If you decide on a rockin' night out at Molly Darcy's later this month, don't look up at the twirling disco ball and expect that "Hey Baby" will pay it any notice. "We don't conform to KC and The Sunshine Band, we're true to the music," says band manager and bassist, Skip Langworthy, as Hey Baby looks forward to the good people, good party venue at the popular Danbury night spot.
Almost as old as that antithetical icon of classic Rock 'n Roll, Hey Baby first started getting the Led out and such in 1983. Founder, Jimmy Ekizian began the band as an answer to the high hair and one hit wonderland of 80s music. The eight member group made a name for itself hitting the Rock 'n Roll hard throughout the tri-state area bar and music scene. Before closing it down in 1998, Hey Baby
played the 25th anniversary of Woodstock in 1994 and opened for the likes of Southside Johnny, Three Dog Night and NRBQ.
Luckily, Y2K signaled something other than the beginning of a new millennium and the introduction of cyberspace four digit birthdays. Hey Baby began again out of the band Mr. Langworthy was in at the time with local drummer, Bobby Max Bauer. Wanting to put together something special for a benefit they were playing in Mahopac, "The Free Radicals" then hooked up with Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens. Still looking for a lead among their favorite area musicians, the first call went out to Mr. Ekizian.
Thus, Radical Baby was born. For the next few years, they enjoyed similar success to their predecessors until Mr. Ekizian decided he wanted to give the FloridaFlorida music did not suffice and he put a call into Mr. Langworthy. music scene a go. Not as hot as its summers,
Jimmy roamed home and 2004 meant eight again as Radical Baby gave way to Hey Baby for good. Joining Jimmy, Bobby and Skip are Bert Haspel and Steve Kaplan on sax, Eddie Murphy on Congas, Dennis Jarosz on Guitar and Piano Pete on the keys.
Four years later, Mr. Langworthy sees that it takes more than talent to sustain cohesiveness in both the quality of the sound and the chemistry of the participants. "It's almost impossible to imagine getting along with seven other guys but this band has eight friends that get along and that's what keeps it real," he says.
That then translates back to the audience. "I think it comes across on stage because people see we're having a good time and not just collecting a paycheck," he says. But there is a price to being a fortysomething rock star with a family.
Prior to having kids with his wife, he assured her that when the day came, 4AM curtain calls would not mean Saturday morning breakfast well after lunchtime. He made good on his promise, a four and eight year old later.
The morning after means suiting up in spatchler and apron, while attending the children with a smile. "You suck it up," he says of the three or four times a month Hey Baby limits his REM to the wee hours.
Of course, during the week sleep comes in the 9-5 variety of day jobs for Mr. Langworthy and all the members of the band. Majoring in Civil Engineering, he runs a physical therapy business - specializing in underwater treadmills and therapy resistance pools.
Music on the other hand, came with a lot less sophistication and schooling for him. "My first instrument was a banjo from Sears," he says of his mostly self-taught beginnings at age16. He traded the banjo for a used electric guitar and eventually took up the base when he joined Hey Baby. Today, the process of playing comes easily to him. "I can hear something and just play it," he says.
In the background with his base and behind the scenes management duties, Mr. Langworthy and the others defer to their front man. "He's the core and when he says enough there's no more Hey Baby," he says of the near 60 lead.
For now, though, it's R&B, classic rock and psychedelic sixties with a purpose. "Being on stage, doing something you absolutely love to do and in return you make other people happy," he says, that's a perfect connection.