Stevie Rachelle recalls Tuff getting signed to Atlantic Records’ subsidiary Titanium Records for 7 record deal
In the 12th instalment of the Tuff Diaries, frontman Stevie Rachelle provides his recollection of Tuff finally getting the big break by landing a record deal with Atlantic Records‘ subsidiary Titanium Records.
The following is an excerpt from the 12th instalment of the Tuff Diaries:
“— Tuff finally gets signed in the spring of 1990
After years of playing shows, writing and recording songs – the big goal is achieved.
We got a record deal.
The word is that Atlantic Records has offered Tuff a contract.
Well, kind of.
In reality we were offered a deal from Titanium Records.
Which was a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.
Not everyone gets signed to the big deal right away, some do but many more don’t.
Either way, we were excited to finally have our shot.
Poison initially signed to Enigma, and after success Capitol Records got involved.
In the case of Motley Crue, they self-released on Leathur Records and then Elektra Records became their home a year later.
Our offer was for $75,000.00 and it was a 7 album deal.
Not huge money, but this was 3 times what Poison first got ($23,000.00) to record “Look What The Cat Dragged In.”
Yes, a 7 record deal, and with each record our budget would increase.
This sounds amazing, however it’s pretty standard and the label has (control of) the other 6 options.
The label (Titanium) was made up of 4 partners.
They were: Andy Secher (Editor of Hit Parader Magazine), Paul O’Neil (Producer), Mitch Hersowicz (Also a part of Hit Parader) and a silent partner named Sheldon.
Titanium also signed Badlands featuring Jake E. Lee and a group out of Kansas City called Banshee.
I vaguely recall finding out that we were signed.
However nothing over-the-top or crazy came with this news.
There was no signing party, no board-room meeting, no showcase, nothing.
I had also already seen, or heard past promises, or hopes go by the way-side.
So… I have long been a believer of, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
There were phone calls between our manager (Brian Kushner) and various people related and the word was, this time it was really happening.
Funny looking back, at several points during the late 80’s, we would see pin-ups of Tuff or myself in Hit Parader Magazine.
And the magazine’s off shoot publications – like Hot Shots or Concert Shots.
We had come to learn that the Hit Parader staff had been eyeing us for a while.
Andy may have wanted to sign us much sooner, but timing is always a huge thing in the business.
Oh well, better later than never.
I guess all those pin-ups of Tuff in previous Hit Parader issues were kind of (Andy) promoting us before the fact.
Now it seemed, that our time had finally arrived.”