The Ravelers say farewell August 28

Hai Muradian with a promotional photo of his longtime local cover band The Ravelers, who are playing their final show August 28 at Memorial Park. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

By Andrew Alonzo |

Pomona resident Hai Muradian is gearing up for another major goodbye.

Last year, Muradian played a farewell gig with his family-friendly band, The Happy Crowd, to close the City of Claremont’s summer concert series. The vocalist/guitarist is hoping to go out in style yet again with another longtime group, The Ravelers.

The local rock cover band, which also includes guitarist Patrick Naish, drummer Rob Haerr, and keyboardist and bassist Martie Echito, will conclude its musical journey and Claremont’s Monday night concert series at 7 p.m. Monday, August 28 at Memorial Park with one final set.

“It’s been a long, long, fun ride and it’s going to be hard to believe that its gonna come to an end,” Muradian said. “It’s going to be a gigantic part of my life that’s going away.

“I would keep The Ravelers going to 40 years and beyond if I could because I love rock ‘n’ roll. I love playing electric guitar through an amp… and just having that power. There’s something about that that’s magical for me.”

Hai Muradian with a promotional photo of his longtime local cover band The Ravelers, who are playing their final show August 28 at Memorial Park. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

Drummer Haerr, a 1976 Claremont High graduate who joined the band in 1991, is excited to wrap in a place he’s long called home, and the retired sales associate can’t think of better people to be closing with.

“It’s really emotional for me,” Haerr wrote in an email. “I have been in this band for half my life. We have all been through rough patches. These guys have supported me through some rough times I was having in my day job, great times getting married, birth of my kids, the loss of parents, surgeries, you know … life. I have enjoyed every second of the rehearsal, the drive to the event, the set-up, the escape into the music, and the load-out of all our gear for the drive home.”

The Ravelers formed in November of 1987 and played their first gig at the San Juan Hills Sports Bar and Grill in San Juan Capistrano. With not enough in their repertoire, they had to repeat their first set’s tunes in the last set.

“We didn’t go over that well,” Muradian recalled.

Members have changed over the years and so has the group’s setlists. They’ve added more 1980s rock hits over 36 years and performed across California and Hawaii.

“Nowadays cities are into tribute bands,” Muradian said. “And I always said The Ravelers pay tribute to ‘80s bands. We were a tribute band but didn’t just do Tom Petty or just do the Rolling Stones; we did everything. We paid tribute to all those great rock songs that have been around for years.”

Despite playing hits from their childhoods, today’s youth seem to enjoy the tunes as much as their parents, Muradian said. “The idea that we can actually get almost anybody up and dancing has always been fun.”

The Ravelers, with their matching shirts, black jeans and shoes, have played more than 30 Monday night concerts in Claremont, the holiday promenade and tree lighting ceremonies, and several functions for Claremont Heritage, the Claremont Colleges, and other organizations, as well as in neighboring Pomona, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Chino Hills, Montclair, and others.

While the years of music have produced many fond moments for the group, Naish wrote in an email, “the greatest thing for me was seeing how four guys could come together and mold various songs into our own ‘Raveler’ flavor.”

After well over three decades, aging and other interests has pulled their focus elsewhere.

“When we started, I was able to jump all over the stage and run around like a maniac. Those days are over,” the 73-year-old Muradian said. In addition, Echito recently moved to Cambria and is looking to step away from the volume that can come with playing live rock music.

But for Muradian, Echito and Naish, the music won’t stop. They will still play together as the acoustic trio Dynamite Dawson, and Naish and Muradian will also continue with Beatles tribute band, The Acoustical Mystery Tour.

 “I’m going to play music until I can’t play music,” Muradian said. “That’s just in my DNA.”


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