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I’ve been asked over and over again, who influenced me the most; who was my favorite band, or musician; what music did I listen to? The answer has always been and will continue to be Toad. My parent’s split just prior to my senior year of high school, I was listening to primarily jazzy rap and soul R&B – the idea of an acoustic guitar made me laugh.
But two things happened…
I called my buddy after school to see if he wanted to get together, he told me he was going to his first guitar lesson… I laughed, and told him to call me when he was done; instead, he invited me. So I went to HIS guitar lesson. The teacher told me no one could just sit there, and so she handed me a guitar; and I took off. She lent me that guitar for a few months. That same friend had the Pale album, All I Want was on the radio – and it nailed the way I was feeling, and what I was going through with my parents. I went to the local record store and tried to buy Pale and Fear, but they were out – Dulcinea had just been released; so I bought it – that album, literally, changed my life; it didn’t leave my cd player for 6 months.
I spent the next year doing nothing but learning TTWS songs - from Way Away to The Reincarnation Song. I bought my first guitar, a black Ibanez acoustic and played my first open mic; I played Something’s Always Wrong and Jam. For years Toad was all I listened to… I wore the green TOAD hat up until I was married (the first picture my wife and I ever had together – I have the hat on), many of my wedding gifts were toad themed, and I made an oval TOAD sticker for my car. My screen name on everything is still toadocean; I have Dulcinea in my car stereo right now; and can’t help but buy Bread and Circus every time I see it.
I’ve told Glen before, in Boise, Salt Lake, and Denver that he and TTWS are the ones responsible for teaching me to play the guitar, and channeling my love for music. It is apparent when listening to my band The Wayne Hoskins Band; and we are often compared to TTWS. I once drove all day in my 1972 Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser to Boise to see them, and drove back in the middle of the night to insure I would see them the next night in Salt Lake City. My friends and I made a special 14-hour trip to Phoenix just to see Toad, jamming the tunes all the way. I’ve stood outside a record store waiting to buy Coil and In Light Syrup. I scoured the internet to find the single release to P.S., and the FIVE LIVE CD – they line one of the shelves in my office.
The music of Toad, inspired, enlightened, calmed and propelled me in almost everything I do in my life. My children all know who Toad is; they know the songs. I have patterned my own lyrics after their style – with depth, and intent. I still open every one of my solo acoustic shows with the Prelude to Know Me (video of it on You Tube at http://youtu.be/Thwua4n9WH4)
They may never truly know what that music did for me. It got me through my parent’s divorce, brought me into an amazing marriage, was the soundtrack for my first house, the birth of my children, and helped define who I am today. Beyond my beautiful wife and amazing kids – music is my life. Toad gave that to me.
By the way – I was a huge Monty Python fan, and the first time I heard the band name, I knew exactly where it was from. I’m just glad they weren’t named Poached Salmon in a White Wine Sauce. PSIAWWS…