Ramatam was an American hard-rock band that released two albums on Atlantic: Ramatam (1972) and In April Came the Dawning of the Red Suns (1973).

Members: April Lawton (lead guitar), Mitch Mitchell (drums), Mike Pinera (guitar), Russ Smith (bass, vocals), Tommy Sullivan (keyboards, reeds, vocals), Jimmy Walker (percussion, vocals)


Ramatam formed in 1971 when guitarist Mike Pinera teamed with keyboardist Tommy Sullivan and English drummer Mitch Mitchell.

Pinera started in the Tampa, Fla., post-psych band Blues Image and played on their first two albums, the 1969/70 ATCO releases Blues Image and Open. The latter spawned the hit “Ride Captain Ride,” a Pinera co-write. He jumped ship to ATCO labelmates Iron Butterfly in time for their 1970 release Metamorphosis. Concurrently, he played on another ATCO title, Moments by folk singer Judy Mayhan.

Sullivan hailed from The Brooklyn Bridge, a Manhattan pop-vocal ensemble that scored a 1969 Billboard #1 with “The Worst That Could Happen.” He performs on their first three albums, released on Buddah between 1968 and 1970.

Mitchell, originally from Ealing, Middlesex, got his first gig in R&B/beatsters Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames. His big break came when American guitarist Jimi Hendrix chose Mitchell for the Experience. Mitchell played on the three Experience albums: Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland. Mitchell then joined Jimi’s followup band Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, which lasted long enough to play Woodstock. He also played on the debut album by singer Martha Velez (Fiends & Angels) and co-wrote “Creation,” a track on the album Galactic Zoo Dossier by Arthur Brown and Kingdom Come.

The initial five-piece Ramatam completed itself with bassist Russ Smith and lead guitarist April Lawton.


  • Ramatam (1972)
  • In April Came the Dawning of the Red Suns (1973)


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