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White Lion Social issues


Social issues

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 illegally 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 went on to form Freak of Nature. Freak of Nature released three albums, Freak of Nature, Gathering of Freaks, and Outcasts. Mike Tramp went on as a solo artist. He has released four studio albums and one live album so far; Capricorn, Recovering the Wasted Years, More To Life Than This, and Songs I Left Behind as studio efforts, with Rock n’ Roll Alive as his sole live album. Today, Tramp continues his solo career, recording and releasing his own music. Through his website, fans can find media from his solo career, as well as White Lion.

James LoMenzo and Greg D’Angelo joined Zakk Wylde’s band, Lynyrd Skynhead in the mid 90’s which became the band Pride & Glory when Greg D’Angelo was replaced by Brian Tichy. Pride & Glory released one album, then James LoMenzo left the band. James went on to record and tour with ex-Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth and toured with Zakk Wylde’s band Black Label Society. In February 2006, James joined the legendary thrash band Megadeth on a permanent basis. Greg D’Angelo was the drummer for the band AntiProduct in 2006. Greg D’angelo Recently Joined Greg Leon Invasion featuring Greg Leon (ex Dokken, ex Quiet Riot).

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. Sadly, despite a very dedicated worldwide following of guitar aficionados, Vito was not seen or heard from publicly since 1994 until his interview by Eddie Trunk live on February 16, 2007.

The new White Lion and legal issues

Mike Tramp today

Mike Tramp today

In 1999 Mike Tramp with new musicians released Remembering White Lion also released as The Last Roar and Ultimate White Lion which featured new versions of some of White Lion’s classic songs and then in October 2003, Mike Tramp announced a White Lion reunion with the original line up. This statement was quickly denied by the other former members. Later Tramp said that Vito Bratta wanted nothing to do with a reunion. With summer festivals in Europe already booked, Tramp attempted to put together a “new White Lion” featuring former members James LoMenzo, and Jimmy DeGrasso, along with Warren DeMartini of Ratt. Vito Bratta filed suit claiming partial ownership of the name, and the tour was scrapped. Tramp later revealed that despite his willingness, “There will never be an original White Lion reunion”.

In 2005, with legal battles finally out of the way, Mike Tramp again organized a group of unknown musicians and named the act Tramp’s White Lion. ‘TWL’ (White Lion 2) played White Lion songs, touring and releasing a double-live CD entitled Tramp’s White Lion: Rockin’ The USA. In November and December 2006, Tramp’s White Lion played several dates in Europe including Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. The UK dates with Crimes of Passion were abandoned due to illness.

On February 16, 2007, Vito appeared on “The Eddie Trunk” radio show in New York, stating that despite what Mike Tramp said, he had never turned down any offer to reform White Lion or refused a White Lion reunion, stating that what Mike Tramp had said was not true, but, rather, that at the time Mike had approached him, Vito’s father was sick and dying and he could not leave him to do a reunion tour at that time. He added that he would still be open to the idea and has not closed the door to returning to the music industry again. Trunk also made it clear that Vito’s involvement in the show was something that he had wanted to happen since White Lion first broke up in 1991. Vito took calls and answered questions from fans for almost 3 hours. On Friday April 6 and 7, 2007, at the L’Amours Reunion Shows in New York (the club that made White Lion), Vito made his first public musical appearances at both Friday and Saturday night’s shows in over 15 years. Mike Tramp was not present.

Three weeks later Mike Tramp called the same show from Australia, speaking about Vito and the band’s new album, including the tour dates that Tramp’s White Lion had recently confirmed. Tramp said that he was thankful that Vito had finally answered fan’s questions, the same questions he himself had been bombarded with over the past 15 years. He also stated that he felt uncomfortable answering on Vito’s behalf, and that he was upset that Vito had withdrawn himself from the music industry.

A White Lion Definitive Collection album was released in 2007. Summer of 2007 Tour featuring Tramp’s White Lion opening up for Poison and Ratt was canceled after threatened legal action by Bratta caused them to be dropped by the promoter.

This threatened legal action however did not stop the band from appearing at Rocklahoma in Pryor, Ok on July 13, 2007 with Poison, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Slaughter, Y&T,Gypsy pistoleros, Dirty Penny, Greg Leon Invasion and Zendozer. After this they also toured the US. A new studio album entitled “Return of the Pride” was released on March 14, 2008. The band are currently on a World tour to support the album. Also a live DVD was released on December 5th, 2008 entitled, “Bang Your Head Festival 2005”. White Lion toured India by the end of December and played to perphaps their biggest show after they reformed at JN Stadium, Shillong, Meghalaya where 42,000 fans turned up to watch them play. They also played to a 30,000 plus capacity crowd at the Dimapur stadium in Nagaland. The band was invited to India by the Current head of the Tripura Royal Family Maharaja Kirit Pradyot Deb Burman.

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