Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

July 2020 – Part 4

Vanishing Point

My favourite Australian metal act from Melbourne, who are under lockdown right now, because of a massive second wave.

Their new album is coming out soon.

So far “Dead Elysium” and “Salvus” have dropped and I can’t stop playing em.

“Dead Elysium” with its keys and syncopated guitar riffs remind me of Evergrey.

“Salvus” has this major key vibe in the intro, which hooks me in. And without having any information, it looks like the song title is a play on “Salvation + Us.”

It’s an addictive song, so I press repeat again.

7 Angels

The song and band are also called “7 Angels” and Mark Slaughter guests. Its Moroccan style intro gets me interested, but its the balls to the wall hard rock vibe gets me interested.

Perfect Plan

“Better Walk Alone” is typical of the melodic rock coming out of Europe and the Frontiers Label. Its derivative but still a good listen. Check out the Chorus on this. Its huge.

“Time For A Miracle” kicks off with the military snare and a guitar riff that reminds me of Kashmir from Led Zeppelin in its triplet like pattern. And the verses remind me of “Metropolis Pt 1” from Dream Theater.

I’m interested. The whole album is coming out soon.

Andy James

“Die A Devil” is the song, another instrumental piece which has a lot of good melodic moments, shred and some great riffs.

Three Days Grace

Have you seen the memes about Gotye with the punchline of “Hey, you are somebody That I Used To Know”?

Anyway, Three Days Grace (the version of the band that exists right now) is bringing the song back into our lives, in a modern rock way. Then again, I’ve always said that Gotye’s song is a copy of song from The Police called “King Of Pain”.

Haken

The album is “Virus”, which is a coincidence because the title was decided way before the whole COVID-19 spread worldwide.

So if you like progressive and technical rock/metal, then this album would fill the void. This band actually came onto my radar because they reminded me of Dream Theater, and some of the guys in the band toured with Mike Portnoy as “The Shattered Fortress”. But on this album, while they have kept that Dream Theater influence, they’ve decorated it with a bit of Periphery style technical metal.

And I was going to do a review on the album but the Angry Metal Guy nailed it. Check it out.

Starset

I kept seeing this band getting radio plays on a different blog I follow, so I thought I should check em out.

And the song that keeps getting radio plays is not my favourite at all. If I had to make a decision to like the band on that song, then it would be a pass. However, I stuck around and listened to the whole album called “Divisions” which came out last year.

And my favourite songs, are “Where The Skies End”, “Perfect Machine”, “Stratosphere”, “Faultline”, “Solstice” and “Diving Bell”.

Ocean Alley

It came up on a rock playlist and I checked the album, but I only like two of the songs. “Tombstone” and “Way Down”. These two songs remind me of The Night Flight Orchestra and early Marillion.

Primal Fear

“Metal Commando” is the name of the album and it’s the usual metal fair with song titles like “I Am Alive”, “Along Came The Devil” and “My Name Is Fear”.

Pinnacle Point

This band could release an album under the Kansas band name and people would believe it’s Kansas. “Symphony Of Mind” is the album and go to tracks are “Ascent To The Point”, “Never Surrender”. “Shadows Of Peace” and “Dangerous Times”.

Well that’s it for July 2020 releases.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

July 2020 – Part 3

Bush

“The Kingdom” took me by surprise. This is their best album since the first two albums. Its heavy and it’s the Bush I like.

“Flowers On The Grave” has the riffs.

She covered me in loneliness like flowers on a grave

What a lyric?

Relationships could be like death. When they end its sad, So many memories are attached to things. You might not like your favourite artist anymore, because that artist was tied to the relationship.

“The Kingdom” starts off with a bending note, before it explodes into a heavy riff that reminds me of Tool and Rossdale is nailing the vocal.

Hey, people just soldier on

I guess that’s what we know how to do. Marching forward in the name of the progress.

Only in the silence we can see who we are

When we are alone with our thoughts, that’s when it’s real. That’s when we know who we are. Are we thinking of how to make it, or are we thinking how to get back at someone who upset us or to get it on with someone else.

“Bullet Holes” has a bass riff that reminds of “Comedown”. It appeared in John Wick 3, which these days, placing songs in movies is a perfect vehicle for artists to promote their music and also get some of that licensing money.

“Ghosts In The Machine” has an intro riff that gets the head banging before it gets subdued in the verses.

“Are we not slaves?”

“We are slaves, under the illusion of free will”.

My father said that to me once upon a time. He borrowed money from a bank on two occasions, $20K each time and he paid off those loans super quick. He’s never owned a credit card. As far as he’s concerned, being in debt to a financial institution is slavery. Because you are not free to make the best choice available in life, because if you are in debt, you live with fear, like what will happen if you lose your job.

“Blood River” has an angry chorus.

Blood River, let it all go

Rage is like a blood river, a flood of red which overwhelms the senses. Let it go, move on, whatever has got you worked up, is not worth it.

“Send In The Clowns” has the riffs.

Send in the clowns as tonight we are going to rage

It brings back memories of the Joker movie, right at the end, when they all just raged and went nuts.

“Undone” moves me, every single time.

On my grave nothing really matters

Death gives us perspective and what actually matters. I saw a research paper on one of those BBC Science news posts a while back that asked a range of questions to people who are terminal.

And all of them wanted more time to do things they wanted to do or should have done. And most of them said they should have spent more time with family.

Because it’s at this moment of death, your mind finally understands that you will not be around anymore, so you get a sense of what is most important.

How good is that riff in “Our Time Will Come”?

“Crossroads” reminds me of “Machinehead” (the Bush song, not the Deep Purple album or the band).

“Words Are Not Impediments” has this bass groove which gets me interested.

When I’m with you I feel no pain

There is always something or someone that makes you feel invincible. When I was growing up, that was heavy metal and hard rock music.

Part 4 coming up.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

July 2020 – Part 2

Love Become Law
The Cherry Truck Band

It’s a combination of Black Stone Cherry and Monster Truck.

And the intro riff reminds me of “Conquistador” from 30 Seconds To Mars.

Stand for peace / if it takes everything

I don’t know if we really know what that means this days. The narrative has moved from evil countries to our own backyards and evil/corrupt politicians who are a threat to peace in the name of economics. And these politicians have realised that when people have money, they feel safe and the majority will be obedient little servants.

So are we willing to risk everything to stand for peace.

Iris
Diamante, Breaking Benjamin

A cover.

It’s okay and it got me interested to re-listen to the original from The Goo Goo Dolls, which is a lot better.

How huge was that song back in the 90s?

And the good thing about covers is that they re-introduce a classic song to a whole new audience.

Just ask Quiet Riot (their Slade covers) and Motley Crue (“Helter Skelter”, “Smokin In The Boys Room”, “Jailhouse Rock”) just to name a few.

The Unknown
10 Years

I really dig their brand of music which is a mixture of so many different styles I like.

“How did we end up here, sifting through our own ashes?”

Every event and moment that transpires in the now, is rooted to a past decision. That other place you purchased over the first place or the extra drink you had and the strings that came with that.

“No one can survive at the speed of light forever”

Life is fluid and fast. It’s so much faster today than ever before. As I type this, the explosion in Beirut was all over the news and 24 hours later it was done.

“Time moves on and carries us into the great unknown”

We don’t know what the future holds. As Sarah Connor said at the end of “Judgement Day”;

“The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.”

Come On Out – RAC Mix
The Airborne Toxic Event

This song sounds like a My Chemical Romance track mixed with “Heroes” from David Bowie. And I like it.

It’s About Time
Jefferson Starship

This one took me by surprise.

It’s just a good pop rock song. And I have no idea who is in Jefferson Starship right now, but don’t let the band name be a detractor.

Lions
Look Into Me
Winner Takes All
Tokyo Motor Fist

“The world is in chaos” is how “Lions” starts off.

And it sure is.

We are trying to live with the new normal, with restrictions and lockdown, then the COVID-19 numbers get better and we start to open up, only to see the numbers go up again and restrictions kick in. I’ve been working from home for six months, with no end in sight.

Eagle
Crazy Lixx

The bass groove is like “Heaven And Hell” but the guitar and synths decorations are pure melodic rock.

Always The Villain
Michael Grant And The Assassins

This album was mentioned over at 2Loud2OldMusic and because it’s a Frontiers release, I went to Spotify to check it out.

And I became a fan on the first listen.

So who is Michael Grant?

He plays all the instruments on this album except for 5 tracks, he calls in a different drummer.

So when you listen to the album, remember that Michael Grant is playing those riffs, the majority of the drum tracks, the bass lines, the lead lines and he does all the vocals.

“The Assassins” comes from his touring band, but they didn’t play on the album.

And before going solo, Grant was the founder, and lead singer/guitarist in the alternative melodic hard rock band “Endeverafter” between 2004 and 2012, who had a deal with Epic Records, and they released one album “Kiss Or Kill” in 2007.

From 2012 to 2018, Grant was the guitarist in LA Guns and also wrote and recorded “The Missing Peace” album with them, released in 2017. The LA Guns camp said he left the band to pursue his solo project, while Grant said he was fired from the band.

Anyway.

Every single song on this album is melodic, with good riffs, catchy AOR choruses and great leads.

“Nightmare” is my favorite today, because of the lead break that reminds me of Dave Gilmour but depending on the day or my mood, other tracks take over.

Ignite The Sky
Bloody Heels

This one also appeared on 2Loud2OldMusic as a new release coming out for the week, and like Michael Grant, it’s a Frontiers release, so I went to Spotify, pressed play and became a fan.

Because the album reminds me of Hurricane, Slaughter, Babylon AD, Tangier, Steelheart and Hericane Alice. All bands I like.

And I have no idea about the band members, place of origin or any histories. It’s just the music, leading me.

“Ignite The Sky” sounds like it could have come from Harem Scarem with a Mark Slaughter like vocal line. “Criminal Masterminds” is my favourite today as the lyrics tell us there is no difference between a man in a suit and tie and a man with a 45.

“Black Swan” reminds me of Def Leppard in the Chorus. “Stand Your Ground” has this harmony lead which connects. “Silhouette” has a clean tone arpeggio riff that reminds of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” from Warrant.

“In Between”
Beartooth

I saw that this song got a certification in the US and I was like;

Who is this?

And what do they sound like?

So I pressed play on the song and I was surprised.

And I like the vocal line, “it’s easy to lose yourself in between.” Because, when we are transitioning from one path to another, it’s easy to forget who we are in the in between.

Escape Artist
Rise Against

I really like this band. I’ve been a fan since 2005.

“It’s a lottery of life, we just play it”

I read somewhere about how the human body is fighting death from its first breath. Some make it to old age and some don’t.

And everything is a lottery. That story you write, could become popular or be ignored. That song you write, could become popular or be ignored.

But if you don’t play the lottery, you’ll never, ever know.

Colour and Shape
Joe Bonamassa

I am a fan of Bonamassa when he’s in that blues rock, heavy rock vibe. And sometimes, he pulls out soulful ballads like this one. It’s a fusion of blues, funk with a bit of 7th and 9th jazz chords chucked in. But it’s the lead break at 2.40 that made me become a fan of this song.

Lost
Friends
Arctic Rain

“I was lost in the middle of nowhere” is how “Lost” begins, before a melodic lead kicks off the intro.

And its melodic rock with huge choruses.

Part 3 of July is coming up.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

July 2020 – Part 1

How Do We Want To Live?
Long Distance Calling

From Germany, its instrumental Pink Floyd style rock with Tool like grooves and a few vocal tracks. But it’s the moods they set that always hook me in.

“Hazard” has this palm muted riff from 1.42 and it morphs into this little melodic lick from about 2.25 to 2.56. Then its silence and an arpeggio guitar riff begins, while a female voice hauntingly talks about AI possessing a certain set of skills which could turn AI into a superhuman. And its silent for a brief moment, then I’m hooked again from 3.56, when the emotive lead kicks in. It’s a few notes, a few bends, but its impact is immense.

“Voices” and that riff from 2.30, it’s like a palm muted digital delay lick. “Immunity” has this riff/lead from 2.50 and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and from about 3.39 it morphs into a Muse like riff.

And if you want to hear just one track, then “Sharing Thoughts” is the track, especially that whole movement from 1.31 to the end. Then again, the section that starts from 3.05 is essential listening.

Night Demon

“Night Demon” does a new take on an old sound and I like it. “Vysteria” is their new single release and on Spotify, they combined various single releases into an EP. Since they came up with the word, they define “Vysteria” as “exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement incited by the media, especially among a group of people during a pandemic”.

“Vysteria” is basically about COVID-19 and how our lives have been affected by restrictions and lockdown, with the conspiracy catch cry of “is it the end of the world, or the thinning of the herd”.

NOBODY IS SAFE
THE VIRUS HAS NO PREDJUDICE
NO BLACK OR WHITE
THE RICH AMONG THE POOR

“Are You Out There” feels like it came from “On Through The Night” and the self-titled Maiden debut. “Kill The Pain” has this “Where Eagles Dare” start before it morphs into a Judas Priest/Metallica cut. “Empires Fall” is “Hit The Lights” only faster. Then again the song is a cover from a NWOBHM band.

The Game Is Over – Evanescence

“The Game Is Over” has me interested to hear what will come next.

A bell tolls and a drum beat plays.

The bass kicks in and Amy Lee’s iconic voice starts telling us she’s had enough of the relationship.

Your sweet words they mean nothing, save your breath
The game is over

Empty Promises – Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Kingfish can play that guitar. I was searching the various sites for new Blues Rock artists to listen to and Kingfish got some loving on a few sites, which got me interested. So I checked him out and I’m glad I did.

The arpeggios to kick it off get me interested, but it’s that lead that kicks in at the 35 second mark that seals the deal.

And the vocals start at 1.10, soulful and bluesy.

Dawn Of The Demos – Taking Dawn

I didn’t think I would like so many cuts from this. If you want to know what this band is like, they started off as “7th Son” in reference to their favourite Maiden album. So heavy metal the way I know it from the 80’s is what this band is about.

“Break”, “Still Breathing”. “Endlessly”, “Godless” and “Transcend The Trend” are favourites.

And if you want a track to check out, go for “Endlessly”.

My Body Is A Cage – Peter Gabriel

“My Body Is A Cage” appeared in the Netflix series “Dark”. It appeared in this crucial ending of an episode and the vocal line echoed the angst of the scene. So I was Shazamming it, because I wanted to know who sang it.

And it was Peter Gabriel. I presumed it was an old cut but it came out in 2010. So it’s relatively new.

Tiny Little Movies – Will Hoge

Will Hoge came into my headspace from the blog 2Loud2OldMusic.

And although not all of the songs connected, the ones had that this country blues soul rock vibe did, like “Midway Motel”, “The Overthrow” and “Even When The River Runs Out Of This Town” are my favourites.

High And Dry – Slade

This came on my radar via Traci Guns who shared a clip of himself playing the vinyl to Dee Snider and he asked Dee to guess who. Dee guessed the artist but he didn’t guess the song.

So I went to Shazam it, while it was playing on TG’s account and I found out it’s called “High And Dry”.

And it came out in 1983 on the album “The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome” which was re-released in the U.S in 1984 as “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply”.

And the section he shared is that melodic lead break which immediately hooked me in. It’s never too late to discover something new that’s old.

Part 2 of July 2020 is coming up.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Vito Bratta: A Rock N Roll Technician That Got Lost In All The Noise

Vito Bratta is one of the most searched artists on the internet, especially around what he is doing right now. Like me, thousands of other people that visit this blog, can’t believe that a talent like Vito, just walked away from it all.

In order to understand why Vito Bratta walked away from it all and stopped writing music, I went back into the past and I started re-reading a lot of the interviews I have from him.

THE STATE OF SONGWRITING

In a “Guitar World” interview from July 1991, Vito had the following to say on the state of his guitar playing vs. song writing.

“A weird thing happened to me this year I started thinking less in terms of guitar and more about song writing. I’ve never been the kind of player to showboat, but more and more I’ve been concerning myself with structuring and orchestrating.

On the last record, everyone commented on my playing, but hardly anyone said anything about the songs. That really bothered me. This year people have been saying. “Man, that song killed me.” which I prefer. When I heard the last Van Halen record, my comment was. “It’s not Eddie any more, but the songs sure are great.” That’s the way it should be.”

Vito thought he needed to change to accommodate the expectations of the fans and the label. In the end, the fans didn’t want him to change. We loved him exactly as he was. His guitar playing made the songs.

So Vito changes the way he thinks around songwriting. The results don’t generate into sales. In 1991, success in the music business was relative to the sales of the record. The confidence and the self-doubt that comes with disappointment is enough to kill a career.

Brad Tolinski, the person who was conducting the interview mentioned to Vito that it seemed that he made a conscious effort to play differently on “Mane Attraction” and that there are less broken arpeggios and other styling’s that Vito is renowned for.

Vito answered that with the following words;

“I don’t play like myself on this record. My sound is much heavier. For example, the lead break on “The Warsong” marks one of the first times I really explored what I call those “Zakk Wylde Pentatonic’s” and “Ace Frehley Bends”. It was just a mood I was in. While on tour with Ozzy last year, we started feeling like we weren’t the hard rock band that we used to be. On this record I just wanted to rock out.”

Remember back in 2007, when Vito appeared on the Eddie Trunk show. One of the comments he made on that show, was that he realised during the “Big Game” tour, that White Lion need heavier songs that worked more in a live setting. So instead of having a mindset about writing songs, Vito now has a mindset that he needs to write better songs, heavier songs, rockier songs and songs that work in the live show.

Vito’s whole thought process is now putting unwanted pressure on the song writing process, which to me should be natural and not forced.

In the “Guitar World” interview from July 1991, Vito also said the same when Brad Tolinski mentioned, that he could understand why Vito is frustrated as the tonal subtleties of his best work, like the solos in “Wait” and “Little Fighter,” tend to get lost in an arena.

Vito responded with the following; “Yeah, I agree. But I think “The Warsong” will kick ass in any situation. The real subtle tasty stuff seems to get lost outside the studio, and that’s a real problem.”

This is an important distinction to make between bands that have gone through the stratosphere and bands that stagnated.

On the Justice tour, it was noted that Metallica fans were seen yawning during the longer complex songs from the Justice album. So what did Metallica do next? They released the monster known as the “Black” album. Shorter songs, less complex and songs that rocked hard.

All the Classic Rock bands used to perform their songs live before they recorded them. That is why all of those albums from the Seventies had songs that rocked hard in the studio and in the live arena. In the end a musician’s level of success depends on their ability to entertain. It is never about their level of technical proficiency. Bands like Kiss, Motley Crue, Metallica, Van Halen and Bon Jovi are mega successful in the business because they can entertain. Are they the most virtuosic bands out there. Of course not, however they have had a career at a level that the most virtuosic artist out there dreams to have.

THE PROBLEM WITH OVERTHINKING

Brad Tolinski mentioned that the “opening track, “Lights And Thunder,” is interesting. It’s epic in length and structurally complex, yet the solo is relatively simple and minimal.”

Vito responded with the following;
“The lead part is simple, but I think it fits. When I was listening to some of our old records, I noticed a few lead breaks that struck me as being inappropriate. It’s not that they were bad; in fact, most of them were melodic and performed well. But in retrospect, some of them struck me as being too busy or ornate. When I first played the lead to “Lights And Thunder,” I thought, “God, I can’t play that. It’s bullshit. It’s too easy.” But everybody in the studio loved it and told me to sleep on it and listen to it again when I was fresh. The next day I came in and thought, “It still doesn’t sound like anything I would play, but it sure fits the bill.”

He is not sure and he is doubtful. He is over analysing his past work. It is all counter-productive. The interview with Guitar World was in the issue from July 1991. By September 1991 it was all over. When you overthink things too much, you second guess everything you do and in the end, you lose your fire, the motivation that kept you hungry.

THE STATE OF HARD ROCK MUSIC

In the June, 1989 issue of “Kerrang”, Vito states the following on his views of the current state of hard rock;

“I know a lot of bands who’ll write a song and their guitar players will say I’ve got to do a lead break here, I’ve got to let rip there. It’s an ego thing. When I write, I say well, the song will sound better if I have an acoustic here or a clear sounding guitar, maybe no lead. I think it’s really annoying when a melodic song is ruined by a guitar player blasting away, it grates on my nerves.”

In an issue of “Guitar World”, dated July, 1991, Bratta more or less stated the same view point as he did a few years ago.

“You can see the guitarist thinking. “Forget the song, forget the band, I just want to get my name in Guitar World.” That’s not where it’s at anymore. Everybody can play these days.

While I was living in L.A. last year, I went into a local music store to pick up an issue of your magazine, and I heard this incredible guitar player. It turned out to be some little kid with his dad! I mean, he had twice the chops I had. He came up and asked for my autograph, and I said, “Sure, one minute.” Then I snuck out the back door before he had a chance to ask me to jam.

I’ve run into kids that can play “Wait” better than I can, but what’s the point? Being a technician is only part of the equation, and I’m trying to study the other half: song writing.

I hate it when people say things like, “I know you write songs that are heard by millions of people, but are you really happy?” I mean, yeah. Don’t be absurd. I want as many people as possible to hear the band. I’m convinced that the reason people like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton and the reason why they have endured is that they have composed memorable songs as well as solos.”

I have always said that Grunge didn’t kill the hard rock / glam rock movement. The rock movement killed itself. Hard Rock in the Eighties started off with the first wave of L.A bands. Then the second wave of L.A bands came along with the Classic seventies rockers who started to rebrand themselves to fit the scene. Then the third wave came and the fourth and the fifth further diluting the pool. Every two years, new cities got identified as the next big hub. So the Record Labels swarmed and so many inferior derivative bands got signed, that in the end, it all imploded. The real good acts couldn’t be heard from all the noise of the crap acts.

The current state of affairs in the music business bothered Vito. It played on his mind. He was a technician trying to find out how he fitted into the current climate. Should he write they way he also had or should he change and adapt so that he can meet expectations placed on him.

Unfortunately, Vito gave in to the expectations. He gave in to all the leaches that made multiple millions from his hard work.

VITO BRATTA RIG 1991

The “Mane Attraction” record was done with his trusty Steinberger guitar. In the “Guitar World” interview from July 1991, Vito said that he was planning on using something different when White Lion goes on tour as the Steinberger was starting to bother him because it was almost too easy to play.

“I’m not fighting for the notes anymore and I miss that tension. This may sound bizarre, but if you give me a Les Paul or a Strat I’m lost, and that bums me out. Lately I’ve been using an old ESP Strat that I’ve had laying around, just to get me back in shape.”

His amplification was basically the same system he has used for the last few years. The heart of Vito’s rack consists primarily of three units: an ADA MP-1 preamp, a BBE 422A Sonic Maximizer and a Digitech DSP 256 multi effects processor. The system is powered by a Carvin FET Series amplifier, and a Rocktron Hush keeps the lid on any excess noise.

“It’s a relatively simple rig, but it’s very effective. I put it together with Michael Wagener, who produced Pride and Big Game.”

THE GUITAR WORLD REVIEW

Mane attraction is Top 40 stuff, for sure. But not quite as gooey as the usual radio fare more like what the Baby’s used to do. Except White Lion has Vito Bratta. Though you have to wade knee-deep through patently clichéd arena rock-ioms for that Bratta burn, when he does cut loose it’s worth turning up the volume knob a decibel or three. But in bands where song writing is the chief concern, really exceptional guitarists always end up getting be shrouded like a lace covered end table. Your little sister is gonna buy it, so borrow it when she’s watching Dance Fever. And try to figure out how Vito manages to retain his credibility.

It’s funny reading the Guitar World interview first and then the review (They both appeared in the same issue). In the interview, Vito is talking about how he wants people to say that the song knocked them out, and then you have the reviewer saying that you need to “wade knee deep through patently clichéd arena rock-ioms for that Bratta burn.”

TRIBUTE TO SRV

In the same Guitar World interview from 1991, Vito commented on his tribute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.

“”Blue Monday” was my way of paying tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’m not really a lyricist, but I figured I could try to express my gratitude to him through my guitar. To this day I can’t even figure out why Stevie meant so much to me. He was just a guitarist, but his playing destroyed me. He was probably my favourite. You don’t really hear him in my playing, but I could listen to him night and day. I wasn’t trying to show off my blues chops. It was just a simple memorial to someone I admired very much. I don’t care if people think it’s the worst thing they’ve ever heard. It was my tribute to a great man.”

FINAL WORDS FROM MIKE TRAMP

Mike Tramp had the following to say on Vito in an interview with the website Metal Sludge; http://www.metalsludge.tv/?p=36727

“I had made a public statement that I was not willing to talk about all this anymore, and I don’t know what he is doing, but as far as Vito the guitar player and Vito the songwriter and musician, he was in a calibre all by himself. It shows in his great solos, and so many people love the way he played like Eddie with the hammer-ons and all that stuff like the Van Halen solo on “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love.” I just love the way Vito played solos on “Wait” and “Little Fighter” and some of the others. He was like Mozart.

We tried to do new White Lions with Warren DeMartini and Paul Gilbert and all these others, and no one wanted to do Vito. He was unlike anyone else, he had his own way of doing thing, and plus he was a great songwriter. Had he remained in the business, Vito would have been bigger than Steve Vai and all those types of guys. With him the melody came before anything else, and that’s nothing but the highest praise. I loved the sound of his guitar and I loved writing songs with him and stuff like that, but we had nothing else in common, unfortunately. There isn’t any bad blood between us. It’s just frustrating that I’ve had to carry on White Lion all by myself 100 percent. I just want to set in on record once again: We were White Lion once, but never again. But as for Vito, I am surprised he isn’t a million percent bigger in the music business. I don’t have an answer. No one ever will.”

Could you imagine White Lion with Warren DeMartini on guitar or Paul Gilbert? Great players, however as Mike said, they wouldn’t touch Vito. He was better then all of them and the above words from Mike prove that. The difference between them is the mindset. Vito confused thought process with what was expected of him, instead of what he expected of himself. That is the difference between followers and leaders.

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