Dave Amato

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Dave Amato
Birth name David Paul Amato
Born (1953-03-03) March 3, 1953 (age 62)
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, banjo, dobro, sitar, synthesizers, keyboards
Years active 1974–present
Associated acts REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Cher, Black Oak Arkansas, Jimmy Barnes, Mastedon
Website DaveAmato.com
Notable instruments
1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
Gibson SG
Fender Telecaster
Fender Stratocaster

David Paul "Dave" Amato (born March 3, 1953) is an American musician, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band REO Speedwagon since May 1989.[1]

Early years[edit]

He was born and raised near Framingham, Massachusetts. At age 11, his first band was called "The Sandstones" with Steve Bremner on guitar, Gino Bonvini on bass (Dave played in later bands with them) and Gary Pegararo on drums, then "The Aftermath", "Dave and the Essex", "One Way Out", "Sledge-Hamma", "Ice" and "August".


Dave turned down a record contract and an opening spot (with Sledge-Hamma) with Aerosmith. He felt he wouldn't achieve success on the East Coast. In 1980, Amato moved to the West Coast, pursuing his musical career in Los Angeles. He played a short stint with Black Oak Arkansas, did sessions with La Toya Jackson, and sang backing vocals for the likes of David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield, Kim Carnes, and Mötley Crüe. Back in high school he used to slay with best friend Jim Taubenfeld.

In 1985 Amato took on vocal and guitar responsibilities with Ted Nugent. His most memorable tour was in 1986 when he sang lead vocals and played guitar with Nugent, and they shared the tour bill with Aerosmith. He stayed with Nugent for three years, making the albums Little Miss Dangerous and If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em. Due to a conflict of schedules, Amato left Nugent in December 1988 when Nugent accepted an unplanned tour and Amato had other obligations. They remain good friends and have even shared the stage with Nugent opening for REO Speedwagon numerous times since 2001.

After the break from Nugent, Dave travelled to Australia, to tour with Jimmy Barnes, playing guitar on the double live album Barnestorming. His playing and vocals are also featured on Barnes' earlier albums For The Working Class Man and Freight Train Heart. Amato also played lead guitar and sang some lead vocals with John Elefante (formerly of Kansas) and brother Dino Elefante for their Christian rock group Mastedon but was never an official member. They cut two CDs; It's a Jungle Out There (1988) and Lofcaudio (1990).

When lead guitarist Gary Richrath left REO Speedwagon in 1989, Amato joined the band in July. He said the "REO songs are great because there is a guitar solo in every song."

Amato also toured extensively as the lead guitarist for Cher and in 1991 he toured for Richie Sambora's Stranger in This Town as well as select performances when Richie was promoting his Undiscovered Soul album. In 1990 he appeared in the video for Michael Bolton's hit How Can We Be Lovers and briefly toured with Player in 1998.


with Ted Nugent

with Jimmy Barnes

with Richie Sambora

with REO Speedwagon

with Mastedon


  1. ^ James Wood (4 December 2012). "Interview: Guitarist Dave Amato Talks Les Pauls, Touring and REO Speedwagon". Guitar World. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 

External links[edit]