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Y&T in 2016
Y&T in 2016
Background information
Also known asYesterday & Today
OriginOakland, California, U.S.
Years active
  • 1974–1991
  • 1995–1997
  • 2001–present
MembersDave Meniketti
John Nymann
Mike Vanderhule
Aaron Leigh
Past membersLeonard Haze (deceased)
Phil Kennemore (deceased)
Joey Alves (deceased)
Jimmy DeGrasso
Stef Burns
Brad Lang

Y&T (originally known as Yesterday & Today) is an American hard rock/heavy metal band formed as a cover band in 1972[1] in Oakland, California, with the lineup that would record the first album being cemented in 1974.[2] The band released two studio albums on London Records as Yesterday & Today in the 1970s before shortening their name to Y&T, after which they released several albums on A&M Records beginning in 1981, and later on Geffen Records, Avex Records, and more. The band was originally co-managed by Herbie Herbert and Louis "Lou" Bramy. The band has sold over 4 million albums worldwide to date, output summarized as 18 albums, three greatest hits collections, and a boxed set.[3]


Early years (1972–1983)[edit]

Leonard Haze, Bob Gardner, and Wayne Stitzer formed an unnamed band in Oakland, California that jammed only cover tunes. Dave Meniketti joined as guitar player in 1972. Soon after, the band received a call for their first gig, but they needed a name. According to Meniketti and Haze, Haze chose the name of the album that was playing on his turntable at that moment – Yesterday and Today – a studio album by the Beatles. The first lineup – which only played covers of songs by other artists – consisted of Haze on drums, Stitzer on piano, Gardner on bass, and Meniketti on lead vocals and lead guitar. After Stitzer quit the group, Gardner switched from bass to rhythm guitar and piano, and Phil Kennemore was brought in to play bass. In 1973, Gardner left the group and was replaced by Joey Alves in January 1974. With this 1974 lineup change, the band began writing original material.[1]

The band did shows with Journey and other acts including Queen, and during a show as part of the latter's Night at the Opera tour, Y&T were seen by the president of London Records (who had been invited), and were subsequently signed to the label. London released their first two studio albums, a self-titled debut and Struck Down, in 1976 and 1978 respectively. While finishing their second album, London disclosed they would be removing the rock genre from their label, and Meniketti has since commented that this essentially meant that the Struck Down album "would go nowhere."[4] The band continued to tour extensively, building up to headliners while they opened for bands such as Wild Cherry, Kiss, AC/DC, and more.

As Meniketti has said in numerous radio, television, and magazine interviews over the past four decades, it was the new record deal ("which took forever" [to secure][5]) in 1980 with A&M Records that prompted the band to shorten their name to simply Y&T, which was influenced by their encores where fans would chant "Y&T, Y&T, Y&T."[6][1]

The band's first two studio albums under A&M, Earthshaker (1981) and Black Tiger (1982), though critically acclaimed around the globe, did not gain mainstream exposure in America. Songs off these two albums still make up a significant part of the band's live shows. Black Tiger was recorded at Ridge Farm, in Dorking, County of Surrey, England and produced by Max Norman.[7] The classic Y&T logo made its first appearance on the cover of this album. Part-way through recording Black Tiger, the band did their first shows outside the US—Netherlands followed by the UK.

By 1983, in spite of their lack of notable success, Y&T were starting to play at larger venues such as arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters across America and Europe, with a variety of acts including AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Blackfoot, Dio, Iron Maiden, Marillion, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Twisted Sister, and ZZ Top,[8][9] garnering far more mainstream recognition in Europe and Japan than they did in their native America.[6] With their third A&M release, Mean Streak (1983), radio airplay and exposure had increased in the US despite poor promotion from the record company.[10]

Commercial success and brief hiatus (1984–1991)[edit]

Y&T's sixth studio album, In Rock We Trust, released in 1984, became the band's highest-charting and selling album, reaching No. 46 on the Billboard 200. The album produced Y&T's first big radio hit "Don't Stop Runnin'". Dr Pepper acquired the rights to use "She's a Liar" in a radio ad campaign. To date, In Rock We Trust has sold over 450,000 copies. This album was the only Y&T album to chart in Canada, reaching No. 77 on the RPM chart. The label brought in writer Geoffrey Leib for the album, the first time an external writer had been used. The success of In Rock We Trust, which saw the band continuing to perform at arenas and stadiums (including opening for Rush and Dio on their tours for Grace Under Pressure and The Last in Line respectively, as well as shows with Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, Ratt, Dokken, and Night Ranger),[9][11][12][13] and participating in the 1984 edition of Monsters of Rock at Donington Park in England,[14] gave Y&T better exposure than they'd had previously.

The band's 1985 hit "Summertime Girls", initially featured as the sole studio track on the band's first live album, Open Fire, and later also featured on their seventh (studio) album Down for the Count released later the same year, became the band's highest-charting hit to date, reaching No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 16 on the Mainstream Rock songs chart.[15] It received airplay worldwide, played frequently in the Baywatch television series, featured in several feature films (including Real Genius), received heavy rotation on MTV as well as MTV's top video playlists, and continues to get regular airplay today on classic rock radio stations throughout the United States. Down for the Count would be the band's last album for A&M, as the band grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of promotion from the label within the US. Despite successful tours with Mötley Crüe and Aerosmith, and the chart success of "Summertime Girls", the label declined to release a follow-up single. On his recollection of Down for the Count, Meniketti said in an interview for Metal Express Radio: ". . . it ended up being a sort of wasted record . . . it was out right when the record company didn't care about us." The band still play tracks from the album in their live shows.[16]

In 1986, the band changed record labels to Geffen, and in that same year, Haze was fired for drug abuse issues (as Haze, band, and management discuss in the documentary "Y&T: On With the Show"), and was replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso; decades later when interviewed for the documentary Y&T: On With the Show, Haze said, "I would've fired me too."

In 1987, the eighth album Contagious was released. In 1989, Alves was fired for drug abuse and was replaced by Stef Burns. (DeGrasso and Burns later played together with Alice Cooper in the 1990s.) Y&T's next studio album Ten was released in 1990. The album features ballads such as "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" (the first and only single from the album), "Ten Lovers", and "Come in from the Rain", together with a few straightforward hard rock songs, including "Hard Times", "City", "Surrender", and the fastest track Y&T ever recorded, "Goin' Off the Deep End". According to Meniketti, the video for "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" was probably the best video they ever made, but with the onset of grunge he never once saw it on MTV.[6]

With the record company opting not to release any further singles from the Ten album, the band decided to do seven shows in California and take a break in 1991, concluding with the live album Yesterday & Today Live. Shortly after the 1991 hiatus, Meniketti declined an opportunity to form a proposed 'super group' with Peter Frampton.[6]

Resurgence (1995–present)[edit]

Phil Kennemore at Hellfest in France, 2010

In 1995, Y&T resumed with the same lineup of Meniketti, Burns, Kennemore, and DeGrasso, releasing Musically Incorrect in 1995 and Endangered Species in 1997. The band performed sporadically during the mid-to-late 1990s. However, in 2001, Haze returned on drums. At the time, Burns was in three bands: Y&T, Huey Lewis and the News, and Italy's biggest rock star, Vasco Rossi; scheduling conflicts forced Burns to drop one of the three bands, and so in 2003 he left Y&T. He was replaced by rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist, John Nymann, who was a childhood friend of the band, and who had previously toured on the In Rock We Trust tour as a background vocalist, as Rock the Robot, and he sang backing vocals on Down for the Count.

In 2003, Y&T resumed touring the world. In 2006 as Haze's drug abuse continued to create issues, he was asked to step down and was replaced by Mike Vanderhule on drums.

In 2009, Y&T inked a deal with the Italian label Frontiers Records for the release of the band's twelfth studio album, released in May 2010.[17][18][19] Titled Facemelter,[20] it was their first studio album in thirteen years (since 1997's Endangered Species).

Dave Meniketti @ Download Festival 2010, Donington UK

In June 2010, Y&T toured the world in support of Facemelter, performing the big European summer festivals, such as Sweden Rock, Download Festival at Donington Park, UK, and Hellfest in Clisson, France. During this world tour, bassist Kennemore experienced health issues. While on the US leg of the 2010 world tour, he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Upon receiving doctor's orders to leave the tour and begin treatment, Kennemore urged Meniketti to find a replacement and continue touring.

In July 2010, the group enlisted Brad Lang, bass player from the band Jet Red, to step in and finish Y&T's tour promoting Facemelter, as Kennemore wanted the tour to carry on during his fight with cancer. On January 7, 2011, bassist Kennemore died at the age of 57 after a short battle with lung cancer. Kennemore and Meniketti had been the only constant members of the band since 1974. After Kennemore's untimely passing, Lang filled the bass position permanently.

John Nymann in Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, Netherlands, 2015

On October 19, 2013, in Bellagio, Italy, Stef Burns joined the band onstage for four songs (Black Tiger, Dirty Girl, Midnight In Tokyo, and Hurricane) in a reunion of sorts since Burns had been busy touring with Huey Lewis and the News and Vasco Rossi. This one-time reunion was well received by the fans, as one would expect.[21]

In April 2016, Lang left the band to address his alcohol dependency; his last show with the band was on April 2, 2016, at the Fillmore in San Francisco.[22] Lang's friend Aaron Leigh (Frank Hannon Band) stepped in that year, with his first show on April 14 at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. On June 29, 2016, Y&T and Lang announced separately on their own Facebook feeds that they had mutually and amicably parted ways, confirming that Leigh would remain as the band's bassist.

Songwriter and original drummer Haze died on September 11, 2016, at the age of 61 after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[23][24][25] Original guitarist Alves died on March 12, 2017, at the age of 63 from ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.[26][27] Alves' death left Meniketti as the last surviving member from the band's original, classic 1974-1986 lineup.

In January 2018, Y&T released their first-ever acoustic EP titled Acoustic Classix Vol. 1.[28] In June 2018, Meniketti said that the band might release more acoustic EPs in the future.[29]

On November 26, 2019, the long-awaited, fan-backed (on Kickstarter) documentary Y&T: On With the Show was released.


"Summertime Girls" has been the band's most widely recognized song, along with fan favorites such as "Mean Streak", "Contagious", "Rescue Me", "Forever". "Summertime Girls" appeared on the soundtrack to the 1985 film Real Genius[30] as well as an episode of Season 1 of HBO's Peacemaker (TV series).

Music videos for songs such as "Summertime Girls", "Mean Streak", "Lipstick & Leather", "Don't Stop Runnin'", "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark", and "Contagious" are still featured on VH1 Classic.

Y&T's 2010 music video for "I'm Coming Home" marks the band's most-viewed video on YouTube with over 2 million views.

In the movie Anvil! The Story of Anvil, in the bonus feature interview Lars Ulrich of Metallica talks at length about seeing one of his favorite bands Y&T for the first time at a club in Hollywood in December 1980. Ulrich credits Y&T as the reason he decided to become a musician, saying: "That was the turning point for me wanting to play music. . . . You could tell that they loved what they were doing."[31]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

  • Acoustic Classix Vol. 1 (2018)

Live albums[edit]

  • In Concert (1984) (BBC Transcription Services - Copyright recording for radio broadcast only)
  • Open Fire (1985) (US #70) [32]
  • Yesterday & Today Live (1991)
  • Live on the Friday Rock Show (1998) (recorded 1982 and 1984, reissued in 2000 as BBC Live in Concert)
  • Live at the Mystic (2012)
  • Free to Roll (Live 1985) (2022)[33]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Forever - Best of Y&T (1987) (Japan only)
  • Anthology (1989) (UK only)
  • Best of '81 to '85 (1990)
  • Ultimate Collection (2001)
  • Unearthed Vol. 1 - Demos & Unreleased Recordings from 1974 Through 2003 (2003)
  • Unearthed Vol. 2 - Demos & Unreleased Recordings from 1974 Through 1989 (2004)
  • Earthquake - The A&M Years 1981-1985 (2013) (4-CD box set)


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Main. Rock
1977 "Earthshaker" Yesterday and Today (Yesterday and Today album)
1977 "Alcohol" Yesterday and Today (Yesterday and Today album)
1981 "I Believe in You" Earthshaker (album)
1981 "Rescue Me" Earthshaker (album)
1981 "Dirty Girl" Earthshaker (album)
1982 "I Don't Wanna Lose" Earthshaker (album)
1982 "Forever" Black Tiger (album)
1983 "Mean Streak" 25 Mean Streak
1984 "Don't Stop Running" 33 In Rock We Trust
1985 "Open Fire" Open Fire
1985 "Summertime Girls" 55 16 Open Fire
1985 "All American Boy" 48 Down for the Count
1985 "Face Like An Angel" Down for the Count
1987 "Contagious" 41 Contagious
1990 "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" 31 Ten
1991 "Hurricane" Yesterday & Today Live
1991 "Don't Stop Runnin" Yesterday & Today Live



  • Live at the San Francisco Civic (1985)
  • One Hot Night (DVD) (2007)
  • Documentary - Y&T: On With the Show (DVD) (2019)
Official promo videos
  • "Mean Streak" (from the album Mean Streak, 1983)
  • "Don't Stop Runnin'" (from the album In Rock We Trust, 1984)
  • "All American Boy" (from the album Down For The Count, 1985)
  • "Summertime Girls" (from the album Open Fire, 1985)
  • "Lipstick & Leather" (from the album In Rock We Trust, 1984 with Video footage of Live at the San Francisco Civic, 1985)
  • "Contagious" (from the album Contagious, 1987)
  • "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" (from the album Ten, 1990)
  • "I'm Coming Home" (from the album Facemelter, 2010)


  1. ^ a b c Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Dave Meniketti from Y&T talks about his early ROCK SCENE days". Rock Scene Magazine. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  2. ^ "Y&T Biography". YandTRocks.com. August 26, 2019. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  3. ^ "Y&T Biography". YandTRocks.com. May 5, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  4. ^ "Dave Meniketti tells the story about Y&T (from 2008)". Metal Express Radio. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  5. ^ "Dave Meniketti tells the story about Y&T (from 2008)". Metal Express Radio. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Y&T Dave Meneketti "Straight Talkin' Mean Streak"". 80's Metal Recycle Bin. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  7. ^ "Dave Meniketti tells the story about Y&T (from 2008)". Metal Express Radio. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "Y & T's Concert History". Concert Archives. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Y&T's Concert History". Concert Archives. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  10. ^ "Dave Meniketti tells the story about Y&T (from 2008)". Metal Express Radio. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  11. ^ "Y & T's Concert History". Concert Archives. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  12. ^ "Rush Concert Tour Dates Listing". cygnus-x1.net. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  13. ^ "The Last In Line tour dates". The Ronnie James Dio Pages. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  14. ^ "Monsters Of Rock . Castle Donington 1984". ukrockfestivals.com. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Dave Meniketti tells the story about Y&T (from 2008)". Metal Express Radio. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  17. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – Y&T: New Studio Album Due In May". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  18. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – Y&T Continuing Work On New Album". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  19. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – DAVE MENIKETTI Says New Y&T Album 'Is Not Gonna Suck'". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  20. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – Y&T To Release 'Facemelter' In May". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  21. ^ "Y & T Concert Setlist at Lido de Bellagio, Bellagio on October 19, 2013". Setlist.fm. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  22. ^ "Y&T Bassist Brad Lang: 'I Thought That I Was A Social Drinker. I Am Not.'". Blabbermouth.net. April 10, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  23. ^ Leonard Haze, Y&T's popular drummer, dies at 61 accessdate January 18, 2018
  24. ^ Leonard Haze September 7, 1955 – September 11, 2016 accessdate January 18, 2018
  25. ^ "Original Y&T Drummer Leonard Haze Dead At 61". Blabbermouth.net. September 12, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Joseph (Joey) Alves accessdate January 18, 2018
  27. ^ "Y & T's oorspronkelijke gitarist Joey Alves overleden". RockMuZine.nl. March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  28. ^ "Y&T To Release First Acoustic EP In January". Blabbermouth.net. December 24, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  29. ^ "DAVE MENIKETTI Says Y&T 'Absolutely' Plans On Releasing More Acoustic EPs". Blabbermouth.net. June 9, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  30. ^ Real Genius (1985) - Soundtracks - IMDb, retrieved January 10, 2024
  31. ^ "Anvil!: The Story of Anvil"
  32. ^ Y&T chart placements @AllMusic.com Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  33. ^ Y&T - Free To Roll - Live Santa Barbara ’85 Broadcast (2022) - METAL JUKEBOX
  34. ^ "Y&T Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  35. ^ "Y&T Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018.

External links[edit]