Thoughts on Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

I recently had the opportunity to watch the new documentary “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song.

It’s a very powerful film that documents the career of Mr. Cohen and his most famous musical composition.

As someone that’s also working on a documentary on the story of an iconic song, I couldn’t help but think about the parallel paths of the two songs.

Like LOUIE LOUIE, “Hallelujah” has inspired hundreds, if not thousands of cover versions.

Both songs found widespread acceptance due to a cover version of a cover version. John Cale’s cover of “Hallelujah”was equivalent to Rockin’ Robin’s cover of LOUIE, setting the stage for both Jeff Buckley and the Kingsmen to unintentionally deliver future iconic songs to the masses.

Both songs were restricted. The governor of Indiana asked that radio stations not play LOUIE on the airwaves. Cohen was signed to Columbia Records, but the executives of that label rejected the song “Hallelujah,” making it more difficult for American citizens to hear this music.

Both songs had multiple sets of lyrics – authorized and otherwise adapted/interpreted by third parties.

Leonard Cohen spent many years writing “Hallelujah,” which over the course of at least five years, and many notebooks, was finally unveiled to the public as part of his “Various Positions” album in June 1984

Then, there’s my LOUIE documentary project, which is taking much longer than expected to finish…. (more on that later..)

In the meantime, this new Cohen documentary is highly recommended.

Dee Dee Ramone’s final statement

On the headstone of Dee Dee Ramone (aka Douglas Glenn Colvin), there is one sentence:

“O.K… I gotta go now.”

Seattle Mariners and the LOUIE 7th Inning Stretch

The big LOUIE LOUIE of the week is that the Seattle Mariners are no longer playing LOUIE LOUIE as a seventh inning stretch song.

Zach Mason and Adrianne Leary of SBNation believe that this is a Seattle baseball tradition that absolutely must be preserved!

So it’s devastating to discover that one of the only uniquely Mariners traditions has been broken. We speak, of course, of the replacement of “Louie Louie” during the seventh-inning stretch with Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us.” The Mariners have some other traditions too, sure. Finding the hidden ball, the hydro races, Rick giving us our “happy totals.” But if asked to name a Mariners tradition, the average fan (after a sarcastic “losing”) would almost certainly point to “Louie Louie.” It’s iconic. It’s perfect. And it must be returned.

Larry Stone of Seattle Times also wrote about this situation.

Who would have ever guessed that the biggest talking point of the Mariners’ season so far would be a novelty song with largely unintelligible lyrics that was written in 1955?

Granted, this is not one of the burning issues of our time. Yet it seems to have touched a strong chord — A, D and E minor, I’m told — with fans who poured into T-Mobile Park for the first weekend of home games, and beyond.

When it came to the seventh-inning stretch on opening night, many fans were stunned when “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” ended and “Louie Louie” did not come next, as it had for the previous 32 seasons. That was the case Saturday and Sunday, as well. As I tweeted last month during a spring-training game, unaware of the hornets nest that would be stirred up a few weeks later, “After two decades at Safeco Field/T-Mobile Park, my brain subliminally anticipates ‘Louie Louie‘ the moment ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ ends.”

This particular article also provides a decent overview of how the song was adopted by the Mariners back in 1990, and the movement to bring “new, fresh energy to the ballpark”

I was getting so many questions about this that I went straight to the man himself, Kevin Martinez, the head of Mariners’ marketing. He acknowledged that with regard to the decision to drop “Louie Louie,” the buck stops with him as the senior vice president of marketing and communications. He says that he is well aware of the backlash in some quarters, and that the Mariners will continue to evaluate. And he says that for the foreseeable future, Macklemore will continue to be the seventh-inning-stretch companion, like it or not.

There is a petition to reinstate LOUIE LOUIE as the seventh inning stretch song, which you can view and sign at:
https://www.change.org/p/bring-back-louie-louie-during-the-7th-inning-stretch

As the Seattle Times pointed out…

The Mariners started pairing “Louie Louie” with “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” in the seventh inning at the start of the 1990 season, but it really cemented itself as the official seventh-inning stretch song June 2, 1990, when the Kingsmen were invited to perform live at the Kingdome as a promotion.

I’d love to see footage of that moment!

In the meantime, here’s nice clip of one of those 7th inning moments…

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REFERENCE LINKS:

SBNation – Oh, baby, “Louie Louie” did not have to go
Seattle Times – Here’s why the Mariners aren’t playing ‘Louie Louie’ during the seventh-inning stretch
Change.org petition – Bring Back “Louie Louie” During the 7th Inning Stretch

RIP: Scott Long – musician, promoter, multi-talent

photo by Gary Brewster

Two months ago, we lost our friend Scott Long.



Scott was a larger-than-life kinda guy that made some truly wonderful things happen.

Some of you may remember Scott as one of the primary architects and ringleader for “First Strike,” an alliance of motivated San Jose (CA) musicians in the late 1980s that wanted some attention for their creative endeavors. Others might remember Scott as the New York music promoter that managed Wetlands, the Knitting Factory before becoming the co-founder of the Scenic Presents agency, which orchestrated the first US appearance in 20 years of Throbbing Gristle and the final concert of Big Star, among other things.



Then there were the other paths that Scott also pursued before and after such things – operating a store in the Haight Ashbury; partnering with his First Strike comrades to launch the Petroleum By-Products record label; studying Culinary Arts at Natural Gourmet Institute which led to a career as chef and caterer; and assorted assignments as an energy consultant for a solar company.



On his LinkedIn page, he listed his specialties as “Concert and event production, hyperbole, subliminal messages, public spectacles, and ballyhoo.

”

Considering all the vast talents that Scott had, I’ve always felt that his music, as a singer-songwriter, was the field where he truly excelled.



One of his earliest musical endeavors, before I met him, was a band called the Suburban Kids. As fate would have it, this band submitted a version of LOUIE LOUIE for the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon (version #609 of the 880+ versions), which was of course, ground zero for this LOUIE documentary project.



Some time after the Suburban Kids, I met Scott when he was part of another band known as Big Hair, a rocking Americana band (before such a label was invented), which I happened to capture on video back in 1985 at the KFJC-IBS sponsored show at the Works Gallery in San Jose.

Here’s a clip of Scott singing lead vocals on their version of “Wild Thing.”



After Big Hair, the Frontier Wives was Scott’s primary musical vehicle for the next few decades.

It was with Frontier Wives where Scott really found his voice, writing some highly original songs with catchy hooks.



Folks offended by rough language would probably hate the Frontier Wives (aka the Frontier F-in’ Wives). They swore like salty pirates, and they drank heavily. If they had to be categorized into any particular genres, they would probably be either “cow-punk” or “country-metal.” Or maybe a bit of both?

Here’s a little warning label I created for some of their videos..

One of my favorite songs by the Frontier F-in’ Wives was “Louis Pasteur,” an absurd revisionist history of the legendary microbiologist, pre-dating the “Drunk History” TV show concept by a few decades where any resemblance of truth would be purely coincidental.


When I spotted my clip of the Frontier Wives 1981 performance of that song on an actual encyclopedia.com page about Louis Pasteur (since removed), Scott was overjoyed by this little aberration and happily mentioned this at all the future Frontier Wives shows



As an appreciator of songs that reference a “LOUIE” theme without sounding like LOUIE LOUIE, this was the type of the song that would join the likes of Louie Go Home, Brother Louie, Louie Quatorze, Meet Me in St. Louis, and St. Louis Blues



Here’s the 1981 clip that appeared in the ‘pedia page..

Here’s a 2010 performance of that song from the Laundry Works reunion show.

Another great Scott Long masterpiece along the same lines was “Elvis Was A Spy,” which Scott and I talked about turning into a proper music video, featuring fast cars, wild women, crazy chase scenes, and of course, an Elvis impersonator…. which sadly never materialized.

… but here’s one I just assembled using footage I’ve shot over the years…

Ace Frehley” was a catchy little tribute to the original Kiss guitar player.

‘Happy” is just that.



After Scott died, I discovered that I had more previously unseen footage of his band than I realized. I decided to assemble and unveil some concert videos to pay tribute to Scott’s musical legacy.

One of the songs that emerged from these videos was a track that was never properly recorded in the studio, or apparently on any other videos.

That song was a track called “Never,” a beautiful song that’s very different than the other Frontier Wives songs.

This is a version of the song from their final concert, which I haven’t unveiled yet.



Here’s another beautiful song that Scott wrote.


It feels like the perfect send-off from a life that he lived …. his way.



We’re gonna miss you a lot, Scott.



(PS: the final Frontier Wives concert videos will be shared soon, I promise. Watch this space!)


________________
Reference Links


:
The Suburban Kids – LOUIE of the Week
Theresa McClure & Big Hair – LOUIE relative of the Week

Frontier Wives (2008 Unplugged Barbershop Quartet)
Frontier Wives (2009 full concert at Blank Club, San Jose)

Frontier Wives (2010 full concert Laundry Works Reunion)




Metro – Votes From the Underground (San Jose Rocks) – Gary Singh (Nov 14, 2007 cover story)

Metro – Frontier Days – Gary Singh (Dec 24, 2008)




SantaCruz.com/GoodTimes- The Wild Frontier – Aaron Carnes (June 1, 2011)
Scott Long’s Linkedin page


Happy Louie Louie Day 2022

Today is International Louie Louie Day and we’re sharing some special treats to celebrate the day!

The plan was to start off with the first three hours of the original KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon, which was the pivotal event that led to the LOUIE documentary project.

 This is the first time we’ve ever shared anything longer than 30 minutes from the original air check tape recordings. These recordings include commentary by disc jockeys Jeff “Stretch” Riedle and Phil Dirt, who are joined by special guest Richard Berry, the author of this legendary song.

KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE photo montage © Eric Predoehl

For many of us, this was truly a life-changing experience.



The first 3 hours were originally broken up into 3 sections, available individually or as a continuous YouTube playlist. Unfortunately, the first hour was blocked worldwide for copyright reasons, and I’m currently trying out some different methods to reconfigure these particular archival recordings, which I’ll be updating throughout the day.

The continuous YouTube playlist, your best option for listening, will also include other recordings from that very LOUIE LOUIE weekend at KFJC Radio, which includes an abbreviated video edit of the once-in-a-lifetime performance of Richard Berry performing with original Kingsmen singer Jack Ely for the first and only time, backed by the Lady Bo Trio.

This playlist won’t be the full 63 hour / 800+ version experience, but it will provide a nice condensed sampling of that unique marathon.

Each of the individual KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE archival clips have a playlist in the description with clickable time marks for every LOUIE performance.

KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE – Hour 02

KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE – Hour 03

KFJC Maximum Louie Louie 1983 marathon playlist
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLd4o4rDrB7L3jS5QCgTng8J37-KE-cw4C

Today, we’re also sharing three very special LOUIE clips to celebrate.

At the top of this list is an exclusive performance of “Louie Louie Blues” by Laurel Ganesha Wolfe, who is a dear friend of the man we hold responsible for these marathons – our pal Jeff “Stretch’ Riedle, who graciously shared this priceless performance, created to honor his dedication to this very special obsession / collection.

Following that clip, we are also sharing a unique performance featuring the late, great Carol Doda, the exotic dancer from San Francisco who was credited with triggering a nationwide topless revolution in the USA during the swinging 1960’s. In this particular TV news clip, dated October 30, 1993, Carol is a special guest judge for a fundraising “stripping contest” for the homeless community in San Francisco, which features a special performance of LOUIE LOUIE.



Last but not least, we’re recycling the 4+ hour video from the recent Louie Louie Marathon of Wynantskill, NY that took place on March 27th a few weeks ago.

As the day continues, we’ll update this page to share details on other festivities taking place on this very special day!



For more details on INTERNATIONAL LOUIE LOUIE DAY, please visit the LouieLouie.net 2007 comic strip explanation pages

.. or visit…
LouieDay.org

Thank you, UPI !!!

REFERENCE LINKS:
Happy International LOUIE LOUIE Day (2007)
Memories of KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE
The Maximum LOUIE LOUIE list
KFJC Maximum Louie Louie 1983 marathon playlist
UPI article on International LOUIE LOUIE Day (April 2022)

RIP: Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters

It’s a shock to learn that we lost Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters.

I never met the man, but it seems like everyone who met him just loved this guy.

The bond between Taylor and his Foo Fighter bandmate /leader David Grohl was a special thing to behold. Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997, three years after Grohl created the group upon the disbanding of Nirvana. They became virtual musical twins – two multi-talented musicians that started off as drummers, but wound up doing so much more than that.

As this is the LouieLouie.net site, the webpage that celebrates “all things LOUIE LOUIE,” it seemed appropriate that we should acknowledge Taylor’s “Soundtrack Of My Life” 2016 article for New Music Express, where he discussed the songs that shaped his life.

The first song I remember hearing – The Kingsmen – LOUIE LOUIE

“I remember this one song as a kid and it 
just scared the s**t out 
of me. ‘Louie Louie’ or something… I don’t know, there’s just something in their voices that sounded evil to me.”

Another thing to note is that Taylor Hawkins was also an actor that played the role of Iggy Pop in the 2013 CBGB docudrama.

Iggy Pop, is of course, a legend in the LOUIE LOUIE universe, as his live 1974 recording of the song, released on the Metallic K.O. album was the first explicitly naughty (as opposed to questionably naughty) version ever released. Iggy also had the distinction of having his second album with the Stooges produced by Don Gallucci, the original keyboard player with the Kingsmen.

I have yet to find a Foo Fighters version of LOUIE LOUIE, but I’m thinking maybe it’ll turn up somewhere…

Anyways, our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Taylor Hawkins.

Reference Links:
NME: Soundtrack Of My Life: Taylor Hawkins
People Magazine – Inside Foo Fighter Dave Grohl’s 25-Year Bond with Taylor Hawkins
Wikipedia: CBGB (film)

LOUIE Marathon of Wynantskill, NY – 9 days from today!

it’s time for yet another LOUIE LOUIE marathon.

This next one will be taking place 9 days from now in Wynantskill, NY.

30+ years ago on December 10, 1992, The Lawn Sausages were part of a Louie Louie Marathon charity event that took place at the New Town Tavern in Troy, NY.

Flash forward to the present, and the Lawn Sausages are doing it again.

On March 27th 2022, The Lawn Sausages, RadioRadioX, Xperience Monthly & Mirth Films Present: The Return of The Louie Louie Marathon! Music from 2pm-8pm at The American Legion 1489, 111 Main Ave Wynantskill, NY 12198

$10.00 Minimum Suggested Donation
Featuring Members of:
Lawn Sausages, Soul Sky, Niki Kaos, Chris Busone, Faced, Smittix, Blackcat Elliot, Northern Borne, Brother T, The Erotics, Frank Cavone, Scotty Mac, Steve Candlen,
Peggy of Troy, Brian Kane, Maurizio, The Bremners, Arya Chowdhury, Va Va Voodoos, Tony Pellegrino, Big Frank and the Bargain Bingers, Off The Record, Bill Milhizer
& More to come.

ALL ARE WELCOME so if you play don’t be shy come on stage and join in!

Proceeds to benefit The Regional Food Bank. Sponsored by: The St. Andrews Society of Albany, Peak Music, Mirth Films, Rocky’s Music Studio, Corcoran’s Towpath Tavern and The River Street Beat Shop!

The Lawn Sausages added this note…

ONLY 9 days away!!!!! Come get silly and feed the hungry. The Legion is offering a pub menu for the event and we have a free kazoo for the first 100 people through the door, so you can play along. LET”S GET STUPID!!!!!!!

It will be live-streamed at RadioradioX.com

_____

REFERENCE LINKS:
Official Facebook event page – Louie Louie Marathon at American Legion Post 1489
DECEMBER 10: ON THIS DATE IN NIPPERTOWN CONCERT HISTORY
Lawn Sausages – Rockin’ Funnies: Cow Tippin’ (mid 1990’s)

RIP: Sandy Nelson, legendary drummer

Last month, we lost Sandy Nelson, one of the best-known rock drummers of the early 1960s.

He was the drummer for a lot of Top 40 records, including songs recorded by friends he knew from high school – Jan Berry, Dean Torrence, Kim Fowley, and Phil Spector. In addition to working as a prominent session drummer, he also found success as a solo instrumental recording artist.

His instrumental recording “Teen Beat”, hit the #4 mark on the Billboard Hot 100 list in 1959, selling over one million copies, earning him a gold record. He followed this up with two more Top 40 hits, “Let There Be Drums”, which went to #7 on the Hot 100, and “Drums Are My Beat” (#29). His success wasn’t limited to the USA, as “Let There Be Drums” became a Top 10 hit record in both the United Kingdom and United States in December 1961

In late 1963, Nelson was in a motorcycle accident that left him with injuries that necessitated the amputation of a portion of his right leg. He learned how to play the bass drum with his left leg. As he told a reporter of The Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017, in the long run, he “developed a little better technique.”

One of the recordings that he did after that accident was the “Boss Beat” album in 1965 which featured a great instrumental version of LOUIE LOUIE.

Sandy Nelson died on February 14 – Valentine’s Day in Las Vegas. He was 83 years old.

Reference Links:
NY Times obituary on Sandy Nelson
Wikipedia- Sandy Nelson

RIP: Meat Loaf (the singer) and the LL thing

One week ago, we lost the singer known as Meat Loaf. His passing was announced on Facebook.

His career spanned six decades, selling over 100 Million albums worldwide and was featured in 65 movies, including “Fight Club”, “Focus”, “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Wayne’s World. “Bat Out of Hell” remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time.

As far as I can tell, Meat Loaf never released a version of the song LOUIE LOUIE. *(see update below)

… but there was a connection.

My friend and LOUIE spiritual advisor Stretch Riedle pointed out in March 2019

NEWSFLASH! Although this was made in 1999, it was just tonight that I saw it for the first time. On Amazon Prime, I watched a video/documentary entitled “Meat Loaf: Bat Out Of Hell (Classic Albums)“. At 40:17 Ellen Foley makes a reference to Louie Louie. Besides being one of my favorite rock artists, there is now a connection between Meat Loaf and LL. The world is saved!

…. and apparently, there’s lot more to it than I realized.

Check this out. Here’s an interview of Meat Loaf conducted by Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas.

In this mind-blowing segment, the man formerly known as Marvin Lee Aday discusses where he was on November 22, 1963, and his unbelievable story involving JFK, the Secret Service, Parkland Hospital, as well as that darned song that so many of us keep thinking about.

Did I mention unbelievable?

Anyways, the story continues. By all means if you have any more things you can add to this one, we’d love to hear from you.

Reference Links:
Meatloaf Facebook page
LOUIE on TV – part 6 (Happy Days, Fall Guy + Meatloaf)
YouTube – Meat Loaf’s CRAZY Encounter after the JFK Assassination EXTENDED Interview

* UPDATE:

My friend Clay Stabler reminded me of this special performance by Meat Loaf!

Recycling a previous post in memoriam — Meat Loaf sings “Louie Louie” to start a 1987 concert on his 20/20 World Tour. It was on the set list for most of the tour stops according to Daniel Wheway‘s “Everything Louder Than Everything Else: Meat Loaf Guide.”

RIP: Don Wilson of the Ventures

On Saturday, January 22, Don Wilson, a founding member of the Ventures, died at the age of 88 at his home in Tacoma, Washington. The Ventures were formed in 1958 in Tacoma by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. Within a few years, Nokie Edwards would be recruited to join the band, followed by Mel Taylor in 1962. which would become the primary configuration for many years.

Their first album, “Walk, Don’t Run” in 1960, became a big hit record that launched a very successful career that included unprecedented popularity in Japan and Hong Kong.

With over 100 million records sold, the Ventures are the best-selling instrumental band of all time. The Ventures had 14 singles in the Billboard Hot 100. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

While they were not the first rock band from Tacoma, they were the first rock band from Tacoma to sell millions of records. Of course, as a rock band from that town in the early 1960s, playing LOUIE LOUIE seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do.

The Ventures released their version of the song on their album “The Ventures a Go-Go” in 1965.

In 1967, The Ventures took it one step further, and provided lessons on how to play LOUIE LOUIE on their instructional album “Play Guitar With The Ventures, Volume 7.”

Don Wilson played with the Ventures from 1958 until his retirement in 2015.

He was the last member of the original band.

Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Don Wilson.

Reference Links:
Wikipedia – The Ventures
Discogs – The Ventures ‎– Play Guitar With The Ventures Volume 7