From left, Mike Vanderhule, John Nymann, Dave Meniketti and Aaron Leigh are Y&T. (Courtesy Kelly Smith)

From left, Mike Vanderhule, John Nymann, Dave Meniketti and Aaron Leigh are Y&T. (Courtesy Kelly Smith)

Dave Meniketti keeps on going with Y&T — and wine

Dave Meniketti is unapologetic when explaining the career longevity of his metal outfit Y&T, born Yesterday and Today in Oakland. “We’ve honestly recorded hundreds and hundreds of songs, and we’ve got this loyal following that keeps going and I just never saw any reason to stop because I enjoy playing,” says the guitarist-vocalist, who moonlights as a solo artist and also runs a family winery with his wife Jill. “But it’s gotten under my skin after this many years; we’re coming up on our 45th anniversary this January.” He believes he’s singing and playing better than he ever has, newer members have fit in seamlessly, and catalog classics like “In Rock We Trust’ sound just as relevant today. “We’re real proud of the fact that we’ve still got it,” he says.

I can’t recall ever reading any trashy drug/booze stories about Y&T. How did you avoid those pitfalls?

Well, in the ‘70s and the ‘80s, there was a lot of drug use going on, and a couple of the guys in the band were heavy into it. Meaning simply that we couldn’t keep going with them doing that, year after year — we had to replace them. But I was the one staple guy that didn’t do it. I did drugs when I was in high school — 16 to 18 years old, I did every frigging drug outside of heroin. But that’s when I first started playing guitar, as well. At 18 years old, I just said, “You know what? I’m not playing as well as I did just last week — I’ve got to cool it.” Now I’m the sole surviving member of that original band; everyone else has passed. So I guess I just lived a pretty clean life. I didn’t start drinking alcohol until I was 50, and I’m 65 now.

Well, you do have annual wine vintages to taste.

We got into wine 15 years ago, and it became a passion after a while for us. So we just started dong more wine tastings, going out with friends, learning all about the growing of the grapes, everything — all the dirty technical stuff that most people don’t care about. But I guess I developed a really good palate, and a lot of people who I’d become friends with in the industry started telling me the same thing: “Dave, you should put your own wine out because your palate is great.” And I said, “Ehh..I dunno.” I resisted it for a few years and finally said, “Why not?”

What’s been the most surprising thing you learned about wine?

People had told me how crippling the business side can be, with all its rules and regulations. There’s so much paperwork, it’s unbelievable.

IF YOU GO
Y & T
Where: Cornerstone Berkeley,2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley
When: 8:30 p.m. Dec. 30
Tickets: $35 to $99
Contact: (510) 214-8600, www.ticketfly.com

Dave MenikettiIn Rock We TrustMeniketti WinePop MusicY&T

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Muni’s K-Ingleside trains will resume service after a long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

Demonstrators march from Mission High School towards the San Francisco Police station on Valencia Street. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Vigil, march honors those killed by police

Deaths of Daunte Wright, Roger Allen and others prompt renewed calls for defunding

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

Kiana Williams
Stanford’s Kiana Williams drafted by WNBA champion Seattle Storm

Kiana Williams is going from one championship team to another. A senior… Continue reading

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Most Read