MICHAEL WHITE & THE WHITE

After Beatlemania, "The White" was the first musical group to be known as a 'tribute band'. Although the group began as an original band, constant comparisons to the sound Led Zeppelin led the band to start billing themselves as "The White/A live musical tribute to Led Zeppelin". By 1979 the band were buying their own media to promote sold-out shows in the LA area.
When "The White" began touring the US, clubs and promoters had to be educated about the concept of a 'tribute band'. It was not uncommon for a club to ask if The White were going to show movies or bootleg videos of Led Zeppelin or if vendors would be selling collectibles in their club. This is now common practice at Zepfest events all over the world but back in the late 1970's, it was not. There was no easy road back then and Michael White and his band had to pave the way.
The Beginning

In 1976 Michael White was a member of 'The Boyz' (with George Lynch and Mick Brown from Dokken). Managed by Kim Fowley (The Runaways), The Boyz amassed a significant following in the LA music scene. To illustrate the calibre of the band at that time, Van Halen and Quiet Riot (with Guitarist Randy Rhoades) were opening acts for The Boyz on several occasions. The Boyz also opened several sold out shows in the L.A. area for the teenage girl band 'The Runaways'. So big was The Boyz profile, that Gene Simmons brought a rep from Casablanca Records to see the band (as credited in his book 'Kiss & Make-up'). Casablanca ended up flying Van Halen to New York to record demos that would eventually land them their record contract with Warner Brothers. Meanwhile The Boyz were getting reviews in the LA Times, that said vocalist White sounded like Robert Plant but record companies weren't signing acts that sounded like Led Zeppelin in 1976. They were signing bands that sounded like the Knack and Blondie. So the band broke up.
In 1977 Michael started a band called 'LA Fox' with Randy Piper who would later go on to play with WASP. Again accused of sounding too much like Led Zeppelin, a record deal alluded the band. In late 1977, Michael started 'The White' with guitarist Lanny Cordola (Guiffria, House of Lords), an all-original band that was again shunned by the record labels for sounding too much like Led Zeppelin. Eventually White was approached by Nikki Sixx to front his band 'London' that would soon turn into Motley Crue (as credited in the Motley Crue biography 'The Dirt'). He played with them for about 6 months before returning full-time to 'The White'.
Frustrated by the record companies' rejection of the band, Michael decided if he sounded like Robert Plant and the music he wrote sounded too much like Led Zeppelin, he might as well try playing Led Zeppelin. The strategy succeeded and within a matter of weeks the band was selling out clubs all over southern California. In 1979 'The White' played a string of Six Flag amusement parks across the United States resulting in their first taste of touring. In 1980, working with manager Tim Heyne (Canned Heat, Nickleback), The White started a prolific period of touring that would extend over 2 decades.

In 1983, Michael finally met with Robert Plant in Denver while Robert was on his 'Principal of Moments' tour. Plant was familiar with The White and actually wore a 'The White' T-shirt on stage at one of his shows and posed wearing it in Cream magazine. Plant changed the course of White's life connecting him with the head of Atlantic records West Coast office. As a result of the call, White was signed by Atlantic Records in 1985. During 1984-85 White was also busy in the recording studio with producer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones) recording demos that would lead to a recording contract with Atlantic Records the following year. While still maintaining a hectic touring schedule, The White's popularity was gaining momentum. Playing 3 sold out shows in one night at the Rainbow Music Theatre in Denver, attendance exceeded 4500 fans. This figure surpassed that of the legendary rock band Aerosmith who played to 3500 fans at the Red Rock Amphitheatre on the same evening.
In 1986 Atlantic flew the band to Germany to record at Musicland Studios with producer Mack (Queen, ELO, Billy Squire). Coincidentally, Mack worked with Led Zeppelin on the "Presence" album. Recorded in eight months "Michael White" was released in spring 1987. Guest performers included Billy Squires' band on one track. Reviews and interviews appeared in Billboard Magazine, Kerrang magazine, and newspapers and music magazines across the United States and Europe. Yet again, the Led Zeppelin comparisons appeared in the media. Nonetheless, the band garnered a top ten hit on Q107-FM in Toronto, with the song 'Psychometry'.

For a short time in 1987, White recorded with the German band 'Accept', met with Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/Rod Stewart) and recorded with John Sykes' (Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake) band 'Blue Murder'. During this time White also negotiated briefly with Vinnie Vincent regarding singing with Vinnies' band and was asked by WEA Records to work on the 1987 movie 'Lost Boys' writing music for a few specific scenes.
The years of adventure and misadventure led White back to touring with 'The White' and paying tribute to Led Zeppelin. In 1988, White moved to Toronto, Canada and in 1989 was signed to Griffin Records out of Chicago to record another album called "Michael White/The White". This album had regional success across the United States and Canada, but would also enjoy success in Europe and Asia. In 1993, 'The White' traveled to England to perform the Led Zeppelin tribute at the Capital Radio Music Festival, then the biggest music festival in the world. While there, they shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Elton John, Prince and James Brown. In 1994 another album was released on Griffin Records, "Michael White plays the music of Led Zeppelin". This Album is still in print today and is distributed worldwide, receiving a favorable review (7 out of a possible 10) in 'The Collectors Guide to Heavy Metal' by Martin Popoff.

Although the concept of a tribute band is quite common today, 'The White' continues to tour performing over a hundred shows per year across Canada and the U.S. including many major Zepfest conventions. Michael still enjoys the crowds' response to the timeless music of Led Zeppelin, even after all these years.
In the summer of 2003, Q107 radio in Toronto began playing "Psychometry", from the Atlantic album that had been out of print since 1988. It worked its way into rotation and started getting requests. On the merit of the air-play and response, Atlantic records re-mastered and released the album on CD in Sept 2003. It was carried by all of the major CD stores in Canada including Wal-Mart and hit the Canadian SoundScan sales charts on December 07, 2003 in the top 200.
While not performing, Michael White is busy with the operation of 'Under the Whitehouse' his Toronto recording studio, producing and arranging for many top U.S. and Canadian recording artists (see credits attached).

Selected Credits:
Original vocalist for ‘Motley Crue/London’ (1979) as credited in biography ‘The Dirt’

Formed the first ‘Tribute’ band ‘The White-A Tribute To Led Zeppelin’ (1979)

Released debut solo album ‘Michael White’ on Atlantic Records (1987)

Worked on music for the movie ‘Lost Boys’ (1987)

Released second solo album ‘Michael White/The White’ on Griffin Records (1989)

Performed at the ‘Capitol Radio Music Festival’ - London, England (1993)

Released third album ‘Michael White plays the music of Led Zeppelin’ on Griffin Records (1995)

Produced six soundtrack albums for Griffin Records (1996-97)

Produced ‘What’cha Got’ by Carlos Morgan (1999) went top 20 in Canada

Performed on CTV nationally televised ‘Open Mike with Mike Bullard’ (2000)

Produced radio edits on ‘Eileen Shania Twain’ album on Limelight Records (2001)

Licensed video footage of ‘Motley Crue/London’ on VH1 show ’Driven’ (2002)

Vocalist on Cleopatra Records 2007 album LEDBOX featuring Keith Emerson (ELP), Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Steve Lukather (Toto), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Alan White (Yes), Manny Charlton (Nazareth), Vinnie Colaiuta (Jeff Beck), Albert Lee, Dweezil Zappa and Walter Trout. 

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