Saturday, March 5, 2011


In the beggining of the 80's, actually 1983, Mike Tramp moved to New York and there he met guitarist Vito Bratta, and decided that the time has come for them to make a band. They joined forces with bassist Felix Robinson and drummer Nicky Capozzi and started the story. The result of this collaboration was WHITE LION.

They had killer songs, they had the attitude, a very talented guitarist but all they needed yet was the contract with the record company. They managed to sign with Elektra Records in 1984 and recorded their debut album which was titled "Fight To Survive". A raw sound, catchy choruses and some killer riffs and solos by Vito Bratta. Both Capozzi and Robinson soon left the band. Nicki Capozzi was replaced by former Anthrax drummer Greg D'Angelo, and Felix Robinson was replaced by bassist Dave Spitz (brother of Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz). Within a month of joining, however, Dave Spitz left to play bass with Black Sabbath and was replaced by James LoMenzo.

Early in 1987, the band was signed by Atlantic Records and on June 21, 1987 their album Pride was released. The first single, "Wait", was released on June 1, 1987, but did not reach the charts for nearly seven months. A more polished sound this time with some really memorable tracks and till' now the "Pride" album is a classic release in the White Lion catalogue. The Pride tour started in July 1987 as White Lion opened for Ace Frehley's 80s band Frehley's Comet. The next year and a half was filled with constant touring, opening for such bands as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Stryper and KISS. In January 1988 White Lion landed the opening slot for AC/DC on their Blow Up Your Video American tour. In August 1988, the album's second single "Tell Me" reached #58. Around the time this single was released, White Lion played at the Ritz club in New York City. The show was filmed and later aired on MTV. "When The Children Cry" reached #3 on the charts with heavy MTV airplay, making Pride one of about 20 hard rock albums to ever have multiple top 10 hits.
In August 1989, White Lion released their third album, "Big Game", a musically eclectic follow-up to Pride that featured the singles "Little Fighter" (which peaked at #52), "Cry for Freedom" (did not chart), and a cover of Golden Earring's "Radar Love" (which peaked at #59). The album quickly went gold, with a peak of #19 on the album charts. "Big Game" was an overall strong album, with some really excellent tracks in it. Not as heavy as "Pride" was but an album that showed White Lion's lighter, more hair metal, side.

They toured a lot, and when they finished they took a lot more time to create the material for another record. During 1991 they finally released "Mane Attraction", the album that brought them back on position #1. This time they had the mighty Richie Zito as a producer of the album. A solid album, heavier at moments and perhaps the best White Lion release, along with "Pride", to date!

Greg D'Angelo and James LoMenzo left the band soon after the album's release, citing "musical differences," but White Lion carried on with bassist Tommy T-Bone Caradonna and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Suicidal Tendencies, Y&T, Fiona). After briefly touring in support of "Mane Attraction", Tramp and Bratta decided to fold the group, their last show being held in Boston at the Channel in September 1991.

Unlike most bands of their genre, White Lion recorded occasional songs that addressed social or political issues such as apartheid ("Cry for Freedom") and the effect of divorce on children ("Broken Home"). The song "Little Fighter" was about the Rainbow Warrior, a ship owned by the environmental group Greenpeace that was destroyed by operatives of the French intelligence service. This concern for political and social issues was also hinted at in the cover art to their album Big Game, which featured a lion's head hidden in tall grass with the White House in the background.
After White Lion, Mike Tramp formed the heavier Freak Of Nature band which with them released three very good albums. Vito Bratta stayed briefly with Atlantic Records to help produce an album for CPR, and later tried to form a new music group that never panned out. Despite a dedicated worldwide following of guitar aficionados, Vito disappeared from public view from 1994 until his interview by Eddie Trunk live on February 16, 2007.
In 1999 Mike Tramp, with new musicians, released Remembering White Lion, which featured new versions of some of White Lion's classic songs. In October 2003, Tramp announced a White Lion reunion with the original members. This statement was quickly denied by the other former members. In 2008 Tramp released an album under White Lion name which was titled "Return Of The Pride". live DVD was released on December 5, 2008 entitled "Bang Your Head Festival 2005".

A great band, a unique sound and some timeless tracks......

heavy paradise


"Fight To Survive", 
"Big Game", 
"Mane Attraction", 
"The Best Of White Lion", 
"Return Of The Pride"

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