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Saturday, May 3, 2014

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The Speed Hickeys were started in West Chester, Ohio by Lakota High School classmates Ric James and Chris Wanstrath. The band’s original line up played its first show on Christmas day 1985 at Clifton’s infamous Sudsy Malone’s where the club’s owner continually shouted at the band to turn the volume down. A pivotal moment in the Speed Hickeys’ early history played out here in their first moments of public performance as the defiant band chose instead to turn the volume up every time the club owner berated them. Though the evening ended with the group being “permanently banned” from the club, they would in fact go on to play there countless times over the next several years. Their irreverent blend of Punk, Heavy Metal, Blues and spontaneous humor garnered the Speed Hickeys a big following in the Cincinnati area and ingratiated the band to Newport, Kentucky’s Jockey Club scene where the band became a regular fixture in the late 80s. After the departure of original singer Christian Banker and drummer Chuck Wanstrath, the Speed Hickeys recruited another high school friend, percussionist Bill Griffith, thus morphing into what would be the band’s definitive and most powerful incarnation, a power trio that has lasted (as of this writing) for over 25 years. The band recently returned to the stage after a hiatus of several years.

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111 E 6th St. Newport, KY 41071
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