The band was formed in 1986 with Todd Park Mohr on guitar and vocals, Brian Nevin on drums and vocals and Rob Squires on bass and vocals. The trio had attended Columbine High School together. Mohr attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and transferred to the University of Colorado to join Nevin and Squires. The three began touring clubs in Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder as Big Head Todd and the Monsters in 1987. The band soon built up a following throughout Colorado and the West. They toured extensively throughout the Mountain States and West Coast of the United States in their van dubbed 'The Colonel', which was driven over 400,000 miles.