88 Fingers Louie is an American band from Chicago, Illinois, United States, which was formed in 1993. They played a style of hardcore punk, melodic hardcore, and punk rock. After disbanding in 1999, guitarist Dan Wleklinski and bassist Joe Principe formed the well-known punk rock band Rise Against. The band reunited in 2009, and has continued playing shows in Chicago, Canada, Belgium, and Las Vegas. The band held a 20th anniversary show in 2013. The name comes from a Flintstones gangster who sells dodgy pianos.
88 Fingers Louie was formed in 1993 in Chicago, Illinois by vocalist Denis Buckley, guitarist Mr. Precision (Dan Wleklinski), bassist Joe Principe and drummer Dom Vallone. The same year the band released their first 7" on their own "Go Deaf Records", and after signing to Fat Wreck Chords the band released two more 7" EPs, "Go Away" and "Wanted".
After appearing on several split and compilation albums in 1994, the band released their next 10" EP, "Totin' 40's and Fuckin' Shit Up" in 1995 and shortly after, drummer Dom Vallone left the band. The band was joined by new drummer Glenn Porter, followed by the release of their first full album "Behind Bars" on Hopeless Records on September 12, 1995, which was well received.
The band started touring more and tension between band members started building up. After appearing on the "Chicago vs. Amsterdam" split EP, 88 Fingers Louie disbanded in late 1996 due to fights between band members, and vocalist Denis Buckley allegedly having urinated on drummer Glenn Porter. However, shortly before disbanding, the band had recorded a new 7" single, "The Teacher Gets it", which was released in early 1997. Later the same year, Fat Wreck Chords released a compilation album of all the band's 7" releases on the label titled "The Dom Years".
However, in 1998 the band decided to start things up again, this time with new, and current drummer, John Carroll. The band released its second album, "Back on the Streets", and the band went back on tour. Things seemed well, but internal fights once again tore the band apart. Only weeks after releasing a split album with Kid Dynamite, the band disbanded due to vocalist Denis Buckley and bassist Joe Principe getting into a fight.
Vocalist Denis Buckley went on to sing in the melodic hardcore band Explode and Make Up, previous drummer Glenn Porter started playing for Alkaline Trio after leaving 88 Fingers Louie, last drummer John Carroll went on to drum for Paper Mice, while Dan Wleklinski and Joe Principe formed the band Rise Against.
Reunion and Live CD and DVD
On August 14 and 15, 2009, the band performed 2 sold out reunion shows. The first one was hosted by Riot Fest, while the second was at Chicago's Bottom Lounge. The lineup featured founding members Mr. Precision (Dan Wleklinski), Denis "The Grandpa" Buckley, and John Carroll. Bassist Joe Principe was asked to join, but was unable due to commitments with Rise Against, so the band added new bassist John Contreras. Previous drummer Glenn Porter also played 5 songs during the reunion show.
The album titled 88 Fingers Louie LIVES is a 78-Minute 26-Track Live CD from Chicago's Bottom Lounge recorded 8-15-2009 and mixed by Dan Wleklinski at his Bombshelter Recording Studio. In 2010, a DVD of the show was also released. Later that year The band continued to tour and played at several shows and festivals from 2009 on, including an Eastern Canadian tour, Groezrock Festival in Belgium, and Amnesia Rockfest in Canada.
In 2013, Nat Wright, from Chicago's Shot Baker, joined 88 Fingers Louie as their newest bass player. In 2013, the last pre-reunion lineup of the band, featuring Joe Principe on bass, held a 20th anniversary show. In 2015, 88 had two back-to-back shows at Reggie's Rock Club in Chicago, and is scheduled to play Pouzza Fest and Punk Rock Bowling. Recently, the band has hinted on the possibility of new songs and a new recording.
Denis Buckley – lead vocals (1993–1996, 1998-1999, 2009–2010, 2013–present)
Dan "Mr. Precision" Wleklinski – guitar, vocals (1993–1996, 1998-1999, 2009–2010, 2013–present)
John Carroll – drums, backing vocals (1998–1999, 2009–2010, 2013-present)
Nat Wright - bass guitar (2013–present)
Joe Principe – bass guitar, backing vocals (1993–1996, 1998-1999)
Dominic "Dom" Vallone – drums (1993–1995)
Glenn Porter – drums, backing vocals (1995–1996)
John Contreras – bass guitar (2009–2010)