Original L.A. Guns vocalist Michael Jagosz passed away on March 9th at the age of 48.
Jagosz fronted L.A Guns during their formative years. The singer first performed with the band in 1983, eventually being replaced by Axl Rose while serving a week long sentence in the county jail after a bar fight. Jagosz would in turn replace Rose and together L.A Guns released a four song EP entitled ‘Collector’s Edition No. 1’ in 1985 containing the songs “Don’t Love Me”, “When Dreams Don’t Follow Through”, “It’s Not True”, and “Something Heavy” — the tracks would eventually resurface as a bonus disc on the 2004 release ‘Hollywood Raw: The Original Sessions’.
No details have emerged about the cause of death, but the final post on Jagosz’ Facebook page is the cryptic “I’m drowning.”
L.A. Guns founder Tracii Guns remembered Jagosz fondly by saying, “the last time I hung out with Mike Jagosz was a few years ago at The Venice Beach Music Fest and we had a lot of laughs that day and that’s how I will remember him with that giant smile! I hope peace and Mike have found each other. We recorded the first L.A. Guns EP together at 18 years old which both of our first real studio experience. He is also the first singer I ever wrote and performed with. I always wished he could find a great metal band to front and why that didn’t happen is beyond my scope of understanding. He was very influenced by UFO , Dio and Ian Gillan. He had the killer metal pipes!” Sylent Storm member Jym Harris also confirmed the death. “We had our ‘differences’ over the years but last time I talked to him (on February 28th) he was determined to make good with me about everything. I had no idea he was dying. Makes sense now. RIP my friend, you will be missed.”
In a 2011 interview with the Proud2BeLoud blog Jagosz lashed out at Axl Rose. “To tell you the Jesus Christ truth… William Bailey was only in the group for two fuckin weeks. I tried to give him vocal lessons… but, he sucked. Voted “least likely to ever make it”. He always was a pathetic sub-human being. He lived at my parent’s house for over six months… sponging off us and doing heroin. What a little faggot. Come to find out, he was a male-faggot prostitute at the time — L-O-S-E-R. He sold his asshole to gay men for money. But, he made 70 million. He was a real piece of work, he was/is a parasite. A real sack of shit.”
In the same interview Jagosz had kinder words for former bandmate Tracii Guns. “Tracii tried to save me from getting arrested. I was drunk, wanting to drive… he hid my keys. I was actually out of the group just after doing the EP. Tracii Guns was a true brother. Gotta love him. Successor to Randy’s throne.” When asked what he thought of the direction L.A Guns would eventually take Jagosz continued, “Hated it at first. We were metal, the 3-bar chord shit killed me. I thought Tracii was wayyyyyyyyy too talented to do that shit. Looking back though, he went commercial to sell. God bless Tracii, he saw what we couldn’t.”
Jagosz, born on December 13, 1965, is survived by his mother Rosa Caceres Jagosz, son Michael Jeffrey Jagosz and brother David Jagosz. A private memorial is planned for April 1, 2014.