NO LOVE IN THE ELEVATOR FOR MIKE TRAMP
Date: February 27, 2019
Location: Island of Labadee, Haiti
Event: Monsters of Rock Cruise
Reviewer: Christopher Carroll
Photos: Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography
It was a beautiful and sunny afternoon on the Haitian island of Labadee, one of the two stops on 2019’s Monsters of Rock Cruise. Former White Lion frontman, Mike Tramp, was performing on a stage on the beach. Well-tanned, he seemed right at home in the environment, just him and an acoustic guitar and all of us there to hear the music and listen to the stories he told.
While I’ve seen White Lion and Mike Tramp several times over the years, it wasn’t until the 2016 Monsters of Rock Cruise, when I actually met him, briefly. At the time, I was being introduced to famed rock photographer, Neil Zlozower, by our mutual friend, photographer Joe Schaeffer. I was excited about meeting Neil, as he is a legend in the business, and he was getting ready to go ashore for the day with his friend, Mike Tramp. Mike’s look has obviously changed since the ’80s. Gone are the long, frosted curls and, in place, is a clean yet messy short, spikey cut. It fits Mike as well as the long hair that put his posters on the walls of countless girls in the ’80s. He also wears a day or two’s worth of stubble and seems incredibly laid back. I was actually a little surprised to realize that he is a gentle, incredibly friendly man. You know, with ”80s heart throb lead singers’, you never know what to expect! I believe Mike was a Danish model or actor before joining White Lion so I wouldn’t have been surprised to run into a serious ego but that brief meeting and through the stories he told, it’s clear that he’s thoughtful and a caring human being …. Which leads me to ‘the story’.
During the show, Mike would tell us quick stories about writing lyrics, his inspiration for these and how he is more prone to write a song about a subject that matters in the world as opposed to the blonde in the tight jeans (my words, not his)! Since I wasn’t recording this story that he told, I may be paraphrasing but this is, exactly how the story went, as closely as I can recall and it left me speechless.
Mike was talking about how, the previous night, he was on the pool deck enjoying the BulletBoys concert. When the show was over, Mike headed to the elevator, got in and immediately heard someone yell, “Hold the elevator!” So he did and, in walked BulletBoys singer Marq Torien! Mike smiled and said ‘Hello’ but Marq immediately recognized him and said something to the effect of, ‘Oh! You are the guy who, when everyone is just trying to have a good time, brings up something like politics! Yeah…. You are that guy who writes songs about kids starving in other countries that we don’t give a F**K ABOUT’!’ Mike was still visibly stunned, even a day later, by these comments. He said his response to this was, “Yes… that IS me” and he made no apology for being that guy. Collectively, our jaws in the audience dropped. I’ve always heard Marq was a douchebag so this wasn’t hard to believe but to attack someone this way, who just wants to bring attention to some things in life that matter, is surprising. As I said, this may not be word for word and if it’s not, I invite Mike to correct me, but this was certainly the sentiment.
Mike continued to play some great songs, some White Lion songs as well as songs off his solo album, Stray From the Flock, which is actually quite enjoyable! I was just listening to it yesterday. There’s a really good song on there called — “Dead End Ride” — which caught my ear immediately. His voice still sounds great and is packed with style. It’s worth checking out! He’s currently on an acoustic tour and even playing some co-headlining shows with John Corabi. As I said, he truly seems like a caring and genuine guy and I certainly support him as a fan.
Mike Tramp performing “When The Children Cry” and “Wait” live on the Island of Labadee, Haiti on February 27, 2019:
DAY 4 – Wednesday, February 27, 2019 (Labadee, Haiti) Mariner of the Seas, Royal Caribbean
Mike Tramp performing “Cry For Freedom” live on the Island of Labadee, Haiti on February 27, 2019:
Mike Tramp – February 24, 2019 – March 1, 2019 – Monsters of Rock Cruise – MORC 2019