Lethal Lipstick was formed in early 1985 on the streets of downtown Albany, NY. The vision for the band was the brain child Albany rock legend Bob Gori (Albany's Misfits/Tragics). His plan was to combine the sleazy trashiness of the early 70's NYC glam rock with the angry nastiness of punk. He sought to form a glam band with an attitude and a dark sided gothic persona. It would become a synergy of New York Dolls meets The Dead Boys.
Gori began dreaming of such a band around 1983 following the breakup of his band The Tragics. With his trashy Johnny Thunders style of guitar playing, Gori would play lead of course. He was quick to recruit his partner in crime, roommate, and former band mate Wayne "Rock" Thomas Haskins for rhythm guitar. Rock had been his bassist in The Tragics as well as guitarist and founder of the Albany hardcore band Thy Sons 'O' God. Both were avid song writers and spent the next year working to smash the two styles together as they consumed case after case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Piels Real Draft
They mused over this idea in their apartment on lower Central Avenue and thought about who they would start to recruit from the local talent pool to fill out the lineup. That's when they heard that long time Tragics fan, and cousin of their drummer Brian Bolduc, Gary Grafixx had taken up playing bass after getting his degree in graphic arts (hence the name). Having been a first chair violinist throughout Jr. high and high school playing bass came easy to Grafixx. "It's really the same as a violin, except the strings are in reverse order" he said. (Who knew?) Gary welcomed the offer to join his local idols in their new endeavor and the trio continued to work to round out the lineup as Grafixx designed the bands logo. A bleeding pair of mummified lips in black lipstick and lettering reminiscent of a 1950s era horror flick.
They thought about another local musician, Nick Grind, as a possible front man for the band. Grind had been guitarist for the Albany based punk band The Plague and later founded The Grindstones as guitarist and lead singer. He had recently left The Grindstones hoping to give college a try. But having been a high school dropout it was long before he dropped out of school again. When they laid out the blue print for the band to him, he was eager to try out his best Stiv Bators impression and contribute to the song writing talent of Gori and Thomas.
Finding a drummer would take a bit of work for the newly formed foursome. Finally, they hooked up with a local pot smoking gambler and all round dirty rotten scoundrel by the name of Dan Hammer. Hammer had been a local blues/jazz drummer and was looking for something new to reinvent himself.
With the lineup complete, they set about writing more songs, rehearsing, and looking for a gig. They would debut their new incantation at the legendary club 288 on Lark Street to a packed audience with original songs like "Bad Boys", "Sick and Tired", and "Love Kills" (a tribute to Sid & Nancy). They finished off the set with a recreation of the Rocky Horror Picture Show classic "Sweet Transvestite" with Grind in full lingerie drag. The buzz about the new band roared through the downtown music scene like rolling thunder.