The Birth and Funding of Cognito Studio
Cognito Studio is more than simply a riddle wrapped in an enigma. It is ROCK CITY’s anchor in an ever changing musical landscape. How it came to exist in the first place is a disputed myth that only now comes clear with these exclusive insights provided by one of the faithful who chooses to remain anonymous.
In the years following the failure to secure a major label record deal for the “Who Can Find The Dreamer?” CD, Thomas Dean Eubanks became convinced that the only way to accomplish his goal of recording was to be in possession of the means of recording; therefore he set his mind to acquiring the funds to found Cognito Studio.
Working at the family lumber company located deep in the hood of the Binghamton neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee, Eubanks noticed that the local drug dealers were living large until the inevitable end of their easy money at the hands of law enforcement or competing drug dealers. Eubanks had no intention of dealing in illicit drugs but was able to acquire the funds to build and equip Cognito Studio during a two year period that was, despite not being an illegal enterprise; fraught with danger.
In an ingenuous scheme that is spoken of in hushed tones amongst the street people and gang members of Memphis to this day, Eubanks acquired dozens of Colorado River toads and Sonoran Desert toads, both of which are known to be psychoactive toads. Eubanks had his minions standing on virtually every major street corner of Binghamton; where those wishing to escape reality could; for a fee of $5.00 per lick, lick either a Colorado River toad or a Sonoran Desert toad to accomplish their goal with no fear of legal recriminations that could; and eventually would, accrue to the purchaser of illegal drugs.
Memphians from all walks of life and from every part of the City of Memphis flocked to the Binghamton neighborhood to indulge their craving. Eubanks’ street dealers dressed in Sunday best suits with bow ties, thereby giving the impression of being associated with the Nation of Islam to further confound the uninitiated about the true purpose of the enterprise but also to stand out to the initiated. The street dealers were under strict instructions to keep the Colorado River toads in their right hand dress suit coat pocket and the Sonoran Desert toads in their left hand dress suit coat pocket, as discriminating toad lickers are known to have a definite preference for their toad of choice, as imbibers of alcohol or wine have preferences for certain brands.
Much to the consternation of the local illicit drug dealers, the cash rolled in like a tsunami of $5.00 bills. Eubanks’ street dealers were under strict instructions to offer no lick to anyone under the age of 21. Indeed, the vast majority of customers were adult males, as females of all stripes seemed to have an inherent aversion to “licking the toad“, as this manner of getting high came to be known.
The downside was the physical and mental distress caused the toads by over zealous lickers, which caused toad rights activists to galvanize against Eubanks. Seeing his beloved toads suffer, and being hounded by toad rights activists; coupled with death threats from the established illicit drug dealers due to the loss of much of their revenue stream due to the popularity of “licking the toad” resulted in Eubanks prematurely ending the enterprise after acquiring approximately 50% of the capital needed to found Cognito Studio. The substantial balance of the seed money was acquired through the usual channels afforded by the financial community.
The authors would like to take this opportunity to assure you that no toads were harmed in the making of this music. Several musicians have been scarred beyond redemption, but that’s a different story for another time.