“People would tell me, ‘Oh, you sound and play just like Eddie Van Halen.’ It got under my skin enough that I called Eddie”: Vito Bratta, one of the definitive ’80s shredders, looks back on a career of world-beating solos with White Lion

Vito Bratta
(Image credit: Ebet Roberts/Redferns)

It’s 3:05 P.M. on a Friday. I’m waiting for a call from Vito Bratta. He’s late. Five minutes late, to be exact. But considering it’s taken years of knocking, followed by an additional three weeks of scheduling back and forth via email, to gain entry into the proverbial Casa di Vito… what’s a few minutes more?

A few nervous sips of Johnny Walker Blue later, at around 3:10 p.m., my trusty iPhone 10XR buzzes with anticipation; I’d used that old iPhone for countless interviews prior, but this one is different. The number scrolling across the screen is one I didn’t recognize. I mutter to myself, “That’s gotta be Vito...” It is.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.