'We recorded one of our live shows at Lestat's and mixed two video feeds along with audio," says Big Toe singer/guitarist Dave Gilbert of the tape that landed them on NBC's Star Tomorrow on July 31. "We were accepted and went up to L.A. to audition for the judge, David Foster, and guest judge Travis Barker. They liked us, so we recorded four more songs live -- two covers and two originals -- and that's what they're using for the competition as it moves online."
Big Toe bassist Mark Goffeney was born without arms and plays with his feet. "It's impossible to truly evaluate this," said Grammy-winning producer David Foster on the show. "I mean, what this guy does is amazing. He's a good bass player...he doesn't sing great, but he's a phenomenal human being. You should be able to use anything to get there, whatever the gimmick is."
"In my eyes, a gimmick would be something like Jimi Hendrix playing his guitar between his legs," says Gilbert. "He didn't have to play it that way, whereas Mark does have to play with his feet, because that's what he does."
As of this writing, Big Toe (Gilbert, Goffeney, and drummer Ben Taylor) have made it to the competition's third round. They perform Saturday, September 9, at Lestat's.
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. Rush, Chronicles ("Love the musicianship.")
2. Bob Marley, Greatest Hits ("Just puts me in a good mood.")
3. The Black Crowes, Shake Your Money Maker ("I love blues rock.")
1. Stone Temple Pilots, Purple
2. "A mix with the White Stripes, AC/DC, and the Black Crowes."
"My CD player's busted, but my car radio is tuned to 94.9. It's that or 88.3, depending on my mood or the mood of the drivers around me. The radio in my bedroom is on 105.3."
DESERT ISLAND DVDs?
1. Full Metal Jacket
3. Clash of the Titans
4. Big Fish
1. Kiss, Alive ("Before I knew it had been overdubbed.")
2. Alice in Chains, MTV Unplugged
1. Jimi Hendrix, Live at Woodstock ("As a very young kid, it really cemented where I come from as a musician.")
2 and 3. American Graffiti, Dances with Wolves ("Both great, timeless movies.")
4. This Is Spinal Tap ("Because it's so damn funny!")
Taylor: "At a club in San Francisco called the Stone, I was in a band opening up for Nuclear Assault, and the stage was about ten feet high. The drums were on a piece of carpet attached to a sheet of plywood. Around the middle of the third song, the plywood was moving, and there was nothing under it but the big giant void that I eventually ended up in, along with my whole kit. The 3000 screaming people thought it was part of our stage show. I left very bloody and with quite the headache."
Goffeney: "At the 2001 IB sandcastle competition, we blew 103.7 the Planet's PA system. I was using a bass effect unit I didn't know how to use."
Gilbert: "At the NAMM show a couple of years back, a company wanted Mark to endorse their product. They didn't have a very big booth, and we had to play so quietly that it quickly became laughable. I'm doing windmills and Mark and I are sliding the necks of our borrowed guitars across each other at less than three decibels!"
Goffeney: "I've had street lights pop out as I passed them, as many as three in a row. Sounds like coincidence, but I kinda had a certain feeling each time, just before it happened."
Gilbert: "I was playing in this hard-rock band on the day they announced that Kurt Cobain had died. When we took our break, we noticed some really wild lights up in the sky, on the northern horizon."
BRUSHES WITH CELEBS?
Taylor: "I saw Rod Stewart at the Rainforest Café in Disneyland, with his fiancée and her kid. The kid was throwing one of the worst tantrums I've ever seen and dumping his dinner on the ground. It was funny, but poor Rod looked mortified. I felt very sorry for him."
Goffeney: "I met and worked with many more celebs as a [handicapped] poster child. Prince Charles offered me the olive from his martini at a celebrity fundraiser. Looking back, I think he just wanted to see me eat with my feet!"
Gilbert: "My wife sat on Jon Bon Jovi's lap. It was huge for her, ha ha!"
Taylor: "Probably a tie between global warming, terrorism, and the earth's overpopulation."
Goffeney: "Our freedom seems more under attack than ever. I was deeply troubled that a mother was sharply escorted out of the Republican Convention for wearing a shirt saying, 'I lost my son in Iraq. '"
Gilbert: "Pet overpopulation, from people not spaying or neutering their pets or back-yard breeders selling all these new 'designer pets' -- while animal-control shelters are still destroying unwanted pets by the thousands."
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: "IF YOU CAN'T SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT SOMEONE...."
Taylor: "...then shut your pie hole."
Goffeney: "...become a journalist."
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?
Taylor: "I do have a serious side, at times."
Goffeney: "I'm a degreed martial artist with about nine years' training in Okinawan kenpo."
Gilbert: "That I actually do give a shit."