LEAD GUITAR/LEAD VOCALS: Dave
5 Top 100 Albums
Before Motley Crüe, before Ratt, even before there was a Metallica, when Y&T formed in the early 1970s, they set the standard for hard rock bands that trailed. Many of the most popular heavy rock bands of the ‘80s, at the birth of their careers, opened shows for headliners Y&T; and they all cut their teeth on Y&T, as evidenced by the Y&T mentions in the tell-all books by acts such as Metallica and Motley Crüe. Hailing from the east bay, Y&T is one of the San Francisco bay area’s own innovators of the hard rock sound. World-renowned headliners on their own, for years Y&T remained the most requested supporting act on the hard rock road, touring with rock icons including Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Motley Crüe. Y&T was always sure-fired to whip the crowd into a frenzy with their high energy set, performing to overflow houses of fifteen- to sixty-thousand across the U.S. at home, as well as in Japan, Europe, and the UK. Even today, thirty-plus years after the band first formed, the call of Y&T’s fans has never silenced.
Dave Meniketti (lead guitar/lead vocals), Phil Kennemore (bass), Leonard Haze (drums), and Joey Alves (rhythm guitar) charged through the ‘70s and into the ‘80s with their San Francisco bay area brand of hard rock music. After two ‘70s albums on London Records, a new record deal in 1980 with A&M Records prompted the band to shorten their moniker, and encores with fans chanting “Y&T, Y&T, Y&T” sealed the condensed name. The ‘80s brought several changes, including Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Suicidal Tendencies, Megadeth) on drums and Stef Burns (Alice Cooper, Berlin, Huey Lewis) on guitar. And today, three decades later, Y&T’s legions of fans are still as captivated by the band’s melodic heavy rock-n-roll as they were yesterday, proving Y&T’s music timeless.
In late 2005, in conjunction with Universal Music Group, Y&T re-mastered and re-issued two of their most coveted albums—Black Tiger and Mean Streak—including bonus tracks, much to their fans’ delight. And following the success of those two reissues, more re-masters are planned for the near future.
Y&T’s 1985 hit Summertime Girls received tremendous airplay worldwide, played frequently in the BAYWATCH television series and several feature films, remained at length in heavy rotation on MTV as well as MTV’s top video playlists, and the hit song plays on today in regular airplay on classic rock radio stations throughout the country alongside other Y&T hits. Y&T songs grace the soundtracks of numerous movies and television shows, and their popular videos, such as Lipstick & Leather, Don’t Stop Runnin’, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and Summertime Girls, are still featured videos on VH1 today.
With career accolades that include performing on American Bandstand, two Bammie Awards, five top 100 albums, songs that tipped into the 40s on Billboard charts, multiple national and international television appearances, and a worldwide fan base, Y&T has sold over four million albums and recorded 16 LPs and three greatest hits collections since their 1974 inception. These rock-n-roll pioneers survived disco fever, rode the crest of the ‘80s hard rock insurgence, and remained faithful to melodic power ballads throughout the age of grunge. At any concert you can hear fans calling out their requests from albums including, “Rescue Me” from Earthshaker, “Forever” from Black Tiger, and “Mean Streak” from Mean Streak.
For years, Y&T fans on the very active web discussion forum at www.YandTRocks.com asked the band about previously recorded Y&T songs that had been shelved. Y&T answered their fans’ pleas by recently assembling two volumes of previously unreleased material—songs recorded for albums over the past three decades, yet never released. “There’s a lot of great stuff that never made it to record,” says lead singer/lead guitarist Dave Meniketti. “We always wrote way more material than we ever needed for each record and then those songs just ended up in storage. It was fun to revisit those tunes and give the fans a peek into the archives.”
Today, original members Dave Meniketti on searing lead guitar/lead vocals and Phil Kennemore on bass, still take stages around the world by storm, with the addition of John Nymann (Eric Martin, Greg Kihn) on guitar and Mike Vanderhule on drums