Steve Riley, Drummer of L.A. Guns Passes Away at 67

Steve Riley

In a heartbreaking announcement, the Riley family has confirmed the passing of renowned drummer Steve Riley on Tuesday, October 24. The 67-year-old musician had been battling a severe case of pneumonia for several weeks, ultimately succumbing to the illness. His wife Mary Louise and son Cole were with him during his final moments, providing comfort and support during his struggle.

Steve Riley, a highly respected figure in the music world, earned widespread recognition for his pivotal role as the drummer in the legendary rock band, L.A. Guns. He joined the group in 1987 and remained a cornerstone of the band’s history until 1992. His drumming skills and creative input also shaped the distinct sound and identity of L.A. Guns.

Steve Riley’s musical journey included stints with several prominent bands. He started his career with the classic rock band Steppenwolf in 1979, then contributed his talents to Keel and W.A.S.P. These experiences honed his musical prowess.

In addition to his contributions to L.A. Guns, Steve Riley left his mark on various albums. He played a role in Keel’s “The Right to Rock” (1985) and contributed to W.A.S.P.’s “The Last Command,” “Inside the Electric Circus,” and “Live … in the Raw.” His musical journey extended to L.A. Guns’ discography, spanning from the renowned “Cocked and Loaded” (1989) to “Hollywood Vampires” (1991) and beyond, with his involvement in albums as recent as “Renegades” in 2020.

In the history of L.A. Guns, there was a major split that led to two groups, each with former band members. Steve Riley initially played in the band led by Phil Lewis. However, when Lewis’ version of L.A Guns stopped, and he joined with Tracii Guns, Riley decided to create his own version of L.A. Guns, which led to a legal dispute between the two sides.

This legal battle over the band’s name went on for a long time and was finally resolved in 2021. The agreement allowed Steve Riley to use the name “Riley’s L.A. Guns” for his version of the band.

Notably, Steve Riley’s L.A. Guns released a fresh single called “The Dark Horse.” This single was going to be a part of their upcoming studio album, eagerly anticipated for release in 2024. Steve Riley remained steadfast in his dedication to creating music, consistently making valuable contributions to the band’s creative output.

Steve Riley’s passing has left a significant void in the music world. His enduring legacy, marked by exceptional talent and unwavering commitment, will be remembered and cherished by both fans and fellow musicians. His profound impact on the realm of rock music, evident in his work with L.A. Guns and previous ventures, stands as a testament to his enduring influence.

Phil Lewis, who worked closely with Steve Riley in L.A. Guns for a long time, expressed his deep feelings about the drummer’s passing. He also posted on Facebook, recalling their time in the band and sharing a fond memory. Lewis’s thoughts provided a personal look into the bond and shared adventures that marked their extraordinary musical journey together.

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