In the early '80s, the guys of L.A. Guns were proudly members of the dirtier subset of Sunset Strip denizens. Acts like Poison tarted themselves up in blush and aimed for pop crossover from the beginning, but the Guns and their fellow sleaze-rockers were more punk-inspired. The L.A. Guns were too fast for love, eschewing their peers' big ballads in favor of speedy, scuzzy songs with titles like "Over the Edge" and "Sex Action." The band's heyday came in the late '80s and early '90s, when it featured what is considered its classic, five-piece lineup, helmed by guitarist and founder Tracii Guns. It was then, also, that the band scored its biggest bona fide mainstream hits, the radio favorites "Never Enough" and "The Ballad of Jayne." These days, it's impossible to talk about L.A. Guns without explaining the band's two current "official" incarnations. It borders on the Spinal Tap-ishly absurd: Around 2002, Tracii Guns started a side project, Brides of Destruction, with Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx. His increasing focus on that frustrated his bandmates, drummer Steve Riley and guitarist/vocalist Phil Lewis. They decided to soldier on without him, replacing him with a guitarist named Stacey Blades. But Tracii Guns struck back, starting his own version of the band around 2005. Though he's the only member of the original act, this incarnation also tours under the L.A. Guns name. It's this band that plays Culture Room on Friday, fronted by a vocalist who goes by the classy pseudonym Jizzy Pearl.
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