Born in Oakland, California, Stef Burns grew up in Walnut Creek, California. He started playing his dad's guitar around age six. At seven, he got his first electric guitar-a Winston and later upgraded to a Fender Mustang. Stef formed his first band at the age of nine-The Yellow Brick Road. They played songs like Wild Thing and Louie Louie and weren't bad for a bunch of fourth graders. In high school, Stef had a band called Legend and he played a Gibson L6-S. They played 70s material such as Allman Bros, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montrose, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and the Marshall Tucker Band. The next band was called New Legend and they played jazz/rock fusion, writing their own songs and covering tunes by Jeff Beck, Return to Forever, George Duke, Herbie Hancock and other 70s fusion material. New Legend used to blow people's minds because they were so young and they played such intricate material.
Stef's first real club band was Omega with Mickey Thomas who later had many hits with Starship. At this point, Stef played a Les Paul Standard. Omega was a large funk band that worked a lot; they were very funky had horns like Tower of Power.
In 1989 Stef joined Y&T, toured and recorded four albums. Prior to joining Y&T and during and after, Stef recorded with and toured with many artists including Jesse Colin Young (Youngbloods), Pablo Cruise, Sheila E, Berlin, The VU, jazz saxophonist Sadao Watanabe, and Alice Cooper (and he had a part in the hit film Waynes World). In addition, Stef does albums, TV and radio commercials, film score work and live shows for various artists and producers including Narada Michael Walden, Quincy Jones, Marc Russo (Yellowjackets), Stevie Wonder, Steve Winwood, James Taylor, Sheryl Crowe, Nile Rodgers, and Narada. Another was in Japan for the "Super Producers Tour 1995" with Narada Michael Walden featuring Patti Austin, Sheila E., Mickey Thomas, Shanice Wilson, Tevin Campell, T.M. Stevens, and Weather Report members Joe Zawinul and Alfonso Johnson.
In 2003, Stef was in three bands at once and, unfortunately, experienced scheduling conflicts with Y&T's touring schedule. Currently, Stef divides his time between touring with Huey Lewis & The News and Italian rock star