Sledge Hammer’s memorial was just how he would have liked it

Marland "Sledge Hammer" Anderson, 1973-2012
Dozens of friends and colleagues of Marland “Sledge Hammer” Anderson mingled and reminisced at the late performer’s memorial service in Woodland Hills yesterday.

Overcast on the other side of the hill, it was sunny in Porn Valley at the home of director Stoney Curtis, who featured Sledge in dozens of films for his company Lethal Hardcore.

“He was just the nicest, nicest guy,” Curtis said.

Anderson was Tasered repeatedly by LAPD officers attempting to subdue the massive, 39-year-old performer on Easter Sunday, April 8, after his girlfriend, Alexa Cruz, called 911.

Cruz indicated that Anderson had made suicidal gestures, and she took away a knife with which he’d injured himself.

Police told reporters that Anderson had become agitated in the ambulance, breaking his restraints. He was Tasered twice and brought to the hospital. He slipped into a coma and his mother directed he be taken off life support five days later. He died on April 13.

An investigation into the methods used by the LAPD is forthcoming. Was Anderson’s demise the result of his suicide attempt or the Tasering? As Curtis pointed out, “He walked into the ambulance, but he didn’t walk out.”

Parked near Curtis’s pool was a yellow couch familiar to anyone who watches Lethal Hardcore gangbang videos. At the opposite end of the yard was a collection of photographs of Anderson and friends; Anderson looked like a bruiser, but guest after guest reported what a gentle man he was.

Among those in attendance were India Summer, Tee Real, Mr. Marcus, Chris Charming, Sean Michaels, David Christopher, Imani Rose, writers Tod Hunter and Steve Nelson, Dan Miller of XBiz, gadfly Michael Whiteacre, and dozens of other colleagues and friends, each of whom had been to this house before under far less grim circumstances.

But the event wasn’t grim (unless people were talking about the state of the adult industry); there was catered barbecue food, drinks, and lots of laughter. It was, in fact, exactly like a porn set.

I’d arrived with my friend 45 minutes late and thought that I’d miss the “service,” but the service was just a group of old friends and co-workers chatting around the kitchen and pool, or watching the Lakers.

These are going to be difficult days for Anderson’s family, as they wait for the Coroner’s report and the inevitable hard questions begin. Unanswered, also, is why Anderson succumbed to despair in the first place.

But funerals aren’t for the departed. Instead, it was comforting to see so many people gather in Sledge Hammer’s memory to take solace in each other on a beautiful Valley day.

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