Topeka’s name is inspired by this scene in the 2000 movie, “Almost Famous,” when Russell Hammond walks out on his band after a show, believing the music industry and his quest for fame is shallow and meaningless. He begins wandering the streets of Topeka, and remarks, “[The fans] know all about us and I don’t know shit about [them].”
A group of teenagers in a VW van pull up, recognize Russell and invite him to a house party. “I know you’re a big rock star and all, but do you want to hang with some good people looking to have a good time? We’re just real Topeka people, man,” one of them asks. Russell smiles, knowing this is his shot to skip the backstage afterparty and be with real people, and jumps in the van.
This scene captures the spirit behind Topeka. Topeka is about people connecting in a real and meaningful way, beyond the lights and stages.