Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
Speed the Plough's origins date back to 1982, when the Hoboken, New Jersey-based group was known as the Trypes. Originally comprising keyboardist John Baumgartner, singer/woodwind player Toni Paruta, bassist Brenda Sauter, percussionist Stanley Demeski, and guitarist Marc Francia, the lineup soon expanded to include guitarists Bill Million and Glenn Mercer, both on hiatus from the in-limbo Feelies. After releasing a 1984 EP of introspective, rustic pop titled The Explorers Hold, Million and Mercer reactivated the Feelies, taking Sauter and Demeski with them; renaming themselves Speed the Plough, the remaining Trypes added guitarist Frank O' Toole, bassist Pete Pedulla and drummer Jim DeRogatis, with chief songwriter Baumgartner sharing vocal chores with Paruta on the band's self-titled debut LP, produced by Million and released on Coyote in 1989. With Pedulla and DeRogatis exiting the roster soon after, Sauter and Demeski returned to the fold to record 1991's Wonder Wheel; Speed the Plough's lineup continued to evolve and rotate on subsequent efforts as well, among them 1993's Mason's Box and 1995's Marina.