Brad formed a bond with the band when he joined us for the European Tour in 1997. He tagged along for much of the tour (he would leave on excursions of his own, but always seemed to pop back up the next time the band was playing at a beer festival!), and took a lot of pictures of the band as we performed (or drank, or danced, or who-knows-what-he-has-pictures-of...).
Brad earned the title of "Keeper of the Frog" because he was the only one on the trip that had a cell phone that actually worked in Europe. The phone was nicknamed the Frog.
However, in order to understand how and why the phone got a nickname, you first have to be aware of two things:
1. Brad works in a very technical job. Not that he's a geek or anything (yeah, right), but most people have no idea what he does for a living other than it has to do with networking -- if the Internet is broken, he's probably fixing it. (We generally give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he isn't the one that broke it in the first place...)
2. You have to know the Frog Joke.
So click on that link, and then once you've read the joke, return here and continue below for the rest of the story...
Get the joke now? OK, so... it seems that one of our band members (who shall remain nameless, but whose initials are EB... oops, how'd that hyperlink get there...) left his camera at our favorite establishment outside Munich one evening (see the Hotel Schlee "Villa Verde" in Hohenschäftlarn), and wasn't sure how he was going to get it back.
Brad to the rescue! He pulled out his cell phone while we were still on the S-Bahn (S7 line from Wolfratshausen), called up the phone number -- which he had in memory (of course) -- and handed the phone to Jan Meere (who actually speaks German -- unlike the rest of us). The camera was set aside for our forgetful member to pick up later.
Now, Jan had just told Brad the Frog Joke, and Brad had considered it aimed at him (which it was!). So, considering the circumstances, it seemed only appropriate that the cell phone be forever after referred to as the Frog. Which of course makes Brad the "Keeper of the Frog"!
Now you know the rest of the story! (with apologies to Paul Harvey...)