Dead Moon's Fred and Toody Cole Are Retiring From Rock'n'Roll—Including Pierced Arrows

Following the death of Andrew Loomis, the first couple of Portland punk are hanging up their amps.

It probably seems obvious, but the death of Andrew Loomis last week spelled the official end of Dead Moon, the legendary Portland punk band that Loomis formed with Fred and Toody Cole in 1987, broke up in 2006 and got back together to play occasional shows in 2014.

But when I spoke to singer-bassist Toody Cole recently to get her memories of Loomis, she revealed that she and her husband are done with rock'n'roll—period. That includes Pierced Arrows, the garage-rock trio she and Fred, both 67, started with drummer Kelly Halliburton shortly after the initial dissolution of Dead Moon.

It's mostly a health issue, she says. In March 2014, Fred Cole underwent emergency heart surgery. In 2015, Dead Moon was forced to cut its set at the Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle shortly after Fred collapsed onstage.

As of now, Toody says, the Coles' final rock'n'roll show was January at the Crystal Ballroom, which they played as Dead Moon with Halliburton on drums.

That doesn't mean they're done with music altogether, though. She and Fred still perform as a duo, playing acoustic renditions of songs from across their career together.

Here's her full quote on the matter:

"At this point, we've already finished with Dead Moon. Fred cannot handle being up onstage for an hour and a half with a 25 pound guitar wrapped around his head. He's becoming too unsteady on his legs; his feet are numb. We're 67 years old!

We're just going to be doing this duo thing from here on out. We basically played the last rock'n'roll show we'll ever do at the Crystal Ballroom….Not Pierced Arrows, either. We're talking rock'n'roll, period. The whole thing. At this point, Fred's rock'n'roll days are over. He knows it and he's happy with it.

It's just the way it needs to be. The last thing he wants to do is look like a complete parody of himself up there and do anything like fall over. He's a very proud man, and he doesn't need it that badly. He's being doing it all of his life, and I know everybody would like him to go on forever, and he will to this extent [playing acoustically], which is making him happy. But the other is just too much for him anymore."