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White Lion

This article is about the band, for the big cats see White lion.

White Lion is an American/Danish glam metal band that was formed in New York City in 1983 by Danish vocalist Mike Tramp and American guitarist Vito Bratta. Mainly active in the 1980s and early 1990s, the band achieved double platinum status with their #8 hit "Wait" and #3 hit "When the Children Cry". White Lion disbanded in 1991, but was reformed again by Tramp in 1999 with all new musicians.

Contents


Biography

Fighting to survive

After moving from Denmark to New York in 1983, vocalist Mike Tramp (ex-Mabel,ex-Studs) met Brooklyn guitarist Vito Bratta (ex-Dreamer) and decided to form a band. The two recruited drummer Nicki Capozzi and bassist Felix Robinson (formerly of Angel) and named the group White Lion.

White Lion was signed by Elektra Records in 1984 and recorded their debut Fight to Survive. However, Elektra was unhappy with the final recording, and after refusing to release the album, terminated their contract.

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.

The album Fight to Survive was eventually re-recorded with new line-up & picked up by RCA and released in Japan in 1984. The small US independent label Grand Slam records finally released Fight To Survive in the US on November 9, 1985. A few months later, Grand Slam records went bankrupt.

In early 1986, White Lion, with a fictitious "female" member, had a brief part in the Tom Hanks/Shelley Long movie The Money Pit.

The road to success

Early in 1987, the band was signed by Atlantic Records (which ironically is a sister label to Elektra) and on June 21, 1987, their breakthrough album, Pride, was released. The first single, "Wait", was released on June 1, 1987, but did not make waves for nearly seven months.

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, KISS and in January 1988 White Lion landed the opening slot for AC/DC on their Blow Up Your Video American tour.

While touring with AC/DC, the Pride album and "Wait" single finally charted, due in no small part to MTV airing the "Wait" music video in regular rotation - nearly seven months after the single's release. "Wait" hit #8 on the singles chart, while Pride hit #11 on the album charts. Pride would remain on the top 200 Billboard album charts for a full year.

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

The Pride album's third single, a gentle acoustic ballad titled "When the Children Cry", made it all the way to #3 with heavy MTV rotation, making Pride one of about 20 hard rock albums to ever have multiple top 10 hits.

The success of "When the Children Cry" would eventually push sales of Pride over the two million mark. In addition, Vito Bratta was recognized for his instrumental talents by racking up Best New Guitarist awards with both Guitar World magazine and Guitar For The Practicing Musician magazine.

In the spring of 1989, the Pride tour finally ended, but rather than take a break, they instead chose to record the next album, a decision the group later came to regret due to the effects of fatigue from heavy touring on the final product.

Life after MTV

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, but without a hit single, slowly declined, with a peak of #19 on the album charts.

After two years of writing and recording, the new album, Mane Attraction was released. During the recording sessions for this album, their record company allowed the band to make exactly the album they wanted to. As a result, the album is usually viewed as a mixed effort, where the band is trying to do too many things at once. The album charted at #61. This may also be due to the general public's shifting tastes towards grunge.

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 call it a day, their last show being held in Boston at the Channel in September 1991.

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.

Band members

Current members

Former members

Touring members

Classic line up

Discography

Year Title Label
1985 Fight to Survive Asylum Records
1987 Pride Atlantic Records
1989 Big Game
1991 Mane Attraction
1999 Remembering White Lion Cleopatra Records
2008 Return of the Pride Frontiers Records

External links

da:White Lion de:White Lion es:White Lion fr:White Lion it:White Lion ja:ホワイト・ライオン simple:White Lion fi:White Lion sv:White Lion


White lion

National Zoo & Aquarium, Australia
National Zoo & Aquarium, Australia
White Lion - Bratislava Zoo, Slovakia
White Lion - Bratislava Zoo, Slovakia
The white lion is occasionally found in wildlife reserves in South Africa and is a rare color mutation of the Kruger subspecies of lion (Panthera leo krugeri). It has been perpetuated by selective breeding in zoos around the world. White lions are not a separate subspecies and they have never been common in the wild. Regarded as divine by locals,[1] white lions first came to public attention in the 1970s in Chris McBride's book The White Lions of Timbavati. The greatest population of white lions is in zoos where they are deliberately bred for color. The population of the white lion is unknown but the most recent count was in 2004 and 30 were alive. White lions are not albino lions. Instead, the white color is caused by a recessive gene known as chinchilla or color inhibitor. They vary from blonde through to near white, however some can also be red. This coloration gives white lions a distinct disadvantage in nature because they are highly visible. This gives them away to their prey and makes them an attractive target for hunters. According to Linda Tucker, in "Mystery of the White Lions - Children of the Sun God" they are bred in camps in South Africa as trophies for canned hunts.

Breeding white lions

The chinchilla mutation, a recessive gene, gives white lions their unusual colors. A similar gene also produces white tigers. White lions can therefore be selectively bred for zoos and animal shows. Such breeding involves inbreeding of close relatives and can result in inbreeding depression (genetic defects, reduced fertility, and physical defects) although this has not yet been recorded in white lions in zoos as it has in white tigers. According to Tucker, white lions in canned hunt camps have been found to have hind-limb paralysis and serious heart defects, indicating a severe level of inbreeding involved in mass-production although they are rare in the wild.People are concerned about the White Lions mating with regular lions.

White Lion cub at Kromdraai, South Africa

White Lion cub at Kromdraai, South Africa

Timbavati white lions

White lions were first recorded in 1928 and in the early 1940s. In 1959, a pride with two white cubs was seen near Tshokwane in Kruger National Park, but later vanished. Albino lions had been recorded in the area according to David Alder ton's book "Wild Cats Of The World". In 1974, a light Grey lion cub was born at Birmingham Zoo, Alabama.

In 1975, two white cubs were seen at Timberland Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park. Their story is detailed by Chris McBride in his book "The White Lions of Timbavati". The two cubs, Temba (Zulu for "hope") and Tombi ("girl") had a tawny brother called Vela ('surprise'). In 1975, a white female cub called Phuma ("to be out of the ordinary") was sighted in the Timberland pride.

A few months later Temba, Tombi, and Vela (who carried the recessive white mutation) were taken to the National Zoo in Pretoria, South Africa. Temba sired several cubs. Tombi had a white cub in 1981, it was low in health but survived. Vela sired a litter, they grew up to be strong unusually one out of the 4 cubs was white while the rest were almost blonde. The white lions in the Ouwehands Dierenpark (Netherlands) and a private South African Zoo appear to be from Temba, or possibly Vela, lines. A few other white or blond cubs were born in Timberland after Temba, Tombi, and Vela were removed. Another white lion bloodline, possibly part of the Timbavati bloodline, comes from a white male captured in the Timberland area in the late 1980s and kept by a private reserve.

Temba has left descendants in captivity. A heterozygous tawny lion at Pretoria Zoo carries the mutation and most likely pass this on to his offspring. Two heterozygous tawny males from the Cincinnati Zoo are now at a private reserve in Africa. A white female and a heterozygous tawny male were sent to the Zoological Animal Reproduction Center in Indiana, USA. A second female was put together with another but didn't get along so they were separated for some time until they were comfortable in their surroundings.

Kruger and Umfolozi white lions

In 1979, three litters containing white lions were recorded in Kruger National Park. In March, a female lion with three white cubs was observed near Tshokwane. In September, three white cubs (from two different lionesses) were seen. Another litter of white female cubs was captured from Kruger National Park and treated for sarcoptic mange. A white lion was od in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in Zululand.

White lions of unknown ancestry

Jurques Zoo in France

In May 2007 four white lion cubs were born at Jurques Zoo in France. The cubs consisted of one male and three females. Each cub weighed approximately 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) at birth, and all four were in good health. However, they needed to be hand fed because their mother was not taking proper care of them. White lions are only found in africa and are keeped in zoo. Thier are only 20 in the world as counted in 2008.

White lion genetics

White lions are not albinos but are leucistic. They have pigment visible in the eyes (which may be the normal hazel or golden color, blue-gray, or green-gray), paw pads and lips. Blue-eyed white lions exist and may be selectively bred. The leucistic trait is due to the chinchilla mutation that inhibits the deposition of pigment along the hair shaft, restricting it to the tips. The less pigment there is along the hair shaft, the paler the lion. As a result "white" lions range from blonde through to near white. The males have pale manes and tail tips instead of the usual dark tawny or black.

White lions in the wild within their natural endemic range

In 2003, the Global White Lion Protection Trust (WLT) initiated the first ever reintroduction of white lions to their natural endemic range - the Greater Timbavati region in South Africa. Preliminary results have shown that the hunting success of the white lion pride was comparable to or higher than the wild prides ('normal' coloured / tawny) of the Timbavati itself (Turner 2005, Turner in prep.). This pride of "all" white lions has shattered the misperception that white lions cannot hunt successfully (within their natural endemic habitat) due to a perceived lack of camouflage. The long-term objective of the WLT is to restore the natural balance by reintroducing an integrated pride/s of white and tawny lions within their endemic range. White lions are a unique contribution to the biodiversity of the region and are revered by the local communities that hold them sacred.[2]

References

External links

es:León blanco fr:Lion blanc hr:Bijeli lav ja:ホワイトライオン no:Hvit løve pt:Leão branco


White Lion Music

White Lion also known as Black Lion is a reggaeton music company.

Artists