RIP: Kim Shattuck, of the Muffs, the Pandoras and the Coolies

This week, I was shocked and saddened to learn that Kim Shattuck passed away.

Kim was a rock ‘n’ roll woman blessed with a wealth of charisma and a wicked sense of humor. As New York Times so eloquently pointed out, she was a member of the “vanguard of punk bands crashing into the mainstream in the 1990s,” that somehow a found a way to “combine bubble-gum melodies with roaring guitars.”

Those of us that had the good fortune to have known Kim, understood completely why she would inspire the creation of a Facebook group entitled “Kim Shattuck please marry me.” She had that special type of charm.

I met Kim a few decades ago when she was a member of The Pandoras, and did an in-store appearance at Streetlight Records in San Jose, CA. I wound up shooting a short segment of the band talking about their “LOUIE LOUIE Moment” (which I’m sharing at the bottom of this web post).

Over the years, I’d often see Kim perform with The Muffs, the band she and Melanie Vammen created after they both left the Pandoras. They’d often play at Marsugi’s, one of my favorite local venues in the Bay Area, sometimes collaborating with our mutual friends Myke Destiny and the performance artist known as the PieMan.

I lost track of Kim for a handful of years, but reconnected after the emergence of Facebook social media and the Muffs reunion at the Burger Boogaloo in Oakland, CA

I was happy to learn of The Coolies, her brand new band with longtime pal Melanie Vammen and Palmyra Delran of The Friggs . Their debut EP was designed as a benefit for the ALS Association, but I had no idea that she was suffering with this awful disease.

She passed away on Wednesday, October 2nd, after a two-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a nerve condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

On Wednesday, Kim’s husband, Kevin Sutherland, posted a wedding photo and announced her passing…

Bandmates, peers and fans posted tributes all over social media after Kim’s death. Here’s a handful of ’em..

Melanie Vammen:

Yesterday I kissed my beautiful and talented BFF Kim Shattuck goodbye. When you left part of me left with you. But also know part of you stays with me. I am heartbroken but know you will always live on with me and everything I do. We’ve been friends for over 34 yrs. A friendship that was meant to be. From that very first day we met we knew how special in life we would be to each other. We were and will always be musical soulmates! We have created incredible music together in three bands… The Pandoras, The Muffs, The Coolies that will last a lifetime. I feel so honored to have done this with you my BFF. Wow what a journey! Exciting, fun, funny, happy but also sad too. We lost each other for some amount of time but realized what a void it was not having each other. When we reconnected it was like no time had passed. We picked up where we left off and the love had never left. Something we shared together was a sick and the funniest sense of humor ever. Man you all would be shocked at what fun we can have! Our shenanigans are legendary (at least in our minds). Kim you are the most badass person I know! When you were diagnosed with ALS two years ago you stood strong and said I’m going to fight this. I know how scared you were but you never gave up. You were always yourself and continued life and adapted to the struggles that wracked your body through this horrific disease. You told me you wanted to make new memories with me and oh boy did we!! You were the one that said “hey let’s start posting pictures of Melanie & Kim” and you named it #MelanieAndKimMonday. I will never stop posting these and you know this! You also wished you could have a band with Palmyra and I. Omg we made it happen!!! You named the band The Coolies from a comment Palmyra made. You worked so hard through this project and we know how special it was to you. I know you and I were meant to be in one last band together. We did it!! One of our proudest accomplishments! And there’s more Coolies to come!! Kim I cherish every moment we’ve shared together. I’m grateful for the last two years of being with you nonstop, holding hands, telling stories of our crazy wild adventures, going through photos of our lives, creating new music together, listening to your playlists that you worked so hard on, our sleepovers, pranks, watching movies and most of all… knowing how much love we have for each other. We will speak to each other in dreams. Kim my Gazoo I LOVE YOU! You are my hero! ❤️ Melanie

Cindy Lee Berryhill:

I’m so sorry to see her go. She was a wild and bright spirit with great guitar chops, a panthers scream, great songs and a rad sense of style. I’d only just gotten to know her a few years ago. We’d shared that we dug each other’s music and both had an affinity for mid 1960s music. I sent her an iPhone video of myself singing Herman’s Hermits “Im Leaning On A Lamppost” once cuz I knew it from memory and she did too. I’m sad to see her go , may her spirit fly with the great legendary and influential rockers that came before her, she is one of them.

Billie Joe Armstrong:

So sad to hear the news about Kim. She was always so cool and tough. All my interactions with her were great. She was one of my favorite song writers. When we recorded dookie we listened to the first Muffs record constantly. We will hear that rock n roll scream from heaven.

Veruca Salt:

Heartbroken about Kim. One of the all time greats. How could anyone be such a brilliant pop songwriter, singer, screamer, and such a total punk-rock badass, and be so insanely cute at the same time? No one funnier or cooler. We love you, Kim

Here’s a video of a Muffs song which seems very appropriate this week. The song is called “Sad Tomorrow.”


https://youtu.be/vsxyaZhdW1s

And finally, here’s a video of Kim Shattuck, Melanie Vammen, Sheri Kaplan, and Lissa Beltri, 4 out of 5 Pandoras (everyone but Paula Pierce, who wasn’t feeling well that day) talking about that special song at Streetlight Records, San Jose, CA on May 26, 1990.


https://youtu.be/txPXWCwdlV8

My heart goes out to her family, friends and all those who loved her.
Kim was special.

REFERENCE LINKS:

L.A. Weekly – Kim Shattuck Takes Her Final Holiday, 1963-2019
NY Times – Kim Shattuck, Musician Who Fronted the Muffs, Is Dead at 56
NPR – Kim Shattuck, An Enduring Presence In L.A. Punk, Dead At 56
Rhino – R.I.P., Kim Shattuck of The Muffs
Variety – The Roxy, Amoeba Records, Neko Case Pay Tribute to Late Muffs Singer Kim Shattuck
Rolling Stone – Kim Shattuck, Muffs Founder and Singer, Dead at 56
Facebook group – Kim Shattuck please marry me
Wikipedia – The Pandoras

UPDATE:

Palmyra Delran shared a reminder on Facebook about the last musical project Kim worked on….

A third pressing of “Uh Oh! It’s The Coolies!” is now available from Wicked Cool Records. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to The ALS Association Golden West Chapter under Kim Shattuck’s name. Please make a donation and get an EP.

BandCamp – Uh Oh! It’s​.​.​. The Coolies

RIP: Robert Hunter, songwriter for Grateful Dead

Robert Hunter, the man who provided the Grateful Dead with lyrics for some of their most memorable songs, passed away on Monday night.

Rolling Stone shared a brief history of his friendship with Jerry Garcia, which led to his special role within the Grateful Dead.

Born Robert Burns in California in 1941, Hunter met Garcia in 1961 at a local production of the musical Damn Yankees, where they were introduced by Hunter’s ex-girlfriend, and Garcia’s then-girlfriend, Diane Huntsburger. The two didn’t immediately hit it off, their friendship took root a couple nights later when they saw each other at a local coffeehouse. Just one year apart in age (Garcia was 18 and Hunter 19 at the time they met), their bond was forged partly through the shared experience of losing a father — Garcia through death, Hunter through divorce.

While Hunter and Garcia played in a few bluegrass bands together, the former passed on an offer to join Garcia’s pre-Grateful Dead jug band to focus instead on writing. At Stanford, Hunter took part in an early LSD experiment (“I had a romping good time,” he recalled) and dabbled in Scientology, but eventually he began to struggle with speed and meth, prompting him to leave the Bay Area for New Mexico. There, Hunter began writing more songs — including future Dead classics “St. Stephen,” “China Cat Sunflower” and “Alligator” — which he sent to Garcia, who encouraged him to return to San Francisco and join the Dead as their lyricist.

Back in the Bay Area, Hunter would join the band at rehearsals and write lyrics. During one session, Hunter began writing lyrics to accompany an instrumental the band was working on; the result, “Dark Star,” was both a landmark for the band and also the official start of Hunter’s new role as the lyricist in residence.

Years ago, my pal David Gross (aka Punmaster), turned me onto an inspired version of LOUIE LOUIE by Robert Hunter, live on May 8, 1982 at The Boarding House, San Francisco, CA.

What I really enjoyed about this version is that it was the first concert I’ve ever heard that featured a heckler yelling out “Play LOUIE LOUIE or I’ll kill you!”

…. and I loved how Robert Hunter handled it!


https://youtu.be/GMDz_QxxJvc

As it turns out, there’s also three other Robert Hunter live versions of LOUIE LOUIE – April 7, 1979 at the Rainbow Tavern, Seattle (WA), May 2, 1979 at Stockton State College, Galloway Township (NJ), and September 1, 1980 at the Cellar Door, Washington, DC.

It’s interesting to note how he incorporated LOUIE into a variety of different medleys. Listening to the Boarding House show, one might think it was a one-time event, done under pressure from the audience. When you listen to the other three versions, it’s obvious he had some real affection for this particular song.

You can learn more about these four versions and other Robert Hunter live recordings by visiting the Robert Hunter Setlists page at GD Sets.com, which includes set lists and links to download a lot of rare live recordings.

Rest in peace, Robert Hunter.

___________________

Reference links:

Rolling Stone -Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead Collaborator and Lyricist, Dead at 78

NY Times – Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead Lyricist, Dies at 78

GD SETS- Robert Hunter Setlists page

Archive-org – Robert Hunter 1982-05-08 Boarding House, San Francisco (CA) page
Full Details on the 1982-05-08 Boarding House, San Francisco recording

Archive-org – Robert Hunter 1979-04-07 Rainbow Tavern, Seattle (WA) page

Archive-org – Robert Hunter 1979-05-02 Stockton State College (NJ) page

Archive-org – Robert Hunter 1980-09-01 Cellar Door, Washington, DC page

Celebrating KFJC Radio 60 Year Anniversary

It’s time for a flash from the past, and put the mighty LOUIE LOUIE spotlight on KFJC Radio, which is celebrating it’s 60th year of existence next month.

College radio station KFJC was ground zero for the LOUIE documentary project. It was at this location where the Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon took place, featuring over 800 unique versions of the song in the course of 63 hours. This was the place where singer-songwriter Richard Berry received more media attention than he’d ever experienced before, as he became the subject of various TV news broadcasts and newspaper articles, as well as countless conversations with curious people that were excited to meet the man who wrote this very special song.

Today, with this blog, I’ll share some video clips of a few people that did some wonderful things in helping build KFJC radio into the mighty community radio station that is still a thriving community resource in 2019. This is by no means a comprehensive collection, but merely a few stories I happened to capture at the 50th anniversary party ten years ago.

Here’s what we’ve got..

Bob Ballou reminisces about his major role in the formation of KFJC community/ college radio station in 1959.

Alex Pantages (aka Al Monday/ Brother H) reminisces about his time at KFJC community/ college radio station. In this conversation, he talks about how his experiences at KFJC changed his life, his initial moment as the host of the Open Mike show (featuring a very young Stanley Jordan), the very first KFJC April Fools Day celebration, the legendary Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon (which included songwriter Richard Berry), the Frank Zappa 10 hour special, and his role in the creation of KFJC’s Month of Mayhem.

Leah Lubin (aka Leah Angel/Leah Raim) reminisces about her time at KFJC community/ college radio station. In this chat, she discusses her Leah Angel British rock show, her experience as the first public affairs director, which led to a career at commercial radio station KOME as the host of the Express Way radio program.

All of these moments were captured by yours truly, Eric Predoehl (of LouieLouie.net) at the celebration of KFJC’s 50 Year Anniversary, which took place on October 17, 2009 at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California.

On October 20th, there will be a special celebration of the 60th anniversary, and I look forward to seeing many of my friends there.

For more details on KFJC, please visit KFJC.org


https://youtu.be/GUeQyGx9RYQ


https://youtu.be/0AKzfsC5hRA


https://youtu.be/viVtSopVuRQ

Noel Coward’s LOUIE LOUIE – live in Venice 2018 (!)

It’s been a year since I was invited to attend my friend Gerry Fialka‘s “WE GOTTA GO: LOUIE LOUIE” event that took place at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA on August 26, 2018.

This event was not only a place to see a little snippet of this long-awaited documentary of mine, but it also provided an amazing showcase of talented musicians performing some truly inspired versions of the song.

As today is the last day of August, this seemed like a good moment to share one of those tasty nuggets.

In this clip, Brad Kay channels the spirit of Noel Coward to transform Richard Berry‘s iconic song into something unlike any other LOUIEs you’ve likely heard before.

I think it’s a wonderful reinvention!

Cheers!


https://youtu.be/Mc6s_2vddq4

the real Noel Coward

REFERENCE LINKS:
Wikipedia – Noel Coward
LOUIE road trip (August 2018- part 3) (w/ LOUIE of Week)

Memories of KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE

Today is a special anniversary for the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon event that began at 6 pm (PDT) on Friday, August 19th of 1983 in Los Altos Hills, California. For 63 hours, the song was celebrated with a special live radio broadcast that showcased over 800 unique recordings of the song written by Richard Berry.

This was the event that inspired the documentary project of which this webpage is a part of.

Today to celebrate this event, we’re sharing some rare, never-released footage from that wild weekend.

Here is a rare video recording of Richard Berry performing his 1956 composition “No Kissin’ And A-Huggin,'” which was part of the un-aired warm-up session before the live 45 minute version of LOUIE LOUIE, both of which were backed up by the Lady Bo Trio along with special guest Jack Ely, original vocalist of the Kingsmen.

Apologies for this being a truncated version of the song. When I originally shot this footage, I really should have captured the whole performance of this song… but what’s done is done, and this is what I’ve got…. one of the very few video recordings of Richard performing this very special song.


https://youtu.be/DK5w7T8Dmd4

My friend Jeff Stretch Riedle also shared some memories of that weekend…

The live 45 minute version was something else. Once it started, and it was done without any rehearsal, it developed a life of it’s own. Lady Bo’s added lyrics were priceless. In addition to the infamous Jack Ely being there (who barely 24 hours earlier was sitting at home many miles away) and meeting AND performing with Richard for the first time, many of those in the crowd who were locals also got to participate. Musicians and singers alike added to the performance, all done in an impromptu manner. [Even Stretch tried his hand at singing a few words, but he also noted that he forgot them while doing so. Imagine hearing Louie Louie over and over and not being able to remember the words?!!]

Here’s a snippet from that legendary 45 minute performance of LOUIE LOUIE…


https://youtu.be/y5bL7lcCwuM

I’m also sharing some images from that LOUIE LOUIE weekend, many of which have also never been seen before.

Before the Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon began, there was a special record release party at Tower Records in Mountain View to celebrate the brand new “BEST OF LOUIE LOUIE” album released by Rhino Records, which came out in conjunction with KFJC Radio.

All these images are screen captures from 3/4″ videotapes.

Richard Berry signs an album for a young woman whose name has been misplaced.

Here’s another woman whose name has also been misplaced.


This our friend DJ Robyn Ginsburg (Braverman), aka “Niki Teen.”

Here’s Robyn with DJ Hannah Seaver, aka “Hazel Fenster.”

I loved this special sign Tower created for this event.

Here’s some images from KFJC studio hours before the start of the marathon..

Continue reading Memories of KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE

Paul Revere & Raiders 2019 Revival

2019 has been a very good year for fans of Paul Revere & the Raiders music. With the recent release of Quentin Tarantino‘s latest feature film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which prominently features four songs by Revere & the Raiders, there’s been a lot more interest in this great rock ‘n roll band.

While I still haven’t seen the film yet, I’ve been told that “Good Thing” is the song that that gets the most attention.

A few years ago during a “Record Store Day,” I remember seeing a photo of Quentin Tarantino proudly holding a Paul Revere & the Raiders album.

Antone’s Record Shop of Austin shared that photo with an extra backstory..

Quentin Tarantino named us in his top 3 favorite record shops in the world! Thanks Tarantino, we like you too!

The soundtrack for his new movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood features a track off of this Paul Revere and The Raiders album he bought from the shop a few years ago. How cool!

The film is a fictional film with a story line that incorporated the real life events of the tragic Manson murders of Sharon Tate and three other people in 1969. Sadly, there was a real life-connection to Paul Revere & the Raiders.

In the late 1960s, Mark Lindsay, lead singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders, shared a house with producer Terry Melcher at 10050 Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon, CA, where they wrote a handful of songs that became hit records for Revere & Raiders. After both Lindsay and Melcher moved out of the house, director Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate moved in.

Apparently, Charles Manson met up with Terry Melcher at this house, hoping to jump start his musical career. After Manson’s music was rejected, He instructed some of his companions to go to Melcher’s house, and kill him. When they found that Melcher no longer lived there, they decided to kill whoever was at that house at that time, which included Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger.

Mark Lindsay discussed this chain of events in a recent interview for Billboard magazine, which he described on his Facebook page as a “sobering interview” …. “about the good times and the bad times at 10050 Cielo Drive.”

It was “Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon,” as well as the aforementioned “Hungry” and “Good Thing,” that Tarantino included in his film, which blends fact and fiction about the era, with the latter song grimly tied to the tragedy of the Manson murders. “We wrote ‘Good Thing’ under the beam where the rope was apparently thrown over Sharon and Jay’s necks,” says Lindsay, still astounded by the extreme violence. “When we heard about what occurred, it was the biggest shock of my life because that was the last place that I could ever think something bad could have happened.” As a result of the murders, Lindsay notes the mood in Los Angeles was altered both drastically and permanently. “It was a pretty freaky time. Everybody was locking their doors, hiring bodyguards and getting guard dogs. It just changed the atmosphere overnight.”

Mark’s Facebook page shares a lot of interesting new articles about his band, which often includes updates, insights and corrections, including this little tidbit about a webpage that shared a brief history of the band:

This article was written sometime after 2014 and as these things go, is pretty accurate. If you’re questioning that Paul had a partner in the Reed & Bell Drive In…it’s kind of clunkily worded…but when Paul divorced Connie, she got the drive-in (her parents had lent them the money to start it)…she married “Moonie” from the band…so “Moonie” became co-owner of the Reed and Bell, but after Paul was out of it.

Both of those articles mention the Revere & Raiders recording of LOUIE LOUIE, which was a significant part of the band history.

Speaking of Raiders and LOUIE LOUIE, there actually is a brand new version of the song that was recently released by Paul Revere’s Raiders – the authorized band that backed Paul Revere for over 40 years, and still going strong in 2019.

Click HERE to order the new CD. If that link doesn’t work, go to PaulReveresRaiders.com and click the CONTACT button! .. or visit the official Facebook page for Paul Revere’s Raiders!

______________________________

Reference Links:
Mark Lindsay’s OFFICIAL (Facebook) Page For Fans
Paul Revere’s Raiders official Facebook page!
Variety – Paul Revere & the Raiders’ Mark Lindsay on Meeting Charles Manson, What He Thinks About Tarantino’s Film
Way Back Attack (Michael Jack Kirby) – Paul Revere & the Raiders
Discogs Blog – Quentin Tarantino Is As Proud Of His Soundtracks As He Is Of His Films
The Revolutionary Hits of Paul Revere and The Raiders LIVE CD

Archival Storage Space Blues

“Space . . . the final frontier.

These are the voyages of your intrepid archival researcher documentarian . . .

To seek out reasonable and sustainable storage space . . .

. . . and to boldly finish a project that’s taken considerably longer than five years . . .”

_________

Yes to all of that…. especially the part about reasonable and sustainable storage space. It’s certainly not an easy task when one happens to live in an area where real estate prices are absolutely bonkers these days.

Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area, where the producers of this long-awaited LOUIE documentary happen to reside. Yes, things are overpriced and overcrowded, but it’s still home to us.

The LOUIE documentary is still on track for completion in the near future, but there are still assorted snags that have slowed down the process.

During this month of July, the assets of a long-time storage space used by a principal player of the LOUIE team are being transferred to a newer and considerably cheaper facility. As the various boxes of media are being relocated to the new location, exhaustive notes are being used to provide a more reliable inventory of the various assets.

(I.E.: I got tired of the constant rent increases every year that seem to be the common thing with storage spaces)

It definitely takes some serious time to do all this.. especially when it’s just one person doing all the work; the note taking, the photography, the organizing, the lifting and the driving. It does get quite exhaustive…

Needless to say, there haven’t been as many updates this month at the LOUIE Report website as I would have liked.

Along with the process of assembling the wild story and getting the proper clearances, one of the other things we’ve spent serious time discussing is the idea of finding an eventual permanent home for the LOUIE LOUIE archives.

The LOUIE archives, which is still being expanded as we continue to do even more research on the subject, will not only include all the videotapes used for production of the documentary project, but will also feature:

– the Stretch Riedle Louie Archive Collection [records, tapes, video, printed matter, autographs, toys, clothing, etc.], probably the most comprehensive collection of Louie Louie audio recordings and materials;

– the KFJC Maximum LOUIE event aircheck tapes for this 63 hour event;

– the Feirtag / Flip Records estate music collection, which includes the original metal stamper for Richard Berry’s original 45 release;

– the LOUIE Fest of Tacoma 2004 + 2008 official video archives;

– the KALX LOUIE marathon 1985 tapes;

– At least two cases of never-opened LOUIE LOUIE wine cooler;

– a copy of FBI LOUIE files autographed by Richard Berry, Jack Ely, Mike Mitchell, Lynn Easton, Ken Chase and other assorted principals;

– assorted newspapers and magazines with LOUIE-related articles;

– various LOUIE-related toys and merchandise

We haven’t sent out any active feelers yet for any of the potential archival foundations or institutes that might be a good fit for this massive archive, but we thought we’d start off with this web post as a starting point.

Consider yourself one of the lucky ones by the fact you’ve read this article.

If you happen to represent an enlightened organization that might want to adopt this unique collection, please feel free to send an email to “archive” at this very website. We’d LOVE to to talk with you.

In the meantime, as I’m sorting through some rather massive piles of stuff in my storage space, I’m seeing a lot of music and film magazines (not related to LOUIE) that were were collected over the years that I’d like to find new homes for. It saddens me that so many of the public libraries tend to dispose paper periodicals in favor of the digital versions. As much as I love my high-tech devices, I have an even greater appreciation for paper products, which still feels like the superior way to read articles.

Do you know of any great organizations that are still collecting paper periodicals related to to music, film or other arts?

Please feel free to share such details in the comment section.

E.P.
of the LouieLouie.net pages and the upcoming LOUIE documentary

a Lost LOUIE – the pre-Flamin’ Groovies

Aldo Pedron shared this wonderful vintage image on Facebook five years ago, which was then shared in a Flamin’ Groovies Facebook group

CHOSEN FEW
1965
PRE – FLAMIN’ GROOVIES

Cyril Jordan ( guitar), George Alexander (bass),
Tim Lynch (rhythm guitar) were in school together and has this band which played school dances and social affairs.
( this band , there is no relation to the Chosen Few who recorded on Autumn records or even nor any of the other Chosen Fews you might be familiar with).
In 1966 they changed name to
THE LOST AND FOUND with the addition of
RON GRECO on drums.

As far as I know, that particular performance was NOT recorded.

When this band transformed into the Flamin’ Groovies, they did indeed perform LOUIE LOUIE multiple times, and recorded this studio version during the “Teenage Head” sessions.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpMPQaJAjvM

…. but we’re still hoping SOMEONE recorded that 1965 version by “Chosen Few.”

Hope springs eternal, ya know…?

LOUIE’s in the House – a Richard Berry remix revisited

Here’s a tasty little gem for Friday the 12th….

Three years ago, I stumbled over an inspired remix of Richard Berry‘s original LOUIE LOUIE recording. Blue Johnson aka Bangkok Blue did a jazzy remix of the song, and shared it with the world via YouTube.

He called this revision “LOUIE’s in the House!”

Sadly, not long after I discovered this track, and made contact with him, Blue Johnson passed away.

blue-johnson

I thought today would be a good time for a second serving, so in the words of Rockin’ Robin Roberts, let’s give it to ’em, right now!!


https://youtu.be/3QjL1J0QFb0

REFERENCE LINK:
Bangkok Blue -Louie’s In The House – LOUIE (Remix) of the Week

The Death of MAD Magazine

There’s a lot of current affairs that have brought an excessive stream of sadness and anger, but the recent news regarding MAD Magazine really feels like a serious kick to the guts.

I’ve been reading all sorts of autopsy reports about the end of this iconic magazine, and it saddens me deeply. This is a magazine that I literally grew up with…. one of the things that turned me to a voracious reader.

At 1:19 am on July 4th, artist Bill Sienkiewicz shared his thoughts on this sad turn of events on his Facebook page, and I agree with every single word of this…

I hope people can understand what this means to us a nation; both as a culture and as a functioning critical society.

MAD wasn’t JUST a humor magazine. It’s not just the end of an era, it’s the end of what constituted the perfect blend of words and pictures, of brilliance and irreverence, of some of the core aspects of what made the latter part of 20th century America great.

Some would ask, “what was so great about it?”, but come on. A lot of amazing things happened during MAD’s prime years, and a great great lot of awful. And a great deal of the awful – and the trippy weird euphoria- were the willing and unwilling target of MAD’s legendary “gang of idiots’ “ barbed arrows.

MAD helped raise the GOOD Boomers. I’m absolutely serious. The ones you like and maybe even respect—MAD magazine is partly responsible: it was that important.

Print media seems to be struggling if not dying, and critical thinking has definitely gone missing at worst and online at best, albeit increasingly fractious and fragmented—If not outright suspect- by the very corporate and right wing interests that MAD used to lampoon mercilessly. (As well as, sadly- by an increasingly humorless segment of the Left.)

MAD offended -and entertained- everyone. On both-ALL- sides of the political/societal spectrum. It poked fun at our world, and made us not only think about— but ridicule and laugh at —our inherent hypocrisy , corruption , and flawed humanity. It did so brilliantly.

We need to learn the lessons MAD was teaching us. I’m not kidding. This isn’t just about a magazine ceasing publication.

To paraphrase Alfred E. Neuman, “ What, us worry?”

Yes.

MAD Magazine was recently relaunched with Bill Morrison as the new editor at their new brand-new Burbank office, having made the big transition from their longtime New York offices. I was really impressed with with the new direction, and had high hopes for the future of this magazine.

Then, the powers-that-be decided to fire Bill Morrison after 7 issues.

A few months after that decision, a decision was been made to kill the magazine, printing two more issues of original material, followed by a few more issues comprised of reprints to fulfill subscription obligations. After that, there will more reprints, and perhaps a few year-end retrospective annuals with some minor attention paid to current events.

I blame the clueless bean-counters of the company that recently bought out the Time-Warner empire. They clearly had no real appreciation for the legacy of this 67 year old publication.

It didn’t have to end this way and I am rather angry over the recent turn of events.

I’m hoping some other company or a deep-pocketed individual with a real appreciation for this legacy will step up to the plate and liberate this iconic funny book. It really deserves better.

I really enjoyed John Carpenter’s Twitter response to the current situation..

In the meantime, here’s a LOUIE-centric except from a 1979 MAD Magazine movie parody.

This is from the Animal House parody printed in MAD magazine #19 (July 1978), featuring words by Arnie Kogen and art by Mort Drucker.

Here’s an ironic in-house advertisement from an early issue of MAD, back when it was a comic book.

– E.P. of LouieLouie.net

________________________________

MORE ARTICLES YOU SHOULD READ…
ComicBook.com – MAD Magazine to Cease Publication
Mark Evanier – MAD Meanderings
NY Times – Mad Magazine, Irreverent Baby Boomer Humor Bible, Is All but Dead
CartoonBrew.com – Brad Bird, Weird Al, John Carpenter, Mark Hamill & Others React To End Of Original ‘Mad’ Content
The Daily Dot – Mad Magazine is going away, and everyone is in mourning
Rolling Stone – Mad Magazine Is Effectively Shutting Down
Wikipedia – List of film spoofs in MAD comics/magazines
Bill Sienkiewicz’s 1:19am Facebook post=
Washington Post – Mad magazine’s demise is part of the ending of a world
Smithsonian – In Its Heyday, Mad Magazine Was a Lot More Than Silly Jokes
AdAge – MAD Magazine To Stop Publishing After 67 Years
ComicBook.com – Mad Magazine Fans Turn to Petitions and Twitter in Last Ditch Effort to Save Publication

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Petition · DC Comics: Save MAD Magazine · Change.org