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The Evolution of White Lion's MIKE TRAMP from Choirboy to Road Warrior

June 26, 2017

 Michael Trempenau was born in Denmark and grew up in Vesterbro with his mother, Doris and two brothers, Dennis and Kim. Trempenau started his musical career singing in Vesterbro Ungdomsgård, a youth group club in Copenhagen, and appears on their first album:  

Vi lever på Vesterbro in (1974).

Vesterbro Ungdomsgård - Vi lever på Vesterbro

(Tramp is seated on the very end in the yellow shirt)

 

In 1976, Trempenau, now known professionally as Tramp, joined the pop band Mabel as the lead singer.Mabel released five studio albums and were very popular in Denmark and Spain, with Mike receiving "teen idol" status. In 1978, Mabel won the Danish Song Contest with the song Boom Boom and represented Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 that same year. 

 

Boom boom - Denmark 1978 - Eurovision songs with live orchestra

 

In the late '70s they moved to Spain and later to the U.S. to try their luck with diminishing returns.  
In the early '80s they changed their name to The Studs and released their only album "Studs" in 1981. The musical direction leaned more towards Heavy Metal. The Studs then moved to New York City and became Danish Lions in 1982. After recording demos, the band returned home to Denmark, however, Tramp decided to remain in America.

 

 

 STUDS - ROCK YOU TONITE

 

 

Tramp met Vito Bratta and formed White Lion in 1983.The band was signed to Elektra Records, which shelved the album with no intention of publishing it in the USA.Philadelphia-based Grand Slamm Records bought the album from Elektra and released it in America the following year.

 

 

Tramp has noted that once White Lion was dropped by Elektra Records, their manager managed to get the right to license the album and release it in Japan. The album actually broke in Europe before it did in the USA thanks to magazines covering the band. Tramp is very proud of songs like "All the Fallen Men" and "Kid of 1,000 Faces," which he considers among the darkest songs they have written.The song "Broken Heart" was released as the band's debut single and featured a music video with drummer Greg D'Angelo and bassist Dave Spitz appearing in the video. The track was re-recorded and updated for the bands 1991 release :"Mane Attraction" and featured a new music video.

 

Pride was the second studio album by the American/Danish hard rock band White Lion, released on June 21, 1987, by Atlantic Records. The album featured the two top ten hits "Wait" and "When the Children Cry". It peaked at number 11 on The Billboard 200 and remained in the Billboard Top 200 for a full year, selling two million copies in the US alone.

 

According to an interview with Sea of Tranquility, the recording process of the album took six weeks and the album was produced by Michael Wagener. The album's first single, "Wait", was released on June 1, 1987, but did not make waves until MTV began airing the music video in January 1988, seven months after its release, pushing the single to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. In August 1988, more than a year after the album's release, the second single "Tell Me" also featuring a music video hit #58. Pride's third single, a gentle acoustic ballad titled "When the Children Cry", made it all the way to #3, again with heavy MTV rotation of the music video, marking Pride one of just 20 hard rock albums to ever have multiple top 10 hits. The album peaked at #11 on the album charts. Pride would remain on the top 200 Billboard album charts for a full year.

The success of "When the Children Cry" would eventually push sales of Pride over the two million mark in the US, achieving double platinum status. In addition, guitarist 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.

 

All You Need Is Rock 'n' Roll was the fourth single released from the album.

Tramp considers Pride the best White Lion album because he feels he and Vito Bratta existed as "one person" when writing the songs, and the band was at its prime at the time.

 

The Pride tour started in July 1987 as White Lion opened for Ace Frehley's 80's band Frehley's Comet. The next year and a half was filled with constant touring, opening for such bands as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne. KISS in December 1987. In January 1988 White Lion landed the opening slot for AC/DC on their Blow Up Your Video American tour. They'd end the tour opening for Stryper in the summer of 1988.

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. In February 1988, a show "Live at the Ritz" in New York City was filmed for an MTV concert special and was released on VHS along with another full concert video titled "One Night in Tokyo".

In the spring of 1989, the Pride tour finally ended.

 

 LIVE AT THE RITZ

 

In the first half of 1989, still riding high on the multi platinum success of Pride, White Lion re-entered the studio following the completion of their Pride tour to record the next album, a decision the group later came to regret due to the effects of fatigue from the heavy touring. A musically eclectic follow-up to Pride, the album featured the single "Little Fighter", in Memory of The Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace boat which was intentionally sabotaged and sunk by the French Secret Service. A cover of Golden Earring's "Radar Love"                        

 was released as the second single and "Cry for Freedom" was released as the third single. "Goin' Home Tonight" was released as the album's final single.

                      LITTLE FIGHTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     RADAR LOVE

 

All of the singles featured music videos and the album quickly went gold peaking at #19 on the US album charts and charting very well around the world, performing better than the "Pride" album. Following the album's release the band continued touring.

 After two years of writing and recording, White Lion released Mane Attraction in the spring of 1991. More of a "back to basics" album, centering on strong hooks and melodic hard rock, the album was received well by the fans. Unfortunately, the album failed to reach the top 20 like the last two albums. It received little or no airplay due to the recent Grungeexplosion. The album featured the singles "Love Don't Come Easy" which peaked at number 24 on The Mainstream RockCharts, "Lights and Thunder" and a re-recorded version of the band's debut single "Broken Heart", all of which featured music videos. The song "Out with the Boys" was released as a rare promo single. The album also contained White Lion's only instrumental song, "Blue Monday", a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, who had died while the band was writing for the album. A music video montage was released for the song "Farewell to You" which featured on the band's Video album "Escape from Brooklyn" in 1992.

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). 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 Club in September 1991.

 

 FAREWELL TO YOU

 

BROKEN HEART

 

After briefly touring in support of Mane Attraction, Tramp and Bratta decided to fold the group, their last show being held in Boston at the Channel in September 1991. Exactly one year later in September 1992, the band's first compilation album was released, titled The Best of White Lion. A Video/DVD album featuring concert footage, behind the scenes interviews and all of the band's music videos was also released, titled Escape from Brooklyn.

 After White Lion: James Lorenzo 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.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.

Despite a dedicated worldwide following of guitar aficionados, Vito disappeared from public view from 1994 until his interview by Eddie Trunk live on February 16, 2007. Vito is also the sole owner of the original White Lion's four album music catalogs, retaining the rights after Mike sold all his rights to the catalogs in the mid 90's. They are owned by Vavoom Music, Inc., which is owned by Bratta.

Mike would later try to reform White Lion with the original members, but was unsuccesful in doing so. He toured for a brief time under the moniker Tramp's White Lion and released some re-recorded versions of classic White Lion material.

 

Post White Lion: FREAK OF NATURE 

 

Mike Tramp went on to form the band Freak of Nature, The follow up band was significantly heavier and darker than White Lion, featuring two guitar players and more visceral songs with a strong rhythmic foundation.

 The band released three albums, Freak of Nature, Gathering of Freaks, and Outcasts. Freak of Nature eventually disbanded in 1996. Tramp has often called Freak of Nature the best band he has been a part of and also said that he wanted to stray from the 80s sound and adopt a more 70s approach.

 

 

 

Freak Of Nature - Rescue Me

 

Mike Tramp solo career : Since 1998 Mike has released 10 studio albums and one double live record.

Capricorn , Recovering the Wasted Years , More to Life Than This , Rock n Roll Alive ,  Songs I Left Behind , The Rock 'N' Roll Circus ,Stand Your Ground, Cobblestone Street , Museum , Nomad , Maybe Tomorrow

 

 

 

The album Maybe Tomorrow was released worldwide on February 24, 2017 through Target Records. 

In January 2017, The album topped the Danish album charts at #1 on vinyl and #2 on the physical album charts.Tramp launched a music video for the single "Coming Home", a track from his album Maybe Tomorrow.

  In February 2017, the song "Would I Lie to You" was released as the second single followed by the third single "Spring" released in May 2017.

 

 

COMING HOME

 

Mike Tramp continues to tour and release new music. Wether it's on festival stages to huge crowds or renting an rv and traveling the states to play in clubs for whoever shows. Mike is the definition of a musical road warrior, no stage is to big or small! In the end the music is what matters after all . 

 

 

HAVE YOU EVER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HYME TO RONNIE

 

 

Tramp with his wife, Indonesian actress Ayu Azhari and their two children : Isabelle and Lennon.

 

 

 GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT

 

MR.DEATH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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