Were you one of those fans who always wondered about the band who helped bring Rick's music to life? We were always impressed with the power and ability of The Fabulous Eels. Their experience with Rick led them to many other successful projects. Ever wondered what they were up to now?
Vivian, firstly, thank you so much for your interest in my CD and my current career. I think its great that you have hung in there. I would be thrilled to have this interview on the web page and in the RLS newsletter. Now to the questions:
Are you married? Any children?
Yes, I married Patty Lundemo in February, 1984 in Studio City, California. I have a stepson (from Patty's previous marriage), Nigel, who is 19 and a musician himself.
At what age did you begin playing guitar?
At age 12, I loved three things: playing basketball in my parents driveway, Jimi Hendrix and learning to play guitar.
Do you play any other instruments other than guitar?
In my job as a session musician and on my CD, along with electric guitar, I play baritone guitar, mandolin, dobro and acoustic guitar.
How did you get started in music?
"At 15 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I joined a band of musicians several years older than me and we played in nightclubs. At 20, I moved to Los Angeles. It was when New Wave music was just starting and there were many opportunities. Three months after moving here, I joined a band for a singer named Shandi and we did a record. The first record I play on"
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
I dont really remember, it was when I was 14 years old. But the first song I ever wrote that was recorded was Going to the Top with John Waite
Is there another musician (guitar player) that you admire and respect?
The Edge of U2
Who were your biggest influences in developing your own style of music?
Jimi Hendrix was probably the biggest influence, but the music of Steely Dan and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) were right up there, too.
What is it like working with Rick?
When I first joined Ricks band I was 22, he was already a star from TV and Jessies Girl was a hit, so I guess I was a little intimidated. But he was such a great guy and I really liked his music. Its very guitar oriented and he gave me the opportunity to show what I could do. As a result of being in Ricks band I got to travel all over the world, and I was always impressed at how unaffected he was by the adulation that was heaped upon him. Rick, very generously gave me a chance to be a songwriter too, and collaborating with him was a wonderful experience.
Do you have a favorite memory of working/touring with Rick?
There are many; but in June, 1986 the band toured in Europe. As a bonus, Rick asked me to go over a week early because he wanted me to do a couple of appearances in Paris with him. My wife was allowed to accompany us, and along with Ricks wife Barbara we got to see Paris. That whole trip was memorable, shopping and sightseeing at the Louvre and Versailles, along with many elegant dinners. It was very special
Any plans on working together with Rick in the future?
My career now is focused on working in the studio and song writing. Touring, is hard work, I miss my family and also miss opportunities to record with a variety of artists. So it would be difficult to leave home and go on the road, even with Rick.
Do you have a favorite song of Ricks that he has done? or is there a favorite song to perform live?
Id have to say, Souls.
What is it like to collaborate with Rick?
Since Rick is a guitar player who writes great riffs, he also appreciates them. Writing a song with Rick, allows me to do what I do best: play guitar, and it is always rewarding to work with someone who appreciates you.
Who have you toured with during your career?
Ive toured with Al Jarreau, Cock Robin, and traveled for gigs with Corey Hart, and a band I was in called Toy Matinee.
What have been the latest studio work youve done?
Studio work is what I do everyday (EVERYDAY-just ask my wife). So Ill just give you the highlights of the last month, Joshua Kadison, Whitney Houston, Carney & Wendy Wilson, and Rod Stewart. I also play on movie soundtracks and commercials.
Do you prefer studio work or live concerts?
Im afraid thats sort of a case of apples and oranges. Working hard in the studio for grateful people and then seeing your name on an albums credits is very rewarding. But there is nothing like playing in front of a live crowd, if I could do that without traveling it would be the perfect experience.
Do you keep in touch with the other Fabulous Eels?
I have seen Brett Tuggle several times recently, when he played with his band Four Lads from the Valley. As you may know, Mike Seifrit lives in Idaho, so I haven't seen him in quite a while. I have seen Jack White a few times in the recent past, around town and at the birthday party for his daughter with Kate Sagal (Married with Children), Mitchell Froom, John Purdell, Curley Smith, Mike Baird and Neil Larson all work around town and I see them in the studio every now and then.
Do you have any follow up plans to Guitarland?
Recording and writing Guitarland one of the most important accomplishments of my career. But it was also very difficult. I continue to write songs with many collaborators, and hopefully will be able to do another CD.
Are you currently working on any projects?
Im currently working with Kenny Loggins on his new album produced by John Barnes.
Is there anyone you would like to work with that you havent yet had a chance to?
Since this is a fantasy list, here goes...Peter Gabriel, Seal, Annie Lennox and Alanis Morrisette to name a few.
What are your plans for the future?
My future goals include maintaining my session work and co-writing songs. In other words, doing what Ive been been doing!
Do you have a personal favorite off Guitarland?
Return to You and Western Song are tied as my favorites.
What have been some highlights of the past 10-15 years?
Ive been lucky to have had many wonderful and memorable experiences, some way beyond my adolescent imaginings. But performing at Live Aid in 1985 with Rick Springfield was definitely a highlight. Also working with Michael Jackson on the song Black or White and doing the record Toy Matinee with Patrick Leonard (longtime Madonna collaborator) were great thrills too.
What does it feel like to see your name on the cover of the Guitarland release or hear a piece of your music played somewhere?
At first when I hear myself in public, say on Musak in a mall, I think I like that, then I realize its me. Its really very satisfying. It was a great thrill to hear pieces from Guitarland played as part of their coverage by ABC Sports during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
What are your favorite pieces of music that youve written? And why are they your favorites?
I Made it So, which was written with Mark Spiro. The song is about being responsible for ones self and ones feelings, an important idea to me
How is being the lead guy differ from being one of the guys in the band? And have you discovered any negative things about being on your own?
Being a side man, as I was with Rick Springfield was alot like working for a corporation, except there was no clock to punch. As a session musician (what Ive been doing for the last 10 years), I am self employed. Running ones own business takes an enormous amount of time and energy. When Guitarland was released, I got to juggle many more responsibilities and duties. It was almost too much.
Do you miss playing with the Fabulous Eels?
I miss the friendship and the camaraderie as much as the musicianship.
One of the stand out video moments of you and Rick is in The Beat of the Live Drum where Rick is singing in your face and grabbing your shirt front. It was fun to watch. Were moments like that one planned at all or were they all spontaneous? Did Ricks stage antics ever mess you guys up playing?
Some of those moments, though not planned, were repeated over and over as part of the show. And that one, in particular, always messed me up.
Everyone seems to really love Guitarland. If you should go out with Rick again would there be any plans of you doing some selections off Guitarland live in concert?
Thats hard to say....
Is there anywhere your fans can reach you...such as a P.O. Box number, Email address, manager or ?
PRA was kind enough to forward this to me and would, Im sure be glad to continue in that capacity.
Tim Pierce, c/o PRA, 1543 Seventh Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
I would like to apologize for taking so long to do this, Im afraid very little of my time is my own. I truly appreciate this opportunity and your continued interest.
We at RLS appreciate the time Tim took to answer these questions for us, and we wish him the very best in all his future endeavors. Thank you very much Tim.
Brett, are you married?
Yes I'm married to a wonderful girl nam ed Debra, we just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary this June. All is well on the homefront, I'm happy to report.
Do you still have animals?
We have two dogs, Dusty, an 11 year old Golden Retriever (best dog in the whole world) and Lady, a 5 year old black and white Springer Spaniel (and a great cuddler.)
What did you do during the time Rick took off? Who did you work with?
When Rick stopped touring at the beginning of '86 I was a little let down that maybe the fun would stop for me, but little did I know that it was just getting started. I took a couple of months off then went and played with Belinda Carlisle from the Go-Go's for a couple of months with some friends of mine. I really didn't get to work with her much because I got a call from David Lee Roth's camp saying he was looking for a single keyboard player. So I auditioned and got a gig. I must say it was quite a bit different than working with Springer. Not that one was better than the other, they were just two totally different worlds. Rick was like working with a nice kid down the block, David was a bit like working for Captain Bly! Dave was great though and we sure had a smokin band but it was the classic traveling Rock and Roll Circus. I learned a lot from working with him and got a chance to do some song writing and participate as more of a band member which was great. I also hooked up with Mick Fleetwood and the Zoo in '92 and did a cd and toured with that band. Unfortunately it didn't do all that well and Fleetwood Mac ended up back together with the election of Bill Clinton so it was short lived at best, but I enjoyed working on the cd. Also played with the Coverdale/Page project in 1993, which was really exciting for me because I had been so inspired by Jimmy from the Led Zeppelin days, it was a real honor to work with him in a band situation. David Coverdale was fabulous to work with as well, and I have recently hooked up with him again and recorded the new David Coverdale and Whitesnake cd that will be out this fall. Plus I now have a company called Tuggle Tune Music which has kept me busy doing all kinds of things for multimedia, cd-roms, etc.
What is your favorite Rick song to play live?
It's hard to pick a favorite Rick song because I like so many of them, one of the coolest things about playing with Rick was that he wrote so many great songs. Some of my favorites live were Souls and Love Somebody but they were all great to play.
How did it fell to be back on the road with Rick again in 1993?
It was really nice going back out with Springer in 1993. I think we were all pleased that we could get back together and have a play again. It wasn't quite the same without Timmy and Mike but I think we still kicked some serious butt and kept the spirit alive. Thank you to everyone who came to see the shows you all made it al lot of fun to do again.
Do you keep in touch with any of the other Eels?
I do keep in touch with the other Fabulous Eels. Jack White and I worked together in a blues band for a while called The Shifters. Jack had been speaking to Rick quite a bit so one thing led to another and we all got playing together to jam some songs and so that led to Rick's reunion tour in 1993. Jack's still doing that band with a few different guys but we still keep in touch. I've seen Tim Pierce quite a bit recently both in the studio and for fun. We just worked on a session together for a movie coming out soon called Two Days in the Valley. Mike Seifrit is up in Idaho playing music and living a nice normal life up there with his family. I really miss that guy, but we do keep in touch. What a great band that was.
Who has been your favorite musician to work with?
That's a hard one because I've had the good fortune to work with so many. Jimmy Page was really a highlight, though.
Who do you admire musically right now?
I really admire Sting. I think he is really a gifted artist, he is someone who I feel has a true honesty about his music and a sense of who he really is and what he is saying.
Is there anyone you would love to work with that you haven't worked with yet?
Yes, yes, Paul McCartney, Don Henley, Eric Clapton, Sting and Bonnie Raitt. Not necessarily in that order but all of them are amazing to me. And Whitney Houston is the most amazing singer I have ever heard, thank you, so I'd love to work with her as well.
What kind of plans do you have for the future?
I hope to keep writing and producing music and be a good dad.
Which do you prefer, studio work or touring?
I love them both because they both fulfill something important to me as an artist although I don't really want to travel as much on the road as I used to.
Are you still into scuba diving? Go anywhere interesting? Did you ever go to Australia to scuba dive?
I haven't gone scuba diving much at all in the last few years, just one of those things that I seem to only want to do in Hawaii or a beautiful tropical place where the water is crystal clear.
Could you share one of your most fun/funny experiences you've had with Rick or any of the Eels?
There are so many funny things that have happened over the years and it would take too much time to tell them so why don't I just tell you that no matter where we went we had fun.
Is there a place that fans can reach you?
Fans are free to email me at email@example.com on the internet. I do love hearing from them and I try to answer my email whenever possible although I don't always get to keep up so don't get mad at me if I can't get back to you all but I try.
How do you like the new age of computer technology.
I'm soooo into computers, they're great but they can drive you crazy. I really love my MAC and enjoy playing and working with computers. You just can't be afraid of them!
Anything you wish to say to Brett Tuggle fans out there?
I just want to say thank you to all the great people I've gotten a chance to meet a play music for along the way. I really have enjoyed playing and making music with some very talented and wonderful people, Rick being one of them. I thank God for giving me the talent and the passion for music and want to tell everyone that they can do whatever they want if they just believe in themselves and set goals. "Take it one day at a time and don't give up." Thank you all.
MIKE SEIFRIT: Hey Mikey, where are you?? After playing bass with Rick from 1981-1985, Mike seems to have dropped out of the business, as far as we can tell. I once got a letter from Mike written on Holiday Inn Stationary, and he was a solid fixture in the band, a talented musician, and yet is the one we seem to know the least about. If you have any information about him, please inform us, so we can update this section.
BRETT TUGGLE: Who could forget the self-professed "girl watcher" behind the keyboards on stage with Rick from 1981-1985? He also went back out with Rick in 1993. This talented performer has set up his own business called Tuggletunes (see Hot Links) and has performed with many other prominent artists, including David Lee Roth, Jimmy Page, Mick Fleetwood, Joe Satriani and Whitesnake. About touring with Rick, Brett says: "I have nothing but the best memories of all the great people we met or played for along the way."
TIM PIERCE: Could he have had any more hats in his repertoire? Loveable Timmy played guitar with the Fabulous Eels from 1981-1985. Tim's new album Guitarland (which can be ordered at 1-800-372-4243) won critical reviews. Rick and Tim even collaborated on three of the songs. Tim is also a studio musician and very much in demand. (Who wouldn't want Timmy? :) About being a studio musician, Tim says: "In my experience, session performers are great players and are often hired to provide input into the direction of the song and to write their own instrumental parts. It's this creative energy, heart and soul they bring to the music." Keep it coming, Tim!
JACK WHITE: The man who once helped "pie" Rick's manager, Dana Miller, pounded the skins for Rick and the Eels from 1976-1983. You couldn't miss those drummer-strong arms and the white headband on stage. He also joined Brett and Rick for the club tour of 1993 and was credited by Rick (see above) as the driving force for initiating the tour. (We Rick fans call him Saint Jack <eg>) Jack married and then divorced a Solid Gold dancer in the 80's (remember how many times Rick and the Eels appeared on Solid Gold?). Jack married a second time, to famous actress Katey Segal. They had two children prior to their divorce: Sarah Grace, and Jackson.
Jack White and his wife, Katey, appeared in the May 7 1996 issue of Star Magazine. "Katey Sagal and hubby Jack White are floating on air with the birth of their second child, miracle baby Jackson James--after two tragic births... Katey, who suffered the pain of a miscarriage in 1990 and the stillbirth of their daughter, Ruby, the following year, says, 'It is a miracle. It's worth everything that Jack and I have had to go through. We've really weathered some storms.'" And what does Jack have to say about being a parent? "Veteran musician Jack, who fell in love with Katey in the summer of 1989, says he's even happier now than he was after Sarah was born. 'I've never known this kind of joy in my life. I spent so many years traveling in a band. If I had known it would be this good I'd have done it sooner. I waited till 40 to have kids. Before, I was a little scared of the responsibility but I have such faith in Katey as a wife and mother. With her I knew everything would be ok.'" We only wish the happiness portrayed in that article could have lasted for them.