Vince's Music

It was late in 2006 when I was contacted by Mike Dugo. He lives on the East Coast and was looking for people who were in rock n’ roll bands from the 60’s. Thus the name 60 Garage Bands. (http://www.60sgaragebands.com/leeriders.html). Mike had interviewed other members of the Lee Riders, but knew I was an original member and wanted to hear it from my perspective. This link will take you to that interview.


Below is a video of one of Vince's performances at the Santa Cruz Ukulele Club meetings. As you get to the end of the song, you can hear the audience singing along. The musicians in this video are: Rhan Wilson on Ukulele, Matt Bohn on bass and Patti Maxine on lap steel.

This video below, taped on April 17th, 2014 at Bocci's Cellar, shows Vince performing Mr. Bojangles - a Jerry Jeff Walker Tune - as his chosen song for The Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz Open Mic .


Vince Tuzzi grew up in a small town just west of Hanford, California called Lemoore. His mom was a single parent and while she was at work, his grandmother, who owned a saloon and restaurant, would take care of him there at the bar.

While the jukebox played, Vince (then 3 or 4) would pantomime to artists like Johnny Raye, Elvis, Ray Price, and whoever the many patrons chose to listen to. He credits his vast repertoire to that early exposure to so many different types of music.

Throughout the 60’s he continued to listen to all types of music and in 1965 auditioned for the role of lead singer for a band that would later be called “Lee Riders”, singing the Kingsmen (Louie, Louie) song, “Jolly Green Giant”.

Vince got the “gig” and has began his professional career, playing all around the San Joaquin Valley from Fresno to Bakersfield. He often played for promoter Mel Simas who owned a company called Melco (Mel & Company). Everyone in the San Joaquin Valley was familiar with the “Melco” dances on the weekends. Way ahead of his time, Mel Simas was booking acts like “The Road Runners” out of Fresno and “The Hunted” out of Laton, California. These dances called “Melco” dances still go on though Mel has since passed away.

A move to Santa Cruz in the early 70’s found Vince playing solo gigs with just him and his acoustic guitar – a no-name, 12 string, great sounding guitar that he played at rest homes, weddings, wineries and corporate parties.

Many of the styles he continues to play today were those ingrained in years ago – songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Jimmy Buffet, John Prine and Leon Redbone, to name a few.

He continues to play music on a regular basis and has recorded two CDs, “Down Home Cruzin with Tuzzi" and "Nine Years Later" - a live performance at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA”, with a new CD in the making due out this 2009 Holiday Season.

CDs are $15 each (includes shipping and handling).
Please contact Vince for ordering instructions or for booking information.

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Jeff West is a fellow uke player who has written about Vince in his "Humble Uker" blogsite. To read what he has written CLICK HERE.