[Orlando, FL] Ralph Ameduri, Jr. was my friend for more than a dozen years.
He was my constant neighbor. He worked in the same office complex. He played in bands I managed. he was the next-door tenant of the guy I worked for. He was my go-to guy for graphics, musical gear and coffee. And let’s not forget conversation – he could talk coffee, scotch or barbecue all day long.
He even stole my live-in girlfriend once, but I cared more about him than I did her. So it was quickly forgotten about.
Ralph was always around, which was great because he was a good all-around guy and a valuable asset to any gathering, social, musical or otherwise. He certainly was one hell of a musician and a music-scene maker.
Every town needs a Ralph. Now Orlando needs another one.
On Sat., Sept. 10, Ralph, 45, was shot in the head after a gig in Winter Garden, the victim of a botched robbery attempt in the alley behind the bar. Ralph did not survive.
His killer has yet to be caught, despite a $2500 reward.
The Orlando music-scene veterans were devastated as Ameduri touched everyone’s lives in a multitude of ways. His girlfriend of many years – Catie Satterwhite – was crushed beyond belief at the loss of what could be seen by all as her near-perfect partner in life.
The outpouring of anger toward the shooter is matched only by the amount of support and family spirit that has been shown in his honor. It is no surprise then that a day-long concert is being held in his honor downtown on Sunday, Oct. 23.
Aptly billed as “RalphFest,” the 4 p.m.-to-midnight affair – being held on Pine St. between Orange Ave. and Court St. – includes some 20 acts for a measly $10. All of the proceeds are going to the ongoing pursuit of Ralph’s killer as well as to Catie to help with expenses.
On the bill: national artists Kevn Kinney from Drivin’ ‘N’ Cryin’ and JJ Grey from JJ Grey and Mofro plus local legend reunions by My Friend Steve, The Rondos and Skinny McGhee & His Mayhem Makers.
Rounding out the line-up will be other local acts featuring musicians that were band mates, friends and fans of Ameduri’s work. The long list includes The Riverbottom Nightmare Band, Mark Wayne & Lorna Lambey from The Red Fox Lounge, The New Lows, the Actomatics, Terri Binion & The Long Haulers, SUNNY, Mr. Richard & The Pound Hounds, Shak Nasti, Jim O’Rourke & The Rugs, Awake, Joseph Martens With The Hindu Cowboys, Kevin Maines Band, The 1, 4, 5′s, Nervous Turkey, The Attack, The Golden Pelicans, Big Jef Special, Shewbird, The Rules, Grave Return, Glamstick, Disco Biscuit, Large Marge, Rocketfish, Chris Walker Band and DJ Mot.
That’s a lot of bands, but it shows how much Ameduri meant to the scene and the people in it.
Notably absent from the line-up is the band that Ralph is perhaps best known for being a part of : The Legendary J.C.’s (or as they were called earlier, The Joint Chiefs). Surely, all of the band’s members will be in attendance, but have opted to not officially sign up for the bill.
It could be simply too difficult for the boys, as the players spent years worth of weekends driving up and down the Eastern Seaboard in Ralph’s blue van heading to gigs good and bad, sharing good times and fighting like brothers do.
The day may be most difficult in some respects for Thomas Wynn & The True Believers, also scheduled to play. That was the band that Ralph was playing for as a sub when he was killed. Having had to witness such a horrific event in itself is bad enough, but then to climb right back on that stage is truly difficult. It could have been any one of those guys who got shot instead of Ralph.
A website has been established as a place where people can donate to the cause of offering a reward for his killer as well as help Catie make it through this tough time financially.
Even if you didn’t know Ralph or witness one of the many acts he performed with, feel invited to the event to listen to some amazing music and support the contribution that a guy like Ralph means to a community.
Check out the photos and below as a small sampling of Ralph’s life with The Legendary J.C.’s, learning a little about a lot of guy. Feel free to share Ralph stories in the comments section or just to say goodbye to a fallen friend.
Visit, donate, remember at http://ralphameduri.com.
The Joint Chiefs old promo photo
The Legendary J.C.’s on stage at The Social
The Legendary J.C.’s promo photo
The Legendary J.C.’s goofing around
Ralph playing with The Legendary J.C.’s at The Social
J.C.’s in New York (cell phone pic)
Ralph wearing that familiar brown shirt
The Legendary J.C.’s opening for B.B. King at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney
The Legendary J.C.’s CD cover designed by Ameduri
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Images: Lead photo by Chris McEniry, all other photos courtesy of The Legendary J.C.’s Archive