"Platinum" Reed OliverBorn in the maddeningly self-congratulatory music city of Austin, Texas in the 70s, Reed Garrett Oliver (not a law firm) soon realized that his destiny lay in West Germany, at least if he wanted to continue living with his parents. Life in Germany taught Reed to speak German fluently at a 2nd grade level (his age when he left) and a deep and abiding love for the bizarre music dominating the German pop charts of the late 70s, including such world-wide smashes as "Moskau" by Dschingis Khan.
Upon returning to Texas, Reed discovered that in the interim he had become a deeply weird guy, and sought solace by diving deeply into any library he could access, starting with the basics, but soon moving on to fantasy and finally science fiction, which was to be the bibliographic love of his life.
In high school, burgeoning social skills and a deep, really loud voice brought Reed to the Theatre, which opened up experiences and joys he never knew existed. Despite her contagious madness, Anderson High School theatre director Bunny Dees (I shit you not) taught Reed dramatic discipline and professionalism which have served him well ever since.
Though a desperate but exciting career as an actor beckoned, Reed became frightened of the whole starving part of the "starving artist" gig (he's recently developed diabetes and so was much more attached to actually eating that he had been previously) and decided to attend Rice University in pursuit of a an engineering degree that would someday allow him to "design spaceships," as diabetes, wearing glasses, and not being particularly athletic had already convinced him that astronaut really wasn't very likely.
Another dream crashed and burned when Reed realized that he hated his life as an engineering student and switched to English as a major instead. He filled the resulting space in his academic schedule with more acting and throwing his first huge theme party, "Ben's Wake," based on the idea that his then acquaintance and later dear friend Ben looked dead all the time, so sticking him in a coffin and throwing a wake was the obvious response.
Many parties and not a few theatrical roles in various Rice productions later, Reed graduated from college having finally got the hang of it. Unfortunately, the thing he'd just gotten the hang of gave him a quite beautiful piece of sheepskin and sent him off into the world, wholly unprepared to do anything but throw parties and analyze literature. Luckily, he'd also taken a fancy to making movies, so he immediately started working as a day care substitute teacher to keep himself available for movie gigs.
A few grip/electric gigs and many many diapers later, Reed reconnected with Nate Denney, an old friend from Rice. Together they came up with several brilliant film ideas in addition to the one Nate had come up with on his own. Hot after the dream, they decided to make The Right Girl, a romantic comedy about friends fresh out of college and making decisions about life, love, and pizza. With producer Gwendolyn Stallings there to make the magic that happens behind the people that MTV and VH1 call “the people behind the scenes,” they shot the film in September of 1999, edited it over the next 3 years, and screened twice at the Original Alamo Drafthouse, once for cast, crew & investors and once for the public. It is not available anywhere unless you know somebody who worked on the film and thus got a VHS copy.
In the meantime, Reed had been throwing Halloween parties, which over the years became knows for exciting themes, great costumes and fun people wearing them, if not for high budgets or being in the same location more than twice in a row. In 2009, the 12th annual party, Day of the Disco, took place in East Austin at Isaac & Darla’s home. Both they and the house recovered.
After The Right Girl, Reed continued to work in other folks’ films, now as a 2nd Assistant Director, and co-write yet another movie with Scott Bate, to be entitled Liberty Valiant. Tragically, the manic and sometimes over-written script was never completed to anyone’s satisfaction and did not see production. Political satire has been wildly overtaken by the political careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kinky Friedman, among others, so it’s probably okay.
Reeling from the shock of not becoming an internationally known director by making one film, Reed turned to his old friend Isaac for solace, as Isaac had recently returned from Manhattan to his old stomping grounds, the place where he and Reed went to high school together and their folks went to church together (in the dark ages of time), wiling away the hours in Isaac’s secret lair.
And there, in the bowels of the half-abandoned pizza factory where Isaac and Reed had holed up to wait out the Bush years, completely isolated except for the interwebs and a fabulous collection of Hong Kong action films, World Racketeering Squad was born from a Daily Show segment, a love of Bob Dylan, and an irrepressible desire to create music. Often funny, occasionally lyrically incomprehensible music, but music nonetheless.
The shock of transforming into a musician caused most of Reed's hair to fall out and the rest to turn a shiny platinum hue, earning him the nickname "Platinum" among petite folk singers. Thus, "Platinum" Reed Oliver began his journey with Isaac as WRS, soon joined by the inimitable Bruce Chandler. The loss of bass player Jonny_Dub to his own blossoming pop music career inspired Reed to take up the bass for The Squad, and now he both sings lead vocals (not always, actually) and plays bass in the proud tradition of Sting, Paul McCartney, and various other extremely talented people he really shouldn't be compared to.
More recently, Reed has dyed his hair brown in a misguided attempt to pass for a mundane member of society and been employed by a gigantic but stylish corporation as a tech support agent. He also likes to play with his friends’ kids, as most of them are much cooler than he is and he wishes to study their amazing abilities.