Phantom Tollbooth: S/T, six songs, 1986

Phantom Tollbooth: S/T, six songs, 1986

Gerard “Jerry” Smith is Carole’s first cousin. I’ve known him since he was a fucked up teenface and I was a fucked up twentyjerk. We’ve grown to be great friends. He is a superb bass player, as you will hear in tapes to come. I’ve been a fan of the great Dave Rick since the first of many times I caught the Tollbooth live. I have not seen Jon Coats in person in many years, but his precise, punishing drumming is in my minds’s eye.

The Tollbooth were a ferocious band. But for a 28-year-old Long Islander who thought he knew what was going on in music — hey, I was into The Monochrome Set! — they were much more. Jerry introduced me to Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac, OK? That’s a debt you can’t repay.


This is a pre-release version of Phantom Tollbooth’s self-titled first EP. The cassette has no track listing. If somebody will post it in the comments, that would be awesome., but Jerry added it in the comments. It’s an entirely unique collection of songs! The only text — “Phantom Tollbooth EP”, on the spine and a sticker on the cassette — is in Carole’s hand. Most likely she listened to this for inspiration while designing the 12″ cover art for the Homestead Records release. My wife is so cool!

4 thoughts on “Phantom Tollbooth: S/T, six songs, 1986

  1. 1) Flip Your Lid
    2) White Out
    3) Sweat Blood
    4) Last Exit Before Toll
    5) Poly-Razmatazz
    6) Valley of The Gwangi

    1. Oh, so this is NOT the Homestead LP in with a different running order — it’s a completely unique collection! When and where was this recorded, and how did it end up on a cassette with Carole’s handwriting on it?

  2. Not the EP. If my recollection hasn’t completely failed me, this is demo work we recorded just prior to any official release on Homestead. This was recorded by Chris Xefos (who went on to play bass in King Missile). The whole thing was completed in one day in his basement in Huntington.

    Valley of The Gwangi became our 1st official record, released as a 7″ EP.

    On our 2nd, self titled, 12″ EP release, Flip Your Lid, White Out and Sweat Blood were amongst 7 songs included on that recording.

    Last Exit Before Toll and Poly-Razmatazz were included on our 1st full length LP called One Way Conversation.

    Have no idea about Carole’s handwriting 🙁

    1. Holy shit, this is indeed a rare one. Thanks for the info, cuzinlaw! I’ve retitled the post accordingly.

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