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What is a Tyketto?

What’s a Tyketto? Well, it’s not an entree from Taco Bell. I would be surprised if anyone knew what Tyketto was if it came up in a conversation. Tyketto is a Rock band formed in the late eighties with their first album Don’t Come Easy being released in 1991. My first exposure to Tyketto was in 1991 at a concert in the Redwood Amphitheater inside the Great America amusement park in Santa Clara, California. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I attended a number of concerts at Great America because with a season pass to the park, tickets to the concerts were super cheap, $10 to $12 if I remember correctly. The headliner for the show was Winger, yes Winger. Nelson was also on the bill and Tyketto was the opening act.

I’ve always been a fan of all different types of music but in 1991, when I was a senior in High School, a few of my favorite bands were Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Anthrax. Admitting that I went to a concert that featured both Nelson and Winger was a bit embarrassing. I just told my friends that my girlfriend was the one that wanted to go and she drug me along.

Stewart Stevenson

The concert was, in a word, awesome! I’ve never really been a big fan of Nelson but they were actually quite tolerable. In the early 1990s Winger was a band for wussies, a stereotype that was often reinforced in MTV’s animated series Beavis & Butt-head. The band was looked at as more of a Pop band than a true Hard Rock band. I can tell you that my opinion of Winger changed after seeing them in concert. Winger rocked and they rocked hard. If you have any doubt that Winger is a true hard rock band check out their 1993 album Pull.

The biggest surprise at this concert however, was the opening act. When Tyketto, a band I’d never heard of, took the stage, I wasn’t expecting much. This amusement park amphitheater certainly wasn’t one of the biggest venues in the San Fransisco Bay Area. While it’s been too long for me to remember all the details, I know Tyketto played their hearts out. Danny Vaughn, Tyketto’s lead singer and frontman had a great stage presence and knew how to work the crowd. Tyketto played a number of tracks from their debut album, Don’t Come Easy.

Don't Come Easy

While I’ll admit that tracks like “Lay Your Body Down” and “Strip Me Down” are not the most intelligent tracks from a lyrical perspective, Tyketto’s debut album is still a great collection of hard rock music. Here’s the YouTube video for their first single, “Forever Young.” Unfortunately the video stutters throughout but the audio is fine and that’s what really matters.

 

 

For a hard rock band, releasing your debut album in 1991 couldn’t have been worse timing. Another notable album released in 1991, Nirvana’s – Nevermind was their first release on a mainstream label. Little did we know at the time that the first single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would have such an impact and would usher in the era of Grunge.

Fast forward to toady… I haven’t really kept up with Tyketto over the years but tracks from Don’t Come Easy often find their way onto my iPhone. Perhaps it’s nostalgia that keeps me listing to what I guess would now be considered “Classic” Hard Rock and Hair Metal. Whatever it is, I still enjoy hearing those classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal guitar riffs and chord progressions.

About a week ago, I was watching the music video for “Forever Young” and I was thinking to myself I should write Eddie Trunk asking him to do a Whatever happened to… Tyketto on “That Metal Show.” I’ve thought about the band many times over the years and have googled them from time to time. After watching the video I decided to jump over to Google and see what I could find. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered that the original members of the band had reunited and recorded a new album, Dig in Deep back in April of this year (2012).

Dig in Deep

I found the first track “Faithless” posted on YouTube and gave it a listen. About 15 seconds into the 30 second intro and I was already sold. When Vaughn began singing, I realized how great he still sounds. 21 years after my first experience with the band and in some ways listing to that track made it feel like that concert at Great America was only yesterday. I fired up iTunes and previewed a few more tracks before purchasing the album.

 

 

If you’re familiar with the band, you’ll find Dig in Deep is not a sequel to Don’t Come Easy. Nonetheless, it’s a great new album for long-time Tyketto devotees and newcomers alike. The spirit of the 1990s Tyketto remains but the band has certainly matured over past two decades. This maturity is reflected in both the music and lyrics. For example take the chorus of the second track “Love to Love”

Do all you can for another
Reach out your hand for a brother
One love to love and no other
All in time
Fall in line
Leave it all behind

A bit of a departure from the chorus of the 1991 track “Strip Me Down”

Move a little to the left
Move a little to the right
And strip me down
Let your fingers do the walking
Strip me down, down, down, down, down

So if you’re old enough to fondly remember pre-Grunge Hard Rock, give Dig in Deep a listen. Tyketto is the band you never heard of but just might like.

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