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Articles Home » 1992 Articles » 21 Guns - 1992 Salute
21 Guns - 1992 Salute

ARTIST: 21 Guns
ALBUM: Salute
SERIAL: 07863 61017-2
YEAR: 1992
CD REISSUE: 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY186
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Tommy La Verdi - vocals * Scott Gorham - guitars * Leif Johansen - bass, keyboards, vocals * Michael Sturgis - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Knee Deep * 02 These Eyes * 03 Walking * 04 Marching In Time * 05 The Rain * 06 Little Sister * 07 Pays Off Big * 08 Just A Wish * 09 Battered And Bruised * 10 Jungleland * 11 Tell Me * 12 No Way Out

21 Guns was the project/band put together by ex Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham. After doing work with the Phenomena Projects, it was time to put together a new outfit. 21 Guns sound ventured into solid North American flavoured melodic rock, though with a hint of Thin Lizzy's sound which is not surprising really. His rhythm section of Leif Johansen and Mike Sturgis were also ex participants of Phenomena, but more importantly had been joined at the hip as part of Norwegian popsters A-Ha, even though both guys are American. Talking of things Stateside, Tommy La Verdi came to mind as a potential vocalist, as his previous band A440 had opened for A-Ha during 1986, hence Johansen and Sturgis remembering him from that far back. Gorham flew out to L.A to meet him, and the rest is history. So, technically this is an American band based in the UK at the time, though the music has global appeal. La Verdi at the best of times is a sensational singer, and rocks out this time like a tuneful Ted Poley (a la debut Danger Danger).

The Songs
There are many excellent moments onboard. 'Knee Deep' is a grand introduction, as is the storming 'These Eyes', which contains some huge vocal choruses. 'Marching In Time' could be considered a near-classic, containing all the best elements that melodic rock has to offer. Restrained power is the calling card for a track like 'Tell Me', keyboard dabbles melded with toughened guitar lines. The restraint is also evident on the power ballad 'Just A Wish', while Gorham gets to swing the six-string axe on tunes such as 'Little Sister' and 'Battered And Bruised'. Elsewhere, tracks like 'The Rain', 'Jungleland' and the aggressive melodic rock of 'Walking' ensures this album has more than its fair share of highlights.

In Summary
Despite a series of good album releases during the 1992 year, the scene was already on the backburner due to the changing musical climate. Tours were disappointing, 21 Guns included. Not long after, La Verdi left the band, subsequently being replaced by Sons Of Angels singer Solli. The band continued on for a short time, releasing the 'Nothings Real' album. The band petered out, though just recently there was a new recording of unreleased material being distributed through the embattled Z Records label.

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#1 | rostoned on July 14 2008 16:47:26
Apparently long lost singer Tommy La Verdi is still kind of in the music 'business', living in Norway and working with a music production company. AFAIK he hasn't released anything new since this album. Anyone knows more?
#2 | rostoned on July 14 2008 17:22:11
Complete and immediate update!
Tommy works as a songwriter @ Oslo Recordings, a norwegian music production company. Check for more info and new pix of Tommy. Also see here

On the music side Tommy sang on 4 of the 6 demo bonus tracks on the european version of 21 Guns 'Nothing's Real' released in 2000 on Z records, 3 years later than the japanese first issue. Also he sang all the tracks on 21 Guns collection of demos released in 2002 again by Z records and titled 'Demolition'.

Today he lives in Norway with swedish Camilla Harket (ex A-ha's frontman wife) who gave birth to their daughter, Savannah Fiore Blue. On YouTube if you search under his name you can find a couple of interviews he and Scott Gorham did in 1992 plus a video bootleg of a rare NYC show.
#3 | rostoned on July 20 2008 23:09:35
WESTERN FRONT (pre 21 Guns) available here:


WESTERN FRONT was a band project pieced together by ex-THIN LIZZY guitarist Scott Gorham. After leaving THIN LIZZY, Gorham had worked with THE STRAND vocalist Rick 'Moon' Calhoun to assemble WESTERN FRONT. Other musicians involved in the ill-starred, Los Angeles based project were guitarist Marty Walsh, who would later join SUPERTRAMP and then THE KEY, Swedish singer Matti Alfonzetti of JAGGED EDGE and drummer Darrell Verdusco. Gorham's brother in law, SUPERTRAMP drummer Bob C. Benburg, also recorded material with the outfit.

WESTERN FRONT was essentially the prototype for what would become 21 GUNS, a very melodically inclined Hard Rock band with a keen AOR ear. Indeed, bassist Leif Johansen and drummer Mike Sturgis were originally tapped by Gorham to form a revised WESTERN FRONT after meeting the duo during the recording of the 'Phenomena II: Dreamrunner' record. Ex-MEDICINE HEAD vocalist JOHN FIDDLER and WISHBONE ASH guitarist Laurie Wisefield were also briefly involved. WESTERN FRONT eventually broke up in 1989, leading directly to the formation of 21 GUNS and, following a flirtation with ex-AIRRACE singer Keith Murrell, the hiring of Tommy La Verdi to complete the jigsaw.


Many thanx to AORFREAK for the link and the text above!
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