Solo albums: This fine guitarist has belonged to some legendary bands, and I felt he deserved his own page in my Olympus. He was born on September 29, 1948, in Tampa, Florida, USA.


This is his first band, as far as I know. They started as a trio in the mid 60s.

They were joined in 1966 by a new member, and that's when they adopt the name Blues Image. In 1968, they become a quintet:

In New York City, they had an own club, named The Image, where they usually performed along with other bands. They released their first self-titled album, Blues Image in 1969. His second album, Open, included his best-known song, "Ride captain ride". And in 1970, Pinera leaves the band to join the great band Iron Butterfly.


Mike Pinera (and Larry Reinhardt) joined them around 1970, but for a very short stint, when Iron Butterfly's guitarist, Erik Braunn, left the band.

After a new album, Metamorphosis, they split around 1971, after a European tour headlining with Yes, and a US farewell tour in summer 1971.

They reunited again in 1974, but not with Pinera. Although in 1988, the band reunited again, but don't know if Pinera was there. Can anyone tell me that, please?!

While in the band, Mike Pinera opened a video production company (in the early 70s!!).


Mike joined Ramatam in 1972.

They released a self-titled album, Ramatam, produced by mythical Tom Dowd, but it was followed by Mike's departure, so he doesn't play in their 2nd album.


Mike and former companion Bertematti form New Cactus Band in 1973. They only released an album, Son of Cactus, before splitting that same year.


Reminiscent of his former band, Mike's new combo was called Thee Image. This was 1975.

They released an eponymous album, Thee image. It was released a second album, called Inside the triangle, and they split.

Where was he?  

I don't know where Mike was from 1975 to 1981. Help, please!!


Mike joins Alice Cooper around 1981, playing in Special forces, recorded by Alice Cooper, Mike Pinera, Duane Hitchings, Erik Scott, plus Danny Johnson (guitar, from Axis, Derringer, later in Rod Stewart Band and Alkatraz), and Craig Krampf (drums, once in Flo & Eddie, and a famous session man).

The live band assembled was:

This great lineup did a European tour, and they had projected to play in Spain, but unfortunately, problems with equipment trucks (halted in Spanish-French border by a strike) prevented us to watch them. :(

They released another studio album, Zipper catches skin, with the live band, plus Craig Krampf (drums), Billy Steele (guitar) and the great Dick Wagner (guitar). And later, after their second world tour, Alice reorganized his band. While in the band, Mike produced their videos.

Where was he?  

After his stint with Alice Cooper, I've read that Mike wrote, produced and starred the first anti-drug rock music documentary, "Painscape".


In 1993, the band re-unites again (the first reunion, without Pinera, was in 1988).

As far as I know, they didn't record any new album. Some years later, Derek Hilland went to Whitesnake (with Denny Carmassi).


This band was assembled in 1993, as a vehicle for great veteran musicians. The original members were Spencer Davis (from Spencer Davis Group), Mike Pinera, Pete Rivera (from Rare Earth) and Jerry Corbetta (from Sugarloaf). When they recorded their album in 1994, the lineup was:

They also made a tour, until Spencer Davis left the band to recreate his own Spencer Davis Group.

The album includes renditions of Blues Image's 'Ride captain ride' and Iron Butterfly's 'In a gadda da vida', as well as other great classics from some other members (such as Spencer Davis, with 'I'm a man' or 'Gimme some lovin'').

Now, he is still performing with this band. Joining them as the odd gig, usually great names in music, such as Bobby Kimball (vocals, from Toto), Joey Molland (from Badfinger and Natural Gas), Nick St. Nicholas (from Steppenwolf). And from this collaboration, it was born another great superband, World Classic Rockers (WCRE) with Kimball, Molland and St. Nicholas.


As I've said, Mike Pinera released two solo albums.

Isla (a Spanish title!), was recorded with this lineup:

Some of them were former Mike bandmates. Hitchings was with Mike in New Cactus Band and he also has a really extensive musical career, and Donny Vosburgh was in Thee Image. Flaco once was member of Joe Cocker's band.

Produced by Mike Pinera himself, I must say that it's a very good album. Some songs remind me of the early Doobie Brothers. Very good playing in it.

His second solo album is Forever, but, unfortunately, I don't have it, so I can't tell details about it. Can anyone help, please?


Press here to read about Mike Pinera sessions

Links related

Family tree

Coming soon (I hope so!).

Thanks section

Thanks to: Jeff Ganaposki, for info and scan on Ramatam; Harry Kopy, for info about Iron Butterfly.


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If you can contribute (with additions, corrections, opinions, etc.), please, send me an e-mail message at mterol@myrealbox.com

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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 12/February/1998. Last modified on: 05/February/1999.