Before becoming a musician, Brian Cole had worked as an actor and a comedian. Born in Tacoma, WA, and raised in Portland, OR, he mixed his comedic and musical influences in his first steady band gig, with an outfit called the Gnu Folk. In 1965, Cole became a member of a new six-man outfit, the Association, as their bassist as well as a singer. He was a linchpin of the group's sound on-stage -- on their records, however, as with most of the rest of the band, Cole was usually replaced on his instrument by a session musician. He was the group's one major success casualty, as he developed a drug habit that turned into full-blown addiction by the end of the 1960s. He died of an overdose during the summer of 1972, just a few weeks short of his 30th birthday. His son Jordan became a member of the reunited Association in the 1990s, playing keyboards and various wind instruments.
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