True Love, Rock’n’roll & Penny Keno: Dead Moon Talk:
Kim Cooper And Doug Miller Listen
I’m ashamed to admit that until recently I was not hep to the glory that is Dead Moon. Oh, sure, I knew ‘You Must Be A Witch,’ the blistering punk 45 by Fred Cole’s sixties band The Lollipop Shoppe ‘ but who would equate a drippy-psych name like that with the icy-tuff symbolism of Dead Moon? As it turns out, L.S. was a name dreamed up by their management ‘ the band was really called The Weeds!
Fred & Toody Cole are one of the great rock and roll couples, both for the uncompromising music they’ve made together, as The Rats and (since 1988) Dead Moon, and for the strength of their personal and creative bond. Having the chance to hear some of their stories before a show at Spaceland in late May was a hoot and an inspiration. They have a new album, Destination X, and it’s great, but for an introduction I’d suggest you pick up Hard Wired in Ljubljana. They are almost uncannily good live, as well as being the nicest folks you could hope to meet. ‘ The Editrix
DOUG: …And this is my 58th roommate, Mike. Mr. Cole and Mrs. Cole.
MIKE: Hello Mr. Cole and Mrs. Cole, pleased to meet you.
TOODY: [chortling] What respect! I’m impressed.
KIM: Oh, we’re very well-mannered, if nothing else. Fred, I gotta ask you about Deep Soul Cole ‘ is that true?!
FRED: Oh, god!
TOODY: [Cackling] Of course it’s true! We don’t create these rumors for nothing.
KIM: How old were you?
FRED: I was fifteen. It was Larry Williams, who played guitar on that, which was amazing. I played bass on record, and in the band it was me, a white singer doing a James Brown trip, jumping all over the place, with four kids my age who were all black.
KIM: Where did you live?
FRED: Las Vegas. Our manager was running all the R & B acts coming through Vegas, so we played with nothing except black acts.
DOUG: Did you play the Strip?
FRED: Nah, the Convention Center, basically. We were the opening slot for a lot of these different soul bands that came through.
KIM: Had you gotten together with these kids on your own, or were you put with them?
FRED: Mike Tell, who was the manager, just threw this band together.
KIM: How long did you play with those guys?
FRED: About four to six months.
DOUG: Were you going to high school, or were you a ‘drop out’?
FRED: At that point I was in the Sophomore year.
DOUG: Anyone else have a band at your high school?
FRED: Oh yeah!
TOODY: Everyone played in a band ‘ or tried to play, anyway.
FRED: I was going to Western High School, but the following year I wouldn’t go back. My hair was way over my ears, and I had to cut my hair or get a G.E.D., so I got my extra credit.
KIM: Was this around 1965?
TOODY: Earlier than that, ‘cause I graduated in ‘66.
KIM: How did your folks happen to be in Las Vegas?
FRED: My mom got a job (chuckles) at Mercury Test Site, in atomic energy, for the bomb testing. She was a Fecal Tester! (everyone cracks up) Yeah, really, she picked up all the animal shit out there and tested it in the lab!
KIM: From the animals that were running around on the desert?
FRED: Yeah, she’d go out there in this radioactive suit and pick up shit all day long!
TOODY: And then work in the lab. They got paid big-time money!
KIM: Did she have to go to school for that?
TOODY: Nah, I think it was on-the-job training.
KIM: Fred, your band appeared in one of those motorcycle movies.
FRED: The Lollipop Shoppe, yeah. That was a crazy thing. Our bit was filmed over two weeks. We got put up in the Bakersfield Hotel’
KIM: They filmed it in Bakersfield?!
FRED: Yeah. They put us in the hotel and said we had room service.
TOODY: Which was a bad thing to say to five 17, 18-year-old guys! (laughter)
FRED: When it finally got done the film company wanted to sue us, actually. We had a $1300 bar tab, alone!
TOODY: That was hard to do in the sixties!
FRED: In the sixties drinks were a buck! They figured we had thirteen hundred margaritas.
KIM: Lessee, there were five of you… were you tipping or something?
FRED: Not really. We were just sloshed all the time.
TOODY: They were ordering shrimp cocktails!
DOUG: What time did you have to show up on the set?
FRED: Well, they’d just bring us out there on the truck every day, and then we’d hang out for about four hours. Then if they decided to film us that day, they would. And then finally the budget was so bad that they refused to sign a deal over to the Actor’s Guild, because I was being filmed singing. So they cut me’
TOODY: It would have been a ‘speaking role.’
FRED: So you see the band, and my tambourine’
TOODY: You can hear him, but if they showed his face on screen they would have had to pay him as an actor. Two weeks, and they have thirty seconds in the film, and you never see Fred. It’s just ridiculous. There were two songs on the soundtrack album.
KIM: What was the name of the movie?
FRED/*TOODY:* (in bombastic unison) Angels from Hell! (hysterics)
DOUG: Tombstone should re-release the soundtrack.
FRED: Hans at Music Maniac wants to do a Lollipop Shoppe album, and I didn’t want to just reissue The Lollipop Shoppe, so I’m doing a bunch of stuff with different tracks and things, and I’m re-issuing it as The Weeds/ Lollipop Shoppe. I don’t know what I’m gonna do yet, but I’ve got old photos of The Weeds’
TOODY: The way the band really looked before Hollywood got hold of ‘em!
KIM: You were The Weeds before you were The Lollipop Shoppe?
FRED: Same band.
TOODY: They went to this management company and he said, ‘Okay, we’re gonna go for the teeny market, so clean your act up! He took ‘em all in, got ‘em haircuts, little multicolored turtlenecks.
KIM: And is it ‘shop’ or ‘shop-E’?
TOODY: It’s ‘shop.’ The English spelling!
FRED: The manager [Lord Tim Hudson] was a disk jockey here in L.A. at the time, and he was the guy who was appropriately the vulture in The Jungle Book. Remember the two vultures, the one with the English accent? That’s him! I didn’t see dime one from that goddamn thing! (laughter) We were in England about four years ago, and someone goes ‘Is Lord Tim around here?’ ‘Oh yeah, he’s managing wrestlers now!’ Well, that’s gonna give him some protection, because there’s about twenty people out there who just wanna kill him!
TOODY: If you can’t get ‘em young and stupid, get ‘em big and stupid.
KIM: You guys had your own record label in the early seventies, right?
TOODY: We had two different record labels, and we named them after our music stores both times. The early punk stuff we did on Whizeagle Records ‘ we had a store called Captain Whizeagle’s at the time.
KIM: Where’s that name come from?
TOODY: It’s something Fred made up. He wrote a story for the kids about Captain Whizeagle’
FRED: And the Snake Troopers! (laughter)
TOODY: He likes making up names. And later, after we started Dead Moon, we had Tombstone Records. ‘88 was the first release.
KIM: Have you always distributed them yourself?
TOODY: Early on we did. We sold some through Cargo, Get Hip and Dionysus and a lot of the smaller mail order distribution networks. Get Hip became the biggest, and I dealt with those guys the most. Now everything’s going through Mordam, cause we’re doing stuff on eMpTy, which has much better distribution than we ever had.
KIM: Meghan from eMpTy tells me that you’re building a ghost town.
TOODY: Well hopefully it won’t be a ghost town! We’re building it to lease it out as retail space.
FRED: It’s called Tombstone Territory.
TOODY: We did an addition to the store at first, in a western style with the false-front and the big wide cedar siding. Same with the new building, it’s like some country-western bordello. It’s got porches around it, staircases, the whole nine yards. And it’s turning out absolutely immense, I had no idea it was really gonna be this big till we started it. Cause you’re looking at prints on paper, it’s hard to get an idea of dimension. (laughs)
DOUG: Will there be a saloon?
FRED: Eventually, that’s the next plan.
TOODY: The Boot Hill Saloon. We’ve got about two acres to work with, so we still got some space left if we can get up the energy and the capital.
FRED: We’re doing all the building ourselves. We’re almost done with the framing, and that’s taken us a year. Toody does the 8D nails, I do the 16D.
KIM: That’s so cool. You got wooden sidewalks?
TOODY: Yeah, it’s got a wooden porch all the way around.
DOUG: I wanna see you in a toolbelt, Toody.
TOODY: (laughing) Well, my nail pouch broke.
DOUG: Do you guys sell used musical equipment?
TOODY: New and used both.
DOUG: When people bring in guitars to sell, isn’t it tempting to keep them for your personal collection?
TOODY: Every once in a while, but not much comes through. Years ago, when we used to have Whizeagle’s downtown, that stuff was all over the place. Unfortunately, because of the economy in Oregon, everything sold for quite a bit less and we had shitloads of dealers come up from California to buy twelve pieces at a pop ‘ and no sales tax on top of that! So a lot of the stuff from the Portland area ended up down here in California, or in Japan. It’s rare now that we see any ‘vintage gear.’ We’ve got a few things stashed. We love all the stuff that’s kinda worthless, real funky old Japanese stuff’
FRED: Vegamatic control switches, lots of chrome, action like a dog. (laughter) You gotta play with a pair of pliers to keep the strings down.
KIM: You guys were just down in New Zealand and Australia?
TOODY: Yep. About a week ago now.
KIM: Have any really wacky things happened on this tour so far?
FRED: Nothing except missing all the planes. We got into San Francisco and they had all of our gear but our kick drum. We had to come back the next day and get it.
TOODY: Luckily we had a day before we had to play. But everything went pretty smooth.
FRED: (laughing) Except customs wouldn’t let us back into New Zealand from Australia! We had to get a special visa for them to process us again.
KIM: You were going back to play some more?
FRED: We played one more show.
TOODY: You have to send your passports to the embassy, down here in L.A., and they do a work permit. They asked me if a single entry would be fine, and I go ‘Oh yeah, we’re just doing one entry from the states. I thought New Zealand and Australia are both Commonwealth countries, that can’t be a problem, right?
KIM: It’s just one country!
TOODY: Well, to us it is, but to them, it’s no-no-no-no-no! So we just got stuck waiting for about half an hour, they extended it, no big deal.
FRED: The first tour was a nightmare, because we didn’t know it was winter over there! It was the middle of summer here. They called us and said, ‘You guys have got to bring all your clothes, because it’s literally snowing here.’
TOODY: We were thinking ‘New Zealand, it’s gotta be tropical!’
FRED: ‘Bring everything you got that’s warm, ‘cause you’re gonna freeze your asses off!’ They’re clear down by the South Pole. We had the vision when we first went over there that it was up by the Fiji Islands, that it was nice. Man! So we packed everything ‘ we wore everything! We put all of our clothes in the drums, just to try and get all our weight in on the plane.
DOUG: You brought drums overseas?
TOODY: We take everything; that’s our luggage.
FRED: We flew from Seattle down to L.A. We had long coats on, sweaters.
TOODY: (in hysterics) It was almost a hundred degrees!
FRED: We’re sweating bullets, and we can’t take the shit off ‘cause we got nowhere to put it! We’re carrying guitars. And we get to L.A. Airport, everyone’s in shorts. We come walking in in these coats, I got my cowboy hat, sweaters on ‘ we are all just wet with sweat.
TOODY: And we’re getting looks’
FRED: ‘What planet did these assholes just come from?!’ Then we had the flight from hell: Seattle to L.A., L.A. to Hawaii, Hawaii to Fiji, Fiji to Auckland.
TOODY: It’s like being on a milk run.
FRED: Twenty-six, twenty-seven hours’
KIM: And you never took your clothes off?
FRED: We couldn’t!
TOODY: How’re you gonna take your clothes off?
KIM: How could you not?
TOODY: Oh, you can take your clothes off and stuff ‘em in the overheads, but then you’re stuck carrying all this crap around!
FRED: By the time we got there we’d been sweating so bad, we smelled like we had been on the road for weeks! We were mildewed! And we came off the plane and it was snowing in Auckland, and we thanked god we had those clothes! Cold as hell.
TOODY: Freezing the whole time. This one place we played on the south island, in Christchurch, the bar owned a backpackers’ hotel. They put us in the section they had been remodeling ‘ it wasn’t finished! All the other rooms were full.
FRED: So Andrew gets stuck in a room that doesn’t have a window in it, and his bed’s right under the window. He woke up in the morning ‘ he had about four inches of snow all over the top of his head! (laughter) We walk in there, and he was totally asleep. He woke up with the headache from hell, for six hours. ‘My brain is numb, man… fuck!’
TOODY: That whole tour we were freezing, no central heating. We’d go in someplace and they’d have this little electric thing about this big (holds hands six inches apart). Total fresh air freaks, the front door’s always open. You’d go out to have coffee and just be hovering over this steaming cup, trying to keep warm, and everyone else is walking around in short sleeves. That’s our biggest memory of that tour. It was wild. We played every dinky little town that country had ‘ we did like nineteen shows. You try to imagine how small some of those towns were. (Fred hits Toody up for drink tickets and wanders off to get some beer.)
KIM: When are you leaving for Europe?
TOODY: We leave August 12, and we’ll be there till October 5.
KIM: Who runs the store while you’re away?
TOODY: Three guys work with us, and they all play in bands too, so we just trade off time.
DOUG: They don’t play in The Dandy Warhols, do they?
TOODY: No! We know those guys, but they’re in real bands. (a moment of quiet, followed by hysterical cackling all around) One guy’s got a rockabilly band, the youngest guy’s got a white-boy-funk sorta band, and Kelly does a band called Junior Samples, warped country-western hillbilly truckstop stuff. They get the most gigs! (laughs)
KIM: So how ‘bout that time you shot the bear? (laughter)
TOODY: Yeah, we had to, unfortunately. Didn’t want to!
FRED: That was a drag.
DOUG: Did you kill it, or just scare it away?
FRED: We had to kill it. And then we tried to skin the thing, and we had it strung up on a tree. Toody and I were out there with lanterns, sharpening a knife all night long, trying to cut through the skin. It was ridiculous. We got it cut all the way down to the crotch, stomach pulled open, tried to start gutting it, just couldn’t do it. We had been at it for five hours, cutting.
KIM: You just couldn’t cut it?
TOODY: They have such an incredible fat layer’
FRED: It’s unbelievable, you gotta constantly sharpen your knife. So anyway, we woke up in the morning with about twenty-five feet of intestines this big around just exploded out of the stomach, laying all over the ground. Smelled so bad you can’t believe’
KIM: Why, was it the gasses?
FRED: We dug a huge hole for this thing, as deep as we could get it, and just buried the carcass ‘ cut it down and buried it.
TOODY: It was really sad cause we were homesteading in the Yukon and we had two kids’
FRED: We wanted to at least use the skin’
TOODY: They were three and one and a half, so they were really little. A lot of the bears would come into town because the food supply was really bad. We were really worried about this thing going after the kids. It actually went after meat that we had. You know, you dig a freezer hole’
FRED: Two feet and you’re in the arctic tundra. It’s like a refrigerator. Anyway, it just kept circling the camp, and then started coming in at me, looking at it through a 30.06 with a scope ‘ not a night-scope, a regular scope. It’s getting dark out to where it’s really hard to see.
KIM: Were you guys in a cabin?
FRED: We were in a tent. We were still building the cabin.
TOODY: Out in the wilderness, middle of nowhere.
DOUG: How many bullets does it take to bring down a bear?
FRED: Four. Four 30.06 bullets’
TOODY: I felt so bad about it.
FRED: Hit it in the shoulder, in the leg, the head or something, and somewhere else ‘ anyways, four shots to bring it down. Scared the shit out of me. The thing was coming right at me at full gallop and it was about twelve feet away by the time it finally went down.
KIM: Oh my god!
FRED: Scarier’n fuck, man. It was gonna take me out. Big animal.
KIM: How big was it?!
TOODY: It was a black bear, a full-grown one. This is when we were both… twenty?
FRED: About twenty, yeah.
DOUG: That’ll teach him to fuck with Fred Cole! (laughter)
TOODY: Just about, but I hate killing animals.
FRED: I do too, man I really hate it.
KIM: You wouldn’t have done it if you didn’t have to.
TOODY: It was that kinda situation, unfortunately.
KIM: Did you ever dig it up and get the bones?
TOODY: It spoiled really, really fast ‘ it’s almost like pig.
FRED: And there’s so much fat’
TOODY: You have to freeze or do something with it real fast.
KIM: How long did you guys live up there?
TOODY: About a year. We’re driving into town one day and he goes, ‘Man, let’s drive back to Portland, visit your folks for Christmas.’ ‘Yeah! okay, cool!’ Seventy-two hours straight ‘ surprised the hell outta my mom! Had a great time, and went to go back home. And when we’d first gone through the border we’d told them that we were heading for Alaska ‘ which we were, his grandmother happened to live there at the time. But our car had broken down, and we met friends in White Horse, in the Yukon Territory, and found out that they would homestead to American citizens, and ended up staying there. So when we went to go back across the border they said, ‘No, you lied to us, you’re trying to dodge the draft, blah blah blah.’ They would not let us back across the border. We just had to leave everything, write all of our friends and say, ‘Yep! take whatever’s there!’
FRED: (chuckling) We had nothing except what we were actually wearing.
KIM: Then you went back to Portland.
FRED: Yeah, started work in a Manpower job, trying to get enough money to get some other stuff going on.
DOUG: You must have been in the thick of the draft. How’d you manage to avoid it?
FRED: ‘Cause she got pregnant the first time and I thought okay, that’ll get me out. And later they said you had to have two, so then she was pregnant again.
TOODY: They finally pushed it back, ‘cause they’d gone through so many lotteries. So you had to have at least one child, and your wife had to be pregnant, four months, I think it was, with the second child.
DOUG: So he took care of that.
TOODY: He made it out by the hair of his skinny-skin-skin.
FRED: (drolly) I got busy. I was workin’ overtime. (laughter)
DOUG: Ask another question, Kim.
KIM: Oh, uh… hey, what’s your least favorite question to be asked?
FRED: I think mine is, ‘How does it feel to be a living legend?’
TOODY: Fred hates that.
KIM: There’s no answer to that one.
TOODY: We’re not… dead… yet.
DOUG: What about the question, ‘What does it feel like to get a tattoo on your face?’ [referring to the Dead Moon logo that Fred sports alongside one sideburn]
FRED: It hurts like hell. The first part is fine, but when they blacken it in it’s like they’re drilling through the jawbone. If you can imagine your worst nightmare with teeth, it’s about ten times that.
DOUG: Does it still hurt?
FRED: Only when I laugh. (chuckles)
KIM: When did you have that done?
FRED: Probably ten years, it was ‘88.
TOODY: That was shortly after the band started.
FRED: We did it ‘cause the guy’s tattoo parlor got fire-bombed, so we did a benefit.
TOODY: He lost all of his designs, and he was right by the club we played at all the time.
FRED: Yeah, they think the police may have done it.
DOUG: Why would somebody have a beef with a tattoo parlor?
TOODY: Who knows?
FRED: Anyway, he goes ‘Man, I can’t pay you anything.’ ‘We played a benefit, that’s fine.’ And he says, ‘I wanna give you all tattoos!’
KIM: Toody, did you get one too?
TOODY: Of course.
FRED: And I said, ‘Man, I refuse to have a tattoo!’ I always told myself I wouldn’t have one on my body. (Toody cracks up) ‘Cause it was the big thing right then, everybody was getting tattoos, I don’t wanna do that.
KIM: But it’s a gift, you gotta take a gift.
FRED: So I’d always promised I would never do it to my body, but… ‘I didn’t say anything about my face!’ (laughter) He goes, ‘That’s nuts!’ And I said, ‘Put it right here.’ ‘You’re kidding me.’ ‘No, no, it’s cool.’ Everyone thought I was insane.
KIM: But with your long hair it’s pretty subtle.
TOODY: I like it! And he found out afterwards it’s actually illegal to have tattoos on your face.
KIM: Yeah, you get those jailhouse tattoos, with the tears.
FRED: I have been marked ‘ for life!
DOUG: Now you can’t break up the band! (laughter)
FRED: Yeah, and I always go through customs, ‘Yeah, man, this is me.’ There’s nooooo doubt about it!
KIM: Fred, who are some of the bands that you remember playing with in the sixties?
FRED: Big Brother and the Holding Company and Moby Grape were the two favorite bands I ever played with. I played a lot of gigs with Moby Grape. They just knocked me out. Big Brother was killer, and I just really liked Janis; she was a good person. I couldn’t stand Jefferson Airplane’
KIM: I think a lot of people feel that way.
FRED: I played gigs with them.
KIM: You didn’t like the music or you didn’t like them as people?
FRED: I just could not stand Grace Slick, y’know? The music was okay, but she ‘ I just couldn’t stand her! And when Signe Anderson was in the band ‘ in my opinion, she basically stole Signe’s style. The Seeds were a killer band.
KIM: Really? They were good live?
FRED: One of the best bands live I’ve seen. The Doors were okay, but I just had a real problem with Morrison. We played a bunch of gigs with those guys. Love was killer.
KIM: They mostly played down here [in L.A.], right?
FRED: Yeah, and Vegas a couple of times too.
KIM: Tell us what Love was like.
FRED: I thought they were the most advanced band of that time.
TOODY: The Weeds introduced all of Portland to Love; we had never heard of them, and they were doing four or five cover tunes.
KIM: Like ‘Signed D.C.’?
FRED: Yeah, ‘Signed D.C.’
TOODY: ‘Mushrooms Falling.’
FRED: We never played a gig with The Byrds, but we used to go see ‘em at the Troubadour. Man, they were just so fuckin’ out of tune all the time! (Kim cracks up) McGuinn just could not keep that twelve-string tuned.
DOUG: Well, who can?
FRED: And I loved that stuff, we had all their albums, but live? Gene Clark was great, though. The guy’s vocals were just killer, but live ‘ sorry guys ‘ to me they really stunk. The best bands at that time were Moby Grape, Sparrow was really good’
FRED: They became Steppenwolf. We played a bunch of gigs with them at the Matrix, Western Front and stuff. Nicky [St. Nicholas, bass] really carried that band at that point.
KIM: Did you ever see the Music Machine?
FRED: Yeah, I played some gigs with them. I was never into them. I used to play on a revolving stage with those guys and the Royal Guardsmen, in Portland. All I remember is one band wore the gloves’
KIM: That was the Music Machine, they wore one black glove.
FRED: (disgusted) Yeah yeah yeah.
TOODY: He kinda hates gimmick bands! (laughs)
FRED: They just didn’t do anything for me. Reminded me of the Redcoats of Portland.
TOODY: There were a million Port-land bands who did a Paul Revere and the Raiders thing.
FRED: There’s a lot of bands that we played with that became kinda famous afterwards, but were just one-hit wonders, like Count 5. They were really nice guys. That was the only song they did that I was really into, ‘Psychotic Reaction.’
KIM: All their songs kinda sound like the Yardbirds.
KIM: I’m gonna go see the Chocolate Watchband reunion in a couple weeks.
FRED: Chocolate Watchband we played sometimes with up by San Jose. I don’t remember that much about ‘em except that I saw ‘em in a movie at one point, and they did a great ‘Milk Cow Blues’ that I always thought fucking kicked butt.
KIM: That was in Riot on Sunset Strip.
FRED: Cool! Electric Prunes were another one, we played with those guys a couple of times. They had the one song ‘Too Much to Dream,’ and I thought, ‘Man, you should have had the title ‘Too Much to Drink’‘! (laughter) Again, great song, but they had nothing else but that song, I thought.
DOUG: How about The 13th Floor Elevators, you ever play with them?
FRED: No, that’s one band that I always wanted to see, and I have a mutual friend that has lived with Roky for years. He’s sent us things from Roky’s mother’
TOODY: We’ve got his mom’s records!
FRED: She sings gospel, just Christmas country stuff. (laughter) We’ve corresponded with him, but we’ve never met each other. He hates to leave Texas. The times that we’ve played Texas he’s either in jail or nobody knows where he’s at. He’s pretty much a hermit, but what a great fucking vocalist ‘ killer fucking stuff.
KIM: He’s a great songwriter, too, even when he’s out there.
TOODY: Oh yeah. I was really impressed with ‘Don’t Slander Me,’ when that came out after not putting anything out forever. Right on, red hot, amazing.
DOUG: I still can’t believe he did that so recently; it’s so authentic.
TOODY: He’s still got it; whatever it is.
DOUG: He just needs somebody to hold his hand.
KIM: And he’s gotta stop stealing peoples’ mail.
DOUG: Ask a question, Kim; you’re the editrix.
KIM: Okay, do you have any advice for keeping a marriage together?
FRED: Do everything together! Work together, play together. If you can’t stand to be with somebody 24 hours a day, you got the wrong person. Seriously.
TOODY: That’s our motto, anyway. It’s what’s worked for us.
FRED: Yeah. I really believe if it’s the right person that they should be your best friend, lover, your sister, everything, all wrapped up in one. Your waitress’ (Toody chortles)
TOODY: I’m damn good at that!
FRED: Your house cleaner.
TOODY: You’re lucky I was brought up old-school, baby.
DOUG: But it wasn’t love at first sight, right?
TOODY: No, because he was the lead singer in a band that’
FRED: (quietly) It was for me, though.
TOODY: ‘ was fast becoming the top band in the city after, shit, a couple months. And I just thought he was the most conceited, arrogant bastard I’d seen.
FRED: I probably was!
TOODY: I thought he looked great, I loved the music, but it’s just like ‘ yeah, right! And he had absolutely a horrible reputation. I was a very nice Catholic girl at the time. It was like, ‘Stay away from this guy, he’s trouble.’
KIM: What was his reputation?
TOODY: He would nail anything that walked and said yes! (laughter) And not give up until you said okay.
DOUG: Don’t tell me he deflowered you?!
TOODY: Oh, fuck yeah he did! (laughs) Took him a long time; longer than anybody else!
DOUG: That is so sweet. I love a good love story.
KIM: So how did he wear you down?
TOODY: Believe it or not, once I actually got a chance to talk to him and get to know him, what really amazed me was that he was totally down to earth. He started telling me about his mom and his sisters, and playing baseball, and coming to Portland from Klamath Falls when he was fourteen ‘ just a lot of shit that usually it takes years to drag outta guys, without any prompting. And for whatever reason it just clicked right off the bat. That connection was there, and that’s what it really takes for any woman, knowing you’re letting yourself go. He virtually did that first. It was a matter of time after that.
KIM: How many years have you two been together?
TOODY: Our 32nd anniversary is June 12th. We’re goin’ to Reno. It’s a tradition at this point; it’s our favorite place to go.
KIM: Do you gamble?
TOODY: Hell yeah! Eighteen, twenty-four hours straight.
DOUG: You can get re-married there, too.
TOODY: We’ve already done that. We had a huge 25th anniversary bash out at the ranch.
FRED: We had a mortician who had never performed a marriage.
TOODY: He just buries people! He’s a musician that we know, and a preacher. I asked him, ‘Will you marry us,’ and he goes, ‘I’d like to, but I’ve never married anybody before!’
FRED: We’re the first couple he’s ever married in his life, and he’s about fifty-five. He and his wife have been together forever too, and they both sing country, so they wrote a song for us. We have a pool out in our back yard, with a diving board, and when we got done we turned around and took the plunge with all of our clothes on! So all the kids are going, ‘Is that what you have to do when you get married?!’
TOODY: That’s it!
FRED: ‘I’m afraid of water!’
KIM: D’you wear a wedding dress, Toody?
TOODY: Black! You gotta wear black the second time around.
TOODY: No veil, just a forties crepe dress ‘ I was kinda worried about it getting ruined, but it was fine. We had ourselves a time; it was really cool. We had all our family and every musician in town, and half the musicians from Seattle. It was awesome!
FRED: Kick in the ass. We even did a little bit of drinkin’ that night. (crazy laughter)
TOODY: Just some wine.
FRED: We got so shitfaced, it was fuckin’ ridiculous!
TOODY: So did everyone else.
DOUG: Has anyone in the band ever had a hangover?
FRED/*TOODY:* (in unison) Oh, no!
FRED: I don’t think so.
[the tape runs out as Toody is telling us where the world’s best penny Keno machines are located, and we ask her to repeat the directions]
TOODY: It’s the Treasury Club in Sparks, Nevada. Right next to Reno. It’s in the heart of Sparks, on Victoria Avenue, which used to be B Street.
FRED: Just down the street from The Mint.
DOUG: The readers have to shell out four whole dollars for this issue of Scram, so let’s give them a tip.
TOODY: Cheapskates unite.
FRED: And if you’re into poker you can play penny poker, penny slots, anything ‘ it’s all penny!!
KIM: Penny arcade! So, do you have any closing words you’d like to share with our readers?
FRED: Your magazine’s pretty sixties-oriented?
KIM: Well, I’ve got a sixties bent, but we do all kinds of stuff.
FRED: Yeah, but everybody’s kinda into the sixties? Well, don’t believe all you hear about the sixties! (laughter)
KIM: You were there, right?
FRED: There’s so much bullshit that people have glorified about it.
TOODY: It’s just become a real romanticized version. To us it’s almost comical. It was one of the best times to grow up. It was the last age of innocence, and I thank my lucky stars that I was lucky enough to’
FRED: A lot of causalities. It depends on who you talk to as to how they felt about the sixties. Some people loved it, some hated it, some people didn’t give a shit. It was just another time.
TOODY: It was still a pretty exciting, chaotic time.
FRED: Yeah, there was a lot of shit that went down. I read articles and just go, ‘God! I was there ‘ that never happened!’ (laughs) Kids that feel like they missed out on something there, you’re not missing out on a thing. Shit’s going on right now ‘ live this! Because in twenty years there’s gonna be kids glorifying the nineties! And goin’, ‘Wow, man, aren’t you that legend from the nineties?!’ (laughter)
TOODY: Any time you grow up, I don’t care when, all through history, has been a cool time in your life.
FRED: Value that, never worry about what somebody else and another fuckin’ generation did, ‘cause you ain’t never gonna be there anyway! Do your own fucking generation.
TOODY: We all go through the same shit at the same time, it’s just social things that change. It’s still the same experience, I think.
FRED: We used to glorify Bacall and Humphrey Bogart ‘ god, if we could have just grown up in the forties!
TOODY: It was so cool then!
FRED: Well, it was cool for them maybe, but you go back and look at what was actually going on then’
TOODY: Fuckin’ hard times.
FRED: What we had in the sixties was a lot sweeter than that, what’s going on now is probably sweeter than what was going on in our time. You gotta realize that for me to work, to support her and the kids, I had to put my hair up in net hats and hide my hair just to be able to work the minimum wage $1.19 an hour job. And I’d still have guys looking at my like, ‘Man, there’s something weird about you, I know it! What’s under that hat?’
KIM: (laughing) How long was your hair then?
FRED: Well, it was pretty long at that point. And wearing a stocking cap to catch a bus at five in the morning to get to a job that starts at seven for a two hour bus ride all the way through hell and high water, and banding boxes and shit’
TOODY: It was still a very prejudiced time. Nobody wants to remember that, but it was. (laughs)
DOUG: They wouldn’t have you think that. They make it sound like there was so much harmony going on there.
TOODY: Well, there was between the kids, but hey, we were in the real world. We weren’t in control, man.
FRED: There were a lot of jocks that chased me down the street wanting to beat me up. Three different times guys putting guns to my head, telling me they were going to kill me. A lot of violent shit.
DOUG: Toody told me you were a big track star.
FRED: Yeah, I was running at that time. I wasn’t a track star, but I did do a marathon when I was about fifteen.
DOUG: Getting in shape for the Deep Cole Soul?
TOODY: No, at that point he was gonna be a major league baseball star. He was a pitcher.
FRED: It was all I ever wanted to do.
TOODY: Yeah, until the Beatles came out!