Monday, August 5, 2013

The Flaming Toasters

While going through a box of old cassettes, I came across one by The Flaming Toasters.  The Toasters is an old band of mine.  I was in The Escaped Fetal Pigs and a couple of other bands at the time, and the other members of the Toasters, Daiv and Jeff, played in a band called Pogeybait.  We would get together to form the Toasters whenever our other bands weren't busy, which wasn't often.  Ultimately, we never even played out, if I remember correctly, but we had fun playing at practice, though since we never played out I don't know what exactly we were practicing for, but presumably we intended to eventually play out.

The cassette I found has three songs on it recorded on a cold winter night in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in December 1991.  The first of the songs is "Candle", a song the Pigs also did.  I wrote it, and it was one of the first songs I wrote on guitar.  I was just getting the hang of singing and playing guitar at the time, so the Toasters were a nice way of developing that tandem skill.  Daiv typically played bass, but we would switch instruments occasionally.  Jeff played drums.  We probably did "Candle" since Pogeybait liked the song so much that they wrote new lyrics to it and called it "The Aliens Are Here" so they were familiar with it.  On the other hand, maybe Pogeybait didn't borrow the melody until after I taught it to Daiv and Jeff.  It's been so long that I don't remember the precise timeline, just that at some point the Pogeybaiters borrowed the song and I was equal parts pleased and irritated.

I wrote "Candle" in 1991 or so after reading a newspaper article about an elderly man who killed his wife because she was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and he didn't want her to suffer.  The Pigs played it, and I usually just sang, leaving the guitar parts to Mark Justice.  I next took it to Yeast? where I sang and played guitar on it.  The GoGoBots never did it, probably because we did primarily newer songs, though a few later Yeast? songs which didn't get much attention then got played by us.  When I did a "greatest hits" bit solo a few years later, I started playing it again, and, as a result, Team Fright also played it.  It's a catchy song, though a little too emo for my taste these days.  I'm still fond of it though.  The Toasters version goes on a bit too long, probably because we hadn't worked out a good ending yet.

The Flaming Toasters is a pretty good name for a rock band, so it's not surprising that other bands have also used it such as these guys.  Not everyone agrees that it's a good name though:  these folks debate the issue. You can decide for yourself while listening to "Candle".

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