Specials singer Neville Staples was arrested and charged with battery in
the wee hours of Thursday morning, following the veteran ska group's
performance at Chicago's Metro club. The charges stemmed from a pre-show
confrontation Wednesday afternoon, during which Staples allegedly hit
Cupcakes singer Robert Preston Graves in the head with a bar stool.
The alleged occurrence began at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, when Graves, also a
production-crew staffer for the Metro, told members of the Specials where
to put their equipment for the evening's show, according to Chicago
police spokesman Patrick Camden.
"Staples took exception to that, and an argument ensued," Camden said.
Staples, 42, then allegedly raised a bar stool and swung it at Graves, 29,
striking him and cutting his head. The Specials singer also grabbed Graves
by the throat, according to the police report.
Following the incident, Graves was treated at and released from Illinois
Masonic Hospital. He then reported the alleged beating to police, who
returned to the Metro with Graves and arrested Staples once the Specials
had finished their set.
The singer faces a misdemeanor charge of simple battery. He's scheduled to
appear in court on April 29.
Staples was an original member of the Specials when the group formed in
1977 as one of the driving forces behind England's two-tone ska revival.
He, along with co-vocalist Terry Hall and guitarist Lynval Golding, left
the group to form Fun Boy Three in the early '80s.
Led by Staples, the Specials, minus Hall, re-formed in 1996 and have since
toured widely, capitalizing on the success of the recent ska revival in
America. A new album, Guilty 'Til Proved Innocent, was released in March.
Graves' Cupcakes are a Chicago-based pop outfit featuring one-time Filter
drummer and live Smashing Pumpkins skinsman Matt Walker. The band signed
to the DreamWorks label last year.