Froggie Beaver

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Influenced by the mystical pop of the Moody Blues and Emerson, Lake & Palmer's keyboard-rich prog-rock, but with distinct allegiances to American commercial pop, particularly the late-sixties West Coast…
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Influenced by the mystical pop of the Moody Blues and Emerson, Lake & Palmer's keyboard-rich prog-rock, but with distinct allegiances to American commercial pop, particularly the late-sixties West Coast variety, Froggie Beaver launced its career in rock & roll-desolate Nebraska in the late 1960s. The band members--lead vocalist John Troia, keyboardist Ed Staszko, drummer Tom Jackson, and guitarist John Fischer--met in junior high school in Omaha, Nebraska. From the start they composed original songs and developed a style in which Staszko simultaneously played organ and key bass much like Ray Manzarek of the Doors. By 1971, however, the band had acquired more debts than profits because, despite having built a small, devoted following, their resolution not to play top 40 songs resulted in not landing the most important gigs and parties in the region. So in the autumn of that year, the band, tired of being broke, decided to become a commercial cover band. They christened themselves Froggie Beaver, rehearsed in Staszko's basement, and almost immediately earned the position as house band at a club in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Within three months, the club owner was forced to move into a bigger building to accomodate the crowds Froggie Beaver was drawing each night. With its newfound success, the band began again incorporating original songs into its set, and the audience instantly took to the music. All the members quit their respective universities and day jobs, rented a house together, and took their stab at being a professional band. They hired a manager and began toured throughout the Midwest, opening for national bands and occasionally headlining their own concerts. Jackson left the band in early 1973 and was replaced by Rick Brown. In July of that year, Froggie Beaver recorded their sole album, From the Pond, produced by David Sandler, who had worked previously with Brian Wilson. The band toured behind the album, even adding Steve Beedle as a second guitarist, but by autumn of 1974, Froggie Beaver disbanded.