life is like a bizarre reality show – only if you
saw his life on TV, you would think it was all made up.
It all started when he was a kid…
musical performance today leaves me no choice –
we have to let him go. I warned him, but he wouldn’t
These were the parting words
of Toggo's deeply religious teacher as she expelled him
from Musical Kindergarten at the tender age of 4. But
the only thing on young Toggo's mind as he walked out
with a huge smile on his face was the massive audience
response he had received for his performance.
his first guitar lesson from his dad
Ever since then he's been
consumed by his passion to entertain and move people with
At 19, Toggo moved to Hollywood,
CA to hone his musical skills by attending Guitar Institute
Of Technology. While there, he was fortunate enough to
get to study with rock virtuosos Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big)
and Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson), which made a huge
impact on his playing.
By the time school was over,
Toggo had fallen in love with LA, its people and way of
life, and decided to make the City Of Angels his permanent
home. He threw himself head first into the local Hollywood
music scene; recording, performing, producing and writing,
growing his rock'n roll shoes several sizes in the process.
His hard work paid off.
Within a few years, Toggo turned the local Hollywood scene
upside down with his flashy, larger-than-life alt rock
band "Scared Of Girls". From their colorful
looks, high-octane concerts and celebrity guest performances,
to a PR-machine that set a whole new standard for bands
in Hollywood, Scared Of Girls was a force to be reckoned
success, and with a fresh album (Sonic Boom) and financial
backing in place, the boys inundated Hollywood with promotion.
10 000 of their glossy colorful post cards were handed
out for every show, while virtually every telephone pole
in Hollywood had a Scared Of Girls poster stapled on to
At one point,
their postering efforts caught up with the Laurel
Canyon Association, who along with the Hollywood Police
Department gave them the choice between paying thousands
of dollars in fines, being arrested, or removing the posters
immediately (there was a LOT of posters up!). Let's just
say that the boys didn't get a lot of sleep that night.
Girls with Toggo's friend Angelyne
- Hollywoods Billboard Queen
In other words,
it was hard to be in Hollywood without noticing Scared
Of Girls. This would not go unrewarded.
good friend Rayko of Dig Jelly in usual style, after a
Scared Of Girls show at The Roxy Theatre on the Sunset
most influential music industry publication, Music
Connection Magazine gave the band glowing reviews.
They announced Toggo's group as "One of the hottest
bands in LA", and featured an article with Toggo
and crooner legend Tony Bennett giving advice to musicians
on how to get rid of stage fright.
"rockumentary" about Scared Of Girls, produced
for Japanese teen-show "Beit", was not the boys'
proudest moment. The result is cheesy at best, with the
low point being the band reluctantly agreeing
to getting "scared" by a girl on the street,
to signify the band name - in the unhippest way imaginable.
Oh well - the teens in Japan seemed to love it, as the
show as repeatedly aired on Japanese ESPN2:
From his devoted fans to
prestigious music authorities like listen.com (who describes
Toggo's music as "Expertly crafted rock that runneth
over with enthusiasm and good vibes"), and producers
like Kim Fowley (Kiss, Runaways), there was no doubt -
Toggo and Scared Of Girls were going to be the next big
Girls headlines The Las Vegas AVN Awards to a crowd of
porn stars, celebrities
and rock stars, including the infamous Rick James, and
Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmeister.
But fate had other plans.
At the brink of national attention, an almost unimaginable
chain of events led Toggo to lose almost everything he
held dear - his band, house in Studio City, car, money,
bank account, and a name he had made for himself from
years of hard work - all gone. The only thing left when
the smoke cleared was his guitars, master tapes and a
large case of incurable optimism.
and traumatic experience pushed Toggo right to the brink
of a complete breakdown. But instead of submitting to
his fate, he took a 180 degree turn, relocating to Minneapolis,
Minnesota, where he slowly started working himself back
in the game by performing weekly casino shows with infamous
Capone's grandson, drummer Jeep
(left) and grandpa Al Capone (right.)
what had happened to him, while sharing an incredible
story with the world, Toggo decided to chronicle the events
- he started writing a book. In addition to being a testament
to how far you can get in life by following your dreams,
Roll Virus takes its readers on a mental, physical
and spiritual thriller-esque rollercoaster with a storyline
so surreal and unthinkable that many a reader will find
the story too far fetched to be believed. For those who
do believe, chances are it will leave them wholly convinced
that Toggo has lost his mind.
In 2009, upon
requests from a few hardcore fans, Toggo made his song
Head Over Heels available as a free ringtone download
on Myxer.com – one of the world's largest online
stores for music ringtones. Since he hadn't yet launched
his solo career, he had no aspirations with this move
beyond making a few fans happy. However, the song started
receiving large numbers of downloads, and within weeks,
Head Over Heels was the #3 most downloaded song on their
rock charts, as well as being Featured by Myxer.com, generating
11 000 ringtone downloads in just one month.
To monetize this large surge of downloads,
Toggo changed the ringtone from free to paid status, not
knowing that he couldn't stay on Myxer.com's top 100 rock
chart with a paid ringtone - so it was removed off the
charts by default. However, the experience served as a
powerful reminder of the massive potential and viability
of the song.
In late 2010
Toggo released the music video for his song Monday
Morning, which to date has over 40 000 views, as well
as a growing cult following on facebook, where it's posted
by droves of people's walls every week, especially on
In May of 2011,
the same video was submitted to a music competition called
Show. After almost 6 months of competing, Monday Morning
took first place, and the $10 000 grand price by a land
slide, in November of 2011.
From his melodic sing-along
hooks and choruses to his hang-on-to-your-seat stage persona
and colorful looks, Toggo Ultrarock delivers a refreshing
punch to ones musical senses that is rare to find today.
And he is crystal clear about his goal: To leave the world
irrecoverably inspired by his music and persona.