After the break up of Sandlin I was lost, not really wanting to do anything. This was a time in my life I could have done with out, because
that's pretty much what I did, nothing. I laid around living with my mom and dad and my wife and baby. My consumption of drugs was
getting worse, especially acid. I was now living it, if I had a bad trip, life was bad, a good trip, life was good. It was like good and bad
pulling at me all the time, mostly bad. Brenda’s mom had a boy friend in the construction business, as a favor to her he let us rent a
house with no down payment. I didn't have a job and wasn't looking for one. It was a big house and we lived in the back part and had a
music room up front.
I did put a band together with Tony and Jimmy. Tony had a friend he went to school with, Larry who was a good guitar player and he
came up with the name Toad. We were still a little upset over the deal in Jacksonville. A music store across from Graceland, Guitar and
Drum City had some new amps that had just come in. These were suppose to be the hottest thing ever, we went down to look at them.
They were called, Acoustic and they were hot. The bass amp had what they were calling, a 18" folded horn, Tony got it. Larry got one of
the amps too, with six tens.
We were working up all underground songs, very heavy, very very loud. We were doing songs by; Black Sabbath, Spooky Tooth,
Freedom and Grand Funk, songs that were a lot of fun to play. The dude that owned the house had a son in his first year at Memphis
State, he wanted to manage and book us. He got our first job at a place called The Castle, Ashler Hall. Larry Raspberry and the High
Steppers played the early show, the place was about half full when we started. We opened up with 'I Am The Walrus' like Spooky Tooth
did it. We were loud and wide open, the manager tried to get us to turn down.
That's pretty much all we needed, we turn it alright, up - not down. By the end of our second song the joint was empty, Tony hit tones on
the bass that almost killed me. I guess we wanted the folks in Jacksonville to hear us, that the loudest I ever play. The club called the cops
so we only got to play about fifteen minutes or so. That’s the only job the four of us did, we did a couple of jobs with Richard Beckham
singing old standards. One of which was the Kingsbury High School end of year dance at The Beverly Room. The way the band broke up
was the way the whole decade went. I had to move out of the house, and Tony moved in. It was pretty much a band house when I had it,
my family living in the very back rooms. When Tony got it we still reheard there but he was calling the shots.
One night after practice we were all standing around talking, Larry had a little pack of cheese and crackers. Everybody was walking out
the door and Larry dropped a piece of cheese on the floor, Tony told him to pick it up. Larry said he wasn't picking it up. After a few screw
you and kiss mine, that was the end of Toad. I had a wife and baby and I wasn't taking it anymore serious then they were. Music was
something to do after you got high, drugs were the main thing. Norman was still hanging out with us, he knew a singer that was looking
for a band. Into our lives came Finley... Next Story - Finley
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