REMEMBERING BEN GRAVES – LUCKY STRIKE LIVE, HOLLYWOOD, CA – 8/16/18

Review and Pictures: Sheri Hastings

Video: Ann Sunde

Ben “The Ghoul” Graves, known as a powerful, hard-hitting drummer for The Murderdolls and Pretty Boyd Floyd, was taken from his loved ones & fans this past May at the young age of 45. He succumbed to a very aggressive form of brain cancer and left behind an emptiness to everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.

Alex Kane, who was a fellow band member of Ben’s in AntiProduct in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s coordinated this labor of love with the help of Ben’s fiancé, Lydia Munster and his mother, Sharon Baird Graves. They did a spectacular job bringing together Ben’s former friend’s and bandmates to pay tribute through stories and the music he loved and created. 

 

It was only fitting that this night in Hollywood, CA, family, friends & fans congregated from all over the United States and even from several countries to pay their respects and show love for a man who provided so much to so many.  Lucky Strike Live was the chosen venue and it was packed to capacity with people looking forward to paying tribute via the music Ben loved so much. 

Except for True 2 Crue, Pretty Boy Floyd & The Murderdolls sets, Lydia carefully picked out every song that was played. She mentioned that each song had a special meaning to Ben, even the old RATT cassette he still had from the ‘80’s!   Lydia also had a projector screen set up on stage, showing footage of Ben playing all night, which made it very surreal.

Hosting duties were handled by Izzy Presley and special sets were performed by some bands that Ben was a member of over the years including True 2 Crue, Synical, Pretty Boy Floyd (who he played with last year) & THE performance everyone was waiting for; a semi reunion of the “horror-punk” band, The Murderdolls.

 

Lydia Munster, Sharon Baird Graves and The Murderdolls

By the time The Murderdolls took to the stage, the place was very tightly packed, with security guards holding back the barrier between the stage & the audience.  I wasn’t sure whether I should feel safe or scared! But the barriers held and Wednesday 13, Acey Slade and Eric Griffin did the late drummer proud with a hard hitting set.

Ben’s brother, Peter Graves (who’s not a musician!) came out and performed Depeche Mode’s, “Never Let Me Down” with Alex Kane and then spoke to the crowd about how appreciative he was for everyone coming out to celebrate his brother’s life.  Another very emotional moment was when Lydia & Sharon came on stage and spoke a few heartfelt words of gratitude & love.

There was a silent auction with items provided by Lydia, and also a Raffle, generously donated items from Coffin Cases, raising money for Ben’s favorite charity, Kitten Rescue Los Angeles (https://www.facebook.com/kittenrescue/ )

Rock In Peace Ben!

Setlist

TRUE 2 CRUE (V) MICHAEL (G1) STEVE (DR) JEFF (B) CHRIS

Iron Maiden – Number Of The Beast (V) LEAH (G1) SAM (G2) DANNY (DR)TINY (B) GABE (K) 

AC/DC – Shake A Leg (V) HARRY (G1) SAM (G2) PHAROAH (DR) SHAWN (B) GABE 

The Cult – Wildflower (V) CARL (G1)DANNY (G2) LONNY (DR) SHAWN (B) KENNY

INXS – Never Tear Us Apart (V) LEAH (G1) SAM (G2) BEN W (DR) SHAWN (B) GABE (K) ROBBIE 

SYNICAL

 

Dirt Nasty – True Hollywood Story (V) BRIAN (G) ERIC (B) BRENT (D) KRZ

 

 Aerosmith – No More No More (V) LISA (G1) ALEX (G2) DANNY (DR) KRZ (B) PHAROAH (K) ROBBIE 

Poison – Cry Tough (V) JACOB (G1) ALEX (G2) DANNY (DR) KRZ (B) GABE (K)

Alice In Chains – Rain When I Die (V) BRANDON (G1) SAM (G2) DANNY (DR) KRZ (B) BEN W(BV) LISA 

PRETTY BOY FLOYD (V) STEVE, (G)KRISTY, (B) JK, (DR) TOD

NIN – Terrible Lie (V) MILITIA (G1) SAM (G2) DAN (DR) HARLEY (B) GABE (K) SVEN 

NIN – Were In This Together (V & B) PHAROAH (D) HARLEY (G1) SAM (G2) BEN 

Spacehog – In the Meantime (V) BRANDON (G1) ALEX (G2) DANNY (DR) SHAWN (B) SHANE

Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down (V) PETER GRAVES {BEN’S BROTHER) (V) ALEX (G1) SAM (G2) DAN (DR) SHAUN (B) ALICIA (K) SVEN

Judas Priest – Electric Eye (V) RICHARD BLACK (G1) SAM (G2) ALEX (DR) SHAWN (B) ALICIA

 

Hall & Oates – Maneater (V) GABBY (G1) BEN W (G2) HOWIE (DR) TINY (B) SHANE (K) SVEN 

Ratt – Round And Round (V) GABBY( G1) SAM (G2) DANNY (DR) JOHNNY K (B) GABE (K)

 

Type O Negative – Black #1 (V) MILITIA (G1) JOHNNY C (G2) SAM (DR) JOHNNY K (B) JOHNNY M (K) BEN W 

LA Guns – Never Enough (V) JACOB (G1) ALEX (G2) JACOB (B) JOHNNY M (D) JOHNNY K 

LA Guns – Rip & Tear (V) MIKE (G1) JACOB (G2) ALEX (B) JOHNNY M (D) JOHNNY K 

Motley Crue – Red Hot (V) LEAH (G1) HOWIE (G2) ALEX (B) JOHNNY M (DR) ROY 

Judas Priest – Livin After Midnight (V) BRANDON (G1) ALEX (G2) DANNY (DR) ROY (B) JOHNNY M

Soundgarden – Jesus Christ Pose (V) MILITIA (G1) SAM (G2) DANNY (DR) ROY (B) JOHNNY M

MURDERDOLLS 

Motley Crue – Home Sweet Home (V) GABBY (G1) ERIC (G2) SAM (DR) JEFF (B) GABE (K) EMILY 

AntiProduct – Good Vibrations (V) ALEX (G1) DANNY (G2) SAM (DR) JEFF (B) SHANE (K) SVEN

Bob Seeger – Hollywood Nights (V) Neil (G1) DANNY (G2) BEN W (DR) JEFF (B) SHANE (K) ROBBIE (BV) ROBERTA, TINA, DEE DEE

Aerosmith – Dream On (V) MILITIA (G1) SAM (G2) DANNY (DR) EMILY (B) SHANE (K) ROBBIE 

Prince – Purple Rain (V)NEIL/ROBERTA (G1) DANNY (G2) SAM (DR) TINY (B) GABE (K) ROBBIE (BV) TINA, DEE DEE

Those Honoring Ben Included: Alex Kane, Acey Slade, Eric Griffin, Wednesday 13, Johnny Kelly, Roy Mayorga, Kristy Majors, Steve Summers, JK Famous, Nick Lane, Criss 6, Michael O’Mara, Steve LaVoie, Jeff Page, Brian Haught, Brent Ashley, Toddy Deadboy, Bruce Miyaki, Mel McFail, Dave Teague, Johnny Martin, Kenny Kweens, Gabriela Rae, Kriz DK, Jonny Coffin, Sam Bam Koltun, Anthony “Tiny” Biuso, Steve Ferlazzo, Brandon Baumann, Militia Vox, Howie Simon, Lisa Margaroli, Leah Martin-Brown, Gabe Maska, Danny Hechter, Alicia Vigil, Neil Turbin, Shawn Duncan, Harley Dewinter, Shane Solowski, Robbie Gennet, Emily Dickinson, Pharaoh Barrett, Nik Frost, Richard Black, Jacob Bunton, Lonny Paul, Ben White, Happenin’ Harry.. 

 

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