More than 30 years on, Locate Your Lips' music is preserved, "For Kenny"
One couldn't walk the East Side in the 1980s without seeing the name Locate Your Lips: on gig posters affixed to lamp posts, on club marquees, in the listings in the Express, the Shepherd and other ubiquitous papers.
But, the shortlived band – something of a supergroup with guitarist Jim Eannelli, bassist Andy Cavaluzzi and drummer Kenny Baldwin (Eannelli and Baldwin had earlier played together in the synth pop-rock outfit Colour Radio, which had a brief stint on an A&M Records subsidiary) – left nary a trace when it split.
Studio sessions went unreleased as the musicians went their separate ways.
But, now, that's changed.
When Baldwin – who had run the legendary Starship nightclub Downtown, giving local punk and new wave bands a place of their own where they could play, hang out and to see likeminded touring bands – died in 2015, Eannelli set to work with producer Gary Tanin to assemble the first-ever Locate Your Lips CD.
The result is "For Kenny," a double-disc tribute to Baldwin that captures the band in both live and studio settings, showing off its unique, percussive sound that drew on Baldwin's jazz skills on the kit, Eannelli's fearsome guitar skills and Cavaluzzi's pitch-perfect bass accompaniment.
Disc one was recorded live in May 1985 for broadcast on WQFM radio, while disc two collects the 10 tracks that Locate Your Lips committed to tape in a Mequon studio in November 1984.
"Sometimes all it takes is stumbling upon a couple of old music tapes from 1984-5 to bring light to the darkness," writes Eannelli in the liner notes.
"When I placed my hands on these long forgotten recordings that you now hold in your hands, I realized that I could no longer share them with my drummer/friend/soldier/confidant/visionary Kenny Baldwin, as he had succumbed to cancer a few years prior."
You can hear the music at a release party at Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave., on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
CDs will be available for sale and attendees who knew Kenny will be encouraged to share memories while Locate Your Lips music is played on the sound system, Tanin says.
"Kenny Baldwin served as drummer for two of my bands, the latter was the first incarnation of Otto & The Elevators in 1972-73," says Tanin. "So when Jim Eannelli brought over the cassette copies of a live broadcast from WQFM and the only known cassette copy of the never-released album I was thrilled.
"It was Jim's desire to move the project into the light that really was the inspiration. I was honored to have had the chance to work on this amazing testament to Kenny."
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