Jay Allen Sanford 2 p.m., Dec. 5
RIYL: Big Toe, Stone Temple Pilots, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Little Feat, Jimi Hendrix
- "Big Toe's Big Show" · Sept. 6, 2017
Influences: Rush, the Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Alice in Chains, Kiss
Bassist/guitarist Mark Goffeney was born without arms and plays with his feet. He says his public career began with him literally serving as a poster child for overcoming a disability. "I remember one time I had my feet rubbed by Jill Whelan, who played Vicki, the Captains niece on the Love Boat, while drinking Champaign on Air Canada first class. We were 13 and 14. Met and worked with many more celebs as a poster child."
Not that lacking limbs has proven a disability, as he says it's usually other things that cause problems at live gigs. “At the 2001 I.B. sand castle competition, we blew 103.7 the Planet’s PA system. I was using a bass effect unit I didn’t know how to use.”
He and his band Big Toe, cofounded with guitarist St. James, appeared as contestants on the TV show Star Tomorrow in 2006.
“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” 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.”
It's been his online work which has really helped boost his profile and career. One night, while preparing to open side stage for Tom Petty and Beck, Petty's Manager approached Goffeney and informed him that a Youtube video of Mark performing "Mary Jane's Last Dance" had more views than Tom Petty's. Worried, Goffeney asked if he was in trouble. "We think its great" was the reply.
On June 20, 2011, someone stole the armless guitarist’s Taylor 314 acoustic from his car trunk at his Santee home. Goffeney offered a $100 reward, no questions asked.
Goffeney made number 9 on VH1's 2013 list of 10 Musicians Missing Body Parts, which includes Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Iommi, Paul Stanley, and Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen.
When the band Maná came to town on September 9, 2016, Goffeney sat in for two numbers, with the resulting video going viral over the next few days, racking up over 100,000 hits.