RIP: Paul Allen, philanthropist, tech pioneer, music supporter

On Monday, October 17th, we lost Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, owner of Vulcan Inc., the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trailblazers, Stratolaunch Systems and founder of Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, as well as many other ventures.

I never met the man, but I love the fact that he was passionate about music, and supported some wonderful community music programs.

KEXP Radio, a listener-powered radio station, shared these words on Paul Allen:

In 2001, Paul Allen made a transformative $3.6M gift to then-KCMU, which resulted in the station becoming independent of the University of Washington, and changing call-letters to KEXP. This venture philanthropy also allowed the station to grow and become financially self-sufficient within three years, made possible investments in technology, in particular, technology that allowed KEXP to become an early leader in internet radio, as well as investments in new partnerships with the University of Washington’s School of Music and the Experience Music Project, now known as MoPop. Mr. Allen again supported KEXP with a $500,000 gift in 2016, which helped the organization complete a $15.7M fundraising campaign to build a new facility at Seattle Center.

“Today, we say goodbye to Paul Allen with great sadness,” said KEXP Executive Director Tom Mara. “He will be missed and mourned by a city that owes him an amazing debt of gratitude. His massive support of KEXP 17 years ago came at a crucial time – it allowed KEXP to become the independent, forward-looking, mission-focused organization it is today. Paul was a lover of music; he had a deep understanding of its power and its ability to not only enrich lives, but to make the world a better place. He translated that passion for the power of music into countless projects that will live on for years and years. Our condolences go out to Paul’s family and friends in this difficult time.

I’m especially fond of how he created the Experience Music Project, a rather unique museum in Seattle designed to celebrate rock ‘n’ roll music, would include a special acknowledgement on the music of the Pacific Northwest, especially Jimi Hendrix.

I was fortunate to not only attend the 2000 opening of this museum, but I was also contacted by the EMP team to secure a photo of Richard Berry that would be used as part of the “Northwest Passage” exhibit that acknowledged the Northwest connection to the song “LOUIE LOUIE,” which also paid tribute to the Fabulous Wailers, Little Bill Engelhart, the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

There was also an interactive exhibit that allowed attendees an opportunity to play THE SONG in the museum.

E.P. at the Northwest Passage exhibit at E.M.P. opening in 2000

It gave me a wonderful sense of pride to see Richard Berry and his most famous musical creation acknowledged within this beautiful museum.

It may have been the FIRST museum to acknowledge the legacy of LOUIE LOUIE…

As fate would have it, the Experience Music Project would later transform into the Museum of Pop Culture, and I’ve been told the “Northwest Passage” exhibit is no longer part of the permanent display.

Perhaps in the near future, we’ll see a revival of that exhibit…

Rest in peace, Paul Allen.

______________

Reference Links:

The official Paul Allen webpage
KEXP Radio – R.I.P. Paul Allen
Spain News – The amazing music museum of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen
Wikipedia – Museum of Pop Culture
Seattle Times – Goodbye, EMP: Seattle landmark changes name (again) to Museum of Pop Culture

Celebrating M. Dung and Richard Berry – LOUIE of the Week

Today is a special celebration for two friends that are deeply missed. We lost Richard Berry in 1989, and Mike Slavko, aka “M. Dung” in 2017.

Today, Mike Slavko is getting inducted to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, The Class of 2018.

As Mike has often said, the experience of singing LOUIE LOUIE with Richard Berry at the LOUIE LOUIE parade in San Francisco was one of the greatest days of his life.

It actually happened twice. Once in 1988 and again in 1989.

Unfortunately, folks have only seen the 1988 performance.

Today, we take care of this, as we share a newly-assembled clip from 1989 to rectify this situation.

As a wise man named Rockin’ Robin once said, “Let’s give it to ’em, right now!”


https://youtu.be/lPOcOJNhsM4

If you would like to attend this award ceremony, get yourself over to the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco today, starting at 11:30 am. Details at this link.

.. and if you need a refresher on the 1988 parade, here’s a couple of quick reminders:


https://youtu.be/tYXOy3MIxDE


https://youtu.be/adez4kZrPMw

Jedi Jedi – LOUIE Star Wars parody of the Week

It had to happen.

The “Star Wars” themed LOUIE LOUIE parody!

The band is called Boyish Good Looks, and here’s the video:

https://youtu.be/Y1kFDelQIdE

Want more? Here’s more..

Support Royish Good Looks on PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/RoyishGoodLooks

My band, Boyish Good Looks:
http://tinyurl.com/BoyishGoodLooks
My Recording Studio:
http://www.RoyThompsonAudio.com
My Apple Inc. Auto-Tune Remixes, iTuned Steve Jobs:
http://tinyurl.com/iTunedSteveJobs

DOWNLOAD on iTunes ►► https://itun.es/i6723Jx
DOWNLOAD on Google Play ►► http://goo.gl/86amOC
DOWNLOAD on Amazon►► http://goo.gl/pwO6TF

DOWNLOAD all my Star Wars Songs ►► http://goo.gl/ogiAXx
STREAM all my Star Wars Songs on Spotify ►► http://goo.gl/Samn8A

T – SHIRTS & MERCH ►► http://goo.gl/VZoP69

Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods – LOUIE of the Week

It’s Friday… feeling a bit swamped by other events and been a bit too busy to write the update I wanted to write…

So… I figured it’s time to share a LOUIE of the Week… or every other other week.. or something like that …

To quote another, let’s give it to ’em… right now..

Here’s a very special LOUIE shared online by Green Monkey Records of Olympia, Washington.

Ladies, and gentlemen, I present to you…Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods!

Here’s some quick reviews shared on the Green Monkey Records site:

“(Tom) Dyer, a 35-year local rock stalwart and head cheese at local indie label Green Monkey Records, dips into the well of first-wave Northwest rock and roll. The result is the joyous audio equivalent of the best sloppy-drunk sweaty house party you ever crashed. Like any good band rocking a house party, Dyer and his bandmates play with grittily fun-loving chemistry, and that’s what makes this ragged little record sing.” Tony Kay – The Sun Break

“Louie Louie, in Dyer’s hands takes not only a huge left turn but an unplanned detour down an alley, across the freeway, and off into the hinterlands, so unique is the arrangement … he set out to capture the DIY spirit and the maverick vibe that the songs’ creators represented. Methinks he succeeded.” Fred Mills – BLURT

You can hear and order Tom’s version of LOUIE LOUIE by clicking here.

Purchase of the album includes unlimited streaming of History of Northwest Rock Vol. 1 (1959-1968) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

https://youtu.be/2GMuYK-5yM0

LINKS:

https://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/track/louie-louie

https://soundcloud.com/greenmonkeyrecords/albums

https://soundcloud.com/greenmonkeyrecords

RIP: Big Jay McNeely – rhythm & blues /rock n’ roll saxophone legend!

Our friend Jim Dawson shared some sad news on Sunday…

“My longtime friend Big Jay McNeely passed away at 6:15 this morning in Riverside, CA. He made his first record in 1948 and played his last gig last June. Our hearts go out to his family.”

Big Jay has been a friend, supporter and participant in the LOUIE documentary project, and we’re all very saddened by his passing.

Jonny Whiteside provided a proper perspective of Big Jay’s legacy in the L.A. Weekly:

The death of saxophonist Big Jay McNeely, felled by cancer at age 91 on Sunday, Sept. 16, shuts the door on Los Angeles’ world-changing postwar R&B explosion. McNeely was the sole surviving artist from that profoundly revolutionary era, and he epitomized it with an elegantly aggressive musicality — known as honking — which laid the foundation for rock & roll and kicked off a national craze via a horde of sound-alike responses to his electrifying 1948 debut “Deacon’s Hop.”

An unrivaled showman whose delirium-inducing shenanigans — blowing his tenor sax laid out flat on his back, prowling across the dance floor midsong, walking along the bar or out to the street — represented a perfected methodology which he executed with an almost surgical precision that reliably overstimulated listeners to a shocking degree.

Domenic Priore, author of “Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood,” shared high praise for Big Jay…

THEE transitional figure from Central Avenue’s nationally-crucial Jazz scene, into what became Rock ‘n’ Roll. Until this morning, I considered Jay the most important living musician in Los Angeles.

Domenic also added this story about Big Jay..

Dale Smallin, manager of The Surfaris and voice on “Wipe Out,” told me this: “The guy at my high school in charge of booking talent for the assemblies, slipped one past the Faculty in 1954; they hired Big Jay McNeely, under the pretense that he was a Jazz artist and was therefore giving the kids a little culture. So when Big Jay takes the stage, the entire auditorium went berserk, rocking and rolling and the Faculty was totally caught by surprise, and did NOT know what to do. This was the same year we kids were all tuning in to Vampira on KABC, hot rodding and surfing was popular, everything that became popular during the late ’50s and ’60s was in place and happening with us, but it was still kind of a secret, it wasn’t in Time magazine or the newspapers yet, so we could get away with this kind of thing, still.”

If there was one big magic moment that put Big Jay on the map of pop culture consciousness, it might have been this unforgettable photo of Jay, taken by Bob Willoughby at the Olympic Auditorium in 1951.

Marc Myers of JazzWax.com reached out to photographer Bob Willoughby for his impressions on that very special night, and here’s a few paragraphs from that exchange:

“This was really something! It was 1951, and I had been listening in my darkroom to the late-night disk jockey, Hunter Hancock. He was advertising a jazz concert at the Olympic Auditorium (the local Los Angeles fight arena) starting at midnight! The idea of starting a concert that late was really so intriguing that I had to see what it was all about.”

“As I walked in, the concert had already begun, and the main hall was rocking on its foundations! I could see the audience on their feet screaming. You could taste the energy in that air. To this day I have never seen or heard anything to match it. It was my introduction to the amazing Big Jay McNeely!”

“Big Jay stood in the middle of what normally would be the Main 4-fight ring, playing his heart out, and the crowd was exploding around him. He created some sort of resonance with the audience. In some weird way, he seemed to be playing them!”

It’s a fascinating story, and you can learn more about that event and the photographer by visiting the JazzWax.com page and the official Bob Willoughby website. (Bob passed away in 2009).

I’m grateful to have known Big Jay, who provided an interview for the LOUIE documentary, as well as various musical performances that I was able capture for posterity. Like Richard Berry, author of LOUIE LOUIE, he was an alumni of Jefferson High School of Los Angeles.

Jim Dawson, Buddy Collette, Richard “Louie Louie” Berry, and Red Callender. courtesy of Jim Dawson

There will be more stories of Big Jay, but we’ll save them for later.

If you’d like to learn about Big Jay, I’d recommend this..


Nervous Man Nervous: Big Jay McNeely and the Rise of the Honking Tenor Sax“- a book by Jim Dawson (ISBN 10: 0936433175 ISBN 13: 9780936433172), which is still available at the coolest book stores.

I’ll leave you with a never-before-seen clip of Big Jay performing live at the West Coast Live 2010 event in San Jose, CA.


https://youtu.be/H6VO4hW3HmI

MORE Big Jay McNeely reference links:

Big Jay McNeeley – brief bio by Jim Dawson – ElectricEarl.com

L.A. Weekly obit on Big Jay McNeely

Los Angeles Times obit on Big Jay McNeely

New York Times obit on Big Jay McNeely

Bob Willoughby on photographing Big Jay – Jazzwax.com

The official Bob Willoughby photo page

Big Jay at Rockin’ Race Jamboree – excellent photos at hidalgophotos.com

Nervous Man Nervous: Big Jay McNeely and the Rise of the Honking Tenor Sax”- by Jim Dawson – AbeBooks.com

Louie Louie for 2018 National Recording Registry

There’s a pile of unfinished posts I’ve been meaning to share after the busy events of August, but we’ll save ’em for another time, as Friday snuck up on me as I was dealing with all sorts of other stuff….

Meanwhile, here’s information about an effort being led by Joe Rallos to include LOUIE LOUIE to the National Recording Registry:

“Louie Louie” is one of the most iconic and covered songs in Rock ‘n’ Roll. It’s been named one of the Songs of The Century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as well as being recognized by National Public Radio, Rolling Stone and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It’s also arguably the only song to be given a special day (April 11 is International Louie Louie Day) and be the subject of an FBI investigation.

One award which is missing though is preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Having this song be included would ensure not only official recognition but also permanent preservation.

Despite the many versions of this song, the two I am pushing to get included (as a single entry) are the following:

Richard Berry‘s original 1957 version on the Flip label
The Kingsmen‘s 1963 version on the Jerden label

How can we ensure this song gets its due? Simple- send an email to rec[email protected] or write a letter to

National Recording Preservation Board
c/o Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington DC 20540-4698

Give a very brief justification of why you think this song should be added by 1st October as I’ll then email the board and include the number of people who “attend” this event to really push the cause.

Please share this event with as many people as possible and ensure you contact the board- LOUIE LOUIE!

Check out the Facebook event page at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/718307551849094/

LOUIE road trip (August 2018- part 3) (w/ LOUIE of Week)

Sunday, August 26th was one extremely busy day for yours truly!

Months ago, I made big plans to visit Southern California. I already made plans to attend the Animal House Toga Party event featuring the Kingsmen in mid-August. After learning that Gloria A. Jones, a founding member of Richard Berry & the Dreamers, was planning a big birthday bash in Los Angeles sometime late August, I thought that might also be a good time to participate in a LOUIE LOUIE event that my friend Gerry Fialka had been trying to talk me into doing for the past year or so.

As tentative plans were made for Gloria’s party to be held on Saturday, August 25, I told Gerry that Sunday, August 26 would probably be a good time for this LOUIE event.

As fate would have it, after locking down the date for Gerry’s show, Gloria’s party somehow got rescheduled to the same Sunday night….

… but that’s OK, as I can often juggle things…..

Gloria Jones has a special place in the LOUIE LOUIE universe. She was she the only female vocalist on the original Richard Berry recording of the song. I believe she may also be the last surviving member of the recording session, probably outliving all the Pharaohs* and instrumentalists used in that iconic 1956 recording that was released in April 1957 on the Flip Records label.

(* = I believe all of Richard Berry’s Pharaohs are gone, but I’m still trying to get more information before confirming any of this)

Up until a few days ago, the last time I saw Gloria Jones in person was also the last time I saw Richard Berry. It was a late night dinner at an all-night diner in Long Beach after a magnificent performance by Richard Berry and the reunited Pharaohs and the Dreamers at the Petroleum Club in 1996 – one year before we lost Richard.

I was very happy when I saw Gloria prominently featured in Morgan Neville‘s 2013, documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” which won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards.

As I reconnected with Gloria on Facebook this year, I decided I wanted to be there for her 80th Birthday party…

photograph by Laurel Buttercup Rudy

I created a special video for Gloria. She’d never seen my interview with Arthur Lee Maye discussing how he wound up recording “Gloria”- a special song written by Richard. I combined this soundbite with some clips from the 1996 Long Beach reunion shows, and assembled something on Saturday for the big party on Sunday…


https://youtu.be/ouPTPCqmVtg

While I wasn’t able to stick around for the big concert with the rest of the Dreamers, the Blossoms, Darlene Love and all the other performers, I’m glad I was able to meet up with Gloria all these years later…

Anyways, I had another party to go to…

Beyond Baroque turned out to be a wonderful space for this one-of-a-kind LOUIE event. As Gerry pointed out, this location is the world’s largest poetry center, and there’s some wonderful history attached to this building that was originally Venice City Hall, built in 1906.

Gerry assembled quite a show to celebrate Richard Berry’s most famous melody, featuring such performers as: Steve Moos & Don Kirkpatrick, Shep Stern, BSP, Suzy Williams, Brad Kay, John Cannizzaro, Reverend Dan (Music for Nimrods) among others.

It was wonderful to see the lyrics of Richard’s iconic song celebrated in an actual literary art center. People passed around various lyric sheets, reciting the original lyrics, the reinterpreted lyrics (aka FBI versions) and the otherwise surreal variations.

And of course, it was also exciting to show excerpts of this documentary of mine as a work-in-progress.

I hadn’t done this sort of thing beforee, as I had resisted other invitations in the past, but with recent changes in my life, the timing worked out in our favor.

I was humbled that three of my friends from KFJC Radio were able to join me on this one…. especially Jeff Stretch Riedle, who created the spark that inspired this documentary project. Stretch was the man whose efforts started the KFJC LOUIE marathons, including the massive 63 hour event where I decided to borrow some video gear to document the festivities. As Stretch pointed out repeatedly on Sunday, he literally died three times with three cardiac arrests one night in November 2017, and is still with us by the grace of some wonderful beings that saved his life that night.

He’s been waiting very patiently for me to finish this movie, and I really hope to do that in the near future.

KFJC survivors at LOUIE event, clockwise from bottom left:
Eric Predoehl, Robyn Ginsburg Braverman, Jeff Stretch Riedle and Keith Putney. photograph by Ellen Giurleo.

After I get a chance to properly digest all the videos of the event, and connect all the names to the awesome performers, I will be sharing footage on this page.

In the meantime, here’s a quick video of the big finale …


https://youtu.be/mMXXwCXcvU4

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On Monday, August 27, I was finally ready to relax.

I wound up at Venice Beach, not far from Beyond Baroque. After thousands of miles of driving, some serious time spent editing a few relatively short segments from the hundreds of hours of video, I was feeling a sense of freedom from a weight that I’d been carrying.

Unfortunately, I left the sunblock in the car, but that’s another story entirely….

E.P., ringleader of this LOUIE documentary project

E.P.ster at the beach / photo by Laurel Buttercup Rudy

Reference Links:

Wikipedia – 20- Feet From Stardom

Wikipedia – Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center

The Maximum LOUIE LOUIE list

KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE photo montage © Eric Predoehl

In a few hours, I’ll attending a birthday party for Ms. Gloria Jones and then participating in a very special presentation at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA.

Some of you have asked… “Is there a list of all the 800+ versions that were played at the infamous KFJC MAXIMUM LOUIE LOUIE marathon?”

I shared that list on LouieLouie.net ages ago, but the link is kinda buried, so here’s a direct link of all that documentation. That being said, there’s about a hour’s worth of the radio that wasn’t properly preserved as air checks, so this is the latest documentation of the 62 of 63 hours of this unforgettable event.

I’m still hoping SOMEONE has that lost hour in their archives… if you have access to such a thing, please speak up!

http://www.louielouie.net/kfjc-louie/iTunes-MaxLouie.pdf

UPDATE – August 30th:

The list needed to be updated to reflect the updated numbering system of LOUIEs, but it looks like this list was created with the older version of Apple iTunes, which made it easier to create customized printouts.

I’m sharing an updated list with the sub-par choices provided by the latest iTunes software. Within the next few weeks, I hope to share a better version of this list.

http://www.louielouie.net/kfjc-louie/KFJC_Max_LL_2018a.pdf

LOUIE road trip (August 2018- part 2)

The latest Pacific Northwest road trip was a short and power-packed adventure, even if a massive percentage of that time was spent driving.

Wednesday was the big drive from SF Bay Area to Seattle area, something I won’t be repeating in the near future… at least not crammed into one day.

Thursday was a day of some visits in Seattle and Tacoma, visiting a few of my consultant-advisors.

Friday was another day of driving, and preliminaries for Saturday.

Saturday was the big day for the Animal House 40 anniversary event in Cottage Grove, Oregon, which also happened to be the site for where this community hoped to reclaim the Guinness world record for the “worlds largest toga party.”

I have to admit there was something quite empowering about seeing thousands of people dancing around in these silly toga outfits, unleashing their inner Belushi, just loving life and all that sort of thing….

And the Kingsmen? Mike Mitchell, Dick Peterson and company are still delivering the goods in a wonderfully festive manner, performing a lot of other great songs besides THE ONE that everyone knows ’em for. The toga crowd of thousands loved ’em!

Did I mention I was able enlist a great video team to document this toga party with LOUIE associate producer David Jack Jester and my new friend Frank Mahoney? These guys were fantastic, and there be more photos and videos shared in the near future.

from left to right: Frank Mahoney and David Jack Jester, as photographed by Eric Predoehl

Sunday was the big anniversary of the day I first got involved with this crazy project of mine, starting off with the absurd 63 hour KFJC marathon that featured 800+ versions of THE SONG, which I happened to document for posterity, not realizing what I’d be getting myself into…

Sunday night, I had dinner at a 126 year old seafood restaurant that was literally a block away from the location of the original recording studio in Portland where the most famous version of the song was recorded by Robert Lindahl. Sadly, I didn’t see any plaques at the old studio site that commemorated this historic location, even though there were two separate events that paid tribute to this special building, with the first plaque removed by vandals sometime in the mid 1990’s.

Apparently, the new LOUIE plaque was removed for safety as some vandals tried to pry it off the wall. Bummer, but at least it’s a good hands, even if it doesn’t have a permanent home yet.

I wish I could have visited more people while I was in the NW, but it was hard to do it all with my limited time frame, but I hope to visit again in the near future.

In another hour or so, I’ll be jumping in my car, and driving to Southern California, with a special LOUIE LOUIE presentation happening in Venice on Sunday night.

Hope to see some of you there!

– E.P. of LouieLouie.net

LOUIE road trip (August 2018- part 1)

This week, things are a bit hectic at LOUIE Central. After cutting the first draft of the showcase reel + excerpt for the upcoming event in Venice, CA, yours truly decided to do a quick road trip to Pacific Northwest. If all goes as planned, I’ll be attending the Animal House event with “World’s Largest Toga Party” on Saturday.

Meanwhile, we are deeply saddened by the loss of Aretha Frankln. Our very best wishes go out to the family and friends of this magnificent woman.

– E.P. of LouieLouie.net