The man who first paved the road to Toad’s has died.
Mike Spoerndle, who founded Toad’s Place in 1975 and in the years that followed turned it into one of Connecticut’s top concert venues, was found dead in his East Haven home last Friday, the New Haven Register reported. He was 59.
In his two decades as the owner of Toad’s, Spoerndle brought a litany of big-name acts to the York Street venue — the Rolling Stones played a surprise hour-long set at Toad’s in 1989, their first show in eight years, and Bob Dylan kicked off his 1990 tour in the nightclub.
“With his partners, promoter Jim Koplik and the club’s current owner, Brian Phelps, Mike built Toad’s Place into one of the most important nightclubs in the nation. Not just for rock but every popular genre of music,” Thom Duffy, a features editor for Billboard Magazine, said in the article.
Spoerndle had battled drug and alcohol addiction in the past. The cause of death had not been released as of this weekend, according to the Register.