.[31] However, it never happened due to Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose threatening to file legal action.

In 2007, Tracii guested on the debut album Dopesnake by Hollywood Roses along with Mick Taylor formerly of The Rolling Stones, Phil Lewis and Paul Black both also of L.A. Guns, Gilby Clarke formerly of Guns N' Roses and Rock Star Supernova, Fred Coury of Cinderella and formerly of London, Teddy Andreadis, Pat Travers and Hollywood Rose founder Chris Weber.[32]

It was announced in October 2008, that Steven Adler had formed a new supergroup with Tracii called Guns of Destruction. The band's lineup rounded up by Adler's Appetite and Enuff Z'nuff bassist Chip Z'nuff and singer Eric Dover of Sextus and formerly of Jellyfish and Slash's Snakepit. They were to make their live debut at the Key Club in Hollywood on November, 19 with "very special guests" in attendance.[33] However the group was to be short lived and Dover soon announced that he was not involved in the project.[34]

After performing together at the "Giving 2010" benefit event on May 3, 2010,[35] Guns formed the cover band "Carnival of Dogs" with Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver, Camp Freddy, formerly of Guns N' Roses and The Cult), Franky Perez (Solo, Scars on Broadway, DKFXP, Apocalyptica) and Phil Soussan (formerly of Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol and Vince Neil).[36]

In 2012, Guns worked with Italian producer Pietro Foresti on the song "America Dreaming" with Italian band J27.[37]

In 2013, Guns joined the band of the production "Raiding The Rock Vault" at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.[38]

In 2014 Guns formed the Devil City Angels, featuring Brandon Gibbs (Cheap Thrills) vocals, Ricki Rocket (Poison) drums & Eric Brittingham (Cinderella) Bass. The self-titled debut album was officially released September 11, 2015.[39]

In the summer of 2016, Guns teamed up with Phil Lewis for the first time in 14 years for a handful of shows under the name "L.A. Guns' Phil Lewis + Tracii Guns".[40] Under the "L.A. Guns" name, Guns and Lewis plan to record a new album together.[41]



  • Killing Machine (1998) re-released in 2004 as All Eyes are Watchin'

With L.A. Guns[edit]

With Contraband[edit]

  • Contraband (1991)

With Gilby Clarke[edit]

Welcome to the Jungle is a tribute album to Guns N' Roses, where Guns and Clarke play the guitar on each song.

With Brides of Destruction[edit]

With Devil City Angels[edit]

Guest credits[edit]

Year Album title Band Record label Credits
2004 The Roots of Guns N' Roses Hollywood Rose Cleopatra Records Guitar overdubs on Gilby Clarke remixes
2007 Dopesnake Hollywood Roses Not to be confused with Hollywood Rose Abstract Guitars on "Turbosheen" & "Come Down"


  1. ^ a b c d "Tracii Guns > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ "L.A. Guns: Encyclopedia II – L.A. Guns – History". L.A. Guns: Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ "MusicMight :: Artists :: L.A. GUNS". MusicMight. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ "KNAC.COM – Features – Paul Black Interview". KNAC. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ "L.A. Guns @". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Rock Eyez – Interview with Steve Riley – Drummer (LA Guns,ex-WASP)Pt.1". Rock Eyez. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Waking the Dead > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "QUIET RIOT: Guitarist TRACII GUNS Joins The Fold". Blabbermouth. December 16, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "QUIET RIOT Part Ways With Guitarist TRACII GUNS". Blabbermouth. January 13, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Bright Light of Possibility:An Interview with L.A. Guns' Marty Casey". Icon vs. Icon. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Jizzy Pearl Rejoins L.A. Guns For Upcoming Summer Tour". Icon vs. Icon. Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ Berelian (2005). The Rough Guides to Heavy Metal. Rough Guides. p. 143. ISBN 1-84353-415-0. 
  13. ^ Slash; Anthony Bozza (2007). Slash. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-725775-1. 
  14. ^ "Biography by Doug Stone". Retrieved January 18, 2009. 
  15. ^ "L.A. GUNS Drummer Says TRACII GUNS' Departure Left Band's Album 'Dead In The Water'". Blabbermouth. April 10, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  16. ^ "SOUNDSCAN Report: TESLA, BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION, KATAKLYSM, DECAPITATED". Blabbermouth. March 17, 2004. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  17. ^ "BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION Guitarist Offers Services To GUNS N' ROSES". Blabbermouth. December 14, 2004. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  18. ^ "GINGER Explains Departure From BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION". Blabbermouth. March 11, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  19. ^ "BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION Frontman Discusses DIMEBAG Tribute Track 'Dimes In Heaven'". Blabbermouth. August 11, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  20. ^ "BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION Sign With SHRAPNEL RECORDS". Blabbermouth. July 18, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  21. ^ "BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION: 'Runaway Brides' European Release Date Announced". Blabbermouth. August 1, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Swag > Overview". Allmusic. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Gilby Clarke > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  30. ^ "HOLLYWOOD ROSE: Pre-GUNS N' ROSES Demos To Receive Japanese Release With Bonus DVD". Blabbermouth. October 5, 2004. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  31. ^ "GUNS N' ROSES REVISITED: Asian Tour Dates Announced". Blabbermouth. August 1, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  32. ^ "GILBY CLARKE, TRACII GUNS, FRED COURY Featured On HOLLYWOOD ROSES Debut". Blabbermouth. March 12, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  33. ^ "GUNS N' ROSES, L.A. GUNS, ENUFF Z'NUFF Members Join Forces In GUNS OF DESTRUCTION". Blabbermouth. October 8, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  34. ^ "ERIC DOVER: I Am Not Performing With GUNS OF DESTRUCTION". Blabbermouth. October 8, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  35. ^ "MATT SORUM, TRACII GUNS, PHIL SOUSSAN To Perform At 'Giving 2010'". April 29, 2010. 
  36. ^ "VELVET REVOLVER, L.A. GUNS, SCARS ON BROADWAY Members Join Forces In CARNIVAL OF DOGS". May 22, 2010. 
  37. ^ Tracii Guns of LA Guns – Hardrock Haven
  38. ^ Raiding The Rock Vault
  39. ^ "Devil City Angels new album". Century Media. 2015
  40. ^
  41. ^ "TRACII GUNS And PHIL LEWIS To Record New L.A. GUNS Album For FRONTIERS MUSIC SRL". September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]