As a child of the ’80s, I have a soft place in my heart for the music of that time.
All through high school, I was uh-bsessed with Duran Duran. And somewhere along the line, my tastes branched out from New Wave to the unfortunately labeled “hair bands.” Oh, I loved them all… Winger, Whitesnake, Warrant (why do they all begin with “W”?), Def Leppard, Slaughter, L.A. Guns, Bang Tango, Bon Jovi (Jersey, holla!)… you get the picture. But one of my favorites from that time was that other “W” band – you know, the one with the super hot Danish lead singer whose sculpted cheekbones clearly were carved by Michelangelo.
Yep, I’m talkin’ White Lion.
It’s been a loooong while since I’ve heard anything about the band, who I managed to catch live exactly one time, down the Jersey Shore at Tradewinds in Sea Bright. So you can imagine my shock this morning when I hear that one of the current “American Idol” contestants, Colton Dixon, performed a White Lion oldie but goodie on last night’s show:
I must admit, it took me a moment to remember the melody to “Broken Heart.” Although I think it’s a great song (especially the way lead singer Mike Tramp’s gravelly voice sang it), it’s certainly not one of their big hits. No, if anyone was to pick a White Lion song I would naturally assume it would be “Wait” or their biggest single, “When The Children Cry.” I’m not exactly surprised Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson said they never heard the song before. I guess I’m just glad they didn’t say they’d never heard of White Lion before. Now that would be a travesty! C’mon, people! Were you awake in the late ’80s/early ’90s or what? Mike, for his part, told The Hollywood Reporter he was mystified by fellow rocker Steven Tyler’s critique that the song was the wrong choice for Colton. “What’s wrong with Tyler?” Mike asked THR. “White Lion toured with Aerosmith for three months back in 1987 and we became friends. I would say he knows pretty well who White Lion is and that ‘Broken Heart’ is a key part in the foundation to the band and why we were successful in the ’80s.”
Anyway, here’s the original, Mike Tramp looking hotter than E-V-E-R, version of “Broken Heart”:
White Lion, by the by, appeared in one of my favorite comedies of all time, “The Money Pit.” The band is featured prominently at the end of the movie when stars Tom Hanks and Shelley Long wed.
Personally, I love White Lion’s cover of the classic Golden Earring song “Radar Love.” To this day I love driving along and listening to that song on my MP3 player. There’s nothing better than imagining a sweaty, breathy Mike Tramp shaking his gorgeous mane around. Yes, I’m serious, and don’t call me Shirley. Just look: