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White Lion

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White Lion was a hard rock/heavy metal music band of the 1980s and early 1990s. The band was formed in New York City in 1984 by Denmark-born vocalist Mike Tramp. After moving from Denmark, Mike met guitarist Vito Bratta, forming a band.

Later, the band grew to include drummer Nicki Capozzi and bassist Felix Robinson. The band was signed by a small label called Grand Slam records in January 1985. While recording the song The Road to Valhalla, both Capozzi and Robinson left the band. Nicki Capozzi was replaced by Dan Spitz, and Felix Robinson was replaced by James Lomenzo. Within a month of joining, Dan spitz left and was replaced by former Anthrax drummer Greg D'Angelo.

The band then finished their debut album, Fight to Survive, which was released on November 9, 1985. A few months later, Grand Slam records went bankrupt.

In 1986, White Lion, with a fictitious "female" member, had a brief part in the Tom Hanks/Shelley Long movie The Money Pit. Early in 1987, the band was signed by Atlantic Records. By then, their debut album was out of print and extremely hard to find.

On June 21, 1987, their second album, Pride, was released (the same day as Keel's Keel album, and Helix's Wild in The Streets) The first single from Pride was 'Wait/Don't Give Up, released on June 1, 1987. However, it took seven months before the song became a hit.

The Pride tour started in July 1987 as White Lion opened for Ace Frehley's 80s band Frehley's Comet. In September 1987, White Lion became the opening band for KISS (who had just started their Crazy Nights tour).

White Lion spent the rest of 1987 on tour with KISS. In January 1988 started opening for AC/DC on their Blow Up Your Video tour.

While opening for AC/DC, the Pride album and Wait single finally charted. Wait hit #8 on the singles chart, while Pride stalled at #11 on the album chart.

In August 1988, the album's second single Tell Me stopped at #58. Around the time this single was released, White Lion played at the Ritz club in New York City. Like Guns N' Roses, White Lion's show at the Ritz was filmed and later aired on MTV.

White Lion concluded the Pride tour by opening for Stryper from September 1988 to February 1989 during Stryper's In God We Trust tour. The Pride album's third single When The Children Cry made it to #3, making Pride one of about 18 hard rock albums to ever have multiple top 10 hits.

In August 1989, White Lion released their third album Big Game. This was followed, in 1991, by Mane Attraction. Unfortunately, by the end of 1991, White Lion had broken up.

As an afterthought, Atlantic Records released the Best of White Lion compilation album in 1992. It must be noted that the song "Radar Love" was included in this album, a cover considered by many, one of the best ever made.

In 1993, bassist James Lomenzo joined former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde in a band called Pride and Glory, while vocalist Mike Tramp started a solo career.

Towards the end of 2003, Mike Tramp said that White Lion was planning to reunite. This statement was quickly denied by the other members.


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This statement was quickly denied by the other members. Jeff Beck reunites with his former bandmates on one track. Towards the end of 2003, Mike Tramp said that White Lion was planning to reunite. In 2003, a new album, Birdland, was released under the Yardbirds name by a lineup including Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and new members Gypie Mayo (lead guitar, backing vocals), John Idan (bass, lead vocals) and Alan Glen (harmonica, backing vocals). In 1993, bassist James Lomenzo joined former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde in a band called Pride and Glory, while vocalist Mike Tramp started a solo career. "I suppose," Jeff Beck cracked at the ceremony, "I should say thank you, but they fired me—so fuck 'em!". It must be noted that the song "Radar Love" was included in this album, a cover considered by many, one of the best ever made. All six living musicians who had been part of the group's heyday—including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, who had never (contrary to numerous misidentifications over the years) played in the group together (the confusion may have stemmed from a 1971 Epic Records anthology, Yardbirds Featuring Performances By: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, a set which fell out of print and became a very expensive collectors' item for many years)—appeared at the ceremony.

As an afterthought, Atlantic Records released the Best of White Lion compilation album in 1992. The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Unfortunately, by the end of 1991, White Lion had broken up. Meanwhile, Jim McCarty, Paul Samwell-Smith (who had remained Cat Stevens' producer to the day Stevens converted to Islam and withdrew from pop music entirely), and Chris Dreja offered a nucleus in the 1980s for a short-enough lived but fun-enough kind of Yardbirds semi-reunion called Box of Frogs, which occasionally included Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page plus various friends with whom they'd all recorded over the years. This was followed, in 1991, by Mane Attraction. They recorded one promising album before Relf was killed in an electrocution accident in his home. In August 1989, White Lion released their third album Big Game. Keith Relf resurfaced in the late 1970s with a new quartet, Armageddon, a hybrid of hard, thrusting rock and folk that included former Renaissance mate Louis Cenammo.

The Pride album's third single When The Children Cry made it to #3, making Pride one of about 18 hard rock albums to ever have multiple top 10 hits. Paul Samwell-Smith, who had gone on to fame as Cat Stevens' producer in 1970, helped vocalist Relf and drummer McCarty organise a new group devoted to experimentation between rock, folk, and classical forms—Renaissance. White Lion concluded the Pride tour by opening for Stryper from September 1988 to February 1989 during Stryper's In God We Trust tour. The remaining Yardbirds didn't exactly go gently into that good grey night. Like Guns N' Roses, White Lion's show at the Ritz was filmed and later aired on MTV. Billed as the New Yardbirds, they made the tour, found themselves clicking together decently enough, and then repaired home to England to produce, in a very short time, a very new album by a somewhat different group, although much of the sound derived from Page's sonic experiments (and a baby brother composition to his earlier "White Summer" called "Black Mountain Side"—not to mention a polished rewrite of "I'm Confused," called "Dazed and Confused") with the last edition of the Yardbirds: Led Zeppelin. Around the time this single was released, White Lion played at the Ritz club in New York City. But Jimmy Page, left with both the rights to the band's name and a touring commitment yet fulfilled in Europe, was compelled to put a new lineup together to make that commitment.

In August 1988, the album's second single Tell Me stopped at #58. Or were they? After the failure of their final album (the badly-produced Little Games) and their reduction to small venues for touring, the group agreed to split in early 1968. Wait hit #8 on the singles chart, while Pride stalled at #11 on the album chart. Increasing chart indifference, record company pressure (their British home label pressed hitmaking producer Mickie Most upon them in a failed bid to re-ignite their commercial success), and drug-related problems meant that by 1967 the Yardbirds' days were numbered. While opening for AC/DC, the Pride album and Wait single finally charted. He also proved an adept fingerstyle guitarist, the shimmering "White Summer," an Indian-influence instrumental composition, joining his full-out hard rock grinder, "I'm Confused" as curlicues to the Yardbirds' unexpectedly forthcoming transmutation. In January 1988 started opening for AC/DC on their Blow Up Your Video tour. (Almost the only pronounced examples of what the Beck-Page tandem could have been came on a single, "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," and their half-crazed version of "The Train Kept A-Rollin'," an even crazier rendition of which turned up in the Antonioni film Blow-Up as "Stroll On".) Page was just as bent toward experimentation as Beck, particularly his striking technique of scraping a violin or cello bow across his guitar strings to induce a round of odd and surreal sounds, and his dextrous use of a wah-wah pedal.

White Lion spent the rest of 1987 on tour with KISS. Jimmy Page re-entered the picture here, playing bass until rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja could become comfortable with that instrument, and then teaming with Beck for tantalising twin-guitar attacks that proved short-enough lived: Beck either quit or was fired from the group in mid-1966, and the Yardbirds continued as a quartet for the remainder of their career. In September 1987, White Lion became the opening band for KISS (who had just started their Crazy Nights tour). It was prior to the sessions that produced Yardbirds that Paul Samwell-Smith decided to quit the group for touring purposes and move behind the boards to co-produce them with new manager, Simon Napier-Bell. The Pride tour started in July 1987 as White Lion opened for Ace Frehley's 80s band Frehley's Comet. In addition, the Yardbirds began serious experiments with things like adapting Gregorian chant ("Still I'm Sad," "Turn Into Earth," Hot House of Omagarashid," "Farewell," "Ever Since The World Began") and various European folk styles into their blues and rock rooted music, and this gained them a new reputation among the hipster underground even as their commercial appeal had begun already to wane. However, it took seven months before the song became a hit. in a bowdlerised version called Over Under Sideways Down), and established him as a top-rank guitarist whose experiments with fuzz tone, feedback, and distortion jolted British rock forward with a bold drop kick.

On June 21, 1987, their second album, Pride, was released (the same day as Keel's Keel album, and Helix's Wild in The Streets) The first single from Pride was 'Wait/Don't Give Up, released on June 1, 1987. Beck's tenure in the group, meanwhile, produced a number of memorable recordings, from single hits like "Heart Full of Soul," "I'm A Man," and "Shapes of Things" to the Yardbirds album (known more popularly as Roger the Engineer, and first issued in the U.S. By then, their debut album was out of print and extremely hard to find. The Yardbirds in 1965 and 1966 issued a pair of albums in the U.S., slapped together somewhat haphazardly from their British recordings, For Your Love (which included a delightful early take of "Hang On, Sloopy"—they'd gotten hold of a demo of the song before the McCoys had their chartbusting crack at it a year later, and their patented doubletime "rave up" version is a treat) and Havin' A Rave Up With The Yardbirds, half of which came from Five Live Yardbirds. Early in 1987, the band was signed by Atlantic Records. Clapton recommended Jimmy Page, a studio guitarist he had known (and with whom he would soon cut a series of stirring blues guitar duets, including "Tribute to Elmore" and "Draggin' My Tail"), as his replacement, but Page—uncertain at the time about giving up his lucrative studio work—recommended in turn one Jeff Beck, whose fleet-fingered style and bent for experimentation pushed the Yardbirds to the direction from which they became widely credited for opening the door to "psychedelic" rock. In 1986, White Lion, with a fictitious "female" member, had a brief part in the Tom Hanks/Shelley Long movie The Money Pit. The loss could have been devastating to the Yardbirds; Clapton had already shown the striking, stabbingly virtuosic style he would later expand and deepen with Mayall and unfurl as a full-fledged virtuoso statement with the improvisational Cream.

A few months later, Grand Slam records went bankrupt. It also prompted Eric Clapton—at the time a no-holds-barred blues purist—to leave the group and join with John Mayall's Blues Breakers. The band then finished their debut album, Fight to Survive, which was released on November 9, 1985. The quintet went from there to cut several singles, including "I Wish You Would," but it was "For Your Love," a Graham Gouldman composition that was anything but the blues, which put the band to their highest chart position yet in England—and their first major hit in the United States, when it was released there in 1965. Within a month of joining, Dan spitz left and was replaced by former Anthrax drummer Greg D'Angelo. ("Those English kids," Williamson said famously of the Yardbirds and other British blues groups like the Animals and the Stones, "want to play the blues so bad—and they play the blues so bad," though he had a personal affection for the Yardbirds' members and even thought of moving to England permanently, until the illness that resulted in his early 1965 death.). Nicki Capozzi was replaced by Dan Spitz, and Felix Robinson was replaced by James Lomenzo. The group was well enough reputed that none other than blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson himself invited the group to tour England and Germany with him, a union that survives to this day on a live album memorable for Williamson's trouper-like adaptation of his deep troubador style of blues to the Yardbirds' raw, unpolished rock and roll version.

While recording the song The Road to Valhalla, both Capozzi and Robinson left the band. Under Gomelsky's guidance, the Yardbirds got themselves signed to EMI's Columbia label in early 1964; they set a precedent of a sort when their first album turned out to be a live album, Five Live Yardbirds, recorded at the legendary Marquee Club in London. The band was signed by a small label called Grand Slam records in January 1985. And, of critical importance, Crawdaddy Club impresario Giorgio Gomelsky—who had all but discovered the Rolling Stones but thought it beyond his range to become their manager—learned enough from his previous miss to become the Yardbirds' manager and, as it turned out, first producer. Later, the band grew to include drummer Nicki Capozzi and bassist Felix Robinson. Between his sleek guitar playing and Keith Relf's improving harmonica style, the group could at least boast two attractive players that made listeners overlook their still-incomplete rhythmic attack. After moving from Denmark, Mike met guitarist Vito Bratta, forming a band. They made their first significant lineup addition when singer/harmonica player Keith Relf, rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, and drummer Jim McCarty, replaced original lead guitarist Anthony (Top) Topham with a very boyish-looking art student named Eric Clapton in late 1963. Clapton already knew what he was doing with his instrument; his solo turns, while far enough from the gripping little gems for which he became famous enough soon enough, already set him apart from most of his peers among the British blues clubbers.

The band was formed in New York City in 1984 by Denmark-born vocalist Mike Tramp. Their inexperience and their less-than-stellar musicianship was obvious but their commitment was just as powerful, as they hammered away at versions of such blues classics as "Smokestack Lightning," "Got Love If You Want It," "Here 'Tis," "Baby What's Wrong," "Good Morning Little School Girl," "Boom Boom," "I Wish You Would," "Done Somebody Wrong," and "Rollin' and Tumblin'.".
White Lion was a hard rock/heavy metal music band of the 1980s and early 1990s. With a repertoire drawn more from the Delta-soaked Chicago blues titans Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Elmore James than the more commercially-minded Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed influences of the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds began to build a following of their own in London before very long. For help, see How to Edit a Page and the Style and How-to Directory. Formed originally as the Metropolitan Blues Quartet in 1962–63 in London, the Yardbirds first achieved notice on the burgeoning British blues scene (or "rhythm and blues," as the British music press alluded to it) when they took over as the house band at the Crawdaddy Club in London—succeeding the Rolling Stones. After the article has been cleaned up, you may remove this message. The Yardbirds were an early British rock band, noted for spawning the careers of several of rock music's most famous guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.

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