Fred Cole, Dead Moon Frontman, Dies
Fred Cole, who spent more than 50 years as a working musician and fronted the Portland, Ore.-based punk band Dead Moon for 20 years, has died. He was 69 years old.
Cole's death was announced on the Facebook page of Pierced Arrows, a group he was in with his wife of 50 years, Kathleen, who went by the nickname of "Toody." She wrote, "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."
Born in Las Vegas on Aug. 28, 1948, Cole had been recording since the mid-'60s, when his band the Lords put out a single called "Ain't Got No Self-Respect" in 1964. From there it was a series of bands -- ranging from garage rock and psychedelic to punk and country -- including the Weeds (who became the Lollipop Shoppe, a fixture on the San Francisco scene of the late '60s), Zipper, King Bee, the Rats, Western Front and the Range Rats.
He and Toody, a bassist, formed Dead Moon in 1987 with drummer Andrew Loomis. Starting with 1988's In the Graveyard, they released 10 albums and were the subjects of a 2004 documentary, Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story. After Dead Moon broke up in 2006, Fred and Toody recruited another drummer, Kelly Haliburton, for Pierced Arrows. They put out two records, 2008's Straight to the Heart and 2010's Descending Shadows.
Upon hearing of Cole's death, Ted Leo and Superchunk, as well as Portland indie label Kill Rock Stars, tweeted out their condolences.