T.S.O.L. (1978-2006, 2007-present): a Heavy Metal band from Long Beach, California, USA.
ounded by Jack Greggors (vocals), Ron Emory (guitar), Mich Roche (bass) and (Francis Gerald) 'Todd' Barnes (drums) as True Sounds Of Liberty (T.S.O.L.), their eponymous EP debut was unleashed in 1981, with the follow-up album, Dance With Me, following later that same year.
Their second effort, Beneath The Shadows (1982), saw them change their style from hardcore punkrock to a basic punk rock in the British style of Stranglers and Damned. Bob Kuehn would join on keyboards, with guitarist Frank Agnew being borrowed from Adolescents. Soon after, they would be caught up in a riot at a gig on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Cathedral Of Tears then Tender Fury would take Greggors from T.S.O.L. shortly later when he left amid personal turmoil in 1983 to form Cathedral Of Tears.
T.S.O.L., decided to do a complete reconfigure. Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley briefly joined in 1983 before Roche returned. Joe Wood (ex-Der Stab, and Grisham's then-brother-in-law), along with Mitch Dean joined on vocals and drums respectively.
Change Today? (1994) proved to be a poor reflection of their passionate style of past, and the following, Revenge (1986), was the same. Hit And Run (1987), however, was a different matter by charting at 184 in the US; their only album to ever do so. This would leave T.S.O.L. (Live) (1988) alone to give any further form of reprise, and only barely. Strange Love (1990) would be the swansong for the original crew would conclude their downhill slide. Grisham would go off to form Joykiller. Roche quit shortly before the album release, leaving the band with no original members. A compilation album titled Hell and Back Together 1984-1990 was issued in 1992 with an emphasis on the act's heavy metal era. Murphy Karges (later of Sugar Ray) replaced Roche to later be replaced by touring bassist Josh Also. This ended the original era of the act.
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The original line-up would reform for a few gigs later as The Original T.S.O.L. to little notice.
The band split into two camps. This late-'80s lineup was popular enough to offer bookings in Brazil and Argentina, where the Grisham-led band held no legal rights to prevent Wood from using T.S.O.L.. In 1996, Wood and Dean were joined by guitarists Mike Martt and Drac Conley, and bassist Dave Mello (ex-Uniform Choice). Dean would subsequently be replaced by Steve "Sully" O'Sullivan. Also in 1996, Wood formed ongoing blues band Joe Wood & the Lonely Ones with O'Sullivan. Wood also recorded as Orange Wedge in 1993 (with Dean Chamberlain of the Motels and Christopher Scott "Wag" Wagner of Mary's Danish) and Cisco Poison in 1995; he later also fronted Joe Wood and the Killing Floor (also including O'Sullivan and T.S.O.L. roadie Eric VonArab and professional skateboarder Ray "Bones" Rodriguez).
Meanwhile, the original members began playing shows under the name T.S.O.L., featuring the band's early material. They often played the same cities, on the same nights, as the other T.S.O.L. Since Wood and Dean considered themselves as the owners to the name T.S.O.L., they threatened to sue the original members, who released the Live '91 under 'Triple X Records' under the name Grisham, Roche, Emory and Barnes, a live album of their early material. They stopped playing together soon after its release. Interesting to note that they also performed for selected shows during this time under the name LOST (T.S.O.L. backwards).
The two factions continued until 1999 when the original members fought with Wood for rights to the name and won. They joined the Vans Warped Tour, playing for the first time in years under the name T.S.O.L. officially.
Barnes died of a brain aneurysm on December 6, 1999, at the age of 34. The remaining members recruited drummer Jay O'Brien (ex-All Day, later of American Jihad). The albums Disappear (2001) and Divided We Stand (2003), followed; the second featuring Kuehn back on keyboards, as well as Billy Blaze replacing O'Brien. Anthony "Tiny" Biuso (ex-(Rude Awakening, Bad Xample); also later of Hed(pe) and Doyle) joined the band on drums in December 2003 to remain until 2014, making him the longest standing drummer in the band's three-decade history.
The cleverly titled, Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads (2009) followed.
In 2014, Biuso left the band to be replaced first by touring member Sean Antillon, then officially by Matt Rainwater (ex-Joykiller), and in 2016 by Chip Hanna to release The Trigger Complex (2017).
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