Kutztown University grad Rick Vito
, guitarist for Fleetwood Mac
, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger and Jackson Browne
, returns to headline renovated hall
Guitarist Rick Vito performs at Kutztown University on Oct. 24. (RAINER DRECHSLER, FOTEX / September 24, 2003)
On a December night in 1968, guitarist Rick Vito left Kutztown University and drove with musician friends to the old Electric Factory in Philadelphia to see Fleetwood Mac - then a burgeoning blues band fronted by extraordinary guitarist Peter Green.
That night, Vito
The concert inspired him and his friends, Mark and Dean Wright, to join talents as The Wright Brothers Blues Band, giving Vito
his first high-profile music vehicle - a band that played the Lehigh Valley area's most famous haunts, such as Illick's Mill in Bethlehem.
Twenty years later, Vito became the guitarist in Fleetwood Mac, replacing Lindsey Buckingham.
On Thursday Oct. 24, Vito, now 63, returns to Kutztown University for its Rockin' Alumni Showcase, sharing a bill with country singer Mark Wayne Glasmire, a Bethlehem native and fellow Kutztown University alumnus.
says it was that trip to the Electric Factory that really moved him.
"We were all so knocked out," Vito
says of him and the Wrights.
"We said, Look, why don't we combine bands, so to speak ...
We continued on, inspired by the blues that Fleetwood Mac
was doing, because they were really authentic about it.
They really had a lot of craft and ... authenticity and that's what we were trying to do."
says they played clubs throughout the greater Lehigh Valley area "quite a few times.
played on the hits "Tender is the Night" and "Somebody's Baby," from the soundtrack to the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," which was the highest-charting of Browne's career and his
last Top 10.
later worked on Browne's platinum album "Lawyers in Love."
plays the searing slide guitar solo on Seger's 1986 song "Like a Rock," which was a No. 1 rock chart hit.
In the liner notes to his "Greatest Hits" album, Seger writes that his "fondest memory of this recording is of [co-producer] David Cole listening to Rick Vito play the slide guitar solo late one night at Rumbo Studios in LA.
also played on Seger's subsequent platinum and gold albums.