Remembering Fred Cole

Last year, at the annual XRAY awards, we were blessed by the presence of Fred and Toody Cole. It was a rainy night, with a huge crowd tired-out and inspired by the Women’s March. Gathered together, we celebrated creators and activists working here in Portland, and made plans for the coming year.

We also celebrated the musical legacy of Fred and Toody Cole, awarding them the “Pillars of Portland Punk Award.” No award could match the legacy of DIY musical creation that Fred Cole left behind. His music store, Capt. Whizeagle’s, where you could get a guitar on credit for a handshake, helped numerous Portland bands get started. His performances in bands like King Bee, Zipper, The Rats, Dead Moon, and Pierced Arrows inspired generations of Northwest bands. His recording and mastering led to worldwide underground circulation, and a cult following in Europe.

Fred Cole provided a blueprint for living an uncompromisingly creative life. His music is a soundtrack for Portland, with his huge guitar’s distortion and feedback like six months of rain. Fred Cole will remain a constant presence in Portland, influencing the sound, ethos, and culture of the city.  – Will Romey

Sooner or later I swear
I’ll be taken on that long hard ride
Down to those sunset towers
Where you can hear lost angels cry
Falling like fire and rain
Back to my seeds again
It’s so easy to pretend
Remember me
I remember you

Dead Moon, “Remember Me”

This Saturday night, Hollywood Theater, Mississippi Records, Kate Fix, and Jason Summers are offering a free documentary screening of Unknown Passage, to celebrate the life of this true legend.

XRAY DJ Calamity Kate and staff member Will Romey are working on an audio piece about Fred Cole. Check out this beautifully written piece by Kate. This audio will be airing in the near future on XRAY.