RIP: Fred Cole of Dead Moon

Fred & Toody Cole (Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows), The Hague Dec 2013 (Mammal Inc. / Arjan van den Berg)

Sad news with the death of Fred Cole of Dead Moon. His death was reported today in the Dead Moon Facebook group:

I’m so sorry to have to let you know that Fred lost his battle with cancer & passed away peacefully in his sleep last night, Nov 9, 2017. Thanks you one & all for all the years & memories we all shared together, for being friends first & business partners second, so proud to be a part of your lives.

Fred had that quality of being “immortal” and I believe his songs & recordings will make it so. We can always hear his voice & his passion there and remember it like it was only yesterday & will go on forever.

I love you all, Toody

“The last train is leaving
Can’t you read the signals in my eyes
And I’m standing on the platform
Waiting for the ones I’ve left behind”

Fred Cole
Last Train

P.S. Please forward or post this to your own circle of “family” who were touched by Fred Cole & his music.

Dead Moon was a punk rock band from Portland, Oregon that lasted from 1987 to 2006, with a reunion that took place in 2014. The band consisted of Fred on vocals and guitar, his wife Kathleen “Toody” Cole on bass, and Andrew Loomis on drums. Robert Christgau wrote a review in Rolling Stone magazine where he described the band as sounding “like the 13th Floor Elevators without the clinical dementia”.

A couple of years ago, The Stranger provided a wonderful overview of Dead Moon`s legacy, written and illustrated by Emily Nokes, which included these tasty tidbits..

• Fred Cole (born August 28, 1948) started his musical career in Las Vegas at the age of 15 with a project called Deep Soul Cole (billed as the “White Stevie Wonder”) and a band called the Lords, which recorded a single, “Ain’t Got No Self Respect,” before disbanding in 1964. Cole then joined the Weeds in 1966.

• While on their way north, the Weeds ran out of gas in Portland, Oregon. Fred met Kathleen “Toody” Conner (born December 30, 1948) at a local bar called the Folk Singer, where she was working at the time.

• The Weeds changed their name to the more bubblegum-marketable the Lollipop Shoppe, which also avoided rhyming with the Seeds (the bands shared a manager). They played with the Doors, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Buffalo Springfield, Love, and other greats before dissolving in 1968. Their psych/garage jam “You Must Be a Witch” can be found on the first Nuggets compilation.

Of course, there was one aspect of the Dead Moon legacy that I always appreciated…

• Fred and Toody started Tombstone Records (“Music too tough to die”) in 1988. Tombstone would release most of Dead Moon’s discography. Fred cut the master lacquers on the vintage monophonic lathe that Toody gave him for his 39th birthday. It was the very same lathe, incidentally, that had been used to cut the original release of the Kingsmen‘s “LOUIE LOUIE.”

Fred joins his drummer, Andrew Loomis, who died on March 8, 2016.

Here’s a video of what might be one of the lasts Dead Moon performances.

Rest in peace, Fred.


https://youtu.be/76KaraW8FPI

__________________________

Reference Links:

Facebook – Dead Moon Fan Club

The Stranger – Under a Dead Moon, An Illustrated Timeline of the NW Punk Lifers by Emily Nokes

Wikipedia – Fred Cole

Wikipedia – Dead Moon

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