Todd “Farmboy” Thompson is a charter member of The Red Hot Horn Dawgs. He took a hiatus from 2010-2014 when his kids were small (although he played drums as a sub for Horn Dawg gigs during all of those years) and now is back in our kennel full time playing auxiliary percussion (we’re not sure what that means, but he sets up a lot of crap that makes interesting noise) . Unfortunately, he was stripped of his seniority and now has to fetch beer, bring donuts to band functions, and complete other rookie stunts we have held over from a bygone era. Todd’s okay with this as he is definitely “Old School.”
His resume is vast. Although he is probably best known for his work with the University of Wisconsin Marching Band—first as a drummer section leader in the mid 1990s, then as a percussion specialist/field assistant since then—he’s been performing at a high level since his beginnings in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
He began with the drums in 5th grade. After performing with numerous honors bands in high school and a stint with Kids From Wisconsin in 1994 he turned his sights to local Madison area bands. The Anklebiters (ska) and Gypsy Moths (rock) were bands he played in while still in college. He has been in demand as a pit orchestra drummer in many high school musical productions, as well as for the Four Seasons Theater Company’s performance of Sweeney Todd. He has guest drummed with bands in all parts of the United States.
Todd is one of the most complete drummers around. In addition to basic rock drumming—which is an all too common, dime-a-dozen skill—he knows jazz drumming, theatrical percussion, big band & swing, and most impressively, progressive rock. One of his ongoing passions is taking cruises especially for prog rock (like Cruise To The Edge,) where he has hit the stage with complete strangers and no rehearsal to put on pro-level shows in this highly complex specialized genre.
Like everybody else in the band, his tastes in music are wide and varied. Favorite groups include Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Marillion, Tower Of Power, Chicago and The Who.
Unlike the others, he also has his favorite drummers. He seems to know them all, but lists as his favorites Bill Bruford, Steve Gadd, Clyde Stubblefield, David Garibaldi, Danny Seraphine, Phil Ehart and Tito Puente.
Todd is a Wisconsin boy with a heavy Scottish influence on his wife’s side. He’s a fan of locally brewed beer, especially Scotch ales. He is a connoisseur of Scotch whisky, having made multiple trips to the source. But he is at home with cheese, bratwurst and the other food groups a Badger claims as his own.
Todd is a Territory Sales Manager with Altria by day, and comes home to the lovely Fiona, Gavin (8) and Graeme (6), two Belgian Malinois dogs, three drumsets, and more snare drums than he cares to count.