Al Pitrelli (born September 26, 1962 in New York, NY) is a guitarist, best known for his work with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Joe Lynn Turner, Asia, Savatage and Blue Öyster Cult.
Al Pitrelli attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the early 1980's (where keyboardist Derek Sherinian was his dorm roommate; they would later work together in the Alice Cooper band). After dropping out of Berklee, Pitrelli worked as a session musician during his early days, and also taught guitar lessons on Long Island, NY. His first major label gig was performing with Michael Bolton, helping him support his single, "Fool's Game". Pitrelli said of the single, "This was when Michael Bolton was still trying to be Sammy Hagar and not Engelbert Humperdinck"
Pitrelli was Alice Cooper's guitarist and musical director from 1989 until 1991. Pitrelli also joined Asia, appearing on their albums Aqua in 1992 and Aria in 1994. In 1995, Pitrelli played guitar for Place Called Rage, a one-time collaboration featuring future Trans-Siberian Orchestra vocalist Tommy Farese as well as bassist Danny Miranda and drummer Chuck Bonfante.
Al joined Savatage in 1995, joining at the same time as Chris Caffery returned to the band (Chris had previously been a part of the band around the release of Gutter Ballet in 1989). Al played guitar on the albums Dead Winter Dead and The Wake of Magellan and did some of the lead guitar work on Poets and Madmen despite being a member of Megadeth at the time. (Al was responsible for the outro of Stay With Me A While, the main solo of Morphine Child, the main solo of The Rumor, the first part of the main solo in Commissar & the outro of Commissar. During his time with Savatage, he was asked by their producer Paul O'Neill if he was interested in joining his side project, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Al agreed and has played a role in all of their records thus far, adding his edgy playing style and classical stylings to the group.
Al was a member of Megadeth from 2000-2002, replacing Marty Friedman. Dave Mustaine asked him to join the band after hearing good reviews from the then Megadeth drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, who he played with during his days with Alice Cooper in the early 90s. Al only joined the band after an "audition" in front of a live crowd in Vancouver on January 16, 2000, 2 nights after Marty played his last show with the band, he was asked to play when it was 15 minutes before the show and was shocked as they never rehearsed. Al beat competition for the guitarist's position from the likes of Stef Burns (Y&T, Alice Cooper) and James Murphy (Testament). He was present during the recording of Rude Awakening, a live CD/DVD that was released in 2002. He also recorded The World Needs A Hero with the band, and his textbook-type musical composition skills startled the band, and challenged them as musicians.
Dave Mustaine revealed there were problems in Pitrelli's days with the band, stating "I was having problems with Al because he liked to drink and we didn’t want to show up at places drunk. Al also got married to a nice woman but he wanted to spend time with her. After a few years most married men are willing to die so I figured if we got a couple years into the marriage that might have changed. But the fact was, Al wasn’t fitting in." When Megadeth entered hiatus after Dave Mustaine injured his arm, Al re-joined Savatage on April 9th, 2002 and also continued his work with TSO. As of yet, Savatage have yet to record a new album since his return, instead concentrating on TSO. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.