Dave Amato

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Dave Amato
Amato with REO Speedwagon in 2007
Amato with REO Speedwagon in 2007
Background information
Birth nameDavid Paul Amato
Born (1953-03-03) March 3, 1953 (age 69)
Years active1974–present

David Paul 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." The lineup included Steve Bremner (guitar), Gino Bonvini (bass), and Gary Pegararo (drums). Amato's later bands were named The Aftermath, Dave and the Essex, One Way Out, Sledge-Hamma, Ice, and August.


While fronting Sledge-Hamma, Amato turned down a recording contract and an opening spot with Aerosmith because he felt he wouldn't achieve success on the East Coast. In 1980, Amato moved to Los Angeles, California. He played a short stint with Black Oak Arkansas, did session work for La Toya Jackson, and sang backing vocals for the likes of David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield, Kim Carnes, and Mötley Crüe.

In 1985, Amato joined Ted Nugent's band, providing both guitar and backing vocals. His most memorable tour was in 1986 when he sang lead vocals and played guitar with Nugent. They shared the tour bill with Aerosmith. Amato stayed with Nugent for three years and appeared on 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. Amato and Nugent remain good friends and have even shared the stage when Nugent has opened for REO Speedwagon.

After leaving Ted Nugent's band, Dave traveled to Australia to tour with Jimmy Barnes. He played guitar on Barnes' 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 Amato never officially joined the group. 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 (December 4, 2012). "Interview: Guitarist Dave Amato Talks Les Pauls, Touring and REO Speedwagon". Guitar World. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015.

External links[edit]