You Say It's Your Birthday: Toadies' Todd Lewis

Today is the birthday of Todd Lewis, who sings and plays guitar for the

Toadies. The Toadies are best known for their post-grunge pop sound,

exemplified in singles such as "Possum Kingdom" and "Tyler." The band's

earliest incarnation formed in 1989 in Fort Worth, Texas where Lewis,

guitarist Charles Mooney, bassist Lisa Umbarger and drummer Guy Vaughan

met at the Sound Warehouse record store. They began playing clubs around

Fort Worth, recorded a demo called Slaphead and began conceiving early versions of songs such as "Possum Kingdom" and "Dig a Hole." Soon enough the band was touring throughout Texas, then caught the interest of record executives after nearly winning the Yamaha Battle of the Bands (and

subsequently, MTV's Battle of the Bands).

The Toadies released a single for "Velvet" and an EP, Pleather,

both of which earned them a recording deal with Interscope. In 1993, the band

recorded their first full-length album, Rubberneck, which was

released in early 1994. The band made videos for "Mister Love" and

"Backslider" but it was "Possum Kingdom" which really took off. The band

had gained some exposure touring with Bush, and the song's mix of the catchy

and rough-hewn won fans. Rubberneck went gold. After a number of

lineup changes, the current group has solidified with Lewis remaining at the

helm, Clark Vogeler on guitar, Lisa Umbarger on bass and Mark Reznicek on

drums. The Toadies are currently working on their second album.

Other birthdays: Al Jardine (Beach Boys), 55; Gary Walker (Walker

Brothers), 53; George Biondo (Steppenwolf), 52; Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy),

50; Don Brewer (Grand Funk), 49; Lester Noel (Beats International), 35 and

Billy Landry (Dead Eye Dick), 34.