Stevie Rachelle thinks that Tuff were an intimidating band to share the stage with
Tuff lead vocalist Stevie Rachelle recently released the 16th instalment of his Tuff Diaries via Metal Sludge, which includes touring with Lita Ford, having to open for Sweet F.A. and bassist Todd Chase‘s exit from the band.
The following is an excerpt from the 16th instalment of the Tuff Diaries from the Metal Sludge website (with slight edits):
“We’ve done 20 shows and Lita Ford is sick.
Now the news is out, Lita is going home.
Phone calls to our manager and agency, and we’re all in a holding pattern.
After the dust settles the tour will go on with Tuff only.
However, a few of the remaining promoters are considering canceling their date altogether.
Oh well, what else is new, we’re ready to move forward and rock n’ roll.
The next day we drove to Columbus Ohio, to play the “Newport Music Hall”.
The show was advertised as Lita Ford, Tuff and Sweet F.A., who were local to the area.
We pull into town, and arrive at the venue to see all of Sweet F.A.’s gear on stage.
They’ve already started sound-checking and we’re being told we’re the opening band now.
Needless to say, we were not happy as that’s not what was on the poster.
After some general arguing between us, the stage crew and local promoters, it’s clear the hometown boys are getting their way.
Typical politics play out, and at this point in our career we could care-less.
Show time comes and we hit the stage.
We were a well-oiled machine by this point and killed it nightly.
Whether we’d go on first, or last, 30 minutes or a full set – we were ready.
Pretty much every band we ever played with, wasn’t always stoked on the fact that we delivered the way we did.
It’s also why I believe, Tuff never got any great tours.
We played with pretty much every cool band of the era, once.
But after kicking ass, and doing what we do, it seemed no one wanted to play with us again.
Maybe it’s because we stole all the pussy after the show.
Call it bragging or whatever, but the truth is, we were an intimidating band to share the stage with.
I am guessing that was also the case in the early years for bands like Mötley Crüe, Poison, Bon Jovi and Warrant.
After those opening bands got their chance, and started mopping the floor with the headliners they got tossed.
I can’t say we were the reason why Britny Fox imploded after 1 show with Tuff (as detailed in Tuff Diaries #11), but that is exactly what happened.
I recall learning that we out-sold them in merchandise at “The Living Room” in Providence, Rhode Island the first night of that tour.
Which ultimately also became the last night of that tour.
This all seems petty looking back, but all this mattered to a degree back in the day.
So the show at “Newport Music Hall” was a mess for sure.
When we took the stage we had little to no monitors, the lights were barely on and the P.A. system was at a super low volume.
These are the kind of things you read about when a bigger band, takes the newbie band on tour and treats them like garbage.
Well, in short, this is what Sweet F.A. and their crew did to Tuff that night.
The show is half-ass and after about 5-6 songs I tell the crowd we’re done.
I told the fans to meet us at the t-shirt booth and we walked off stage.
Of course I also went full Axl and slammed my microphone into the floor.
75% of the crowd left the stage area, and waited to meet Tuff at the merchandise stand.
Sweet F.A. got to play big rock stars to their local crowd, or what was left of it.
Of course this is my version of what happened, and likely their version would be different.
Honestly I don’t recall ever meeting any of these guys, and I am guessing they were all probably good people.
But truth is, every band was thinking “kill or be killed” at some point, and if you weren’t – you got left in the dust.
Other than a guy over-dosing and dying on the tour, we had seen it all and nothing coiuld shock us at this point.
We’ve made a ton of friends with bands we shared the stage with over the years, bigger bands, smaller bands and those who we felt were on the same level with us.
I felt like we learned early on about being respectful of each other’s space and gave back – what we got in return.
However every once in a while you run into a situation that gets ugly fast.
This was a shit show for sure, and Sweet F.A. left a bad taste in our mouth.”