For two decades, RICK VITO has been electrifying audiences all over the world with his unique blend of blues, rock 'n roll and R&B. His stellar guitar work has enriched the recordings and performances of legendary artists like BOB SEGER (check out RICK's awesome slide guitar solo on "LIKE A ROCK"), BONNIE RAITT'S album GREEN LIGHT and four tours with BONNIE, including 1998's "FUNDAMENTAL TOUR," JACKSON BROWNE, JOHN MAYALL's BLUESBREAKERS, ROY ORBISON, and many others.
Perhaps he is best known as a recent member of FLEETWOOD MAC, who brought back a passionate, bluesy quality to the band's music missing since the days of PETER GREEN. RICK's original songs and vocal performances are featured on their albums BEHIND THE MASK and THE CHAIN. RICK also appears on the GREATEST HITS LP and the full-length concert video TANGO IN THE NIGHT. In 1992 RICK recorded his critically acclaimed debut album, KING OF HEARTS on Modern/Atlantic Records. This work was praised for its: "dazzling collection of fiery slide guitar driven songs..." It also featured the single "DESIREE," a smoldering duet with former band-mate STEVIE NICKS.
RICK's career got a jumpstart in the 1970's when a friend from his hometown of Philadelphia, TODD RUNDGREN, invited him to come to Los Angeles and play on his LP SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Before too long he was in demand for sessions, and then caught the ear of JOHN MAYALL. He soon joined the short list of incredible guitarists to be featured in JOHN MAYALL's BLUESBREAKERS, playing on four albums and doing a world tour in the mid-seventies. His first tour with BONNIE RAITT was in 1977, and he toured with MARIA MULDAUR after she recorded his "MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT" as the title cut of her album.
JACKSON BROWNE brought RICK in to work on three albums, LAWYERS IN LOVE, LIVES IN THE BALANCE, "SOMEBODY'S BABY" (from the soundtrack FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH) and the live video "DOWNTOWN." RICK joined JACKSON's band for the 1982-83 world tour and U.S. tour.
BOB SEGER invited RICK into the studio and the first thing RICK played was the slide-guitar break in "LIKE A ROCK." They did a U.S. tour in 1986-87 and worked on another album, THE FIRE INSIDE. They also contributed to a various artists' A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS on A & M Records.
As mentioned earlier it was at this time, 1987, that RICK joined FLEETWOOD MAC as member for four years.
He has many more studio credits: JOHN PRINE, STEVE GOODMAN, RITA COOLIDGE, TIMOTHY B. SCHMIDT, BOBBY WHITLOCK, THELMA HOUSTON, RONNIE BARRON, and two more acts he recorded and toured with, DOLLY PARTON and ROGER McGUINN, doing a world tour as THUNDERBYRD. He has also written songs for FLEETWOOD MAC, MARIA MULDAUR, THE BYRDS, SAWYER BROWN, and JAMES COTTON.
You could usually count on finding RICK backing great blues and rock acts that played around the periphery of Los Angeles. The legendary Topanga Corral was a second home for him, usually playing with the great ALBERT COLLINS. From LOWELL FULSON to LITTLE RICHARD, SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS, THE COASTERS and local legends, you could see and feel the joy and respect RICK has always had for this music.
PINK & BLACK is a record RICK has wanted to make for a long time. Recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville, eight of the tracks are RICK VITO originals and two are covers by two of his all time favorite artists, "HOMEWORK" by OTIS RUSH and "I LOVED ANOTHER WOMAN" by FLEETWOOD MAC founder, PETER GREEN.
On this CD RICK has utilized three custom guitars designed by and built for him. He holds design patents on each and they draw their influence from the 1930's art deco style. The Streamliner is RICK's main axe and is pictured with him on the cover. He also uses his Skyliner and Starliner guitars. The Streamliner was built to RICK's design by TORU NITTONO of L.A. Guitar Works. It features an ash body, a bolt-on neck and ebony fret board with jumbo frets and Seymour Duncan Humbuckers. The Skyliner also features an ash body, bolt-on neck and ebony fret board with jumbo frets and Seymour Duncan Single-coil pickups. Finally, the Starliner is RICK's version of an early Les Paul, with a set neck, rosewood fret board, jumbo frets and Seymour Duncan P-90s. In addition, RICK endorses Epiphone Guitars, now made by Gibson. His instrument of choice is the Epiphone Sorrento, which is a hollow-body instrument featuring two Epiphone/Gibson stock P-90s.
For amplification, RICK's choice is an assortment of vintage Fender and National amps, along with his long-time favorite all-tube Dumble Overdrive Special custom built for him in the mid-seventies. He currently is planning a line of amplifier cabinets styled like his guitars. He also uses ROBERT STAMPS' Drive-O-Matic stomp box.
Like so many other great rock and blues artists, RICK was driven to play the guitar, starting at the early age of eight in his hometown of Philadelphia, with what else but a Stella. Seeing and hearing the early ELVIS PRESLEY, CHUCK BERRY, RICK NELSON (with JAMES BURTON on guitar) and JERRY LEE LEWIS inspired the style and direction of RICK's playing and singing. But it was the Nashville produced TV show in the mid-sixties called "THE BEAT," hosted by WLAC's premier blues and R&B disc jockey, HOSS ALLEN, that really opened RICK's eyes. This show, which was like a black version of "SHINDIG," featured GATEMOUTH BROWN as the leader of the house band and was a prominent showcase for the best black blues and R&B performers of the era such as FREDDY KING and B.B. KING. Not to be left out of the mix, were the ROLLING STONES, whose great covers of blues and R&B material, led RICK to delve into the originals.
To this day, RICK's favorite "first generation" electric blues artists are ELMORE JAMES, B.B. KING, MAGIC SAM, FREDDY KING, ALBERT COLLINS, EARL HOOKER, ALBERT KING, ROBERT NIGHTHAWK, CHUCK BERRY, BO DIDDLEY and MUDDY WATERS. Among his favorite "second generation" blues and roots rock artists, who influenced his playing and performing style, are PETER GREEN, JIMI HENDRIX, ERIC CLAPTON, MIKE BLOOMFIELD, TAJ MAHAL and JOHN HAMMOND JR.
After he finishes touring with BONNIE RAITT in 1998, RICK's plans are to put together a smokin' band and tour the United States, Canada and Europe to present the music you hear on this CD.
For more information on RICK VITO and his touring plans, contact:
Denny Bruce Management
2934 Beverly Glen Circle, Suite 266
Bel Air, CA 90077-2527
or at DBruceMgt@aol.com
Special thanks to BRENT HAESLER, DAN DUEHREN, BILL CUOMO, JIM GLASS, GARY BELZ, MOON MARTIN, EDDIE TUDURI, AL PERKINS, JOHN "JUKE" LOGAN, NORMAN HARRIS, BOBBY HUCK, ROBERT STAMPS, TORU NITTONO, ROB BOLGER, ERIK DALTON, HOMEY HOMES, JOEL ZARSKA, TOM SHILLEA, BILLY McDONALD, RSN & THE BAND, AL SHELTON, ELLIE LOGAN, RONNIE BARRON, BILL LYNCH, DENNY BRUCE, JOHN HERRON, BONNIE RAITT, KEB' MO, EPIPHONE GUITARS, SEYMOUR DUNCAN PICKUPS and PEAVEY AMPLIFIERS.
Special, special thanks to MOM, DAD and MARK.
This record is dedicated with eternal love to AIMEE, FRANCESCO and ARA VITO. Thank you for always loving me.
Thank God for all this abundance.
Thanks to my friend and brother, GREG PURDON.
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