The Gravedigger V started as The Shamen by singer Leighton Koizumi, 16, and 15 yr old bassist Chris Gast, and included ace guitarist Ted Friedman, 16, punk-rock drummer, Matt, (last name and whereabouts unknown,) replaced by the spectacular drummer Dave Anderson. Rounding up this line-up of strange beings was enigmatic guitarist John Hanrattie. Informed at gig #1 that The Shamen was taken as a name, (by about a zillion bands worldwide), the group sat at Bob's Big Boy for hours coming up with a replacement name. Finally, what began as the Crypt-Kicker 5 morphed somehow into the Gravedigger Five, and the madness officially began
After a slew of LA and San Diego shows, playing with The Tell Tale Hearts, The Pandoras, The Things, The Answers,The Meenies, The Fuzztones, Noise 292, and Manual Scan among others, becoming the youngest legends on the scene more for their outrageous behaviour sometimes, than their music, BOMP's Greg Shaw approached with a recording deal with VOXX and the group went from Chris' garage to the studio. Alas, by 1984, the youngest member of the band had taken to the rock and roll lifestyle a little too much to heart and began nodding off with bass in hand, playing badly and focusing on things other than the music. Chris was asked, understandably, to leave by his friends, and was replaced briefly by Tom Ward, and shortly thereafter the band was dismantled. Two albums on VOXX(a subsidiary of BOMP)songs on the Battle of the Garage Bands series,and the Bomp! double-CD retrospective are available today in re-issue, (on CD too!).
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