Formed in 1987 by Fred Cole (guitar, vocals), along with his wife Toody Cole (bass vocals) and Andrew Loomis (drums), Dead Moon was a gritty and genuine rock & roll band from the Portland-Oregon area.
The band never caught the mainstream wave of success which swept over the Pacific Northwest during the 1990s, but Dead Moon kept true to their DIY punk ethos by releasing their albums on vinyl under their own label Tombstone Records. During their nearly 30-year career as a band, Dead Moon found a rabid fan base overseas and were celebrated in their little corner of the States until they broke up in 2006.
Since their demise, the band’s extensive catalog would remain in circulation thanks to reissues from labels Music Maniac, empty, and Sub Pop. Voodoo Doughnut Recordings have recently jumped on board to release ‘What A Way To See The Old Girl Go’ as part six in their ‘Tales from the Grease Trap’ series. The live show took place on August 16, 1994, on the final night at Portland’s famed all-ages venue the XRAY Cafe. Dead Moon just released their sixth studio album ‘Crack in the System’ and they came ready to play.
‘What A Way To See The Old Girl Go’ opens with the band ripping through three new songs: “Poor Born,” “Cast Will Change,” and “It’s O.K.” The band has a light-hearted interaction with the crowd shortly into the energetic show; at one point, Toody even says, “what a way to see the old girl go” (hence the album title).
The trio gets back to rocking with their best and most recognizable song “54-40 Or Fight” followed by the new cut “Killing Me.” Old and new, the set list was mixed with both, and even though it was only eight songs, the live show was one for the ages as Dead Moon closed out the night and club with the medley “Out In The Blue” and a cover of the Chambers Brothers hit “Time Has Come Today.”
Dead Moon’s ‘What A Way To See The Old Girl Go’ is a time capsule of memories and an appropriate way to honor the band, the X-Ray Café, and the scene it helped create in Portland.