Steve Vai has paid tribute to Brett Tuggle, his former bandmate in the David Lee Roth group. The 70-year-old keyboardist, who also spent two decades in FLEETWOOD MAC during the band's reunion era, died on Sunday, June 19 from complications related to cancer.
Tuggle's son Matt confirmed his death to Rolling Stone. "He was loved by his family so much," Matt said. "His family was with him throughout the entire time of his illness. He was a lovely father. He gave me music in my life."
On Wednesday, Vai took to his social media to write: "I was fortunate enough to tour with Brett Tuggle during the David Lee Roth years. Myself, Billy Sheehan, Greg and Matt Bissonette and Brett were brothers of the highest order and to say we had fun together would be like saying the sun is hot.
"Brett was one of the finest people I have ever met. He was the consummate musician, singer, keyboard player, guitar player that was the glue that held together so many of the music biz's most prominent artists and bands. Besides his immense talent, he was the most centered, funniest, friendliest and considerate person you could ever want to know. A loving family man with a deep deep compassionate heart that had to be experienced to understand.
"I was an intense young man in those days and Brett was always the voice of reason. He could defuse any drama with a perfectly placed one liner that showed you that nothing is serious enough to loose yourself over. There were things I learned from Brett that I have taken with me my whole career and have served me incredibly well in my life in general, and I assume anyone that was fortunate enough to know him feels the same way. Our lives were incredibly enhanced by having him in it and I could not be more grateful to the Universe to have had this blessed relief of a man in my life.
"In my minds eye I see his smiling face in its most happiest state, and that's the 'Tugg' that always was, and still is in mythology mind.
"Brett moved on from this world recently after a long and heroic battle with cancer. My heartfelt condolences to his lovely family at this time.
"Thank you Brother Brett. You were exceptional and we are grateful."
An award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist, Tuggle was one of the most in-demand players in the music industry. In addition to Roth and FLEETWOOD MAC, he had toured and recorded with such artists as Jimmy Page, Chris Isaak, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Steven Tyler. Brett played and toured with Rick Springfield on the heels of Rick's hit single "Jessie's Girl", and later with Roth after he had split from VAN HALEN. During this period, Brett was able to stretch his songwriting legs, co-writing several songs with Roth, including the top 10 single "Just Like Paradise" in 1988.