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A benefit for Tag: Friends and musicians band together to help ailing local rockstar

June 2, 2011
A truly amazing musician and truly amazing man, Tag Graves has recently fallen ill to Stage 4 liver cancer, and today is in the fight for his life. His local friends and rock family are banding together to do all they can to help out. A?benefit fund-raiser for Tag will be held at Valerie’s Lounge and Liquors (17264 San Carlos Blvd., Indian Creek Shopping Plaza) Sunday, June 12, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. During the benefit, rock sensations from virtually every great local band and rock group you can imagine will be there. Stet Howland, world-class drummer and dear friend of Tag’s, is one of the many wonderful organizers of the benefit, along with Bryce, Joe, Sonja, John, Daizy, Karen, T-Bone and so many others, and is eager to see the beach unite as it always does when a local friend is in need. “The reality has finally set in, and we’re doing whatever we can to have a sensational benefit for Tag – it’s gonna be a real hoopla,” Stet said. “I’ve got faith in folks around here. I?know how well they come together to help a local friend in need.” You’ll be able to catch the fresh and fabulous tunes from virtually every radical rock group around, including A200, The Stet.TV Band, DVS, Four Bones, 10,000 Views, Head Count, Groove Alliance, Pulse, The Last, Peter Grattan, Rob Robinson, Flash Forward, Frank Thompson, every version of the Howlin’ Dogs and the Oysters you can imagine, as well as tons of other fabulously talented local musicians popping in during the benefit to jam. “Everybody has pulled together so quickly on Tag’s benefit,” said Valerie Van Selow, owner of Val’s Lounge. “It just gives you this warm and fuzzy feeling inside … everyone coming together out here like this. It’s wonderful.” “Tag is honestly the least selfish person I?have ever met. We’re really reaching out. Even bands with gigs are coming out to show their support,” Stet said. Also during the benefit, enjoy raising funds while taking a chance of winning some fantastic prizes from a wealth of local businesses and companies. “The organizers did such a fabulous job receiving donations for prizes and raffles,” Val said. “It’s unbelievable.” If, for whatever reason, you don’t think you can make it to the benefit but wish to make a donation in Tag’s name, Stet, a close friend and fellow musician of Tag’s for at least 15 years, has personally set up a PayPal account that is specifically for Tag’s donations. “I want to be absolutely sure that Tag gets this money, in-hand, for his use for whatever he needs it for,” he said. To make a donation to Tag’s Benefit account, visit, go to “Send Money,” and send to Karen Morreale, good friend of Tag’s and another benefit coordinator, said “Oh, this is gonna be a good one! Please come out and support our friend, Tag Graves, and help us support him while he’s in his fight for life. Plus, it’s going to be a party!”

Any help you can give Any help of any kind that can be offered for Tag, Stet and his benefit army would be greatly appreciated. If interested in donating an item to the all-day raffles at Val’s Lounge, if you’re able to assist with benefit T-shirt printing or “if anyone wants to do anything, I will do it for Tag,” Stet said, call 822-9956. “Whether you’ve got a dollar or a hundred, we’re thankful for anything – if you’ve got nothing, bring your love. Hope to see you there.”

A little about Tag Born and raised in the deep south of Louisiana, Tag Graves is an accomplished musician, songwriter, mentor and good friend to many – throughout Southwest Florida and the rest of the country. On lead guitar and talk box, Tag has had music in his blood since he was born. Son of great rhythm guitarist Red Graves, (who played on the original recording of “Hey Good Lookin’” with Hank Williams), Tag spent his younger years playing music with his brothers, appearing on numerous TV and radio shows, and touring around the world. In 1974, he and his brothers joined with Leon Russell for what would be a pivotal time in his career. Because of this five-year union, Tag has been afforded the privilege of playing with such musical greats as Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Brooks and Dunn and Charlie Daniels, just to name a few. For the last ten years, Tag has lived on Fort Myers Beach, playing with countless local musicians, as well as toured all over the United States and beyond.

Article Photos

A benefit for Tag has been scheduled for Sunday, June 12, all day at Val's Lounge and Liquors. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.



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