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Country USA

Style Glam/Hard Rock

After 15 years TUFF is still rocking stages in the U.S. & the U.K.! TUFF has re-launched its name into the ears of rock fans everywhere with their most recent (2001) smash hit “American Hair Band”. This 80s Metal Anthem has helped to re-recognize a genre of music that was all but dead. KISS did their official make-up re-union in 1996 & Poison soon followed. These bands have helped to once again pave the way for an entire decade that TUFF has always firmly embraced & acknowledges proudly with this amazing new song “American Hair Band”.

TUFF began in Phoenix , Arizona in early 1985, but it wasn’t until 1987 that the bands name became legendary on the world famous Sunset Strip. Within months TUFF became a huge West Coast draw at venues from Phoenix to San Francisco & San Diego to Salt Lake City & back. By the summer of 1990 TUFF had already completed three Midwest & East Coast tours supporting groups like, Warrant, Britny Fox, The Bullet Boys, Dangerous Toys & Enuff Z’Nuff. This was accomplished on the strength of the bands name alone, without any record label support.

Finally, in the spring of 1991, TUFF hit the road in support of their Atlantic Records debut “What Comes Around…Goes Around.” In September of that same year, the band debuted on Dial MTV peaking at No. 3 with their smash hit power ballad “I Hate Kissing You Goodbye”. TUFF sales were also fueled by an onslaught of press that featured band pin-ups, magazine covers & a die-hard fan club, fiercely dedicated to their favorite group. TUFF spent the better part of 1991 touring the U.S. doing shows with various bands like Lita Ford, Dokken, Badlands , Southgang, Saigon Kick, Aldo Nova, Blackfoot, & even The Romantics.

TUFF went on to release their sophomore effort on BMG/Mausoleum in the summer of 1995. The harder & more aggressive sounding “Religious Fix” was preceded by the self-released R.L.S. Records E.P. “Fist First” in the spring of 1994. TUFF also released both “Decade of Disrespect” & “Regurgitation” on their own label R.L.S. Records. These pieces were all followed by months of touring & relentless determination. After a full decade, the band decided to take a well-deserved break to pursue other interests.

After appearing on an episode of VH1’s “Where are they now?” and since releasing their latest “The History of Tuff” the band has officially resurfaced. “It’s time to turn on the grit & kick up some dirt”, says Stevie Rachelle. TUFF has maintained the interest from fans world wide throughout the years, but the reunion craze of KISS, Poison & the other 80’s groups have stirred an abundance of interest.

TUFF features original Vocalist Stevie Rachelle & a host of well rounded and experienced musicians. “The set will consist mainly of the TUFF catalog” says Rachelle. “We’ll be playing “I Hate Kissing You Goodbye,” “The All New Generation,” & the new 80s Metal Anthem “American Hair Band.”

Tuff was originally formed in the red, hot desert of Phoenix, Arizona in early 1985. The band was put together by guitarist Jorge Desaint and bassist Todd “Chase” Chaisson. After a local drummer didn’t work out they recruited Michael “Lean” Raimondo, who brought a great business sense, a flashy drum style and an old friend to fill the vocal duties as Terry Fox (the original tuff vocalist) left the band to pursue his professional ice skating career.

Tuff played some local gigs and opened for the L.A. based superstars, Poison who came to Phoenix trying to gain a following outside California. Poison told tuff to head to Hollywood if they wanted to make it big and in the fall of 1986 they did with their new vocalist Jimmy “L’mour” Gillette (ex. Slut vocalist & future Nitro vocalist) and the debut 4 song e.p. “Knock Yourself Out”. It was exciting for the guys to be in tinsel town but after a handful of shows Jimmy decided to leave the band to do a solo project, along with his very successful vocal lesson tapes and eventually form Nitro.

In may of 1987, a moderate amount of flyers were handed out on the sunset strip by the band to look for their new singer. One of these flyers made it back to little old Oshkosh, Wisconsin and after reading “singer wanted, David lee Roth, Vince Neil, Bret Michaels type” local guy Steve Lauxes (thats sexual spelled backwards) decided to give it a try. After spending a few years playing locally in Wisconsin the former frontman of “X-iter” and “talon” (a.k.a. “Tomi Gunn” not the Chicago/L.A. based Tommy Gun) realized it was time to make a move. “i flew to L.A. On a one-way plane ticket on June 26, 1987 and was confident I could fill the shoes” says Stevie, “after a few minutes in the same room we all knew it was right and I was the missing piece to the puzzle”.

That by chance flyer circulated two thousand miles to the middle of nowhere and look what happened. The first band meeting which took place at an apartment in Van Nuys, CA in early July 1987 would launch tuff almost overnight into the local, westcoast and national spotlight. Tuff played their first show with warrant at the Roxy theater in late august of 1987 and that would lead to one more support slot at the troubadour a month later. Then a headlining gig at the whisky a go-go on sunset strip in early November was the beginning of a Hollywood domination second to none. Tuff was soon to be known as the biggest unsigned band in the world. Undoubtedly the biggest southern California act since Posion or motley crue it wasn’t long before tuff found them selves in tour buses and Winnebagos headlining clubs all over the west coast. All this and getting paid $ 500.00 to $ 2,000.00 a night. Tuff soon found second homes in phoenix, Tucson, san Francisco, Fresno, San Diego, salt lake city and several other cities along with ruling Hollywood.

After a few years of running rampant on the west coast it was time for tuff to head across the u.s.a. And show everybody what’s coming outta Hollywood for the 90’s. Stevie Rachelle the new frontman for tuff was now a 2 year veteran and knew the Midwest was ready to see the group. Gathering up all the old contacts Stevie, Michael & tuff headed to Wisconsin to play a few gigs and then hit a few other cities coming to and going home from Wisconsin. A summer tour in 1989,a follow up tour in January 1990 and a short east coast stint with “Britny Fox” in the spring of 1990 helped solidify tuff into some markets as premier talent from the city that brought us poison and several other hot MTV acts. Some of these cities proved to be vital links to tuff tours years down the road. The “thirsty whale” in Chicago, Illinois was a club tuff became very familiar with along the way they also hit St. Louis, Omaha, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Dallas and Houston, Texas to name a few.

Tuff, along with establishing itself as a force in the Hollywood scene, never let up with heavy promoting, playing and eventually signed a recording contract with Titanium/Atlantic records in the late summer/early fall of 1990! Hooray! This contract came after 5 years of hard work and 3 years plus of pounding the streets of Hollywood with the lineup that would make tuff a household name. “bigger than batman”, “better than sex”, “in your face” & several other slogans adorned all of the tuff ads and flyers that covered sunset strip in the late 80’s. However none was more gratifying to the band than the 2 page centerfold bam and rock city news ads that read “hell just froze over” Atlantic/Titanium recording artists! These ads hit in July of 1990 and the band played 2 sold out nights at the Roxy theater to announce the big news.

Hundreds of shows played, thousands of miles traveled and one hell of a wild ride. Thanks to the new age of video a lot of tuffs career and dozens of shows have been documented. Tuff went on to release 2 CDs through major labels (Atlantic/Titanium & BMG/Mausoleum), 3 CDs on their own label R.L.S. Records. Along with 3 killer Tuff home videos that show what a band really goes through day in and day out.

In 2001, Tuff released the compilation CD The History of Tuff, which included the song “American Hair Band”, a parody of Kid Rock’s “American Bad Ass” (both of which incorporate the instrumentals of Metallica’s “Sad But True”). “American Hair Band” made references to numerous similar bands of the era as well as criticizing grunge and alternative rock.  In the summer of 2002 Tuff announced they would do their first UK tour in over a decade with special guest Shameless. Out of these shows the band put together the 2003 release ‘Live In The UK’. The record features a cover of Michael Monroe’s “Dead, Jail Or Rock ‘N Roll. After the tour ex-bassist Jamie Fonte would replace Saunders who had left to join Hair Of The Dog as rhythm guitarist. Thomas too would leave to make Beautiful Creatures his fulltime band. The return of original guitarist DeSaint seemed eminent as he and Rachelle started playing together again but DeSaint again packed his bags and headed off to Florida.

Rachelle lent his pipes to the Guns & Roses tribute record released by Cleopatra/Deadline Records singing on the track “You’re Crazy”. He has also appeared on tributes to Journey “Lights”, Bon Jovi “In And Out Of Love”, Styx “Babe”, Poison “Look What The Cat Dragged In”, Scorpions “Blackout”, Def Leppard “Too Late”, Motley Crue “Red Hot” and Ted Nugent “Wango Tango”. Tuff would have a new recording of, “Jingle Bell Rock”, included on the seasonal Harry Christmas compilation. Tuff members would also hit the club scene as an 80’s Metal Tribute band dubbed Motley Priest. In 2004 Rachelle released four Tuff dvd’s, ‘What Comes Around Goes Around – The Video’s’. ‘Religious Fix – The Making Of Religious Fix’, ‘Decade Of Distant Memories 85-89’ and ‘Rock N’ Rarities’. Tuff released What Comes Around Goes Around Again in 2012, which featured four rerecorded songs from What Comes Around Goes Around plus new tracks.

– Knock Yourself Out [1986]
– What Comes Around Goes Around [1991]
– Fist First [1994]
– Religious Fix [1995]
– Decade Of Disrespect [1996]
– Regurgitation [2000]
– The History Of Tuff [2001]
– What Comes Around Goes Around… Again! [2012]
– Decadation [2015]


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