From Dallas to Singapore, Brett Tuggle’s career has taken him across the globe and back thanks to his keyboard, guitar and vocal skills. When Brett was just a first-grader living in Denver, Colorado, his mother brought home a piano and he was immediately hooked. He began taking classical piano lessons at just six years old, and begged his grandfather for his first guitar, which he taught himself how to play. Inspired by the music of The Beatles, Brett realized he wanted to play music and write songs, and set out to make music his life’s journey. After hearing a song with a unique organ part, he became interested in the instrument and worked all summer on a farm to buy his first organ. It all led to him playing with various local bands throughout his teenage years, and eventually, to a full-blown musical career. Brett’s is a story of hard work, talent and a little bit of fate.
At the age of 19, Brett was opening for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels when one of the band’s crew members heard his band play and told everyone they had to hear “the kid playing guitar” in the opening band. Needless to say, the band came back the next night to hear Brett play. As fate would have it, they were on their way to Vancouver to play a gig and begin recording with producer Bob Ezrin — and they needed a guitar player. Just like that, Brett was off with his first real touring band to make a record.
Years of touring followed. Brett moved to Texas for a few years, where he was introduced to the Texas blues shuffles. Eventually he moved back to Colorado to start a band called Head First with some old friends. In 1979, producer Keith Olsen saw the band and asked Brett to go to Los Angeles to meet a guitar player who needed a singer/keyboardist. Brett packed up his keyboards and drove out to California, where he’s been ever since.
In L.A., Brett ended up playing and touring with Rick Springfield for four years on the heels of Rick’s hit single Jesse’s Girl. The ’80s also brought Brett together with David Lee Roth after he had split from Van Halen. During this period, Brett was able to stretch his songwriting legs, co-writing several songs with Roth including the top 10 single Just Like Paradise in 1988.
In 1992, Brett’s reputation as a top musician landed him another great opportunity, this time with drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. Shortly after meeting him, Brett heard he was looking for a keyboard player for his new band, The Zoo, so he made a phone call to Billy Thorpe, the singer/songwriter, and was invited into the band. The Zoo put out an album called Shakin’ The Cage. But more importantly, Brett had made a new friend in Mick, which would later play a key factor in his career.
After touring with various other artists, including Steve Lukather from Toto, Jimmy Page, and David Coverdale of Whitesnake (and spending some time in the studio), Brett found himself in the Dallas airport getting one of the most important phone calls of his career. Mick Fleetwood was putting Fleetwood Mac back together for the first time in almost 20 years, and wanted to know if Brett would be a part of the band. Within a month, Brett was in rehearsals with Stevie, Lindsey, Christine, Mick and John, preparing for what he describes as one of the highlights of his career. The Grammy-nominated reunion album The Dance and the tour that followed were a huge success, and led to even more opportunities.
Brett has played live with Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and Fleetwood Mac ever since, still finding time to work with artists like Chris Isaak and Steven Tyler in between. Brett recently completed the “Seeds We Sow” tour in support of the third in a trilogy of solo albums by Lindsey Buckingham. He is featured on keyboards, guitar, and bass in a live DVD of the tour entitled Songs from the Small Machine. Brett currently lives in Los Angeles where he plays live gigs and does studio work when not on tour.