Although veterans of the Sunset Strip's hair metal scene, L.A. Guns are also known for being one of the two bands (along with Hollywood Rose) that merged in the mid-'80s to form Guns N' Roses. Formed in 1983, the group's first lineup included Tracii Guns and vocalist Axl Rose, the latter of whom eventually left to form his own group with childhood friend Izzy Stradlin. Rose and Guns decided to combine their two bands in 1985, thus creating the earliest incarnation of Guns N' Roses. Tracii Guns handed lead guitar duties for several months before being replaced by Slash; suddenly finding himself without a band, he bounced back by rejoining his old bandmates in L.A. Guns, who'd continued playing shows in his absence under the leadership of vocalist Paul Black.