Formed in 1984, and after several years of constant and intensive self-booked and self-promoted tours canvassing some 22 U.S. states, The Toll built a fierce reputation for their live show which was inspired by Circone’s improvised narratives and the band’s unique ability to adapt to each live songs unfolding mood.
Eventually, after shows at the famed CBGBs and the Ritz in New York City, The Toll attracted the attention of Tim Butler, bass player of the Psychedelic Furs. Though numerous labels’ showed eager interest, the band pushed for a two-album label commitment and found it with Michael Rosenblatt (A&R executive who discovered Madonna, The B-52’s, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and The The) who agreed to sign the band to a multi-album, multi-million dollar recording contract with Geffen Records.
The Toll released its first record The Price of Progression in 1998 and its follow-up Sticks & Stones and Broken Bones in 1991. Geffen anemically supported the record and in 1992 the band was dropped. The Toll’s last performance together was March of that same year. Since then, only once has The Toll reformed, for an inspired three song set honoring the 1993 death of their friend and Columbus celebrated performer, Ronald Koal.