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Legendary Portland Musician Fred Cole Dies At 69

Celebrated Portland punk musician Fred Cole, most recently the frontman of the band Pierced Arrows, has died.

The band shared news of Cole’s death on the Pierced Arrows Facebook.

“Fred had that quality of being ‘immortal’ and I believe his songs & recordings will make it so,” wrote his wife, Toody Cole. “We can always hear his voice & his passion there and remember it like it was only yesterday & will go on forever.” 

In 2012, OPB profiled Fred and Toody Cole, describing the frenzied and frenetic lifestyle they adopted as early musicians. OPB’s John Rosman wrote:

Fred Cole is surprised he made it to age 63. It hasn’t been because he decided take it easy. He still rocks, tours and records, something he’s been doing since he was 14 years old.

His storied career in underground music is legendary, spanning five decades and countless genres. Fred Cole’s bands have played with groups as disparate as The Doors, The Ramones, AC/DC and Black Lips. “This year is my fiftieth playing on stage,” remarks Cole. “I’ve never been away from it longer than six months.”

It’s not a stretch to say Fred Cole has been at the center of some of the most influential modern rock movements from the early ‘60s to early ‘90s. Eddie Vedder, frontman for Pearl Jam, gave a handwritten endorsement of Fred and his wife Toody’s new album, concluding, “Fred and Toody epitomize the true potential and purest meaning of straight, no chaser rock-and-roll.”

Fred Cole was 69 years old.

Fred Cole (right), frontman for Pierced Arrows, died Nov. 9, 2017.

Fred Cole (right), frontman for Pierced Arrows, died Nov. 9, 2017.

Marcus Metropolis/Flickr


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