December 2018

Musicians in Bathrooms: La Bodega

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Musicians: Todd Toho and Guy Smiley
Band: La Bodega

What’s your sign?
Todd T. Toho: Taurus
Guy Smiley: Aries

Most underrated song that, in your opinion, should be a classic:
TT: “Late in The Evening,” by Paul Simon
GS: “My Downfall,” by Notorious BIG

Biggest compliment you’ve ever gotten from a fan:
TT: I remind them of Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. I’ll take it; he’s a Hall of Famer.
GS: “Your voice and style are amazing.”

What is your favorite song to perform?
TT: “Fire,” a La Bodega original. Any of our originals really. It’s a thrill to be able to perform songs we wrote and for the crowd to get into them and even sing them back to us.
GS: “Simply Beautiful,” by Al Green

What do you sing in the shower?
TT: I do not sing; I rap. “Eat ’em Up L Chill,” L.L. Cool J.
GS: “My Prerogative,” by Bobby Brown

Favorite cereal:
TT: Peanut Butter Crunch. I love me some peanut butter.
GS: Cocoa Pebbles

Where is your favorite performance venue?
TT: Tough question. Don’t want to play favorites, but we do love Bluffton, or any venue on the beach.
GS: Calhoun’s. They gave us a home.

Most requested song at shows:
TT: That’s a tough question, too. There are quite a few: “Hotel California,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Wagon Wheel,” to name a few. We also get “Play one of your originals,” which is always nice.
GS: Anything by Prince, and “Big Poppa,” by Notorious BIG. WE DON’T DO “WAGON WHEEL!”

First concert you attended?
TT: Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA Tour at Cleveland Municipal Stadium
GS: Salt and Pepper, Big Daddy Kane and EST at the county fair

Favorite artist?
TT: Really can’t name one. AC/DC is why I started playing guitar. But I also love Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath (Ozzy era), Prince, and for someone current, Jack White. Love my hip hop too—N.W.A, Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J.
GS: Ghostface Killa

Place you go to get away from it all:
TT: On stage. Playing live is definitely my escape. Life goes on hold for two and a half hours. No worries, no stress, just pure love of the moment.
GS: My front porch.

Do you tweet, gram or book? What’s your handle?
TT: I have all three, but I am a simple guy. I don’t have time to keep up with all of them. I am mainly a book person. My handle is just my name. Although for the band, the handle is La Bodega Man for everything.
GS: All three: labodegaman, GUYSMILEY, or Frederick Freon (because I’m so cold).

Finish this verse as if it were the hook of a song: “Sally went down to the bayou…”
TT: She went down, down, down; Sally went down to the bayou, Every day without a frown.
GS: In red bottom shoes. She posted up on a bar stool, to douse her flaming blues.

Who would star as you in the epic retelling of your life on film?
TT: Nicholas Cage or Johnny Depp—he’s pretty rock star.
GS: Idris Elba

First instrument you learned to play:
TT: I grew up with a baby grand piano in the house and learned some basic stuff: “Chop Sticks,” “Axel F” (Theme from Beverly Hills Cop), and “The Entertainer” (Theme from The Sting). But there was no piano in AC/DC, so I had to quit and learn guitar.
GS: Voice box

Song you were thrilled to finally master:
TT: I get thrilled when I learn how to play any song. But if you had told me as a kid that I would get to play “Children’s Story” by Slick Rick or “Microphone Fiend” by Eric B & Rakim in a band, whoa, I never would have believed it. It’s fun to play hip hop with a band since you do not see it often. However, I am always thrilled to learn another Led Zeppelin song.
GS: “Slow Motion,” by Juvenile

What do you wish you knew more about?
TT: Space; I believe it contains the answers to life.
GS: Music production

What famous musician would you love to sing a duet with?
TT: Hmmm, Madonna is pretty cool.
GS: Sade or Anita Baker

What animal do you most identify with?
TT: Lion—king of the jungle, baby.
GS: Birds of prey

If you got super-famous and you had to change your name, what would your new name be?
TT: Again, I am simple guy. I would just go by a letter, T.
GS: Alejandro Fiesta

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