Lunatic Fringe – Red Rider

red-riderRed Rider was a Canadian rock band popular in the 1980s. While the band achieved great success in Canada, in the US, the band never had a song in the Top 40.

In 1978, Tom Cochrane joined up with Rob Baker on drums, Jeff Jones on bass, Peter Boynton on keyboards and Ken Greer to form Red Rider.

They were signed to Capitol Records and released their first album Don’t Fight It in 1980. With the singles “White Hot” and “Don’t Fight It”, the album quickly reached gold status. Their second album As Far as Siam was released in 1981 and featured the hit “Lunatic Fringe” which was used in the 1985 movie Vision Quest and which is now a mainstay on American classic rock radio. The song also saw high rotation on the United States cable network MTV. Two other tracks, “Can’t Turn Back” and “Big League” were featured in later episodes of Miami Vice. Peter Boynton left the band on Christmas Eve on a Tour Through the southern States because of continuing conflicts with Tom Cochrane and was replaced by keyboardist Steve Sexton on Red Rider’s third album Neruda, released in 1983. The track “Napoleon Sheds His Skin” would become one of the more popular songs from the album.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe is a song by the Canadian rock band Red Rider from their 1981 album, As Far as Siam. The song was their only known hit to this date, and was inspired by when guitarist Tom Cochrane read a book about anti-Semitism in the 1970s.

The song starts rather abruptly before launching in the guitar (sounding similar to Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times”). Then, it gets into an 80s beat with ambulance sirens near the end.


Lunatic Fringe – I know you’re out there
You’re in hiding, and you hold your meetings
I can hear you coming, and I know what you’re after
We’re wise to you this time we won’t let you kill the laughter
wise to you this tiiimmme

Lunatic Fringe – in the twilight’s last gleaming
This is open season, but you won’t get too far
‘Cause you got to blame someone for your own confusion
We’re all on guard this time against the Final Solution
all on guard this time

Oh Yea-a-a


We can hear you coming no, you’re not going to win this time
We can hear you coming not gonna win
We can hear the footsteps out along the walkway
We can hear the footsteps out along the walkway
them play

Lunatic Fringe – we all know you’re out there
Can you feel the resistance?
Can you feel the thunder?

Oh Yea-a-a

  • Audio from the 1981 album, As Far As Siam:


About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

5 thoughts on “Lunatic Fringe – Red Rider

    1. I used to think they were saying "let me take reds, I know they're out there" fits kinda with the lunatic fringe…really love this one…

    2. I used to think they were saying "let me take reds, I know they're out there" fits kinda with the lunatic fringe…really love this one…

Got a comment?