It was a very sad Monday when we learned that we lost Ray Manzarek to cancer. That very same morning, one of my old friends, Mike Sullivan, lost his wife Lori to cancer. A few weeks earlier, another friend of mine underwent some major surgery to remove his cancer-infected jaw. It seems like no matter where I turn, there’s always somebody else dealing with this terrible disease.
In the course of my profession as producer/videographer/camera operator, I keep hearing from a variety of different doctors, scientists, and researchers that describe how the level of cancer we’re experiencing nowadays simply did not exist fifty years ago. From what I’ve been told, there are some environmental, nutritional and cultural factors that have made such diseases a much more common occurrence in the 21st Century.
I honestly don’t know what to think, but I’m really getting tired of this crap.
Ray Manzarek was an exceptional musician that played keyboards with The Doors – a very successful band that sold millions of recordings all over the world.
I was privileged to have worked as a camera operator on three separate occasions which featured Ray as a performer- the Monterey Pop reunion event of 2007, a 2008 concert with Michael McClure at Yoshi’s in San Francisco and the WestFest of 2009 which took place at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
I also had an opportunity to interview Ray for my LOUIE documentary project when he once did a show at San Jose State University in the early 1990′s. He told me that one of the very first songs Jim Morrison ever did in public was LOUIE LOUIE with Ray’s old band Rick and the Ravens, planting a seed in Jim’s mind, which of course, led to an entirely different musical group he formed with Ray.
Not long after I participated with Rui on his book, I ran into Ray backstage at the WestFest event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. I told Ray about this photo I obtained, and he mentioned that he didn’t even have a copy of this image, so we exchanged emails, and I sent him all that I had on his old band, for which he was very grateful.
The last time I saw Ray perform was at the new Sweetwater nightclub in Mill Valley. He was playing with his old friend Michael McClure, and was joined by special guest Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. They all sounded great together, and as far as I know, it may have been the only time the three of ‘em ever played together.
I’m saddened that Ray has left us, but very grateful for all the music that he left behind… as well as the stories he shared with us.
Rest in peace, brother Ray.
To celebrate Ray Manzarek’s legacy, here’s The Doors performing LOUIE LOUIE for this week’s LOUIE!
This week, we point the LOUIE spotlight at what my fellow LOUIE enthusiasts in the LLAMAS community refer to as a “LOUIE Mutant” or a “LOUIE Clone” – a song that isn’t technically LOUIE, but one contains so much in common with LOUIE LOUIE that it feels like a blood relative.
The song is a Serge Gainsbourg composition entitled “Roller Girl” and it’s performed by Rue ’66 – a San Francisco-based band that specializes in peforming French pop songs.
The event was a big benefit show for Norton Records, a record label that suffered some damages with Hurricane Sandy. Rue ’66 was one of the bands that performed at the Elbo Room on December 16, 2012, along with Roy Loney & the Phantom Movers, Overwhelming Colorfast, The Chuckleberrys, The Tomorrowmen, The Devil-ettes, and The Dirty Robbers.
Cyril Jordan of the Flamin’ Groovies was a special guest that night, sitting in with Rue ’66, Overwhelming Colorfast, and his old bandmate Roy Loney. In this clip, you can see him playing guitar on “Roller Girl.”
This particular video was actually produced by yours truly – the team responsible for the LouieLouie.net experience- Eric Predoehl and Jesse Block. Our friend Ken “Easy Ed” Edwards provided audio recording for this video, and our pal Ken Kaffke provided some assistance with cameras.
The original version of “Roller Girl” was sung by actress Anna Karina in the 1967 French TV musical comedy “Anna,” directed by Pierre Koralnik. An accompanying soundtrack LP of the same name was released by the Phillips record company.
“A Little Sea Shanty” is the way Barry Curtis liked to describe it.
Along with Freddie Dennis, Andy Parypa and Steve Peterson, they are a mixture of former and current members of the Kingsmen (and one former member of the Sonics) performing live at Ted Brown Music Outreach “Bands for a Benefit” at Louie G’s Pizza, somewhere in Fife Washington on April, 24th, 2013.
The band is Freddie & the Screamers, and they are this week’s LOUIE! Enjoy!
In 1979, Black Flag played their first show at Moose Lodge 1873 in Redondo Beach, California. Last night, more than 34 years later, Flag — a group comprised of former members Keith Morris (vocals), Chuck Dukowski (bass), Dez Cadena (guitar/vocals) and Bill Stevenson (drums), with Descendents/All guitarist Stephen Egerton — played the same venue to an invite-only crowd of less than 200 people.
…. and LOUIE LOUIE is the last song, kicking in at the 36:09 mark.
…. which has been declared as this week’s LOUIE of the Week!
(with a tip of the hat to J.C. Clone aka Jeff Cloninger for the heads-up!)
Whenever possible, I try to find a distinctly unique version of the song LOUIE LOUIE for the ongoing weekly showcase at this LOUIE blog of mine.
This week is one of those special moments that make me go “AHA!” It’s not only a very different sounding version, using AutoTune (or similar technology) electronic effects to alter the vocals, but the YouTube video is also an extremely entertaining bit of cinema that utilizes playful backward movements in a rather poetic manner.
The musical performer is known as killthewaves, and the video was created by Dave Kwant, an award winning director and cameraman based in Hokitika on New Zealand’s West Coast.
This LOUIE LOUIE clip was filmed at Hokitika Wildfoods festival in New Zealand. You can learn more about Dave’s work by visiting his website at westcoastfilm.co.nz
This week, we celebrate the essence of LOUIE LOUIE with INTERNATIONAL LOUIE LOUIE DAY on Thursday, April 11th.
Julian Savage assembled a nice little video compilation to celebrate this very special day, using pieces of different LOUIE LOUIE recordings and fun little dance sequences from various movies and television shows.
We’ll use this clip to celebrate “All Things LOUIE!” Thank you Julian!
Would you believe that today, April 6th, is the 50th anniversary of the day The Kingsmen stepped into a studio to record to create what they initially thought was a “terrible version” of song that was a regional hit for Rockin’ Robin Robert & The Fabulous Wailers?
NOTE: Be aware that the photo on the article link is of “Jack Ely & the Kingsmen” – the touring band created by original singer Jack Ely when he was not able to rejoin the band that did the original recording.
This photo, however, is one of the very few featuring the original five members that recorded THE SONG! Gino Rossi was responsible for taking this photo!
Rock journalist Paul Williams passed away on the evening of March 27th, and it’s taken me a week to come up with the proper words to pay tribute to the man.
I’m very glad to see a wealth of decent obituaries on Paul from major publications, each acknowledging his historic role in creating one of the very first publications to focus on intelligent writing on the subject of rock ‘n’ roll music. As a 17 year old college freshman student at Swarthmore College, Paul published Crawdaddy initially as a mimeographed journal in 1966, which quickly expanded into a highly influential magazine with national distribution.
The magazine inspired a wide variety of likewise-minded publications, and also became a nurturing ground for many contributors that became very successful in different fields within the entertainment industry.
A writer first and foremost, Paul left the publishing duties of Crawdaddy to focus on his own writing. As fate would have it, a 1975 article Paul wrote about science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick for Rolling Stone magazine led to significant new interest in Dick’s works, which in turn led to Hollywood adaptations of various stories. Four months before the release of “Blade Runner,” the first film adaption, Phillip died from a stroke at the age of 53 years and Paul wound up as the literary executor for the estate. Paul held that role for several years after Phlllip’s death and used that position to get several previously unpublished Philip K. Dick novels into print.
Paul Williams was the author of over 25 books.
It was fate that I would meet him in May of 1992 at the American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, California.
I actually met Paul via his friend and future wife Cindy Lee Berryhill, who I spotted sitting alone in a booth, strumming a guitar. I struck a little conversation with Cindy Lee, who provided me with a great exclusive performance and story connected to the song LOUIE LOUIE. Later on, Paul showed up, and we had a nice little yackfest, comparing notes on Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Jimmy Carter (who I also met that afternoon), and our mutual friend Shasta Bates, a singer-songwriter from my neck of the woods in SF Bay Area.
I found out later that my friend Shasta actually introduced the two of them to each other earlier that week.
Over the years, I managed to keep in touch every now and then, mostly running into Cindy Lee whenever she’d do a show in the SF Bay Area.
Fast forward to June 28th, 2009, and Cindy Lee is in San Francisco, performing at big benefit for her husband. Paul suffered a terrible brain injury from a bicycle accident in 1995. Initially, it didn’t seem such a big deal, as Paul was continuing to write and lecture for the next year or two after the accident, but his health eventually took a turn for the worst, with Paul’s mental condition deteriorating with accelerated dementia. There were serious medical bills to be paid, with no insurance to pay for any of the massive expenses.
There was a great show of support for Paul at this event. John Doe (of X), Jello Biafra (original singer of Dead Kennedys), Debora Iyall (of Romeo Void), Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club) and John Easdale (of Dramarama) performed that night. Mojo Nixon came out of semi-retirement, visiting from San Diego to play his first San Francisco show in over 10 years. Wolfgang’s Vault, the company that purchased the assets of the Crawdaddy empire, was one of the sponsors of the event, paying tribute to the founder of this highly influential publication. Jim Marshall donated a special photographic print of Johnny Cash “flipping the bird,” auctioned off by journalist Ben Fong-Torres and Mojo Nixon.
For Cindy Lee, this event was an opportunity to showcase her new album “Beloved Stranger,” which focused on the heartache of living with a beloved sweetheart whose illness transformed him into a whole other person that was so very different from the man she married.
A few months later, there was another benefit event for Paul in Napa (north of San Francisco) featuring the “Three Wives” of Paul, featuring Cindy Lee and Paul’s first two wives- Sachiko Kanenobu and Donna Nassar.
It was really a wonderful tribute to a man who was loved with such affection. I was really touched to see this type of love, respect, and great admiration for someone that was such a big part of their lives. This really spoke volumes to me – seeing a current wife and two ex-wives come together for the cause of helping their beloved Paul. Definitely NOT the sort of thing I see happen very often….
Luckily, Paul was eventually accepted into the Medicare system in December 2009, so the biggest financial burden on the family was lifted. Paul was placed in an assisted care facility, which took care of his basic needs.
It certainly hasn’t been easy for Cindy Lee Williams or their son Alexander.
Not long after the release of the “Beloved Stranger” album, Cindy Lee created a blog of the same name, as a means of sharing a journal of their situation.
Last month, Cindy shared a wonderful statement on the essence of Paul, in regards to his connection with fellow writer Theodore Sturgeon:
Paul was a loyal reader of and friend and later a champion of, science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon. He edited most of the Complete Short Stories series and wrote copious story notes. He would also read these stories aloud to me. One of the most memorable was More Than Human, where a commune of people, together form a whole being, a newly evolved mind.
I like to think that Paul was always looking for that way of being. He didn’t do it in a perfect way, as we family members can attest to, and sometimes his idealism didn’t match up with our own personal realities, but he was somehow, always hoping to find a way that the people he loved could live or be alright together as a whole. This could make for a rather complicated and not altogether natural way of handling ‘marital bliss’. But in his way, Paul was striving for a perfection that Sturgeon’s story had alluded to.
The cover of the 1953, 35cent paperback, with a cracked spine and yellowing pages says:
More Than Human,
the provocative story of six people who became-together-a new kind of humanity…..
Somewhere in this world there are six people who -together-can do anything. Some day, perhaps tomorrow, they will put their power to work and world will be transformed. In the meantime they are waiting quietly. They look-often behave-like people you know. But with a difference: they think of themselves as “I”-not “we”-because in a curious way they are One. That is the source of their strength. This is the story of how they met, and what they became…
….and what they intend to do.
A wonderful sentiment that I can certainly get behind.
Rest in peace, Beloved Stranger.
The suffering is over.
With love, tears and deepest sympathy for the family and friends of Paul Williams.