The following is from an e-mail I got from Mike Turnis on Dec. 9th, 2011:
Saw some things on the site about the Total Fools, couple of corrections.
They were from Manchester but were an Iowa City based band. Moved to San Francisco in July 1986 and became the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282.
Did two cassettes
Itska Bitska Garbage Snout in 1985
The Great Universal Plankton Soup in 1986.
Brian Hageman was NOT a member.
Steve Houghton was (gtrs, vocals and bass)
Gloria Sands was also a member( vocals and sax)
Ann Eickelberg did not play sax
John Frentress was also on occasional vocals and keyboards but not really a member
Hugh Swarts was also a member, vocals and gtrs.
Some photos are attached. Hope this helps.
This is a quote from an Submission Board from Thee Duma - email@example.com dated Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 10:38 pm:
" band from Iowa City circa 1985?-1986? they sometimes performed in drag, playing quirky art garage music.
Some members relocated to San Francisco and formed Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
Members: ??? - Saxaphone vocals Mark ??? - guitar Brian ??? - bass??? ??? - Drums ."
This is a quote from an e-mail from Kim firstname.lastname@example.org dated November 17th, 2004:
"It was a great time to be a music fan. I've written numerous short stories based on my experiences in Iowa City and hope to publish a novel based on that period in the not do distant future where the music is a prominent part of the story. There were lots of REM wanna bes and a lot of Black Flag wannabes, but there were a few really original bands like Total Fools from my hometown Manchester, Iowa (pop 5000) which is also where folk artist Susan Werner is from who has achieved great successes as an indie folk rocker. Bands like Total Fools and Something Fierce were the unsung heroes of the alternative music movement--and it wasn't easy being punk or alternative in Iowa. I'm glad to see that spirit still lives on! "
This is a quote from a second e-mail from Kim dated December 3rd 2004:
"All but one of the members were from Manchester, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa (est) 1980-85. here are the members I knew:
Anne Eickelberg-Sax/Keyboards/vocals Scott McWilliams- Drums Mark Davies- -Guitar/Banjo/vocals The person not from Manchester was Brian Hageman-guitar/vocals John Frentress also wrote for the band and performed with the band intermittently..not sure if he was an "official" member
They were known for switching instruments, and playing ones they obviously did not know how to play. They were very experimental in sound and had smart, funny lyrics about the absurd. On a personal note, Mark's father was the Minister of the United Methodist Church I attended in Manchester, Iowa as a child.
Anne, Mark, Brian and John moved to San Francisco and formed Thinking Fellers Union Local # 282 and are widely known as a successful indie band.
here is a bio from artistdirect.com
With such a longwinded moniker, it seems likely that Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 could be nothing but a bunch of pretentious art-school rejects. Fortunately, that's pretty far from the truth -- their sound is a hybrid of art rock and punk rock, based on noodling on organs, electric banjos, mandolins and heavy, fuzzed-out guitar blasts. The group formed in 1987 in San Francisco and released their first album Wormed By Leonard on their own label Thwart a year later. In 1991, the group made the jump to the Matador label, where they released 1991's critically acclaimed Lovelyville , 1992's Mother Of All Saints and 1994's Strangers From the Universe. They moved to Ajax for the following year's Funeral Pudding and then to Communion for 1996's I Hope It Lands , where they remained on the roster for the rest of the '90s despite their lack of further releases. However, they continued to play sporadic, spontaneous dates and a new album was rumored for a 2001 release. ~ Heather Phares, All Music Guide"