Shimmy Disc Records is a label that seems to have prided itself on releasing strange, brilliant work that would appeal to the smallest possible slice of the listening population. Some of their better known acts include Bongwater, Gwar, Daniel Johnston, and Jad Fair. I suppose the Reverend Fred Lane would count among their lesser known acts.
I really wish I had stumbled across this record in my younger days, as the samples I’ve been able to find online (French Toast Man!) display a certain level of cultivated wackiness and dark humor that would have totally whacked me over the head with delight once upon a time. I’m glad to have dug his work up even at this late date, though. It might not have quite the impact it would have twenty years ago, but it’s still mind-blowingly bizarre and absolutely worth a listen (as always, Google is your friend).
From the “Where Are They Now?” file, Fred Lane’s alter ego, T.R. Reed, is currently in Chattanooga, Tennessee, channeling his innate bizarreness into wonderful little kinetic sculptures he calls “creachters.”
“Sounds just like it looks.” [Really? I've always wondered what a man in wingtips stepping on circus peanuts and a plastic spider with a scary man's head sporting a handlebar mustache and goatee sounds like.]
“Be sure to check out his pix of himself on the back. Fred has a good time and he wants to share that with you.”
“The Pat Boone of psychosis.”
“The Rev. Rox!”
“‘French Toast Man’ is a classic! I heard it on my second ever trip to Seattle 10/88 on a wicked 3:00 traffic jam on I 90. I was so amused I decided to move to Seattle and join KCMU.” [I love this story.]
“This guy should be playin in the bar @ the Doghouse or maybe opening for Waits.”