White Tiger (band)

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White Tiger
OriginCalifornia  United States
GenresHard rock
heavy metal
Glam Metal
Rock
Glam rock
Years active1985–1988
1998-2003
LabelsECM Records
MembersMichael Norton
Brian James Fox
Past membersMark St. John
David Donato

White Tiger was a glam metal band from United States, founded by former Kiss band member Mark St. John, together with David Donato, along with bassist Michael Norton and drummer Brian James Fox, they only recorded 2 albums, Donato played in Black Sabbath in 1985, while St. John had been in Kiss in 1984. The rest of band was formed by bassist Michael Norton (brother of St. John) and Fox. The band broke up because of problems with the record label due to failed contracts and their new music but they had respectable success with their two albums. Mark died some time later at the age of 51. Donato died in February 2021.

Biography[edit]

The beginning[edit]

St. John (Mark Norton), practiced as a guitar teacher before being contacted by Kiss in 1984, after being recommended by well-known guitar maker Grover Jackson, to replace Vinnie Vincent, who had just been fired from the band. From this period, Norton became known to the public under the name on Mark St. John. With Kiss, St. John participated in the recordings of the album Animalize (Kiss's best-selling album of the 80s), but in December of the same year, after having participated in three dates of the world tour, he was replaced by Bruce Kulick for health reasons as he had contracted a rare form of arthritis.


Donato, instead, joined Black Sabbath in 1984 to replace Ian Gillan, and was fired in 1985 after recording some demos with the band, after just six months, for reasons that are not fully understood. Prior to this experience Donato, who had previously worked as a model, had been a member of the British Armageddon (but based in Los Angeles) in the mid-1970s, with which he recorded a self-titled debut in 1975, before the death of its founder Keith Relf (former lead singer of The Yardbirds). After these, he joined the band Hero founded by Neil Citron who was briefly guitarist for Quiet Riot.

White Tiger[edit]

Creation of White Tiger[edit]

White Tiger was formed in early 1986 by St. John, his brother Michael Norton, Donato, and drummer Brian James Fox. The bandbore some similarity in appearance and sound to the eighties-era hair metal Kiss. A few months later, after signing with EMC Records, they released the self-titled debut White Tiger, which while receiving praise related to songwriting, was nevertheless criticized for its poor production. In any case, it was not a significant success and went unnoticed, also because it was produced by a small label. The label, which saw no promising future for the quartet, rejected the band for lack of success. Demonstrations were recorded for a possible second album, which should have been titled On The Prowl, but was never released due to a lost record deal.

The End[edit]

The project, seeing no future, was interrupted in 1989. St. John founded the band Keep composed of St. John, singer Michael McDonald (the pseudonym Michael Donato used), guitarist Kevin Russell, bassist Joey Mudarri and on drums none other than Peter Criss , a well-known former drummer of Kiss . After briefly switching bass with Jim Barnes, St. John reintroduced his brother Michael in January 1990. This incarnation of Keep, which included almost all the members of White Tiger, recorded some demos and attended some concerts in California. However, the label began to distance itself from the newborn band, also due to the rise of the grunge movement. That radically changed the musical trends of the time. Subsequently, the band disbanded in 1991 when Peter Criss founded his solo project called "Criss".

Later years[edit]

Raw reunion and launch[edit]

St. John later worked with Stevie Wonder and David Hasselhoff. Brother Michael Norton joined the Laidlaw band releasing the albums Sample This (1998) and First Big Picnic (1999). Later, Fox joined Silent Rage, ironically signing with the label owned by Gene Simmons, known as Kiss bassist and founding member. With them, the drummer released the album Still Alive in 2002. In 1998, St. John hired a small label to release the album White Tiger Raw which was released in 1999. After playing for a few dates in Los Angeles, the band finally broke up. In the same 1999 the debut of White Tiger was reissued with the addition of a bonus track. St. John will then undertake his solo project called "Mark St. John Project" first recording the eponymous EP Mark St. John Project in 1999 in which he participated in the composition of some Peter Criss songs , and then in 2003 the second Magic Bullet theory.

St. John was reported to have died on April 5, 2007 of a brain hemorrhage. He was 51 years old.

Controversy with another band[edit]

There is a new hard rock and heavy metal band called White Tiger (Wilmington, Delaware), using the same name as the one that Mark St. John formed with David Donato (voice), his brother Michael Norton (bass) and Brian James Fox (drums), they released a self-titled album in 1986. On March 26th they will open the Delaware concert of Red Dragon Cartel, the group led by guitarist Jake E. Lee who was in Badlands with Eric Singer.

Rare demo tape of White Tiger sold[edit]

A rare 1988 demo tape from White Tiger, Mark St. John's band, was sold on eBay for $ 608.00. Songs included are Wild Wild Women, Communicator, Where Did Our Love Go, and Face the Love.

Live video posts[edit]

Brian James Fox, former drummer of White Tiger, Mark St. John's band, has announced that he is working on old material of the group recorded live (he has not specified if in audio or video) to publish it on Facebook and YouTube.

Curiosities[edit]

  • The band would later supposedly be called Keep, with the same members as White Tiger, except that Peter Criss joined on drums.
  • They only released two albums, one in 1986 and the other in 1999, they had respectable success.
  • The songs were written by Donato and Mark for the first album, the second album was written by Mark.
  • Mark died in 2007 from a stroke and the band broke up for good.
  • David Donato died in 2021 from throat complications and asthma.
  • Michael Norton is Mark's younger brother.
  • Brian Fox was a former member of Silent Rage as a drummer.
  • They were a glam and heavy band, popular genres of the 1980s.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilations[edit]

  • Rock Warriors
  • Live to Rock

Live[edit]

Track list[edit]

White Tiger[edit]

  1. "Rock Warriors" - 5:28
  2. "Love/Hate" - 5:51
  3. "Bad Time Coming" - 6:01
  4. "Runaway" - 5:00
  5. "Still Standing Strong" - 5:26
  6. "Live To Rock" - 4:09
  7. "Northern Wind" - 5:13
  8. "Stand And Deliver" - 4:38
  9. "White Hot Desire" - 4:36

Raw[edit]

  1. Do You Want Me
  2. You're the One
  3. Small Dose of Lovin'
  4. What Ya Doin'
  5. Day of the Dog
  6. Lord of the Fire
  7. Love Me or Leave Me
  8. She's the Kind of Girl
  9. Razor Rock
  10. Brother the Devil
  11. I'm a Lover
  12. Pull It Tight
  13. Love Me or Leave Me [keyboard version]
  14. Baby (Somethin' About You)
  15. Out Rockin'
  16. Makin' Love
  17. Fallin' in Love
  18. You're Breakin' My Heart
  19. Interlude/Little Pussy [instrumental]
  20. Big Cat Strut [instrumental]

Members[edit]

References[edit]