Al Pitrelli

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Al Pitrelli
Al Pitrelli Guitar.jpg
Background information
Born (1962-09-26) September 26, 1962 (age 52)
New York, U.S.
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, progressive rock, symphonic metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1982–present
Associated acts Danger Danger, Hotshot, Alice Cooper, Asia, Joe Lynn Turner, Place Called Rage, Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Megadeth, O'2L, Widowmaker (U.S.), Sebastian Bach, Michael Bolton, T.M. Stevens, Vertex, Blue Öyster Cult
Notable instruments
Gibson Explorer
Gibson Les Paul

Al Pitrelli (born September 26, 1962) is an American guitarist, best known for his work with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Joe Lynn Turner, Asia and Savatage.

Early career (1982–1995)[edit]

Pitrelli attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the early 1980s (where keyboardist Derek Sherinian was his dorm roommate; they would later work together in the Alice Cooper band). After dropping out of Berklee, Pitrelli worked as a session musician during his early days, and also taught guitar lessons in Manhattan. His first major label gig was performing with Michael Bolton, helping him support his single "Fool's Game". Pitrelli said of the single, "This was when Michael Bolton was still trying to be Sammy Hagar and not Engelbert Humperdinck."[1]

Pitrelli was Alice Cooper's guitarist and musical director from 1989 until 1991 on the Trashes The World tour. He then joined Dee Snider's band Widowmaker for two albums in the early/mid–1990s, and also briefly played with Stephen Pearcy (from the band Ratt) in a band called Vertex. Pitrelli also joined Asia, appearing on their albums Aqua (1992) and Aria (1994). He would go on to be featured on many New York sessions, including for Kathy Troccoli, Taylor Dayne, Randy Coven, Exposé. His songs have been covered by Y&T, Lita Ford and Derek Sherinian. For a month he substituted in Blue Öyster Cult.

Savatage (1995–2000)[edit]

Al joined Savatage in 1995, joining at the same time as Chris Caffery returned to the band; Caffery had previously been part of the band around the release of Gutter Ballet in 1989. Pitrelli played guitar on the albums Dead Winter Dead and (1995) The Wake of Magellan (1997), and performed some lead guitar work on Poets and Madmen (2001), despite being a member of Megadeth at the time. On that album, Pitrelli was responsible for the outro of "Stay with Me a While", the main solos of "Morphine Child" and "The Rumor", the first part of the main solo in "Commissar" and its outro.[2] During his time with Savatage, he was asked by their producer Paul O'Neill if he was interested in joining his side project, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Pitrelli agreed and has played a role in all of their albums to date.

Trans Siberian Orchestra (1995–present)[edit]

Pitrelli has been a core member of the group since their first album. As well as being the main lead guitarist, he is also the live musical director. TSO's 2007 tour program credits his "edgy playing and vast musical lexicon" with making him a perfect fit for the band's constant boundary-pushing progressive rock stylings. Pitrelli's leads are notable on "Tracers" and the instrumental "Toccatta – Carpimus Nocten",[3] the latter being a piece co-wrote. Both songs form part of the group's fifth rock opera, on their 2009 album Night Castle.[4]

Megadeth (2000–02)[edit]

Pitrelli was a member of Megadeth from 2000–02, replacing Marty Friedman. Megadeth bandleader Dave Mustaine asked him to join after hearing good reviews from their then-current drummer Jimmy Degrasso, with whom Pitrelli played during his days with Alice Cooper in the early 1990s. Pitrelli joined the band after an impromptu "audition" in front of a live crowd in Vancouver on January 16, 2000. Two nights after Friedman played his last show with Megadeth, Pitrelli was asked to play fifteen minutes before the show and was shocked by the prospect as they never rehearsed. He was present during the recording of Rude Awakening, a live CD/DVD that was released in 2002, and also performed on their 2001 album The World Needs a Hero. When Megadeth entered hiatus after Mustaine injured his arm, Pitrelli rejoined Savatage on April 9, 2002 and also continued his work with TSO.

Recent work (2002–present)[edit]

More recently, Pitrelli has collaborated with Jane Mangini on a project entitled O'2L that has given both musicians critical acclaim. During the winter months, Pitrelli and Mangini have toured with Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In early 2010 they toured with TSO in the inaugural presentation of "Beethoven's Last Night".

In 1998, Pitrelli was featured on the video game album Sonic Adventure Remix, where he played guitar on a remix of the game's theme song "Open Your Heart".

Discography[edit]

Danger Danger[edit]

Hotshot[edit]

  • The Bomb (2005)

Alice Cooper[edit]

Asia[edit]

Place Called Rage[edit]

  • Place Called Rage [5] (1995)

Randy Coven[edit]

Coven, Pitrelli, O'Reilly (CPR)[edit]

Megadeth[edit]

Morning Wood[edit]

This is not the same band that Al Pitrelli was in. The album he played on was a mostly acoustic album which also featured cover songs. Al played guitar, Tony Harnell (TNT vocalist) sang lead vocals, Chuck Bonfante on drums and Danny Miranda on Bass. Existing info on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Harnell#Morning_Wood

O'2L[edit]

Savatage[edit]

Trans-Siberian Orchestra[edit]

Widowmaker[edit]

Vertex[edit]

  • Vertex (1996)

Guitar Battle[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Al Pitrelli career history & bio.
  2. ^ [2]) Savatage Band FAQ, taken from www.savatage.com
  3. ^ Sea of Tranquility, October 27, 2009
  4. ^ Night Castle album credits.
  5. ^ http://www.tommyfarese.com/Tommy%20Farese%20-%20Place%20Called%20Rage.htm

External links[edit]

Preceded by
*
Danger Danger guitarist
1987-1988
Succeeded by
Tony "Bruno" Rey
Preceded by
Marty Friedman
Megadeth lead guitarist
2000-2002
Succeeded by
Chris Poland