Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Dead Moon: 3 Albums


Dead Moon was a United States rock band from 1987 to 2006, formed in Portland, Oregon. Fronted by

singer/guitarist Fred Cole, the band also included singer/bassist Toody Cole, Fred's wife, and drummer Andrew Loomis. Veterans of Portland's independent rock scene, Dead Moon combined dark and lovelorn themes with punk and country music influences into a stripped-down sound.

Fred Cole engineered most of the band's recordings and mastered them on a mono lathe that was used for The Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie". Their early records, such as In the Graveyard, were released on the Tombstone Records label, named for the musical equipment store Fred and Toody operated at the time. Soon they caught the attention of the German label Music Maniac Records, and toured Europe successfully. Not until the mid-nineties did they tour the United States. Much of their following was in Europe.

A U.S. filmmaking team (Kate Fix and Jason Summers) produced a 2004 documentary, Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story, which played in independent theaters around the U.S., New

Zealand, and at the Melbourne International Film Fest, and was released on DVD in the fall of
Dead Moon has recorded for labels such as Empty Records, but most releases are on Music Maniac worldwide and Tombstone in the U.S. The Tombstone label has also provided cheap mastering and duplication for other bands, serving more as a cooperative than a promotional vehicle. Though Fred and Toody were in their fifties, they showed no signs of slowing down on their 2004 release Dead Ahead, continuing to tour the globe until 2006, which saw the release of the Echoes of the Past compilation.

In December 2006, near the end of the Echoes of the Past tour, Dead Moon announced that they were

breaking up the band. Their last gig was at the Vera club in Groningen on November 26, 2006. Fred and Toody owned and operated their guitar shop, Tombstone Music, for 30 years and also ran the Tombstone General Store in Clackamas, Oregon for about eight years. Pearl Jam covered the song "It's O.K."; they often segue it with their song "Daughter" in live performances. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam has also covered "Diamonds in the Rough" and "Running Out of Time" with C-Average.

Fred and Toody formed a new band called Pierced Arrows with Portland punk musician Kelly Halliburton, whose father played in a band called "Albatross" with Fred in 1972, of Severed Head of State, Defiance and formerly Murder Disco X. Pierced Arrows played their first show, debuting on May 18, 2007 at Portland’s Ash Street Saloon with the reformed Poison Idea. Andrew Loomis played drums for a band called The Shiny Things from Longview, Washington.

Fred Cole, a guitarist and singer who became a cult hero of the Pacific Northwest music scene as the leader of the long-running garage-rock band Dead Moon, died on November 9, 2017 at the age of 69, from liver disease, at his home in Clackamas, Ore. The cause was cancer, said his wife and bandmate, Toody Cole.

As the grunge gold rush in the 1990s made stars of young bands in and around Seattle like Nirvana and Soundgarden, Mr. Cole and Dead Moon remained beloved local stars despite being decades older than their peers. Well into his 40s by then, Mr. Cole had been a regular of the garage-rock circuit — playing

a rough and raw sound that long predated grunge’s noisy take on punk — since the mid-1960s, when he was a member of the Lollipop Shoppe, which had a minor hit in 1968 with “You Must Be a Witch.” But with Dead Moon and various other groups over the years, Mr. Cole set a standard for do-it-yourself perseverance. He and his wife released records on their own label, Tombstone, with a dark, handmade aesthetic. He even cut lacquer discs, used to make vinyl records, on an old mono lathe at their home outside Portland; according to legend, it was the same machine used to make the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” in 1963.

In a scratchy wail, Mr. Cole led Dead Moon in ragged, macabre-obsessed songs, like “Graveyard” and “Dead Moon Night,” that sounded as though they could have been made at any time in the last 50 years. From its first album, “In the Graveyard,” in 1988, until it disbanded in 2006, Dead Moon stayed far under the radar of the mainstream music industry, building a following around the world while still being celebrated as local heroes. Besides Ms. Cole on bass — she was usually credited simply as Toody — the band included Andrew Loomis on drums.

“We felt proud of them up here,” said Dean Whitmore, an executive at Sub Pop Records in Seattle, who worked with Dead Moon on a 2006 compilation album, “Echoes of the Past.” “They were the real deal, and they were ours.” Frederick Lee Cole was born on Aug. 28, 1948, in Tacoma, Wash., and moved

with his mother to Las Vegas, where he attended high school. But as he recounted in the Dead Moon song “Kicked Out — Kicked In,” he was dismissed from school at age 16 for having long hair and a bad attitude. By then he was already a veteran of bands, including the Lords and the Weeds. In 1966, the Weeds were told that they could play with the Yardbirds at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Upon arriving, Ms. Cole said in an interview, the band learned it had no such invitation.

Intending to avoid the Vietnam draft, the young men decided to drive north to Canada, but ran out of gas in Portland. There Mr. Cole met Kathleen Conner, nicknamed Toody. They married in June 1967. The Weeds, signed to the same label as the Strawberry Alarm Clock, were renamed the Lollipop Shoppe. They released one album, “Just Colour,” the following year, before breaking up. In the 1970s, while Mr. Cole continued to pursue a music career, he and his wife started their first of several retail businesses in and around Portland, including a music store called Captain Whizeagle’s, and they also began to raise a family. In addition to his wife, Mr. Cole is survived by their two sons, Weeden and Shane; a daughter, Amanda; and seven grandchildren.

It was only when Ms. Cole was about 30, after years of her “doing the domestic thing” and raising their children, she said, that her husband asked her to play music with him. “Fred talked me into it,” she said.

“He was so sick of male bass players who were flaky as hell.” They started the Rats in 1980, and later recruited Mr. Loomis to form Dead Moon. A year after the group broke up, the Coles founded Pierced Arrows with another drummer, Kelly Halliburton. With Mr. Cole’s health worsening, the couple officially retired from performing in 2016. That year, Mr. Andrew Loomis, their former drummer who had lymphoma, died on March 8, 2016 at 54

Dead Moon appeared in “Hype!,” a 1996 film about the grunge era in Seattle, and in 2006 the band got its own documentary, “Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story.” Next year, its career will be documented in a book to be published by Mississippi Records, a label and record store in Portland that has been reissuing Dead Moon’s catalog.



Unknown Passage was Dead Moon's second album, following 1988's In the Graveyard, but as a statement of creative purpose, it was a major step up from the debut, opening with the fierce "Dead Moon Night," whose self-reflexive lyric and lean, unrelenting attack made it sound like the band's

theme song.
While much is made of Fred Cole's age (he was born in 1948, making him 41 when this album was first released), the most audible impact on Dead Moon's music has always been that his songs are informed by the music that was punk before punk had a name, from Link Wray to the Sonics to Blue Cheer, and on Unknown Passage you can hear all that history filtered through one man's keen imagination and unyielding passion for real rock & roll, and Unknown Passage is just one of many outstanding albums Dead Moon would release while waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with them.

Label: M'lady's Records ‎– MLADYS 15
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Digipak
Country: US
Released: 11 Feb 2014
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Punk


01. Dead Moon Night     4:46
02. My Escape  (Drums – Louis Samora)  3:08
03. A Miss Of You     2:47
04. 54/40 Or Fight     4:11
05. I'm Wise     3:26
06. Evil Eye     2:42
07. I Tried     3:12
08. Time Has Come Today  (Written By – J. & W. ChambersWritten-By – J. Chambers, W. Chambers)  4:30
09. Demona     2:37
10. On My Own     2:39


Bass – Toody Cole
Drums – Andrew Loomis
Producer – Fred Cole
Remastered By – Timothy Stollenwerk
Vocals, Guitar – Fred Cole
Written-By – Fred Cole (tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 10)
Originally released on LP by Tombstone Records (T-25 1989)

MP3 @ 320 Size: 79 MB
Flac  Size: 182 MB



1990's Defiance found Dead Moon digging just a bit deeper into the blues, while still laying out their trademark blend of garage rock, proto-punk, and hard rock. Kicking off the set with a fierce cover of Kokomo Arnold's "Milk Cow Blues," Dead Moon offer up a handful of songs that are stark and

dramatic even by their standards, such as the slow, menacing "Dagger Moon" and the sorrowful "I'm Out Nine," and if these songs aren't built around standard 12-bar structures, their downbeat tone and elemental structure certainly tie them in with the blues. Elsewhere, Toody Cole gets one of her best vocal features with the bitter tale of armed revolt "Johnny's Got a Gun," and "Crystal Is Falling," "Walking on My Grave," and "Kicked Out, Kicked In" are great rock & roll songs by anyone's standards, driven by Fred Cole's wiry vocals and rugged guitar work, Toody's solid, full-bodied bass work, and Andrew Loomis' relentless percussive attack.
Defiance is a typically great, edgy offering from a timeless rock band.  

Label: M'lady's Records ‎– MLADYS 16
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 2014
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Punk


01. Milk Cow Blues     3:39
02. Not The Only One  2:03    
03. Crystal Is Falling  2:23    
04. Revenge  2:12    
05. Dagger Moon  3:45    
06. Walking On My Grave  3:08    
07. Johnny's Got A Gun  3:07    
08. I'm Out Nine  1:36    
09. Kicked Out - Kicked In  2:33    
10. Unknown Passage  1:51    


Drums – Andrew Loomis
Producer, Mastered By – Fred Cole
Vocals, Bass – Toody
Vocals, Guitar – Fred Cole
Written-By – Fred Cole (tracks: 2 to 10)
Cover – Kelly Manahan

MP3 @ 320 Size: 63 MB
Flac  Size: 163 MB



Easily one of the most influential garage bands to come out of the Pacific Northwest in the late '80s and '90s, Dead Moon were also one of the most obscured. While hugely successful alternative acts covered their songs and dropped their name in interviews, they quietly forged their own path and released their

own albums for 20 years, embodying the D.I.Y. spirit to the point of mastering their releases on their own record-cutting lathe. Stranded in the Mystery Zone, released in 1991, was the trio's sixth album in four years, and up to that point the most passionate display of the band's guts, misery, joy, and drive.
Bare-bones as anything and presented in gloriously complex mono sound, songs like "Jane" and "Clouds of Dawn" come off like lost practice tapes from especially electric 13th Floor Elevators rehearsals, while the slower "Pain for Pretty" shares its glowering moodiness with fellow Portland-area punks the Wipers.

Label: Music Maniac Records ‎– MMCD 042, Music Maniac Records ‎– MM CD 042
Format: CD, Album
Country: UK & Europe
Released: 1991
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Punk


01. A Fix On You     3:13
02. Sorrow's Forecast     2:56
03. Clouds Of Dawn     2:47
04. Get On Board     2:41
05. Spectacle     2:53
06. Crazy To The Bone     3:14
07. Castaways     3:02
08. Jane  (Drums – Louis Samora)  2:38
09. Down The Road     3:08
10. Pain For Pretty     4:18
11. Over The Edge     3:30
12. In The Altitudes     3:05

Artwork [Cover Art] – Kelly Manahan
Bass, Vocals – Toody
Drums – Andrew Loomis
Guitar, Vocals – Fred Cole
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Willem Kolvoort
Producer, Written-By – Fred Cole
Distributed By – Rough Trade Distribution – RTD 3690042-2 40
Cover photo: taken in the garbage dump behind Vera Club, Groningen, Holland
Tracks 11, 12: CD only

MP3 @320 Size: 88 MB
Flac  Size: 197 MB


In the corridors the light has ceased
things move in shadows 'cross your feet
the phantom's wings of ice and dark
are cutting tombstones in your hearts
I fear the time when moons will die
and lay in pools of liquid sky
shattered like old discs and bones
stranded in the mystery zone.


I can't stay knowing what's going down
I can't stay, darkness on the edge of town
Streetwise kids in an act of defiance
Out to defeat what's already behind us
Rattle and shake their political cans
Giving directions without any plans
There's a new kid on the block
And he's taking my place
Walking on my grave

I can't stay staring down a .44
I can't stay dying on the killing floor
A man in blue and he's drawing a gun
A child in the shadows too scared to run
Crack on the mirror of a teenage dream
Like a lost generation on L.S.D.
There's a new kid on the block
And he's taking my place
Walking on my grave

I can't stay knowing what's going down
I can't stay, darkness on the edge of town
The brain's still twitching but the eyes are closed
My best friends dying from an overdose
A red light flares unacounted for
It's happening now and it's happened before
There's a new kid on the block
And he's taken my place
Walking on my grave



  1. Absolutely no band like Dead Moon.
    And there never will be again.
    Truly one of the greats.

    1. @ Icky: Many thanx for your comment , I put your blog in my bloglist. Cheers from Athens, Greece.