<slaps forehead> And I was looking right at it ...
If you want to run a command in shell you just type it out!
What time was it - oh 1:40am ... figures
It would also have worked if you'd done
lame $input1 $input2 $input3
I gave you the guff about no of characters because I was trying it out and it only worked for me if I reduced the number of characters to less than 256.
Well done for figuring it out.