Earlier today I was I was reminded of the photos that I took of the “pre-teen” punk band Old Skull at the New Music Seminar in NYC in 1989. They are posted here in my Facebook Photo Album. It was just a regular “I wonder whatever happened to” those kids kind of thought. Well, I had no I idea I was about to discover one of the saddest stories of rock & roll.
Old Skull were an American punk rock band formed in the late 1980s in Madison WI. The band was started by ten-year-old J.P. (Jean-Paul) Toulon and his nine-year-old brother, Jamie Toulon, with encouragement from their father Vern Toulon, a longtime member of the Madison punk scene who had spent time in New York City, where he was a guitarist for the industrial band Missing Foundation.
They made 2 albums for Restless Records, Get Outta School in 1989 and CIA Drug Fest in 1992.
J.P. Toulon moved to New York City where he began playing with Planned Collapse, a crust punk band based out of C-Squat, a squat located in the East Village of Manhattan. In early 2010, he served jail time in Madison, and later moved to a drug rehab facility where he had apparently managed to beat a drug addiction. J.P. Toulon died on November 13, 2010, his brother Jamie’s birthday.
Jamie Toulon went on to play guitar for the Milwaukee band Doomsday Cauldron. He later moved to New York City and played in a punk band named Apox, which released an album titled Prevalence in 1998. He was also an original member of Star Fucking Hipsters, a side project of Leftöver Crack member, Stza. Jamie later joined his brother in Planned Collapse until both brothers left the band. Jamie committed suicide in Lynchburg, Virginia on June 10, 2011, seven months after the death of his brother.
Vern Toulon, producer and father to the Toulon brothers, went on to appear in the Madison-based documentary film Streets Without Cars before passing away on May 31, 2001, at the age of 46. Several reports indicate that he had resorted to panhandling in the years before his death. The boys’ parents had divorced early in the band’s career. Several years after the divorce, the boys’ mother died in a train accident.
Pizza Man (1992)