Rick Vito

Rick Vito, who joined Fleetwood Mac as the new lead guitarist in September 1987 together with the other new arrival Billy Burnette after Lindsey Buckingham's departure, was born on October 13, 1949 in Darby PA. As a teenager he saw the original Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green performing in Philadelphia in the late 60's. This was surely an important cornerstone in the decision to become a professional musician, as Peter Green was one of his early influences.

In the 70's Rick Vito played on a few albums of John Mayall, which was the first indirect connection with Fleetwood Mac. His guitar skills were soon recognized by many famous musicians, such as Roger McGuinn, Jackson Browne and Bob Seger, to mention only a few. In 1977 Rick Vito was the lead guitarist in Roger McGuinn's "Thunderbyrds" group, and a small tour brought them to England, where his guitar playing added a nice counterpart to Roger's Rickenbacker sound. Rick's distinctive guitar playing was featured on the self-titled album, such as the dobro featured "Russian Hill". In the 80's Rick recorded with Jackson Browne for his Lawyers In Love album, and also toured with him in support of the album. Featured on Jackson's 1986 album Lives In The Balance he also contributed significantly to Bob Seger's Like A Rock album. Rick's distinctive slide guitar playing was featured on the album title track, of which Bob Seger once said, was the single most spectacular overdub he'd ever heard. After touring with Bob Seger, Rick was asked to join Fleetwood Mac in late 1987, and he accepted. In support of the most recent Fleetwood Mac album Tango In The Night back then, Rick Vito took the lead guitar on this world tour which lasted until the fall of 1988. After recording two new songs for the Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits album, and lending his slide guitar skills to Roy Orbison and Timothy B. Schmit, in the spring of 1990 the album Behind The Mask was released, which featured several of Rick's songs, such as "Stand On The Rock", the country influenced "When The Sun Goes Down", co-penned by Billy Burnette, and the Nicks/Vito composition "Love Is Dangerous". A tour in support of the Behind The Mask album brought him again around the world with Fleetwood Mac, where he played his "Stand On The Rock" composition live, and was featured on some of the Peter Green songs on lead vocal and guitar as well.

In early 1991 Rick Vito left Fleetwood Mac for personal reasons, and started his solo career. His first solo album King of Hearts was released in 1992 by Modern Records, and featured Stevie Nicks on the duet "Desiree" and on backing vocals on "Intuition". Rick was featured the same year on three new songs for the Fleetwood Mac box set Fleetwood Mac 25 years -- The Chain. In 1994 Rick Vito toured as lead guitarist with Stevie Nicks in support for her Street Angel solo album. His second solo album Pink & Black was released in 1998, which was more blues oriented in comparison to his first solo release King of Hearts, which was somewhat more rock oriented. In 1998 he was also on the road with Bonnie Raitt. In 2000 Rick Vito released his third solo album Lucky Devils on the German Hypertension label. Rick again produced this blues oriented album, which once again featured his distinctive slide guitar playing, such as on "World On Fire". In support of his solo effort, Rick toured with his small band "The Lucky Devils" in the spring of 2000 for two weeks in Germany. The first concert was recorded for the German TV series "Ohne Filter", which was broadcasted later that year. Rick was very well received by his German fans during this tour, and as a consequence he returned in November 2000 for a short second tour in Germany. He played many of the songs of his three solo albums as well as some previously unreased songs, and the Fleetwood Mac classic "I Loved Another Woman" in addition to a new version of the Nicks/Vito composition "Love Is Dangerous". In this same year he also backed John Fogerty for his tour.

Besides being a musician, Rick recently performed as an actor in the Dreamworks motion picture "THE LAST CASTLE", starring Robert Redford. In September 2001 Rick Vito has released his fourth solo album Crazy Cool, which was, as the previous album, released by the Hypertension label. This time Rick returned with more blues-rock numbers, which featured the John Lee Hooker classic "Mr. Lucky", and many fine tunes written by Rick himself. A tour in support of the album is planned for spring 2002.

Biography kindly written by Dr. Joern Rossa.