R.I.P. Fred Cole of Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows

R.I.P. Fred Cole of Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows
Photo by Jason E Kaplan
Highly influential Pacific Northwest rock musician Fred Cole has passed away at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer. Cole, who is best known for his bands Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows, had been hospitalized last month with bleeding in his liver.

The news was first reported in the Dead Moon Facebook group, who shared the following statement from Cole's wife and bandmate Toody:

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


Cole's musical career started in the mid 1960s with his band the Weeds, who eventually made an appearance on an edition of the Nuggets compilations. His other projects included the Lollipop Shoppe and the Rats, as well as country rock spinoff Range Rats, among many others.

Still, Dead Moon stands as his most legendary project. Over the years, the band self-released their material via their own Tombstone Records, but their work was also treated to reissues by the esteemed labels such as Mississippi Records and Sub Pop.

Dead Moon's history was also explored in the 2006 documentary Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story, which also shed an illuminating light on Fred and Toody Cole's close-knit family life with their several children.

After first disbanding in 2006, Dead Moon reunited for a series of live shows in 2014. Last year, the group's drummer Andrew Loomis sadly passed away.