Though Denis Buckley didn’t join a band until he was 21 years old, he quickly made up for lost time when that first band went on to become a legendary Chicago punk outfit that would still be around more than a quarter century later. After trying out for a lead singer spot, Buckley became the final piece in 88 Fingers Louie. Well, he technically became the final piece in “Platypus Rex” before the band wisely changed its name to 88 Fingers Louie a few weeks later.

Recently, Buckley told My First Band host Tyler Maas about his school-age choir prowess, the chance circumstances that led to him joining 88 Fingers Louie, the rapid rise from brand new group to getting signed to Fat Wreck Chords, unforgettable early shows with NOFX and Rancid, and his modern day musical outlook during the uncertain era of COVID-19. Over the course of the hour-long discussion, Buckley also talked about his stints in other bands like The Story So Far—well before the other band by the same name existed—and Explode And Make Up. Buckley also opened up about the time he got into a fight with an audience member in Milwaukee (which Maas attended/witnessed) and the cartoon-inspired origin 88 Fingers Louie’s band name.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Live From The Rock Room. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and 88 Fingers Louie (“Our Tired Vices”).