About Us – Michael Anthony Toler

Mike & GuitarThat’s me and my guitar to the right. I can’t really play, though I’m trying to learn. I used to be pretty good, or so said the few people who heard me play when I was in my teens. That would be a precious few, carefully selected people of the sort who would have to say nice things, i.e my parents, aunts and uncles, a neighborhood girl I thought I had a crush on, and her mother who heard me play through a window I didn’t realize was open!

I so badly wanted to be a musician. I took guitar lessons for a few years, at a community center and even private lessons using videos developed by the legendary Chet Atkins and an instructor at a local music shop. I gave up when I just couldn’t make the guitar do what I wanted it to do, but I remained obsessed with music. I got my first job when I was 12 or 13 and it was so I could afford to buy records. I grew up when the drinking age was still 18, and I counted the days, not so I could drink, but so I could get into the clubs where the bands played without having to worry about being carded at the door.

I went to college intending to major in journalism, not to actually be a traditional journalist, but because I wanted to be a music journalist. I switched to English in large part on the advice of two of my favorite music journalists at the time, Anthony DeCurtis and Kurt Loder, who were gracious enough to respond to my request for career advice.

That choice and my decision to do two years as a Peace Corps volunteer abroad after obtaining my MA eventually took me down a different career path, but anyone who knows me can tell you I’ve remained obsessed with music. I’ve decided I need to share my passion with the world, and since my complete lack of talent precludes me from doing so as a musician, I’ve decided to do so with this site.

Once again I turned to my friend Martin Magee for help. Martin is a talented writer, graphic artist and designer who I have had the pleasure of working with before in several projects. Most importantly, he has great tastes in music. He likes some stuff I don’t like and doesn’t like everything I like, but hey, no one is perfect! Moreover, the point of having an editorial partner is to have differing opinions.

What really matters is that he’s equally passionate about music. Click here to find out more about Martin.

Contact Michael @ mike@drunkswithpens.com

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