TMA started out as a 3 piece in New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers) in 1981 with Tom (Emanuele), Mike (Demko) and Al (Rosenblum). Lead vocalist Dave Oldfield joined shortly thereafter. The band's moniker either stood for the original band members names or Too Many Assholes, depending on the day of the week and who in the band you asked. Influenced by the Angry Samoans, Black Flag, Circle Jerks and a variety of 70′s punk bands, TMA went on to record What's for Dinner? 2 years later. During that time, the band played a lot of local gigs at such infamous venues as the Dirt Club, where they built a loyal following and eventually wound up on a live compilation the club released called Hardcore Takes Over (Live at the Dirt Club).
New Jersey had a good hardcore/punk scene in the early 80s with a lot of bands and places to play, besides the Dirt Club, there was the Court Tavern, Roxy, Patrick's and the Melody. TMA were often paired with bands like Detention and Send Help, and played some of their best gigs with the Circle Jerks, Anti Nowhere League, Government Issue and the Joneses. They also did a few hardcore Sundays at CBGB’s, including a show with the Freeze.
Tim Yohannon (R.I.P.) and the staff of Maximum Rock N Roll were fans of the band. What's for Dinner? was played a lot in the office and received exposure on Tim's radio show as well. Jello Biafra was also a fan.