Players are urged to “bring their axes and jam” during the Jan. 12 celebration at Grand Rapids’ Eastern Avenue Hall, paying tribute to the frontman for The Beveridge Brothers who died unexpectedly on Dec. 6.
It’s the way Hal Beveridge would have wanted it.
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Musicians, relatives and friends of The Beveridge Brothers’ frontman who died unexpectedly on Dec. 6 in Grand Rapids are invited to “bring their axes and jam” during a Jan. 12 “celebration of Hal’s life” at Eastern Avenue Hall, 506 Eastern Ave. NE.
Beveridge’s son, Jessie, said it will be an event “where everyone can come and jam and talk about Dad.”
“Lots of music, two drum kits and plenty of amps. Everyone is encouraged to bring their guitar to sit in and jam,” he said. “That’s the way Dad would’ve wanted it: loud music and everyone dancing.
“Everyone is invited, so don’t be shy. I want to send Dad off right. It will be a proper Beveridge Brothers Band get-together in every sense.”
The event will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 12 at Eastern Avenue Hall and will include food and beverages. (In addition, Steve Aldrich of WLAV (96.9 FM) said the radio station plans to re-broadcast its tribute to Hal Beveridge and Beveridge Brothers from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Jan. 6 — an hour-long show retracing the history of the band’s music.)
The memorial gathering will remember the bassist who helped make The Beveridge Brothers one of Grand Rapids’ most beloved rock bands — an outfit that packed venues such as The Shamrock, Eastown Saloon, Danny J’s, Bavarian Inn, Russo’s and others during the group’s heyday in the 1970s and 1980s.
The group was once described by local musician Mark Swanson as a “hard-hitting, boot-stomping Southern rock” band — blending rock, blues and outlaw country — with an ultra-devoted following.
A ‘REAL, GENUINE GUY’ WHO WILL BE MISSED
Hal Beveridge, 72, was found unresponsive after passing out in the cafeteria of Exodus Place in Grand Rapids on Dec. 6, according to Jessie.
Jessie, lead singer for popular Grand Rapids rock band The Rockit King, eulogized his father on Facebook the day he died by writing: “You were so incredibly kind to me. I love you and wish I could talk to you one more time.”
Guitarist and bassist Jim Shaneberger, who played with Beveridge for about two years, told Local Spins that Beveridge was “a real, genuine guy. He was always so nice. He was a true Grand Rapids legend and I’m grateful for the experience being bandmates. I’ll miss him.”
The Beveridge Brothers attracted huge crowds for their performances across West Michigan in the 1970s and 1980s, and the band reunited in 2008 after Hal Beveridge spent a couple of stints in prison on a cocaine-related charge and parole violation.
Beveridge told reporter John Sinkevics for a 2008 Grand Rapids Press story that he continued to play and write music while incarcerated, and he fondly recalled The Beveridge Brothers’ immense popularity.
“We were really real,” the bassist said. “We had a lot of followers, a lot of bikers … plus factory workers. We always had a big crowd and that made the club owners happy.”
The bassist also played with Ronnie Fray and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown over the years.
Beveridge is survived by his mother, Dorothy (Danavage) Beveridge-Drury, his aunt, Dolores Danavage, his brothers; Tony (Terri) and Harry (Patricia), his children; Feather, Jessie (Kara), Desiree, Justin, Colton and Salina, his grandchildren; Audrey (Stephen), Nolan, Tex, Stella and Max, his great- grandchildren; Adrionna, Alexis, Maddox, Monroe and Jack, his nieces; Alissa and Lisa, his nephews; Kenny, Aaron and Hunter and his great niece, Kaylee.
LOTS OF ‘ROAD STORIES,’ LOTS OF MEMORIES FOR FANS, FRIENDS
Fans, friends and fellow musicians have flooded Facebook with posts about Beveridge and his impact on West Michigan’s music scene:
Mary Beth Geppert: “Hal was truly a musical savant. He brought musicians together wherever he walked. Each path was an amazing adventure.”
Lou Musa (The Verve Pipe): “Had the privilege to jam with Hal Beveridge many times and each time he kept me on my toes. He was an amazing bass player and one of those guys that played better the more he partied. His road stories were incredible, too.”
Jerry Davis (The Beveridge Brothers): “It was an honor for me to be in the original band with him and the brothers. We played for years together and created a lot of these road stories together. I’m so sad and broken-hearted.”
Francine Fox: “God, I will miss this man. He was a great spirit in nature and the love of the music he sang. My heart goes out to Jessie Beveridge and his family. My heart is deeply saddened.”
Fred DeVries: “Lessons taught to me by my friend Hal Beveridge: ‘Just do the gig.’ Hal always did the gig. Love and light to all the Beveridge Brothers family of relatives, friends, musicians and blues fans. Everybody learned something from Hal.”
April Thorsten Hubert: “Hal was such a kind and loving person! He always had the biggest hugs waiting for anyone. He will be missed. I love you friend.”
Theresa Beveridge: “Hal’s life was unconventional, but he lived life to the fullest, always seeing the glass as half-full. His attitude never changed.”
Brian Morgan: “Hal was an amazing musician as well as an amazing friend to myself and so many musicians. A true icon and cheers to everyone that had a chance to share the stage with Hal.”
Jake Gerard: “I’m chasin’ my dream in Nashville. Truly wouldn’t have happened without Hal. He was definitely one-of-a-kind. There’s a million hilarious stories about him. He was good to me and I’ll never forget him.”
Denny Larsen: “I’ll miss sitting in with him; he was so gracious with sharing the stage. Playing lead, I usually play 12 bars but with Hal he’d scream do it again which helped bring out more out of my playing. Meeting in the ’70s and since — always cheerful and a kind person. He will be missed.”
Linda Lawton: “You and your music will forever live in our hearts.”
VIDEO: The Beveridge Brothers, “A History of the Band”
VIDEO: The Beveridge Brothers, “Every Day I Have the Blues” (with Jim Shaneberger)
Copyright 2018, Spins on Music LLC