LA Guns frontman Phil Lewis has sparked controversy by saying that “black people are all one-dimensional.”
The band were onstage at the Fish Head Cantina in Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday night when he made the comment. And the outburst came as he attempted to praise the life and music of Prince, who died aged 57 on April 21.
Lewis recalled LA Guns’ early days, when they played First Avenue in Minneapolis – the club where much of Prince film Purple Rain was shot in 1984.
He says to the crowd: “I remember when we were working on Cocked And Loaded, we were on tour, and they said there was a venue that we could play in Minnesota – First Avenue.
“I didn’t know too much about it at the time but after I saw the movie, I got it. We were all into that Prince, right? It was so cool, because you had your heavy shit, and you had the pop shit – and there was Prince doing his own fucking thing.
“The problem is, right now – and I’m not gonna be a racist about it – but black people are all one-dimensional. We need more Princes. We need less fucking rappers and more people like Prince. There, I said it.”
Lewis later moved to clarify his comments in a Facebook post which has since been removed, saying he was simply attempting to broaden the debate on rap music.
He says (via Metal Sludge): “It seems I have ruffled a few PC feathers with my onstage comment from Friday’s show. I stand by my words and make no apology for my observations. Perhaps ‘black media’ would have been a better choice of words than ‘black people.’
“I was just thinking about the AA family who recently moved in the house next to mine. They’re all very nice but it’s obvious that they’re drinking the gangsta rap or hoops mentality Kool Aid – is that racist as well?
“My solution has been to provide and teach the two 10 year olds basic guitar with the hope it will broaden their horizons as it did mine. Don’t expect there will be a new Prince anytime soon but damn sure there will be countless rappers spouting the ‘money and hos’ moronic nonsense that does the black community no favours at all.”
He adds: “I’m sure there are plenty of multi-dimensional brilliant musicians out there but not likely to hear about them on mainstream black media. Shame. More Princes, less rappers.”
LA Guns continue their tour in Buffalo tomorrow (April 26) and head to Europe for a run of dates in May.
LA Guns 2016 tour dates
Apr 26: Buffalo Tralf Music Hall, NY
Apr 29: Garwood Crossroads, NJ
Apr 30: Prince George Appomattox Boat Harbor, VA
May 05: Salt lake City Liquid Joe’s, UT
May 06: San Juan The Coach House, CA
May 07: Agoura Hills The Canyon Club, CA
May 11: San Antonio The Rock Box, TX
May 12: Stafford The Pub Fountains, TX
May 13: Fort Worth The Rail Club, TX
May 14: Tucson Convention Center, AZ
May 18: Padua Grindhouse, Italy
May 19: Erba Centrale Rock, Italy
May 20: Vercelli Offcine Sonore, Italy
May 21: Osoppo Concerto Per Matteo, Italy
May 22: Avezzano Public Square, Italy
May 24: London The Underworld, UK
May 27: Grimsby Yardbirds Club, UK
May 28: Barnsley Birdwell, UK
May 29: Bilston Robin 2, UK
May 31: Helsinki Tavastia, Finland
Jun 02: Hameenlinna Ratasipi, Finland
Jun 03: Lahti Mosso, Finland
Jun 09: Solvesborg Sweden Rock Fest, Sweden
Jun 16: Laconia Music Grounds, NH
Jul 15: Mt pocono Rock The mountain Festival, PA
Jul 16: Williamsport Bike Night, MD
Jul 21: Dickinson Summer Nights, ND
Jul 23: Oroville Rock Reggae Jam Fest, CA
Jul 29: Hollywood Whisky A Go Go, CA
Jul 30: Royalton Halfway Jam, MN
Aug 04: Indianapolis The Vogue, IN
Aug 06: Detroit Chene Park Amphitheatre, MI
Nov 19: Malden MIXX360, MA