The Bad Toupees have been rocking Central Pennsylvania since 1993.  Originally getting together just to "jam" once a month, the criteria for songs of  "instantly recognizable and instantly danceable" resonated with all who heard the Toupees and soon they were packing clubs across the region. The name, Bad Toupees, came from Bo,  the original keyboard player who was the only person in the band who was, as they say, "follicly challenged." 

Paul Schroeder (Guitar & vocals)

An original founding member, Paul plays guitar and shares vocal duties. He developed his musical influences growing up in Dallas, Texas, listening to a steady diet of 60’s and 70’s Pop, Classic Rock, British Invasion, R&B, Blues, and any band with horns (especially early Chicago, Chase, and yes, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass). Starting out on acoustic guitar, Paul moved to drums, then bass guitar, jamming and having fun with neighborhood friends, including the “locally legendary” Peter Freeker Rock Band. However, high school and college were soon calling, and Paul made the move back to guitar, which continues as his first musical love to this day.

Playing in a band became a memory for Paul until 1993, when an inspiration (and dare) to buy new equipment and start jamming again “just for grins and giggles”, turned into the beginning of an amazing musical journey called The Bad Toupees. Most recently, Paul enjoyed a 7-year run as a member of another local band, Not Quite Einstein, performing throughout Central Pa. Now, 28 years and a few line-up changes later, Paul is thrilled to help keep the Toup dream alive.

Doug Searle (Bass & vocals)

Doug Searle offered to temporarily fill in on bass shortly after Ralph

Carfagno, Paul Schroeder and Kirk Ward formed the Bad Toupees in 1993.

His most significant contributions to the group were convincing two

keyboard players, original member Bo Smith and later Pam Searle, to join

in on the fun. Doug continues to serve as temporary bass player,

background vocalist and set list designer. He is patiently waiting for the

band to assign him the role of permanent bass player.

Bill Wasch (Guitar & vocals)

Bill is originally from just outside of Philly. Some of his early influences were the Delfonics, the Stylistics, and other Philly soul bands. However, Bill wasn’t only grooving to the soul rhythms, but studying the guitar parts. If anything, Bill has always been a “student of music”, learning to play guitar, bass, banjo, piano and studying how best to mic the various instruments for each sound. Bill can’t remember a time when he was not in a band and had a great run with a well-known regional favorite, Rosie and the Naturals.  He and Toad began playing together in an R&B band called T-Bone & the Turbo Kings and the friendship and musical collaboration in several different bands has now spanned decades. Bill has been a part of the Bad Toupees off and on for more than 10 years. Between his three current bands, The SUM, SWITCH FU and the BAD TOUPEES and Bill's guitar teaching responsibilities AND the guitar lesson he still takes from people like Johnny A, you can usually find Bill with a guitar hanging from his neck...and he could not be happier about that! 

Ashley Smith (Saxophone, keys & vocals...oh, and tambourine!)

On saxophone, vocals, keys and a myriad of instruments as assigned, Ashley Smith brings the hips and horns to the Bad Toupees. Ashley signed on with the Toupees two and a half decades after they were founded, but hasn’t missed a beat. The fact that she knows, plays and sings the hell out of tunes written long before she was born, is a constant sense of joy for the boys in the band. 

Pam Searle (Keyboards & random opposed to percussion played randomly)

Pam was surprised to find herself playing keyboard with the Bad Toupees, even though she has hung out with the band for almost 30 years.  Being a Toup was never imagined, let alone trying to fill the shoes of Bo Smith, the original keyboard player! It’s no coincidence that Pam and the bass player  have the same last name, because, well, they're married and both grew up in Reading, Pa.  Pam even went to some dances where Doug played trombone in several different soul and R&B bands. She didn’t know him, but it must have been kismet that they met, married and now are together in the Bad Toupees! 

Pam taught herself to read music and dabbled with playing piano since she was a kid, but eventually got more serious, took lessons and has mostly been playing classical music, which is still one of her passions. However,  when the opportunity came to “segue” into rock and roll, she couldn't resist.  

She is 15 years into playing piano in the Hispanic church of a friend where they play a lot of music with cool Latin rhythms which helps some of the Bad Toupees music. The Toups were looking for someone to fill in for a gig about a year ago and Pam helped us out and soon after that we asked her to join us on a semi-regular basis and now have made it permanent.  Pam says it has been fun all along, but being a full-fledged band member is the coolest...especially since it means she qualifies for the retirement fund, 401K and use of the private jet.  EDITORS NOTE: Everything after the word "coolest" in the last sentence was completely made up!  Pam noted that being a Toupee is a little different than a Toupette, but, even more fun!

Sam Bolinger (Drums & vocals)

The newest member of the Toupees, Sam brings well rounded talent behind the kit. Sam started his musical adventure at an early age learning violin and trombone and later tuba and bass. However, Sam soon found that he wasn't fully satisfied by bass lines and brass. After high school, Sam gave into his unavoidable pull to the drums purchasing his first drum set and began learning his way around the kit. Inspired by many kits and musicians later, Sam shares his rhythm with York County local bands including CrossRoads Connected, This Home Like Hell, and various theatre companies across Central Pennsylvania and Maryland. Sam lays the groove across the Toupees classics inspiring the crowd to lace up their dancing shoes. 


Craig Wrights is the percussionist in our band, but only as his time and schedule permit. 

Craig "Tito" Wrights - Percussion

Craig is what is known in the band by a phrase most often used in the the corporate world which is: permanent part-time...meaning that Craig/Tito is part of the band just not permanent/permanent.  For instance, Craig does not qualify for our 401K plan or health benefits, but does have paid vacations and will have access to the Bad Toupees Lear jet...should we ever purchase one. Whatever he is, we are glad to have him when he can be with us because he comes armed with a full array of percussion instruments that add to the bands sound. Craig was a member of the Penn State Big Blue Band Drumline where he played quints and tenors. He also marched competitively with the Golden Lancers and Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps. 

Founding members and other musician friends 

Being together 30 years is a special feat whether it is a band, a marriage or a job.  While starting with 5 original members who were together faithfully until the early 2000's the band has since had several different line ups providing the classic rock and roll dance music the "Toupheads" have come to know and love since 1993.  We miss our founding brothers Toad, Bo and Kirk playing with us, but are thankful they formed the heartbeat of the Toupees that is too much fun to stop.

Ralph “Toad” Carfagno (Drums & vocals) ...don't laugh, he's serious)

Toad grew up listening to his older siblings 45’s, like Lloyd Price “Stagger Lee” and the Coasters “Yakkity Yak.” It was a short slide from those classics to the Stones, Beatles, Zeppelin and at age 12, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. 

From his first drum acquired with S&H Green stamps, Toad cobbled together a complete kit and began playing in a band called Initial Command in Jr. High. Going to Milton Hershey School in 9th grade gave Toad the opportunity to be in bands like “Flashback” and "Mythical Maze", while also learning a little about jazz music in the school’s Spartan Jazz band. 

Beside some fill in gigs, life, work, coaching, children and living overseas meant the drums were put on hold. Toad didn’t play seriously again until he and some friends decided to jam in the early 1990’s. So was born the “Bad Toupees”, with Toad as one of the founding members.  Although truthfully, who founded the band or was there at the start is inconsequential in relation to the fact it exists...and has provided endless fun for family and friends for over 28 years.

Kirk Ward

Kirk is an original founding member of the Bad Toupees and one of the first three musicians to jam together before the group ever thought of becoming a band. Nicknamed "Smash" for his amazing solo work Kirk was the lead guitar player and specialized in playing those leads note for note, from Carlos Santana and “Soul Sacrifice” to Dire Straits and “Sultans of Swing."  Kirk was the first "comptroller" of the band, but (playfully) was always evasive about how much money was in the "tut"...was it $14 dollars or $140, we never knew...or cared!  Later nicknamed the “Unaware” guitarist  which aligned with Kirk's easy going nature, Kirk paid little attention to band intrigue, the weather, the rotation of the earth or anything that might get in the way of the fun he had playing music...especially with the Bad Toupees. Kirk and his lovely wife Sarah retired from Hershey and moved back to their home state of Minnesota, semi-retiring from the Toupees.  He makes occasional appearances for very special occasions and obviously will join the band when they are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Bo Smith

Bo was the last of the original five members of the Bad Toupees.  Bo may have taken longer to join because he knew that once involved the effort to deliver the keyboard sound the band needed would take a great deal of work...but he delivered! Bo provided every type of keyboard sound the music required, especially the techno sounds of the 1980's including bands like the Cars, Billy Idol, Genesis, Van Halen and others. Over the years he carried as many as four keyboards to the gigs. Bo infamously also gave the Bad Toupees our name, but was also the "soothsaying visionary" offering the band a different and enlightened view of each issue or opportunity. Over time he provided great Bad Toupee t-shirt designs and threw the best Toupee and Toupette parties. Thank you Bo, for the introduction to Opus 1! Bo and his beautiful wife Alexia retired from Hershey and took up primary residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Like Kirk, Bo has made occasional special appearances with the band, driving his keyboards from New Mexico to Pennsylvania...and also like Kirk, he will obviously join the band when they are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Other guest appearance members through the years

Mike Gingrich Dale Wise Donny Intreri Tony Formica

Susan Bogart      Betty Kovachs Chad Salvaggio Gary Emery