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Stewart Russell's Fred Lane and Raudelunas Pages

Updated 3 March 2002

!enaL derF Fred Lane!

The 'Pataphysical World of

Fred Lane

and friends

'pataphysics noun the branch of philosophy that deals with imaginary solutions. [coined by French absurdist Alfred Jarry.]
Now featuring... absolutely nothing to do with Liquid Basketball!


Raudelunas 'Pataphysical Revue to be released on CD in March 2002. Read more here.


...quite a lot of people came. Of course, quite a lot of people left immediately.

--- Davey Williams, on Raudelunas 'Pataphysical Revue

History

(or, Why this site's here: "The Tape That Started It All")

Back in 1986, my friend Bill gave me a tape with a track he'd recorded from the John Peel Show. The song was "French Toast Man" by (Rev. Dr.) Fred Lane, and it was the most crazed thing I'd ever heard.

The tape lay in the back of a cupboard for many years, until I found it, played it, and was amazed how bizarre it still sounded. Shortly afterwards, one of those frequent internet coincidences got me the address of a dealer that stocked Fred Lane. I sent off my details and waited...

That tape started something.


So who is Fred Lane?

You might find a website that says Fred is a mystery drifter of some sort. Wrong.

You might even read on his record label's website that:

. . . he wishes his true identity kept under wraps. Hear his music and we're quite sure you'll agree.

Also wrong.

Rickshaw To Go, by T.R. Reed With a little bit of digging around and a whole lot of luck*, I have found out that Fred Lane is the alter ego of T.R. Reed, musician, raconteur and woodworker from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The inspiration for the Lane name came from a distant relation, Ken Lane, piano accompanist of Dean Martin.

Tim Reed is currently making wind sculptures called "Creachters" (such as Rickshaw To Go, on right). You can find out more from:

Creachter Windsculptures
T.R. Reed
P.O. Box 20248
Tuscaloosa, AL 35402
USA

There's an article from Tuskaloosa Magazine about Tim and his work. It's around 212KB, in PDF format.

Plus another from The Tuscaloosa News describing Tim's Whirligigs.

MOJO magazine carried an article on Fred and the Tuscaloosa scene in June 2001. You've got Jerry Brennan to thank for this.

In his performing guise (influenced by Mortimer Snerd, Clem Kadiddlehopper & Goofy, according to Tim...), he has been occasionally backed by Ron 'Pate's Debonairs, a wild big band led by Craig Nutt. Their first recording "Raudelunas 'Pataphysical Revue" was made in 1975.

Another of T.R. Reed's Creachters

This was followed by "From The One That Cut You", and later (without Ron 'Pate, but with a few of The Debonairs under the guise of The Hittite Hotshots) "Car Radio Jerome" (1983).


Discography

  1. Raudelunas 'Pataphysical Revue
  2. From The One That Cut You
  3. Car Radio Jerome --- featuring French Toast Man.

Fred & Co also recorded Shoelaces, a poem by Ernest Brookings, with music by Fred. It's on the LP Lyrics by Ernest Brookings Vol 1, published by Duplex Planet, and now out of print.

Several correspondents have asked about another recording, Icepick To The Moon, which was to have been released by Shimmy-Disc in 1989. It seems that there was a disagreement, and the release was cancelled.


Finding Fred

Shimmy Disc have reissued the two later albums on CD. These are available from many suppliers, such as Amazon.com in the US, and COW in the UK. A two-on-one Fred Lane CD "From The One That Cut You/Car Radio Jerome", Shimmy-Disc Europe catalogue SDE89/11 can sometimes be got from Hemisphere and other suppliers.

Tim Reed has copies of these two albums on vinyl, and can supply inscribed copies for US$50 each.

"Raudelunas 'Pataphysical Revue" on vinyl is now a collector's item. Craig Nutt has some copies left.

Whee! Ed Baxter's label Alcohol Records is releasing an extended version of Raudelunas on CD. For more details, e-mail cproductions@britishlibrary.net. Trade distributors or shops should phone Ed on 020 7403 1922 (UK), +44 20 7403 1922 (International) or 011 44 20 7403 1922 (USA -- watch the time difference!).

If you have any information you think I should add to this site, please send me it --- thank you!


Finally: A Note From "Fred"

A note from Tim Reed

Does Father Christmas drive a Goose?
What year and model?

Guess it would have to be a Snow Goose --- SCR

(All lyrics/samples/artwork copyright © the original artists. Reproduced for review/promotional purposes only.)

*: like Tim's brother, author and bookstore-owner Jim Reed e-mailing me to say "I'm Fred Lane's Brother!", and passing on lots of information.


Stewart C. Russell