Guitarist/singer Dave Amato has served as a member of two of arena rock's most instantly recognizable names, Ted Nugent and REO Speedwagon, in addition to playing on countless other recordings by similarly styled artists. Born and raised in Boston, MA (date unknown), Amato formed his first local group when he was just 11 years old. After paying dues over the next few years playing in bar bands, Amato relocated to the west coast in 1980, in hopes of properly launching his musical career. Soonafter, Amato signed on briefly with southern rockers Black Oak Arkansas, in addition to supplying backing vocals for the likes of David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield, and Motley Crue, among others. 1985 saw Amato join Ted Nugent's band, as he appeared on such albums as 1986's Little Miss Dangerous and 1988's If You Can't Lick 'Em…Lick 'Em, as well as a few tours. During the same time, Amato also played with ex-Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes on a pair of releases, Barnes' self-titled solo debut from 1985, 1987's Freight Train Heart, and the 1988 in-concert set, Barnestorming. But by the early '90s, Amato was already on to his next project, a Christian rock group called Mastedon, which consisted of former Kansas member Dino Elefante and his brother, John Elefante. But after just a pair of releases, 1988's self-titled debut and 1990's Lofcaudio, the group split up as well. Around the same time, longtime REO Speedwagon guitarist Gary Richrath left the band, and Amato got the nod to replace him. Amato has remained a member ever since, playing on countless tours and appearing on such albums as 1990's The Earth, a Small Man, His Dog, and a Chicken, 1996's Building the Bridge, 2000's Arch Allies, and 2001's Live: Plus, as well as the 2002 DVD, Real Artists Working, during which Amato gives a guided tour of his on-stage equipment set-up. Additionally, Amato has guested on recordings by other artists, including Vince Neil, Michael Schenker, Gregg Rollie, and Richie Sambora, plus the 1992 concert home video by Cher, Extravaganza: Live at the Mirage, during which Amato's skills are prominently displayed.
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