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Fred Lane & His Hittite Hot Shots - Car Radio Jerome 1986

On: Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fred Lane
T. R. Reed
aka Tim Reed
aka Rev. Dr. Fred Lane

Ron 'Pate
Craig Nutt

In 1988, a mysterious album appeared in record stores. At first glance, Car Radio Jerome was full of silly nonsense with songs like “Upper Lip Of A Nostril Man,” “The Man With The Foldback Ears,” and “Hittite Hot Shot.” Listening to it though, one discovered darker undertones in songs like “White Woman,” which became downright ominous in “Car Radio Jerome.” By the time the album wrapped up, the “French Toast Man” was selling kids tasty goodies so rank that rats dragged it out of garbage pails and keeled over dead. In the last cut, a clinically depressed relative of Elvis croons his weepy ballad of woe “Pneumatic Eyes”—and blows himself up. The records ends with a hand grenade going off. Whether one loved, loathed or feared, everyone had more or less the same question: What kind of human being had perpetrated CarRadio Jerome? It was attributed to Fred Lane and the Hittite Hot Shots. But who were they? No one had ever heard of the group. They never toured, never made videos, never once appeared on Johnny Carson.
In fact, the Reverend Fred Lane did make public appearances, though not many and none outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He first appeared at the Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue in 1975, a show mounted by Raudelunas, a group of artists in Tuscaloosa. The origins of their name is as obscure as those of Lane. According to Ron ‘Pate, the leader of the band the Debonairs which accompanied Lane at the Revue, “it was an Armenian family name meaning ‘moonlight’ or ‘worship of the moon as a deity.’”
Fred Lane was called upon to emcee the Pataphysical Revue, which was a stage show held on the opening night of an exhibit of Raudelunas art at the University of Alabama. He took the stage in a form that would soon be familiar to a few friends and aficionados, if not the country at large: a snap-brim fedora, sunglasses, cutaway tux, boxer shorts, pink socks, and wing-tip brogues, all accented by a few Band-Aids on his face. Lane, backed by Ron ‘Pate and the Debonairs, opened the show with a swinging cover of “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is).” After performances by the Blue Denim Deals Without the Sleeves, the Nubis Oxis Quarum doing the music of ancient Rome, the Captains of Industry all-appliance orchestra, and the world premier of Anne LeBaron’s “Concerto for Active Frogs,” Lane sang “Volare” to close the show. ~Full article
01 White Woman 3:18
02 Car Radio Jerome 4:41
03 Dial "O" for Bigelow 2:44
04 Dondi Must Die 6:44
05 Upper Lip of a Nostril Man 2:11
06 The Man With the Foldback Ears 2:52
07 The French Toast Man 2:52
08 Hittite Hot Shot 3:27
09 Pneumatic Eyes 2:52
Jazz, Offbeat
Shimmy Disc ‎– SHM-5013
His other material on this blog is HERE

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