PHIL LEWIS Explains L.A. GUNS' Latest Drummer Change

May 30, 2022

L.A. GUNS singer Phil Lewis has commented on the addition of drummer Shawn Duncan to the group's ranks.

Earlier this month, Duncan joined L.A. GUNS as the replacement for Shane Fitzgibbon, who had played with the band from 2016 to 2019 and again from 2021 until his latest departure.

After Metal Sludge's Stevie Rachelle shared a link on Facebook to an article about L.A. GUNS' latest drummer switch, Lewis took to the comments section to explain Fitzgibon's exit from the group. He wrote: "Scotty Coogan is spread pretty thin with various touring comments this summer and Shane Fitzgibon who was going to do the tour just found out his wife is pregnant and wants to stay close to her so Tracii [Guns, L.A. GUNS guitarist] invited Shawn Duncan down for a blow and it's sounded great right out the gate.

"Bands of our genre and size have to be fluid with members, of course we hate to see anyone go but the reality is we can't afford to pay members when we're not working so obviously the decks gonna shuffle.

"Me and T are tight as two old ladies Johnny Martin [bass] is amazing and truth is I joined his band when I agreed to the reunion and incredibly fortunately we still have Ace Von Johnson [guitar] in the fold.

"Rehearsals sounded great and were fully cocked and loaded for the Summer tour".

Duncan has recorded with and/or appeared on stage with a number of notable hard rock musicians over the years, including Dizzy Reed (GUNS N' ROSES),Jack Russell and Mark Kendall (GREAT WHITE),Gilby Clarke (GUNS N' ROSES),Frank Hannon (TESLA) and Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT).

Last November, Coogan, a veteran session drummer who has also played with Ace Frehley, LYNCH MOB and Lita Ford, accused Lewis of "conjuring up" a reason for his exit from the group. Specifically, he denied Lewis's assertion that Coogan quit L.A. GUNS because he "didn't have a studio" where he could lay down the drum tracks for the band's latest album, "Checkered Past", resulting in L.A. GUNS' decision to enlist longtime engineer Adam Hamilton to play on the record instead.

As for the real reason he left L.A. GUNS, Coogan said: "To be honest, the reason I made that decision is because I have moved on. I enjoy playing with Tiffany and Stephen Pearcy. And there was confusion about these dates that came up with L.A. GUNS. Because I was told we weren't gonna tour until New Year's. And so I had dates planned. And then they said, 'Oh, you have to do these shows.' And I said, 'I can't.' So there was all that. And then the way that that was handled — I'm not gonna say any names or anything, but the way it was handled, I just got a real bad taste in my mouth. And I said, 'You know what, guys? I'm gonna bow out and do what I'm doing now,' which is the Tiffany band and Stephen Pearcy. And I'm very happy — I'm very healthy and happy doing those two gigs right now. And I didn't want to go back and have things be weird with L.A. GUNS. So I just decided to quit."

L.A. GUNS recently announced a 40-date U.S. tour for this spring, summer and winter. The trek will kick off on June 1 in Liverpool, New York and will run through New Year's Eve in West Hollywood, California.

"Checkered Past" was released last November via Frontiers Music Srl. The effort marked L.A. GUNS' third album since the 2016 reunion of the band's core members Lewis and Guns. It follows 2017's "The Missing Peace" and 2019's "The Devil You Know".

In April 2021, a settlement was reached between drummer Steve Riley and Guns and Lewis over the rights to the L.A. GUNS name. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Guns and Lewis continue to operate under the L.A. GUNS trademark, while Riley and his bandmates from the other version of L.A. GUNS will now operate under the new name RILEY'S L.A. GUNS.

L.A. GUNS was formed in 1983 and have sold over six million records, including 1988's "L.A. Guns" and 1990's "Cocked And Loaded", both of which were certified gold. "Cocked And Loaded" contained the hit single "The Ballad Of Jayne" that went to No. 33 on Billboard's Hot 100 and No. 25 on the Mainstream Rock charts. From the mid-'90s to the mid 2000s, L.A. GUNS continued to tour and release new music. Following their successful performance at SiriusXM's Hair Nation festival in September 2016, L.A. GUNS went into the studio to record the critically acclaimed "The Missing Peace", which was the highest-selling release for Frontiers Music Srl in 2017. Their 12th album, "The Devil You Know", was released in 2019 to the same critical acclaim.

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