about Damnation of Adam Blessing - Ray Benich
Raymond Mark Benich was born on January 16, 1951, and grew up in the inner city Tremont Projects area of Cleveland, Ohio. A change in family fortune led to a move to suburban Parma, Ohio. At age 12, Ray acquired an accordion that quickly morphed into a bass guitar. Later, while attending Valley Forge High School, Ray quickly picked up on the whole current and the shape of things to come occurring in American youth culture.
By age 17, he was fronting the legendary mod inspired power-trio "Dust" and rocking venues such as teen clubs, hullabaloos -- and even "the Plato" in Cleveland's hip downtown entertainment district. Along with Bob Kalamasz (lead guitar), Bill Schwark (drums), Dust played the latest numbers from Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Traffic. Indeed the times were a changin and Cleveland gave birth to an incredible and original music scene that included notables such as the James Gang and Cyrus Erie .
In 1968 Dust was asked to merge with a popular local sextet called the Society to form the seminal Damnation of Adam Blessing. In 1999, lead singer Adam Blessing recalled seeing Dust: "They were tight and they were already rehearsed with each other.That same night when we saw them, we had a conversation and we just asked them flat out, You wanna join the band? And they said "Yeah" And that was it. They were into the same vein we were into. 
The timing was perfect to take this original musical vein into an eclectic and powerful psychedelic funk, rock, and blues format - one that still reverberates and echoes strongly after 40 years. Indeed a case can be made that The Damnation of Adam Blessing was the hardest rocking outfit ever to grace Cleveland's industrial psychedelic environs - and other clubs, cities and regions far, far beyond.
Signed to the United Artists label, The Damnation of Adam Blessing released four albums from 1968-1973 . These albums spawned a number of regional hits and include Cookbook(1968), Morning Dew, (1969), and the generational anthem Back to the River(1970).
The Damnation of Adam Blessing also toured extensively and played with other top artists such as Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, Traffic, the Byrds, Uriah Heep, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, the James Gang, Traffic, and Grand Funk Railroad.
The Damnation of Adam Blessing's appearance at the 1970 Cincinnati Pop Festival caused a mini-riot when the exuberance and energy of their showcase hour-long jam You Got Me Floatin resulted in fans bum rushing the stage, leading to a temporary cessation in the festivities.
In 1970, Damnation of Adam Blessing headlined at the Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles, a club that spawned other notable acts such as the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Love, and countless others .
Despite this success and critical acclaim, Damnation of Adam Blessing disbanded in 1973 as members pursued other interests.
Ray, however, continued on with his artistic vocation and vision over the period 1973-1982. Based in Los Angeles, Ray was on the verge of a major breakthrough with the "Roller Jam" concept http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A5x__4EP1c. Roller JamÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â was even approached by the producers of Minutes for a possible feature. It seemed that all Ray had to do was take the band out on the road, produce some video, and TV stations and record companies would come knocking on his door - quite an accomplishment in the cut-throat LA music business.
Tragedy, however, would strike in January, 1982, when he was involved in a "crime of passion that took place in the state of Delaware. While no one was permanently injured, Ray found himself up against some of the most powerful forces in the state and indeed in the world . Hence his crime and trial, and subsequent conviction, like other notable cultural the whole environment [in prison] is just. at a stress level that is unbelievable. But it is amazing how you learn how to adjust. I think one of the main points that the whole experience impressed upon me is what level you will go to --- to simply survive. It's amazing.In there, my fear always was even if I could survive it what would I be worth? I was thinking to myself `You'll never be able to go out there and just jump right back into society.
Amazingly and despite the tremendous odds stacked against him Ray did just that and literally jumped right back into society.
On September 27, 2000, David Spero, the executive Vice President of Cleveland's Rock Roll Hall of Fame, brought The Damnation of Adam Blessing together for one last time at a reunion concert. http://www.damnationofadamblessing.net/abyss.htm#a
The band also played to overflow crowds at the high-profile Cleveland venue The Odeontwo nights later.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvb_1DN8UKI The year 2000 also brought forth Ray's critically acclaimed The Hungry Soul.
In September 2007, Decibel Magazine ranked Damnation of Adam Blessing's album The Second Damnation as one of the top 50 thud-rock all-time masterpieces. The Second Damnation trumped such heavyweights as Ten Years After, Bob Seger. Humble Pie, the MC5, Mott the Hoople, and Ursa Major. Decibel went so far as to say that The Damnation of Adam Blessing was one of the greatest US rock bands that hardly anyone has heard. 
Currently living in Wilmington, Delaware, where he runs a successful business, Ray has fronted a number of ad-hoc musical collaborations called the Blues Blasters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkdn4eAGreo&mode=related&search.
As of this writing, Ray remains highly engaged in his art. Along with his forthcoming book, he plans to release his next compilation entitled the Eclectic Collectionearly in 2008. For a sneak preview, check out --- http://www.damnationofadamblessing.net/abyss2.htm#b.
Keep Rockin Dude!!!!
NOTE: Ray Benich performed to a packed Auditorium at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville on October 22nd. He was accompanied by Julius Blue on drums. Here are 4 live clips from that event:
Abyss of Infamy
Punk Loose in Gangland
Spirit from Above
A Great Country (is about to die)
 See Doug Sheppard two articles in Ugly Things magazine:
The Damnation of Adam Blessing, No. 17, Summer, 1999. pp. 99-106.
Damnation, Vindication/Location, No. 19, 2001. pp. 71-76 article features an interview with Ray.
 Adam Blessing quoted by Doug Sheppard in The Damnation of Adam Blessing, No. 17, Summer, 1999. p.93.
 The Damnation of Adam Blessing albums are:
The Damnation of Adam Blessing, United Artists. 1969.
The Second Damnation, United Artists. 1970.
Which is the Justice/Which is the Thief, United Artists. 1971.
Glory Avalanche. 1972.
 forthcoming Ray Benich Gunpowder: Illusions of Justice from a Mile Inside the Mirror.Â
 See Gerard Colby Zilg. 1974. DuPont: Behind the Nylon Curtain. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
 forthcoming Ray Benich Gunpowder: Illusions of Justice from a Mile Inside the Mirror.
 Available directly from Ray at http://www.damnationofadamblessing.net
 Scott Seward. 2007. The Filthy 50: Decibel unearths 50 forgotten late `60s/early 70s thud-rock masterpieces. Decibel Magazine. The Stoner Rock
Special. No. 035. September 2007. pp-48-51.
Ray/Damnation of Adam Blessing on the internet:
Ray's website on Damnation and excerpts from the forthcoming book Gunpowder: Illusions of Justice from a Mile Inside a Mirror.
Download songs from the first two Damnation of Adam Blessing albums.
Ray/Damnation of Adam Blessing performs at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, September 27, 2000, Cleveland, Ohio.
Ray/Damnation of Adam Blessing performs at the Odeon Theatre, September 29, 2000, Cleveland, Ohio.
Ray performs with the Blues Blasters, June 19, 2004, Newark, Delaware
Two new incendiary tracks from the forthcoming Eclectic Collection Abyss of Infamy (Slight Return) and "A Great Country (is about to die)"
Be Damnation of Adam Blessing - Ray Benich's first friend!
Damnation of Adam Blessing - Ray Benich has no upcoming events posted.
posted December 7th at 7:13am
by Ray Benich, with an Introduction by Dr. Mike Skladany When "Illusions of Justice" is released, the book will come with an audio CD. The CD will include a song written about a particular incident described in each chapter. Abyss of Infamy, is from chapter VI. On this version of Abyss we feature another incredible young guitarist. Twenty two year old Jeff White contributes an emotionally charged lead that's indicative of the angst subject matter of the song. The rap at the end of the song is deftly laid down here by Raz D, III playing the part of Pennell from hell, as he pleads: Don't look for me, I'm at the bottom of a sea. The gnashing of teeth, tormented by the beast, the gnashing of teeth, tormented by the beast, it's a Mother F#@*$! Don't look for me! Don't look for me! Our current morbid fascination with serial killers and other horrific assailants reveal sick minds and an even sicker society at work. Hyper media attention to the latest kill-spree -- all spells out-- a society that has simply lost its soul. Where is the humanity, decency, and respect for others in all this??? An answer of sorts is forthcoming... Abyss of Infamy uses rock n' roll to send what I believe to be a socially relevant message. Abyss is based on my personal observations, made while having been housed with a number of men in prison awaiting the death penalty, (there is no "death row" in the state of Delaware), in particular serial killer Stephen Pennell. What these men would confide in a fellow "lifer" and what they'd tell a clinical researcher are two different things. The song exposes the way in which many psychopathic killers are actually gratified by, and inspired by, seeing stories about their crimes in the news papers and on TV. In the song they're referred to as "media clones". That is to say that the media itself actually inspires and encourages these sick individuals to seek recognition through their horrific acts. Perhaps federal legislation should be introduced mandating limitations on the air time given to assailants. Sometimes, all an unstable mind, teetering on the brink of a violent rampage needs, is that final push that the media gives, when they do one of their infamous, grandiose, in depth glorification's of some horrific act. Spending more time on the shooter, than the innocent victims, giving birth to yet one more, media clone. Abyss of Infamy copyright 2000 - All rights reserved 2007