TUFF 2000 BIO
15 years TUFF
is still rocking stages in the U.S.
in the spring of 1991, TUFF
the road in support of their Atlantic
Comes Around…Goes Around.” In
September of that same year, the band debuted on Dial
peaking at No. 3
with their smash hit power ballad “I
Hate Kissing You
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.
spent the better part of
went on to release their sophomore effort on BMG/Mausoleum
in the summer of 1995. The harder & more aggressive sounding “Religious
was preceded by the self-released R.L.S.
in the spring of 1994. TUFF
also released both “Decade
their own label R.L.S.
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
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
has maintained the interest from fans world wide throughout the years, but
the reunion craze of KISS,
& the other 80’s groups have stirred an abundance of interest.
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
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.
***Tuff Hits Hollywood***
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
***Tuff Tours in U.S.A.***
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. All of this along with tour T-shirts and a few other items can still be purchased through this web page & fan club. Please see the online store.