Fred and Toody, Jesus Sons
March 21, 2016
The Chapel
San Francisco, CA


Fred and Toody Pierce the Moon

Its funny the way music finds its way to you. (Books too.) But I feel that a lot of times a band or a singer will unearth itself to their audience when the listener is ready, willing, or in need of it.

There was a song in a skate video that sounded not quite like anything I’d heard, and I consequently loved it with an unexplored appreciation. I saw that it was a band called Pierced Arrows, which felt vaguely familiar. I wrote it down and the next time I was at Amoeba, I checked for them. In their column I found a Dead Moon album that I bought and took home. It was a big-ass, two disc compilation (it wasn’t a Best Of though I swear. Please don’t judge me) and I started to soak it in.

Not long thereafter, Dead Moon began to surface in various facets of my life. They’d found me, and they continued to make themselves apparent: One day my co-worker mentioned that she was seeing them play at The Chapel. I hadn’t known they were still touring. She explained that their drummer, Andrew Loomis had recently passed away and that Fred and Toody Cole would be going on tour without him. Possibly their last. I obviously got a ticket.

I met my good friend Schmitty there and we got some pizza before the opening band Jesus Sons was due to begin. Schmitty had heard from his friend, a member of the band The Shrine, that they were peripheral cohorts of these guys, so that gave Jesus Sons cred. Plus, anyone who would pay homage to a Denis Johnson novel, even if it’s unintentional, is probably pretty rad.

We ran into some friends at the show; we mingled, armed with beverages until Jesus Sons took the stage. I liked their garb. There was a country appeal.


And the music ran with said appeal. Can you blend punk rock with country? And I don’t mean bluegrass -that’s old news. I mean fucking country rock yo. Well, these guys kinda pull it.


Their music has the twang and rhythm of some straight up cowboy jams, while their singer harbors none of the irritatingly fabricated bunkin falsetto. If grunge was still a genre, I’d say they sound like Country Grunge. Gruntry? I say we go with it. You heard it here first, my friends!

After Jesus Sons were finished, Schmitty and I planted ourselves right up front where we could see Fred and Toody beyond the drunken clamor of well-wishers. The two took the stage and I was immediately taken aback.


The way they move replays a harmony that has been practiced over the 40 plus years they’ve been married and playing music together. They sat down in front of their microphones and began to play the songs that have been an arguably defining part of their relationship since it began. You could see the love as Fred would look over at Toody while he sang. There were several times when he would give her a loving tap on the knee, his smiling eyes watching her as she sang. The crowd fell in love with those two as they crooned their songs to us.


Even with just the two of them sitting down, they managed to embody the spirit of punk rock and the history of their music. It hit me. I found myself batting the tears back so I could retain my tough demeanor (I’m kidding, everyone knows I’m a sissy). After their set they returned for an encore and finished by telling us to hug someone near to us. Candice had stayed home so I just put my hands in my pockets…not like that, pervert! They told us to think about someone we love, as they sang “Fools Rush In” and I thought of my dear wife, back at home. Told ya I’m a sissy.


They thanked us to an uproar of appreciation before bowing off the stage. It was amazing. It may have been my imagination but I swear I waded through a sea of drunken rockers who dabbed at their moistened eyes. Love, dude. That shit’s punk as fuck.

I went outside and drunk-dialed Candice to tell her how amazing it was and how much I love her. She said, “Thanks. Aren’t you going to be home soon though?” As in, just wait till you’re home, dork. I couldn’t. I was like Keanu, surfing on a wave of emotion. Thank you for finding me, Dead Moon.


Comments are closed.