Fred Janis Memorial Pirate Chicken

Walking in the local grocery store a few weeks back I showed Frank my new favorite dog toy. 

You may not know it but dog toy design can get really interesting. I have been imagining the designers who were responsible for my favorites.  I don’t have a dog but i do have a long beautifully rendered purple and beige snail and a big orange carrot with dashing smile and a sombrero. Both these toys look like they could be the work of Gary Panter, the artist responsible for set and creature design on Pee Wee’s Playhouse

The Capt. Jack Chicken is right up there with the carrot and the snail. Spied on an earlier solo grocery-getting trip, I talked myself out of buying it. On the trip with Frank the Capt. Chicken joined our ranks. 

“Fred would love this,” Frank said. ” He would hang it on his rear-view mirror.” 

That’s we’ve stashed our Capt. Jack Chicken, or as we’ve dubbed him, Capitan Pollo con uno oyo. 


Our friend, Fred Janis, was on a mission. He was blessed to be sure of his path through life. He was a smart, passionate, visionary hard-core writer/musician. He gave it everything he had. Everything. 

Like so many young men of his generation his encounter with San Pedro’s  the Minutemen struck him like a thunderbolt. 

D. Boon, Mike Watt and George Hurley were committed to their vision. Non materialist speakers of truth who seized the moment, the music, the pulpit and took it on the road. They jammed econo, for sure and Fred Janis and his band, Zero Tolerance Task Force, followed the Minutemen’s lead. 

Frank and Fred were friends in Tucson, Arizona. I visited Frank there in 1998. Fred dropped by Frank’s one day and, as is my way, I loved him at first sight. A rumpled, comfortable Taurus, sweet, calm (Libra Rising) and impulsive from the Aries. 

Fred loved Pete Townshend. Pete Townshend is a Taurus with Aries in his chart. It makes for men/boys who are whip smart, pleasantly bratty, outspoken, driven. I could dig it. 

These pix are taken from my computer screen with my Canon Power Shot digital. The images come from Zero Tolerance Task Force videos on YouTube. Go there and check out the band in action. 

They have a dreamy, ghostly quality. That’s what we have now of Fred. Fuzzy memories but a heartful of affection for a really cool guy. He loved his people, especially his daughter, Kyla. 

Here is a post from Kyla on one of the YouTubed Task Force videos

“Seven years today. I love you dad. Fred Janis was so important to so many people. And the best dad ever. Derek is missed so much as well, Derek was like my uncle. I love both of them so much.” 

Fred had problems sleeping. When he and his band for the new century — drummer Derrick LeVeque and bassist J.J. Styles — went on the road he always choose to get to the next town right after leaving the show. No sleep, drive on, go. 

From Toxic Tombstones SAD NEWS: Two of our dearest friends. Fred Janis and Derek Leveque of ZERO TOLERANCE TASK FORCE are no longer with us. They were involved in a fatal car accident in New Mexico about 2am Sunday July 27th 2003 while on tour. Fortunately, JJ survived and is back in Tucson. If you never had a chance to know Fred or Derrick, you are the loser. Fred was a unique Tucson punk icon and in the 13 years we’ve known him, he was the kindest, most unselfish person we’ve met. We will miss his sense of humor and his unmistakable laughter and of course, his music. Even if you think his band ZTTF sucked, Fred Janis embodied Tucson more than anyone I know. Face it, for many people this is a town of poverty, menial jobs, drug addiction and boredom. Zero Tolerance Task Force, in its various incarnations with Fred at the helm made Tucson a more interesting place to live. For anyone who mocked his efforts or put down his band, you only made yourselves seem all that more insignificant and are undeserving of our respect. Anyone who took the time to know Fred and Derek will find their own life’s a little emptier now. I know ours will be. Even if you only caught one ZTTF show, you’ll know what you’ll miss in the future. No one can fill their shoes.please, take care and drive safely!!
Bill and Julianna of Toxic Ranch records 


2 Responses to “Fred Janis Memorial Pirate Chicken”

  1. Kyla Cloud Says:

    Thank you, So much. He’s such a great dad. I stay up, late into the hours of the night/early morning trying to grasp being so lucky to have him as my dad. No lies, Just love. Thank you.

  2. Kyla Cloud Says:

    Thank you so much, I ften stay up into the hours of the might/early morning trying to grasp the fact that I am so lucky to have him as my father, but it’s just wonderful. This means so much. I don’t want my dad’s life to just fade away. Thank you. He would be so happy, to know I have this to hold onto. It’s my homepage. I’m really thankful. No lies, Just love.

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