Reverend Fred Lane

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Reverend Fred Lane is the stage name of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama born singer, songwriter, and visual artist T.R. Reed (Tim Reed), who released two relatively obscure yet critically appreciated albums in the 1970s on Say Day Bew Records, later re-released in the 1980s on the Shimmy Disc label. These albums explored various traditional genres of American music such as jazz, country, and big-band swing, but infused with improvisational experimentations and Dadaist free-associative lyrics.

Lane was involved in the conceptual music scene at the University of Alabama in the city of Tuscaloosa in the mid-seventies. He was a member of the Raudelunas Marching Vegetable Band collective, influenced by the ’pataphysical theories of Alfred Jarry. Subsequent "bands" included the Blue Denim Deals Without the Arms," The Raudelunas Arm Band and The Marching Booly Band. He played flute and alto flute for the improvisation company "Transcendprovisation" and appears on the 1976 Transmuseq LP release, "Trans."

His stage persona displayed a devilish grin, goggle glasses, a well-oiled goatee, and various band-aids applied to his cheeks and scalp. He wore a black Tuxedo coat over boxer shorts. He authored comic books and chapbooks including "Liquid Basketballs" and "Naked women Overthrow the Government Quarterly."

He released two albums in the early 1980s. From the One That Cut You, credited to Fred Lane & Ron Pate's Debonairs, was inspired by a somewhat illiterate threat note found in a 1952 Dodge Panel truck. Ron Pate's Debonairs was a big band that included noted Alabama-based free improvisers Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith, both performing under aliases. ("Ron 'Pate," also a fictional name, refers to the word "'Pataphysics," which was coined by playwright Alfred Jarry.) Car Radio Jerome, credited to Fred Lane & the Hittite Hot-Shots, navigated his band through various hard-boiled fedora film noir scenarios, and was especially noted for the memorable parody of a children's nursery song, "The French Toast Man".

Reed left the music industry in the late 1980s to devote his career to mobile sculptures.


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