About mike tafoya

Mike Tafoya has been a loud, raw and completely original part of the Chicago and national music scene for more than thirty years. He first made a name for himself in the mid-70s as the explosive lead guitarist for Epic recording artists, The Boyzz (from Illinoizz). After the release of “Too Wild to Tame” and a five-year run that included national tours with acts like Aerosmith, Rush and REO Speedwagon, Mike left The Boyzz and in 1982 landed yet another Epic recording contract with his new band, The B’zz (with Steve Riley of W.A.S.P. and LA Guns). Throughout the 80s and 90s, Mike continued to play, record and tour across Illinois and the nation with bands like Tafoya (with Boyzz guitarist Gil Pini) and Raw Dogs (with B’zz singer Tommy Holland). Through it all, Mike has been committed to making his own music on his own terms, a choice that eventually left him broke and alone and living in the streets through two harsh Illinois winters without a guitar to his name. His last axe had been stolen. “It was horrible,” says Mike. “Nobody would buy me a burger but they would buy me a beer. But I knew I had to do this. I needed credibility to put my project together and make it work.”

Then through open mic jams, and a new band with a new yet classic sound was formed. There’s no denying the echoes of Led Zeppelin, Santana, The Doors, Audio Slave, Rush, hard core blues and even The Boyzz in The Lost Boyzz sound. But from the soul of Classic Rock, The Lost Boyzz have managed to forge a completely new and innovative sound. Whether it’s the uplifting title track, “Life,” the heavily distorted “Hammerhead,” the bluesy “Over Now,” or the more melodic “Sturgis,” Mike has finally found a platform to showcase his blistering yet soulful guitar work and then Mike’s guitar screams, rants, sears or soars and wherever it goes, you go with it. “We’re a three-piece band,” says Mike, “but we can make it sound like six.”

Mike reunited with his old friend and former Boyzz bassist Dave Angel to co-produce the band’s first CD and with the release of LIFE (2007 Rave Song Records) we finally hear the sound Mike has been chasing and creating for more than three decades. And as good as the CD is, it’s even better to hear the band play it live and the bigger the venue the better. The title track in particular needs plenty of room to expand.

Tafoya’s Lost Boyzz are pioneering a new genre that can only be described as New Classic Rock. The music brings back memories even when it’s being heard for the first time and re-connects true music fans with the reasons why they came to love Rock ‘N Roll.

a rather nice (very) review from John O'Toole

Recently, I was lucky enough to get to watch a clip of Michael Tafoya playing lead guitar with Tafoya's Lost Boyzz at Chicago's Nite Cap Lounge. Sad to say, I live two thousand miles away, or I would be there every night they perform. They play classic rock, Tafoya's electric guitar work displaying the unusual combination of raw power and musical complexity. Watching his fingering would be an exciting experience alone, so much so that I believe even a deaf person would grasp what he is trying to convey.

That kind of skill can only come from years of experience, and indeed, Tafoya's original group, The Boyzz, was formed in 1975 and signed to Epic records, as was its followup group, The B'zz. That Tafoya and his current group have been loyal to rock 'n roll in its hardest form, rather than slavishly following every new trend, speaks to the authenticity of their music. At one point in the clip, Tafoya was playing with what I believe is called a slide, and doing so with as much apparent ease as he had shown with his trusty pick. The stream of melody that emerges from his highly creative mind, passing down through his nimble fingers, is a continuing wonder to hear.

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