I only really got into TR because of his work with Cheap Trick and The Tubes -
I suppose most people get into The Tubes because of TR but with me it was the
other way around.
I remember the first time I heard OH. It was Christmas day 1986 and I'd bought
myself 'Oops!' as a present (I had to pick my own gifts that year) based on
the fact that TR's had produced The Tubes Love Bomb which at the time was my
favourite album. I'm not sure why I picked Oops, it was one of a bunch of
TR/UT albums in the rack at the local second hand record store and I guess
something just caught my eye. Now remember I was 15 at the time and I hadn't
even heard Love is The Answer, Hello it's Me, or I Saw The Light, at this
point. First track was Trapped, of course, and at first I just scratched my
head and wondered what this was all about. 4 plays and 3 hours later and Oops!
was my favourite album. I remember Love in Action as sounding really weird to
me, I played it to a friend who was also a musician and he just flipped - 'God
that's a weird chord sequence in the chorus' - he was right but it was the
first time that music had really made me feel different. Before this I liked
quite easy listening stuff, nothing that took much thought to listen to. All I
could hear was Cheap Tricks 'Heaven's Falling' - 'This is the same guy that
wrote THAT?'. The album intrigued me with it's strange chord sequences, and
beauty of it's lyrics.
I still wasn't hooked though. I LOVED 'Oops!' but really wasn't too sure what
the rest of the albums were like, I mean I'd read that he was a bit eclectic
so I wasn't sure which album to get next.
At that time the UK anthology LP was released and I bought it as an overview
of TR's career - the same day as I bought Frank Zappa's 'Joes Garage' (my
second FZ purchase) - and spent the whole evening listening to Zappa. I played
TR once, and it did nothing for me.
I decided Utopia were good and TR was a bit lame.
My next set of purchases were 'Oblivion' and 'Deface the Music'. Now, this
was before the heady days of internet mailing lists and web sites - I knew NO
other TR fans so these albums were just titles, I had no idea what they'd be
I got home, put on Oblivion and loved it. Little did I know at the time it was
the Germany silver cover issue, I just thought they all looked like that. I
thought it was a great album so I put on 'Deface' - WHAT??
Being a big Beatles fan at the time (and still so) I found 'Deface' really
charming. Of course as the first strains of 'I just want to touch you' came
through the speakers I thought it was a misspressing - 'This isn't Utopia!' -
I also had the "luck" of getting Deface in a blank sleeve as the second hand
store had lost it's real cover, this further confused matters - if I'd seen
the beatlesque cover I might have realised what was going on.
At some point after this I actually got into TR - I think this was due to
running out of Utopia LP's to buy so I HAD to buy TR albums. My first TR album
after 'Anthology' was a vinyl copy of 'A Cappella'. It took a while but in the
end it all came into place.
I still knew nothing about this TR bloke but (luck or fate?) I met a tutor at
my college who was a huge TR fan and he made copies of a bunch of videos of OH
and also got me subscribed to the Nexus. From then on it's all gone from 'bad'
to 'worse'. And now, my feelings about TR and his music...
The reason I love TR's music is simply that TR says things about my life that
no-one else dares say. Not because he knows me, but because he's honest enough
in his music to say things about humans that most artists don't want to say -
through fear of sounding weak. TR has written songs that express feelings that
I can identify with so personally, he isn't scared of admitting his/our
Do I really think Todd is Godd? Nah. And I'm glad he's not, it's his
'humaness' that makes his music so special to me. He writes songs to document
my whole spectrum of emotions and also lyrics that catalogue events we've all
experienced. TR is the only songwriter I know of in the 'pop' genre that
actually has no hidden agenda to his work - he's not trying to be famous, he's
not trying to make a ton of money, he's being true to himself and foregoing
all the glitz of pop success that was offered to him in 1972 for a chance to
really make a difference. He's true to himself, to his art, and because of
this he's true to us - we all WANT him to do exactly what HE wants and he
doesn't disapoint. We expect the unexpected, we just want his albums to be
Todd and they always are, he never tries to be someone else.
TR is also an artist that appreciates us, his fans, for our support - I think
most of us feel close to him as a person because of the help he's given us
through his music, but on top of this Todd is only human. We feel as if we
(ie, me, you, and him) are in this together, we are experiencing life together
- with Todd documenting the events and feelings we experience on our way.
I'm not in awe of TR, I'm sure he wouldn't want me to be, he makes mistakes
and that's good because so do we.
I'm sure I'd blush if I said I loved him but as I'm typing this you wouldn't
see - I do love him, you can't help loving someone who's music has pulled you
out of as many holes as his has.
I realise that there is so much more I want to say here but I'm not sure what
it is, I think I could go on like this forever.
Oh yeh, the last thing I like about TR's music is... it's a trip, it's got a
funky beat, and I can 'bug out' to it!