Dead Moon was a Portland, Oregon band fronted by singer/guitarist/songwriter Fred Cole. Toody Cole, Fred’s wife, played bass and Andrew Loomis played drums. Formed in 1987, the band combined garage rock, punk, and country in their stripped-down sound. Most of their records have been released through their on label Tombstone records, named after Fred and Toody’s musical equipment store, which they operated at the time.
Their first long player was 1988′s In The Graveyard, followed by Unkown Passage in 1989 and Defiance and Thirteen Off My Hook in 1990. 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”. Not gaining much recognition in America, Dead Moon toured a lot in Europe and gained a big following. They also signed up with the German label Music Maniac Records, which have been handling most of Dead Moon’s releases in Europe.
Since 1990 and until they finally disbanded in 2006, they released 11 further albums. In 1991 they released Live Evil and Stranded in the Mystery Zone and in 1992 Strange Pray Tell, three albums that further cemented their reputation and position as one of leading garage rock bands in the world. By the mid-ninties they had already achieved cult status among garage rock fans in Europe and their following in America was also growing steadily. The albums Crack In The System (1994) and Nervous Sooner Changes (1995) was followed by the much acclaimed live album Hard Wired in Ljubljana from 1997, which captured the Dead Moon at their very best. For new fans of Dead Moon, this record is a recommended starting point. Which very well could be followed up by Dead Moon’s two next albums Destination X (1999) and Trash & Burn (2001), both are in my opinion excellent albums.
Around the releases of Alive In The Unknown (2002) and Dead Ahead from 2004, the band was followed by the filmmaking team of Kate Fix and Jason Summers, who produced the 2004 documentary Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story, which played in independent theaters around the U.S., New Zealand, and Melbourne International Film Fest, and was released on DVD in the fall of 2006. Their last record was the compilation Echoes of the Past and in December 2006, near the end of the Echoes of the Past tour, Dead Moon announced their disbandment. Their last gig was at the Vera club in Groningen on November 26, 2006.
Fred and Toody currently own the Tombstone General Store in Clackamas, Oregon, and are building a shopping center nearby. They also have new band called Pierced Arrows continuing where Dead Moon left off.