Before Mötley Crüe, before RATT, even before there was a Metallica, Y&T was slogging away in sweaty rock clubs around America. When the band formed in the early 1970s, little did they know they would set the standard for hard rock bands that trailed. Many of the biggest acts of the '80s became popular opening for headliners Y&T—and cut their teeth on the band, as evidenced by the Y&T mentions in tell-all books by acts such as Metallica and Mötley Crüe.
Born in Oakland, California, Y&T is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's own innovators of the hard rock sound. World-renowned headliners on their own, the band also remained the most requested support act on the hard rock road, touring with icons Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, and more. Whether performing to a festival crowd of fifty-thousand or in an intimate nightclub, Y&T's high-energy set still captivates legions of fans around the globe, proving Y&T's music timeless.
In 2010, Y&T released their first studio album in 13 years, featuring original members Dave Meniketti and Phil Kennemore, along with longtime members John Nymann on guitar and Mike Vanderhule on drums, who were each hand-picked by Kennemore and Meniketti years earlier. As the title indicates, Facemelter is a hard rockin', song-oriented album that lives up to its name. Recorded mostly live in the studio, it captures the band's raw energy and tightness for which they've become known. Featuring heavy grooves, powerful guitars and strong melodies, the band shows their versatility, delivering a range of high-energy rockers, mid-tempo head-bangers, modern rock grooves, majestic ballads, and signature Y&T rock anthems.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, Dave has been an icon for guitar players worldwide and a Bay Area guitar and vocal hero for three decades. Through his childhood, Dave was influenced by some of the great varied rock, R&B and Jazz artists of the '60s and '70s such as Hendrix, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Allman Brothers, Coltrane, and so many others. Dave's love for many types of musical expression is one of his great strengths & is evident in his soulful approach to playing & singing.
After being so impressed with Y&T and Dave's playing at a live performance, Bay Area manager Herbie Herbert (Journey), a guitar player fanatic himself, signed the band to a management contract in 1974. Dave released his first record with Y&T (Yesterday & Today) on London Records in 1976 and started on his way to a long career of making records and touring the world. Early on, Dave's bluesy style of rock guitar playing came to the forefront. When at a show in a Hollywood club in 1979, John Mayall was so impressed with Dave's performance in Y&T that he grabbed the club owner and demanded to go backstage to meet Dave and asked him to collaborate on a record. By 1983, as Y&T had achieved worldwide respect & was continuing to gain popularity, Dave won a Bammy Award for "Best Bay Area Guitarist", beating out other great players such as Neil Schon (Journey), Craig Chaquico (Starship), and several other guitar heroes. Dave has been listed in Guitar Player Magazine's "Best of" polls numerous times over the past several decades.
Dave Meniketti ~ Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals
Phil Kennemore ~ Bass
Phil Kennemore's first band consisted of five guys; the only problem was that nobody could play. Phil says he didn't even know what a bass was-he just knew he wanted to play. Since everyone in that first band played guitar, Phil took two strings off his guitar and decided to be a bass player.
Prior to Y&T, Phil played in many other bands (his first band was Crystal Sunshine-the name explains the era); they started off like everyone else playing anywhere they could (Elk's Lodge, Job's daughters, parties).
John Nymann ~ Guitar
John Nymann played his brother's guitar as a kid. Finally, at age 11, he got his very own guitar. At 15, with a Les Paul in hand, John got serious about guitar. A family friend gave him the Johnny Winters Progressive Blues Experiment album and showed him a few licks. John's friend told him this record would get him going on guitar. John says that record taught him a lot.
John's band Mile Hi began in 1974-the same year Y&T started playing original material. He refers to Mile Hi as a "junior Y&T" and says they modeled themselves after Y&T with two guitars, bass and drums. They intentionally used the same style of songwriting, they watched Y&T rehearse, and they opened shows for Y&T.
Photo: Jill Meniketti
Mike Vanderhule ~ Drums
Mike is a favorite in the local San Francisco Bay Area music scene. A student of Steve Smith, Mike is a straight ahead drummer with great chops who has also studied with Alex Acuna and Carl Allen. As an independent artist, Mike has played with John Denver, Neal Schon (Journey), Steve Lukather (Toto), guitar prodigy Larry Mitchell (Tracy Chapman, Billy Squire, Ric Ocasek), and toured with guitar virtuoso Michael Lee Firkins for Shrapnel Records. Mike performed at NAMM (L.A.) for Peavey, and the European NAMM (Paris) for Yamaha.
Previously a member of SoulMotor with Brian Wheat (Tesla) and Tommy McLendon (UFO), Mike is also a member of the Russell Brothers with Kevin Russell (Whitesnake, 707, Taxi), a band whose alumni drummers include Narada Michael Walden, Steve Smith, Andy Dorshuk (editor of Drum magazine), and Kevin Hays (Robert Cray Band). Mike has recorded with Jesse Collin Young (Youngbloods), Mickey Thomas (Starship), and new country artist Shelly Streeter (currently played on CMT and US radio stations). Also a producer, Mike has recorded and produced local bay area artists over the last decade.
Photo: Jill Meniketti
Previous Band Members
Leonard Haze ~ Drums & Mayhem
Leonard Haze has been playing drums since he was a kid. As the drummer and cofounder of Y&T, Leonard gets the credit for naming the band Yesterday & Today. As the story goes, one day a promoter called to book the band for a gig-only problem was that the band had no name. While on the phone with the promoter, Leonard looked around his room and saw the Beatles Yesterday & Today album - and so, in the heat of the moment, the band was named.
Leonard's career with Y&T cemented him as one of the great drummers in rock and inspired many a drummer with his unique style.
Joey Alves ~ Rhythm Guitar
Joey Alves was born in Oakland, CA and grew up in a small town just south of Oakland called San Lorenzo. He started playing guitar after high school and he was only in one local band before joining up with Dave, Leonard, and Phil in Yesterday & Today. There, Joey set his sights on mastering a new and more aggressive approach to the traditional style of rhythm guitar. He feels fortunate to have always been given the freedom to experiment from his band mates. Today, as a result of Joey’s efforts, he receives countless praise from musicians he has influenced.
Stef Burns ~ Guitar
Born in Oakland, California, Stef Burns grew up in Walnut Creek, California. He started playing his dad's guitar around age six. At seven, he got his first electric guitar-a Winston and later upgraded to a Fender Mustang. Stef formed his first band at the age of nine-The Yellow Brick Road. They played songs like Wild Thing and Louie Louie and weren't bad for a bunch of fourth graders. In high school, Stef had a band called Legend and he played a Gibson L6-S. They played 70s material such as Allman Bros, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montrose, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and the Marshall Tucker Band. The next band was called New Legend and they played jazz/rock fusion, writing their own songs and covering tunes by Jeff Beck, Return to Forever, George Duke, Herbie Hancock and other 70s fusion material. New Legend used to blow people's minds because they were so young and they played such intricate material.
Jimmy DeGrasso ~ Drums
Jimmy DeGrasso played drums with Y&T during the mid 1980s and throughout the 1990s before moving on to Alice Cooper, White Lion, Suicidal Tendencies and later Megadeth. Born and raised in Bethlehem, PA, Jimmy learned drums at an early age, studying jazz and rock styles. Jimmy first broke into the business doing session for Ozzy Osbourne. He also garnered a Grammy nomination while with Suicidal Tendencies and performed at the illustrious Woodstock ''99 concert with Megadeth. Jimmy has toured with Alice in Chains and most recently with Stone Sour, Marty Friedman and David Lee Roth.
Photo credit: jimmydegrasso.com
Photo credit: stefburns.com
Photo credit: Jill Meniketti
Photo credit: Jill Meniketti
When Y&T's Phil Kennemore was diagnosed with lung cancer, Brad Lang graciously stepped in to sub until Phil's return to the stage. Within 24 hours, Brad had learned 21 songs (including Phil's vocal harmonies) and was out touring the world with Y&T on the Facemelter tour. Upon Phil's untimely death in January 2011, the band knew that Brad was the guy to keep on board. With Brad's raw, energetic performances, he brings a life to the band that is both fun and engaging, as audiences the world over have witnessed since 2010.
Brad has been a popular name in the Northern California rock scene since Jet Red released their first album in 1989, which included Billy Carmassi (Aldo Nova) on drums. In addition to subbing for Jeff Pilson in Foreigner , Brad has also performed on countless recordings, including Roger Hodgson's (Supertramp) "Hai Hai," Tommy Tutone's "Rich Text Files," War and Peace 's (Jeff Pilson - Dokken, Dio, Foreigner) "Live at the Cavern Club," and Benedictum's "Uncreation," to name a few.
Brad currently tours the world with Y&T.
Brad Lang ~ Bass
Oct 20 1953 - Jan 7 2011
Photo: Kevin Graft