King Bee
Portland, Oregon
1977 - 1978

Fred Cole ~ Guitar, Vocals

Pat Conner - Drums

Mark Sten ~ Bass

Steve - Guitar

King Bee - Fred Cole

Some of the other Pacific Northwest and other area music groups represented in members, crew, etc., of this group include many other Northwest bands.

King Bee from Portland:


King Bee was arguably Portland's first Punk band.  Their "Zip Gun / Hot Pistol" 7" (Whizeagle Records, 1978) was the first punk vinyl to come out of Portland, beating the Wipers first single by several months. 

King Bee started life as a more or less conventional hard rock band, but as the punk rock culture began to make it's presence known in the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest the band - in particular guitarist / vocalist Fred Cole, at that time nearing 30 years old and, having played in The Weeds and The Lollipop Shoppe, was a grizzled veteran of the 60's garage and psychedelic scene. He began to identify more and more with this new and exciting strain of edgier music.

 The watershed moment in Portland's early punk scene was the Tom Petty / Ramones concert at the Paramount in the summer of 1977, a concert which King Bee played the opening slot.  By all accounts the Ramones' set left everyone - King Bee included - spellbound, and set the stage, so to speak, for a wave of bands that wanted to be a part of this new and exciting movement.  King Bee lasted another year or so before disbanding, but Fred was getting started.  By the end of the decade he had formed another seminal Portland punk band, The Rats (featuring his wife Toody Cole, who also happened to be the sister of King Bee's drummer Pat Conner...), and spent the rest of the century and beyond in bands like Dead Moon, Western front, and Pierced Arrows.

Kelly Halliburton, January 2017

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Last Update:  1 January 2019
Credits:  Kelly Halliburton
 Band # 3211