Mike Patton and Toodles
Shit terrorist was the phrase coined by Mike Patton himself in 1992 t describe his unsanitary behaviour, but hidden amongst the turd eating and golden showers was a more unnerving storyline...
During 1992 Patton shed his weather worn pin-up frat boy skin and emerged as a scruffy thrift shop degenerate who rather unexpectedly stole our hearts. His lovable cartoon character antics were replaced by stomach churning mischief that gave us all a laugh at the expense of stereotype rock n rollers like Axl Rose.
Toodles was an antique child’s doll which found her way into several interviews and photo shoots during the end of 1992 and into 1993. The origin of Patton’s creepy companion differs from interview to interview - trolling the press was something that FNM were experts at during the Angel Dust era. Whether Patton acquired her from a voodoo priest in New Orleans, dug her up in an Atlanta graveyard or bought her from an antique store in Davenport - the fact is the two were inseparable for a few months.
It was in an article with UK music tabloid Melody Maker that Patton introduced us to Toodles.
Somewhere along the line, Mike has acquired an ancient baby doll, name of Toodles, which he carries around tenderly, wrapped in a tee-shirt. His fellow band members make a big fuss of the doll, cooing at it and kissing its forehead. Toodles has a large, pink head, potholed and cracked, a filthy, partially burned, crocheted body, and filmy, opaque green eyes. There is something distinctly eerie about Toodles. I flippantly ask Mike if he breast-feeds Toodles, and he looks at me like I just grew and extra head. "She doesn't eat," he explains, as one would to a simpleton.
Yet when FNM head for the stage, he props Toodles face-down over a bowl of mayonnaise. Maybe he should have offered the mayo to L7 instead. L7, in the great tradition of support bands, don't get the full benefit of catering. Once a day, a nourishing meal of bread and water or a little thin gruel peremptorily thrust in their direction. These women are hungry, and have resorted to daring raids on FNM's rider.
But it isn't until I mention Toodles that Mike truly comes to life. "TOODLES is what I've been wanting to talk about! Toodles comes from Atlanta. I dug her up. It was on the Guns N'Roses tour. We went to a graveyard, a really old graveyard all prisoners. No names on the gravestones, only numbers. There was this really small grave, and I figured, how could there be an infant prisoner? So I dug it up, and there was Toodles. I could hear 'Sweet Child o' Mine' playing across the night from the open air arena, and I knew we were meant to be together"
In a second article from RAW Magazine Patton's story is slightly different.
“Have you met Toodles?" asks Patton, holding up an ancient baby doll with diseased limbs and peeling eyes. Apparently he picked her up in a thrift store about three weeks ago, although her place in his heart is already being threatened by a monkey skull he found in Pennslyvania, "It's supposed to win me arguments and protect my home," Patton smiles, "I don't believe in it, but it's a great theory, Bill bought Alister Crowley's original cocaine spoon. It's got a little document with it like a little family tree, saying whose hands it's passed through."
Toodles fate is however a mystery, whether Patton kept her close and she eventually made it as a stage prop with Fantômas we will never know. More likely Patton woke up one day to find his wife had thrown that unsanitary crap out.
"We're a band that encourages extremes.....so when anyone is doing things like that. I think: Well whatever you wanna do, whatever you wanna try - no matter how outlandish - just make yourself happy. Which is a healthy environment. I'm very proud of the extremes that go on in our band, I'm proud of the fact that Mike is like that. I'm proud that he carries a doll around a voodoo doll called Toodles. That's such a bizarre thing, but extremes are what we're about." - Roddy Bottum | NME 1993