White Lion – “Pride” (1987)

Where have you gone, Vito Bratta?  You were a hairy, Staten Island son-of-a-bitch who loved to wear big, dark sunglasses that said to the world “I love cocaine!”.  Your ugly mug was made to look even more so when pictured next to your Adonis lead singer, Mike Tramp.  But, GOD DAMN, you could play guitar!  You were a prodigious talent that practiced incessantly, and I consider many of your guitar solos to be the greatest of all time!  Listening to your work made me completely give up playing guitar, because I realized I will always suck after hearing your records.  That’s okay though, it gave me more time to focus on playing softball with overweight has-beens and creating this website for seven people to read.  You disappeared from the music scene after the hair era died an undeserving death.  Since then you have steadfastly refused to reunite with White Lion for some sad money grab.  I salute you for this, as the state of music today has no place for a true talent such as yours, and that is the disheartening truth.  Luckily you came along at a time when there was an audience for guitar heroes, even if you guys all looked utterly ridiculous.  Like Eddie Van Halen (who was no doubt one of your idols?), you prettied up your rhythm playing with tons of tasty tricks and fills, never playing it straight.  Your rhythm tracks were like songs within the songs, and your solos were the perfect blend of shred, flash, and taste; serving the song but still making every aspiring guitarist out there either retreat to the wood shed or throw down their axe and say “no mas”.  Your second White Lion LP, Pride, was welcomed with double platinum sales.  A just reward for your work on such greats as Wait, Sweet Little Loving, and All Join Our Hands.  Oh, and When The Children Cry?  That song would probably bring a tear to my eye if I wasn’t devoid of all human feeling.  Mike “Adonis” Tramp (is it okay if I call you that?), you helped the cause with your lady-killing good looks, even if you couldn’t sing all that well and wrote lyrics with all the wit and wisdom of a thirteen year old girl.  Together you guys made sincere, unapologetic “lite-metal” that soaked the panties of stone-washed-jeans-wearing teenage girls, and made zit-faced teenage boys want to pick up a Strat and shred.  So… Vito… I hope you are enjoying the quiet life in Staten Island.  There may not be apt appreciation for players like you in the present day music world, but such things are cyclical and someday people will re-discover your work and give your name its just do.  I hope you are still around when that day comes.  In the meantime, just know you still have fans from back in the day.  My score: A


2 thoughts on “White Lion – “Pride” (1987)

  1. Vito was (is?) a monster on the guitar and I totally reflect your views on him. My personal favorite on here is Hungry where Vito seems to bring some new lick or fill between every stinkin riff! How discouraging to someone learning guitar!

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