Brett Tuggle
This autobiography was written by Brett Tuggle.

Music started at a young age for me. I grew up in Denver, Colorado and I remember being in the first grade, or about six years old, when my mom bought a piano for the house. She could play a little bit because her mother had played, but when the piano arrived my life's journey into the world of music had begun. I remember my brother Kent and I taking the weekly classical piano lessons from this nice elderly lady at her house, and going home and practicing every week for our lessons. A lot of people think, oh man, classical piano lessons, wasn't that a drag? But really, it was quite the opposite for me, I loved it. The lessons gave me a great foundation for music and a real appreciation for the instrument, so it didn't really bother me that the other kids in the neighborhood were playing football or baseball while I was practicing my lessons. By sixth grade I had started listening to the radio and buying a few records. I think the first album I bought was a Surf record. In Denver we were really into the "surf sound" even though the closest beach was over a thousand miles away. But then the following year I heard a band and a sound that would forever change my life-- that band was The Beatles. They were really the ones that made me realize I wanted to play in a band and sing and write songs, so that was it-- I had to get a guitar. My first guitar and amp were pretty inexpensive, but luckily for me my grandfather gave in to to my begging and bought them for me. I would sit at home with records I had gotten and figure out the chords to the songs by ear. Because of my piano background I could hear the music and pick up stuff with out too much trouble, but I didn't have a guitar teacher, so I had to teach myself. I remember after playing the guitar for about a year or so, I heard a song on the radio with a really cool organ part and then it hit me, I can play that! So that was it-- I had to get an organ. The small portable organs bands used in those days were around eight hundred dollars, which was out of this world expensive for a young boy of thirteen. So, to earn money, I drove a tractor for my grandfather on his farm in Kansas one summer vacation to earn half the money for the organ; my mom then came up with the other half, bless her heart, or I would have never been able to buy it. Finally, with a real organ, I could add something to a band and so I was always getting asked to play with different local Denver bands through high school. It was a great learning experience for me. I ended up staying in Denver and playing in various bands-- I was playing a Hammond B3 organ by that time and rhythm guitar and singing, and was able to keep myself working and playing music pretty much full time. I discovered I could make a living doing what I loved most, playing music. We actually used to play Fleetwood Mac songs from the Peter Green era in our club bands. When I was nineteen, a band I was in opened up for the group Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, which at that time had lost one of its guitar players. One of their road crew at the time heard us play our set and watched us and went to Mitch's band and said, "Hey, you should hear the kid on guitar and organ in the opening band" so they came back the next night to hear us. Somehow fate would have it that they were on their way to Vancouver to play a gig and work with their producer Bob Ezrin, so they asked me to join the band, and off I went with my first real touring band to make a real record.

Years of touring would follow. I moved to Texas for a couple of years and met some incredible players there. I lived in the Fort Worth-Dallas area and was introduced to the Texas blues shuffles and other styles that were a big influence on me. But I eventually went back to Colorado where I started a band with some old friends I had known for a long time in Denver. The band was called "Head First". We would play in Colorado and Texas doing club gigs. Then 1979 producer Keith Olsen saw our band and advised me to come out to Los Angeles and meet a guitar player he just heard who needed a singer/keyboardist. So I drove out to California in my van with all my keyboards and about two thousand dollars, and have lived in LA ever since. The 80's were a lot of fun for me. I spent about four years playing with Rick Springfield after he hit it big with Jesse's Girl and did a lot of touring with Rick and his band. We had such a great time out there. He always put on such a great show, tons of energy and plenty of female fans. Those were fun years for sure.

I then auditioned and got the gig with David Lee Roth after he had split from Van Halen. Roth's band at the time was amazing, to say the least; it included Steve Vai on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass and Gregg Bissonette on drums. That was one band that could really throw it down, so to speak. It was cool for me to work with a solo artist who actually wanted to write music with his band. I would go into my home studio and write these music tracks and give Dave a tape. If he liked the track he would put lyrics to it and presto, a song was born. I actually had a top ten single in 1988 with Dave called "Just Like Paradise." I look back on those years as quite an amazing musical and learning experience.

I met Mick Fleetwood in 1992 when he was putting another version of his band "The Zoo" together. I heard they were looking for a keyboard player and so I made a phone call to Billy Thorpe, the main singer/songwriter, who said 'come on down and let's play'. I ended up joining the band and we put out the album Shakin' The Cage which did OK but never really broke through. The band was very powerful live, but it just couldn't seem to get off the ground commercially. Still I had made a new friend in Mick playing with The Zoo, which would later be a key factor for me doing the Fleetwood Mac Dance project.

I got a call from David Coverdale in 1993 about playing with Coverdale/Page which was really a
Brett Tuggle and Jimmy Page, 1993; photo provided by Brett Tuggle.
Brett Tuggle & Jimmy Page, 1993
gas. We did only one tour of Japan and that was it. But I have to say it was a real thrill to get to play with Jimmy Page and do a few Led Zeppelin songs onstage with him. The crowds in Japan went crazy for both Jimmy and David. It seemed the band had just started to get rolling and then it was over. Unfortunately Coverdale/Page did only one album and then Jimmy was back with Robert Plant and David was putting Whitesnake back together so that was it, wish it could have lasted longer. I did end up playing on the next Whitesnake album "Restless Heart" and did enjoy working with David and his band a lot. I spent the next couple of years in my studio just working on music for computer interactive projects. That may sound weird but it was really a great learning experience. I acquired an education on how to digitize audio and video and got to write music for a few different CD ROM games which was a completely different experience from anything I had ever done before. I then hooked up with Steve Lukather from Toto and toured Europe and Japan in his solo band. Steve's band was definitely a fun musical experience for me. Luke (Steve's nickname) is an incredible guitar player singer and can play pretty good keyboards too. His son Trevor and my son Matt have a band. They're both thirteen going on 30. These two are really into it as far as the band thing goes. They rehearse in the garage and really do sound pretty good and have a bunch of original songs already. They're hooked for life, I'm afraid.

Getting to play with Fleetwood Mac in 1997 and doing the whole Dance record and video is still to
Christine McVie and Brett Tuggle, 1997; photo provided by Brett Tuggle.
Christine McVie & Brett Tuggle, 1997
this day one the highlights for me as far as a musical experience. It was just a great time with the most amazing group of people I have ever met. I had gotten a message in the Dallas airport that Mick was trying to reach me so I phoned him up from the airport and he said "we're putting the Mac back together; would you be interested in being one of the musicians we need to augment the band"? Of course I said yes and we started rehearsals the next month. What can I say, that record and tour was the best. The band really got tight as a unit again and I think Stevie, Lindsey, Christine, Mick and John were all ready to put aside all of their differences to get together again and just do what they do best: play great music. The band sounded amazing, the crowds were incredible, and the reunion was a big success. That will be a hard one to top. I just hope it happens again someday.

After doing the Fleetwood Mac tour, Stevie asked me to be in her band and I am still playing with her. She is such an inspiration to work with. Her songs are so cool and her voice is just awesome. She has so much charisma; it's just amazing how people are so drawn to her. Every night she goes out there and just gives it her all. She really
Brett Tuggle and Chris Isaak, photo provided by Brett Tuggle
Brett Tuggle & Chris Isaak
is "the Queen". I have so much respect and love for her, I hope I can play in her band for years to come.

Chris Isaak has also been a big part of the last couple of years for me. I met Chris at a Stevie show. He is a really nice guy, incredibly funny and has a beautiful voice. He is one of the best performers live I have ever seen. He makes the audience feel like such a part of the show. He's hysterical. I have been doing gigs with both him and Stevie, so I am truly very fortunate to work with these two great talents.

As I look back I have played with some truly amazingly talented people, and I feel so lucky to be able to have been a part of some great bands and projects. I hope to be able to play music, God willing, for the rest of my life. I'm also very glad my mom got that piano for us so long ago.

Brett Tuggle has achieved the status as a top keyboardist, vocalist and guitarist, performing live and in the studio with some of the below mentioned artist's from Carnegie Hall to Singapore. Brett's songwriting credits also include a top ten single with David Lee Roth and writing songs with various other artists. In 1997 & 1998 Brett worked with Fleetwood Mac on their long awaited re-union album and tour "The Dance". He then joined Stevie Nicks band and is still doing live concerts with her as she is planning an extensive world tour in early 2001. Brett has also recently been playing with Chris Isaak and does session work when he is not on tour. A listing of Brett's accomplishments appears below.

Chris Isaak Speak Of The Devil Tour 1999
Stevie Nicks Enchanted Tour 1998
Fleetwood Mac The Dance Tour 1997
Steve Lukather European/Japanese Tour 1997
Coverdale/Page Japanese Tour 1993
David Lee Roth U.S. & World Tours 1986-1991
The Zoo/Mick Fleetwood U.S. Tour 1992
Rick Springfield U.S. & World Tours 1982-1985
Tommy Shaw (Styx) U.S. & Japanese Tours 1985
Belinda Carlisle U.S. Tour 1985
Chuck Negron (3 Dog Night) U.S. Tours  
John Kay & Steppenwolf U.S. & World Tours 1981
Mitch Ryder & Detroit U.S. Tours  
Commercial Recordings
Fleetwood Mac The Dance Reprise
Steve Lukather Luke Sony
David Lee Roth Skyscraper Warner Brothers
David Lee Roth A Little Ain't Enough Warner Brothers
Whitesnake Restless Heart EMI
Joe Satriani The Extremist Relativity
The Zoo/Mick Fleetwood Shakin' The Cage Capricorn
Brian Wilson Spirit Of Rock and Roll Sire
Andy Taylor (Duran Duran) Thunder MCA
Tommy Shaw (Styx) Live In Japan Independent
Rick Springfield Living In Oz, Hard To Hold RCA
John Kay & Steppenwolf Live In London, Wolftracks Black Sheep
Mitch Ryder & Detroit Detroit Paramount
Writing Credits
Just Like Paradise David Lee Roth Skyscraper/top 10 single
Stand-Up David Lee Roth Skyscraper
Perfect Timing David Lee Roth Skyscraper
Shoot It David Lee Roth A Little Ain't Enough
Tell The Truth David Lee Roth A Little Ain't Enough
Dogtown Shuffle David Lee Roth A Little Ain't Enough
40 Below David Lee Roth A Little Ain't Enough
Baby's On Fire David Lee Roth A Little Ain't Enough
Burning In The Third Degree The Terminator Orion Pictures
Bug Explorers Children's CD-ROM Memorex
Dinosaur Explorers Children's CD-ROM Memorex
District Attorney Interactive CD ROM Game Legacy

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