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Longevity

Over the last 15 years Sexual Chocolate has entertained thousands of people all over Australia.  They have virtually played in almost every single venue in Melbourne and have an impressive list of corporate clients to match.  This is one cover band that has seen many others in the industry come and go, but they have weathered every storm and stood the test of time.

So how did it all start?

Back in 1995 Louie Veleski one of the original founders of Sexual Chocolate had started fronting a little cover band called ‘The Funky Little Vegimites’ founded by Don Giovinazzo and Pat Di Nicola .  The band had very minimal success and it wasn’t too long before Louie, Don and Pat started looking for a brand new angle.  One late night at Louie’s Southbank apartment, they were all watching the classic 1988 hit movie ‘Coming To America’ staring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall.  For those of you out there who know the movie well, you can’t help but reminisce about the terrible band called Sexual Chocolate fronted by Eddie Murphy himself.  While watching this particular seen and laughing hysterically, Louie suggested something that at the time seemed quite novel to say the least. Wouldn’t be funny to form a cover band called Sexual Chocolate and actually dress up as the characters in the movie. At first both Don and Pat found the idea quite amusing but Louie was not suggesting it to be funny. He was dead serious about this and they continued discussing the concept to the early hours of the morning.

The original concept

The Sexual Chocolate of today is a far cry from the original concept of the band when it first stepped out onto the Melbourne cover scene. Louie played the character of ‘Randy Watson’ played by Eddie Murphy in the movie while Don played ‘Randy Watsons’ side kick ‘Reverend Brown’ played by Arsenio Hall.  The rest of the characters in the band were created by Louie, Don, and Pat. Don’s long time friend and drummer Derrick Watson was only to happy to join Sexual Chocolate and due to his robust nature, we painted him black and called him ‘Babba Jamal Jackson’.

Now sorting out the front-man and back-line of the band was the easy part. Finding some talented female singers to join the band however proved a little more difficult.  They auditioned various females for the part, but none of them possessed the powerful vocals that Louie was after at the time. What he wanted was to have one female vocal that could literally break glass and the other to compliment and harmonise well. For quite a while there, achieving this goal proved to be a lost cause. But what happened next really makes one believe that certain things in life are just meant to happen.

In the most unlikely of places

During this time Louie  frequently visited a popular Melbourne karaoke bar called Charltons.  The place was a three story building which was predominantly a pool hall but also had a great little karaoke bar setup on the second floor. One particular weeknight Louie decided to venture down to Charltons and catch up with some friends.  As the elevator neared the second floor he heard what he thought at the time to be a DJ playing the song ‘Natural Woman’. He distinctly remembers almost feeling disappointed believing that karaoke had been cancelled for the night.  The elevator doors opened and to his disbelief it was no DJ but a female singer on stage belting out a song that most singers out there wouldn’t even dream of tackling.  The song finished and the crowd gave her a standing ovation. Louie walked up to her introduced himself and said “I’m putting a band together and I would like you to be a part of it.  She was a full time chef at the time and although to this day she still has a love affair with food, singing was her true calling and she new it.  Denna-Marie joined the band and started rehearsing straight away.

This left only one more piece to the puzzle but finding the other girl to compliment Den’s voice was no easy task.  It seemed like everyone they tried always felt short of creating the sound that Louie had in mind. Den mentioned that there was an Asian bar girl that worked at Charltons and would sometimes even host the karaoke nights.  Her singing was nothing in comparison to the might of Den’s vocal ability but she did posses a smooth laid back style and was an absolute gun when it came to harmonies.  Louie approached her and she said yes without any hesitation.  On stage Den took on the name of ‘Peaches’ and Elaine was called ‘Cream’.  Sexual Chocolate was finally born and solidly rehearsed for the next 6 months.

First show

Our first show was at a Greek restaurant in Brunswick St , Brunswick  which happened to have an upstairs function room. The owner of the establishment wanted to have some live entertainment on Friday nights and decided to book the band for a trial run.. Being our first ever gig we managed to round up quite a few friends and family for the event and the night was a total success.  After paying for production and crew we were all left with $50 each and a slab of beer.  They were definitely humble beginnings, but as they way Rome wasn’t built in a day.