Neil Citron

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Neil Citron
GenresHeavy metal, hard rock
Associated actsQuiet Riot

Neil Citron is a Toronto born guitarist, Grammy Award-winning recording engineer and songwriter who played with the California-based rock bands Hero and Lana Lane as well as briefly with heavy metal band Quiet Riot in 2006, among many numerous other music industry credits. He also has worked on films My Big Fat Greek Wedding, That Thing You Do! and Ricki and the Flash.

Early musical career[edit]

In his younger years, after time playing other instruments he changed to guitar on the advice of his older cousin Howard Leese, who has played with Heart. By the age of 17 he was a formative member in the band Hero who were eventually signed to 20th Century Records, releasing two albums, Hero and Boys Will Be Boys.[1] Eventually the band would evolve into Head Shaker, which was fronted by David Donato whose later credits would include Black Sabbath and the Geezer Butler Band.

With Lana Lane, Grammy Award and Quiet Riot[edit]

By 1995 he had joined the band of symphonic and progressive rock singer Lana Lane and played on many of her albums, including the debut 1995 album Love Is An Illusion and Curious Goods, released the following year, which both enjoyed success in Japan. Touring would follow, resulting in the release of live material and several follow-up albums and the DVD Storybook: Tales from Europe and Japan, in which he is featured in both live performances and interviews.[2]

By 2002 he became more involved in solo projects as well as extensive studio work with artists such as Steve Vai, Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton. That year he received a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for engineering No Substitutions: Live in Osaka by Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather.[3] His contribution to Lana Lane's albums would largely be guest spots in the studio from that point on.

In 2006 he joined Quiet Riot and played guitar on, recorded, mixed and mastered the album Rehab but left and was replaced by Alex Grossi. A musical relationship with Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali continued and together they collaborated on two blues rock albums, I've Got the Blues (And It's All Your Fault) and the Vanilla Fudge inspired cover album Peanut Butter Fudge.

Solo career[edit]

He first recorded and released Guitar Dreams in 1998 which had liner notes penned by Steve Vai and was released initially on Think Tank Media. It was later re-released with bonus material as In Search Of Higher Ground. Other solo projects would include Absolute (2001) and Flavoured Jam (2006), which featured a rhythm section powered by Matt Bissonette and Gregg Bissonette.


In 2010 he formed the progressive rock group BangTower with virtuoso Welsh bassist Percy Jones and LA drummer Walter Garces and the trio released the album Casting Shadows in September of that year. The follow-up single This Is My Town would come later in 2013.

In December 2016, BangTower released their sophomore album, "With N With Out", which together with Citron, Jones and Garces, featured guest performances from familiar collaborator Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), Rodger Carter (John 5, Rick Springfield, Lita Ford), Robbie Pagliari (Ohm), Jon Pomplin, Joan Fraley, Justin Stone, Chris Colovus & Josh Greenbaum. The album was engineered, mixed and mastered by Citron and much of the material was written by him, including two songs, "Kitty's Real Groove" and "My Father's Eyes" dedicated to his parents.

In August 2017, he released a seven track digital-only BangTower EP titled "Hey, Where'd Everybody Go?" again teaming up with Robbie Pagliari on bass (who was recommended by Percy Jones) and Frankie Banali on acoustic percussion. This EP was mixed and mastered specifically for digital distribution by Citron.

Movie work[edit]

He worked on the 1996 Tom Hanks movie That Thing You Do! as a musical instructor to the actors as well as performing guitar parts on the original band songs for the soundtrack. He also worked on 2002 hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding as editor for the film and sound engineer on the commentary for the DVD version of the film. In 2015 he worked on the Meryl Streep movie Ricki and the Flash as Streep's guitar mentor,[4] as well as doing work on composing songs, recording and other sound duties.

While being credited with extensive work as a sound engineer and producer, notable is his custom designed virtual guitar amplifier featured as part of Waves GTR3 from Waves Audio.[5]

Personal interests[edit]

Citron has been training in the martial arts for over 35 years. He holds a third-degree black belt in American Tang Soo Do style of Karate under former Chuck Norris black belt Dennis Ichikawa.[6] He also holds sixth-degree black belts in several Korean styles - Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, and Sib Pal Gi.



  • Hero (1977)
  • Boys Will Be Boys (1978)

Lana Lane[edit]

  • Love is an Illusion (1995)
  • Curious Goods (1997)
  • Garden of the Moon (1998)
  • Echoes from the Garden (1998)
  • Live in Japan (1998)
  • Ballad Collection (1998)
  • Queen of the Ocean (1999)
  • Echoes from the Ocean (1999)
  • Ballad Collection (2002)
  • Project Shangri-La (2002)
  • Covers Collection (2002)
  • Storybook: Tales from Europe and Japan (DVD 2004)
  • Return to Japan (2004)
  • Lady Macbeth (2005)
  • El Dorado Hotel (2012)

Erik Norlander[edit]

  • Music Machine (2003)

Quiet Riot[edit]

  • Rehab (2006)


  • Guitar Dreams (1998)
  • Absolute (2001)
  • Flavored Jam (2006)

Citron-Banali (with Frankie Banali)[edit]

  • I've Got the Blues and (It's All Your Fault) (2012)
  • Peanut Butter Fudge (2012)


  • Casting Shadows (2010)
  • With N With Out (2016)
  • Hey, Where'd Everybody Go? (2017)


  1. ^ "MusicMight :: Artists :: HERO". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  2. ^ "Lana Lane: '10th Anniversary Concert' DVD To Arrive In March". December 13, 2005. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "Past Winners Search". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Meryl Streep takes on a whole new gig by learning to play guitar for "Ricki and the Flash"". InqPOP!. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  5. ^ Studios, Tool. "- Waves Expands GTR3 With Neil Citron Amp Models : Recording Magazine -". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  6. ^ "T.O./WESTLAKE List of Great Grandmaster Ichikawa's Black Belts".

External links[edit]