Brett Tuggle, a rock musician who helped establish The David Lee Roth Band in the ’80s and played keyboards with Fleetwood Mac in the ’90s, died at 70 on Sunday (June 19) from cancer complications, his family said.
Tuggle was a journeyman keyboardist who amassed multiple collaborative performance credits in his lifetime. In addition to his work with Roth — one of the former lead singers in the glam metal legends Van Halen — and the classic rock icons Fleetwood Mac, Tuggle played with Jimmy Page, David Coverdale, Rick Springfield, Steppenwolf‘s John Kay, Styx‘s Tommy Shaw, and Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels.
See some of Tuggle’s peers’ remembrances below.
“He was loved by his family so much,” Tuggle’s son Matt tells Rolling Stone. “His family was with him throughout the entire time of his illness. He was a lovely father. He gave me music in my life.”
Mourning the musician, Coverdale said Tuggle was a “delightful man who worked with Coverdale Page then Restless Heart… My love & respect to his family, friends & fans.” Springfield added, “Our sweet Brett Tuggle made it home tonight. God bless his beautiful spirit.”
Billy Sheehan, a bassist whose tenure overlapped with Tuggle’s in one of the earliest iterations of Roth’s band, called the late rocker “truly the ‘secret weapon’ of the Eat ‘Em and Smile [Roth’s 1986 debut solo album] band and tour. Loved by everyone that ever met him and gifted with supreme talent.”
Tuggle was born in Denver, relocating to Los Angeles in the ’70s to further his musicianship. Before that, he honed his craft in local Colorado bands and toured with other groups in the U.S. His first notable recorded appearance comes on Ryder’s 1971 single “Detroit.”
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