The Unlikely Adventure of Emma Berquist

Today’s post may not seem to have any obvious LOUIE connections, but it’s a human story that I thought was worth sharing.

This post refers to a scary real life story of Emma Berquist, who survived a terrible assault in New Zealand.

Emma is the daughter of my friend and film school teacher Lon Berquist.

Lon was in charge of the public access TV program that I used when I borrowed some video gear to document a crazy LOUIE LOUIE marathon at KFJC Radio many years ago, which somehow became the starting point for this LOUIE documentary quest that this website is connected to.

Emma lived in “dangerous cities” in the USA, but got attacked, and almost killed in “peaceful” New Zealand.

Emma’s story is a scary one, but it’s well written and has a good ending (she survived).

In fact, I enjoyed so much I decided to subscribe to Medium.com, the website that shared Emma’s story.

Check it out…

Baby We’ll Be Fine – by Emma Berquist

MIA at the 2020 Grammy Awards? (the forgotten ones)

Many of us were excited when we found out that Iggy Pop would be receiving his lifetime achievement award at the Grammy Awards last Sunday. We figured there would be a special ceremony where someone would say some nice words and then we’d witness a musical performance that celebrated the musical legacy of this man.

We watched the whole show, sometimes fast-forwarding through the commercials and a few less-than-stellar performances. We did see a small tribute for fellow lifetime achievement award winner John Prine delivered by Bonnie Raitt, but when the four hour show finally came to an end, we asked ourselves… “What happened to Iggy?”

As it turned out, we missed the part of the program that focused on all of the lifetime achievement awards of 2020. Sandwiched in between Demi Lovato‘s performance and the Nipsey Hussle tribute, there was a very small segment on these awards, sort of wedged within a long commercial break. Iggy Pop, along with Roberta Flack, Isaac Hayes, John Prine, Public Enemy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe were each given a brief acknowledgement of these special awards.

Iggy’s segment lasted all of 5 seconds. If you sneezed at the wrong moment, you would have missed it… which is exactly what happened to us at LOUIE Central.

According to the official Grammy page, a special award presentation ceremony and concert celebrating the honorees will be held on April 18, 2020, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Additional details regarding the ceremony will be announced shortly.

So we’ll save that celebration of Iggy Pop for later…

In the meantime, we did enjoy much the rest of the show, even if our favorite parts typically involved the elaborate dance sequences.

As always, there was a special segment designed to acknowledge the dearly departed, and we were glad to see our friend Kim Shattuck of the Muffs and the Pandoras acknowledged, as well as kindred spirits Dick Dale, Neil Innes, Gary Stewart, Roky Erickson, Daniel Johnson, Dr. John, among others.

That being said, we thought there were a few people that should have been included in this list, so here’s our special addendum …

RIP: Dorothy Berry

Dorothy Berry‘s passing didn’t receive a lot of attention outside of her immediate circle of family and friends, but her musical legacy is certainly worth noting. As the high school sweetheart and wife of singer-songwriter Richard Berry, she had a direct impact on the the legend of the song LOUIE LOUIE. She was with Richard when he wrote the song and the publishing rights to that song were sold to pay for her wedding ring. In addition to being the primary muse for Richard, whom she was married to for ten years, she was also a solo recording artist that worked with Phil Spector, David Gates, H.B. Barnum, and Gary Paxton, among others. In 1968, she started working with Ray Charles, providing harmony vocals for various productions, eventually joining Ray as a member of his Raelettes in 1971, playing music all over the globe for over 10 years.

RIP: Roy Loney, founding member of Flamin’ Groovies

Roy Loney was a founding member and original lead singer of the Flamin’Groovies, a highly-influential San Francisco band that began in 1965, releasing three albums before Roy left the band. According to various sources, the last album featuring Roy – “Teenage Head” was considered so similar to the music of the Rolling Stones that Mick Jagger considered it a better album than their own “Sticky Fingers” album, both of which were released in 1971.

During Roy’s time with the Groovies, the band also became concert promoters for a brief period. After Bill Graham pulled out of the original Fillmore Auditorium to create the new Fillmore West on Van Ness, the Groovies took over the lease of the building, putting on a handful of shows, and renting out the hall for special occasions. The most memorable show they ever promoted was a concert in 1970 that included Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Commander Cody, an amazing super-bill that failed to draw a crowd, contributing to their early retirement as concert promoters.

After Roy left the Groovies in the early 70s, he went to work as a talent scout for ABC Records before forming the Phantom Movers, a roots band, which Rolling Stone magazine labelled as “punkabilly.”

RIP: Don Baskin of Syndicate of Sound

Don Baskin was a founding member and lead singer for Syndicate of Sound, a band from San Jose, California. They had a hit record with “Little Girl,” reached the US national pop charts in June 1966, peaking at #5 on Cash Box and #8 on Billboard.

RIP: Robert Hunter, songwriter for Grateful Dead

Robert Hunter was an American lyricist, singer-songwriter, translator, and poet, best known for his work with the Grateful Dead. Robert wrote lyrics for quite a few of the Grateful Dead’s signature pieces, including “Dark Star”, “Ripple”, “Truckin'”, “China Cat Sunflower”, and “Terrapin Station”

RIP: Mike Wilhelm of the Charlatans, Flamin’ Groovies, Loose Gravel

Michael Wilhelm was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the influential Bay Area band the Charlatans, who have been widely credited as starting the Haight-Ashbury psychedelic scene during the 1960s. He also played with the bands Loose Gravel and the Flamin’ Groovies.

RIP: Peggy Lipton, actress + singer

Peggy Lipton was an American actress, model, and singer. As a singer, three of Lipton’s singles landed on the Billboard charts.

RIP: Barrie Jackson, manager of Wailers, Sonics

Barrie Jackson was a manager of the Sonics and the (Fabulous) Wailers, two great bands from Tacoma, Washington.

(amazing photo © Marilyn K Wagner / San Jose Fountain Blues Fest)

RIP: Ted Gehrke, San Jose blues king

Ted Gehrke was the founder of the San Jose Foundation Blues Festival, the longest-running blues music festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.

RIP: Tom Guido, garage rock impresario of North Beach SF

Tom Guido was responsible for reviving the legendary Purple Onion, a nightclub in San Francisco that began in the 1950s, and found a new lease on life in the 1990s. From 1994 until 1999, Mr. Guido provided a warm home for this music we like to to call “garage rock.”

Can you think of any other great musicians or music industry folks that we lost within the past year that didn’t get proper attention at the Grammys?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in these comments…
________________________________

Reference Link:
Grammy.com – 2020 Special Merit Awards Recipient Announced

LOUIE Micro-Mentions #1 (Don Imus, John Fogerty, Frank Zappa)

It’s time to make note of a special category of LOUIE moments.

LOUIE Micro-Mentions“- is the special type of moment when the song LOUIE LOUIE is mentioned, but not performed.

We’ll start off with these three Micro-Mentions…

1) Don Imus, the controversial disk jockey that recently passed away last month, released a LOUIE-related 45 in 1964.

As our friend Clark Besch pointed out, “The Boogala,” the B-side of “I’m A Hot Rodder” by Jay Jay Imus and Freddy Ford (Don Imus and his brother Fred), mentions LOUIE in the opening.


https://youtu.be/qrEsWlwz9Ng

2) On the October 19, 2015 episode of Conan O’Brien‘s TBS show, John Fogerty was asked to sing “a little something” with a guitar that was conveniently placed near Conan’s interview couch.

“What would you like, a little LOUIE LOUIE?” Fogerty asked, but didn’t play. (Conan wanted a Forgerty song)

Thanks to Len Sarfati for sharing this one!


https://youtu.be/qJUxdhbxqfg

3) Frank Zappa asks “Do you want Grace Slick to sing LOUIE LOUIE?” at a Zappa & Mothers of Invention late show November 14, 1970 at the Fillmore East, New York City. (05:29)


https://youtu.be/lDRUvpDmsyQ

More to come….

Days of Christmas LOUIE – part 3

Today, the “Days of Christmas LOUIE” celebrations comes to an end.

Our friend Clay Stabler shared the remaining LOUIE LOUIE clips over at the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group as part of a “Days of Christmas” theme, starting the new year with Day 8.

On the 8th day of Christmas (and the 1st day of 2020) — “Lui Lui Non Ha” from I Mitomani.


https://www.reverbnation.com/imitomani/song/4570696-lui-lui-non-ha

On the 9th day of Christmas — LL by Havanasol (channeling Axl Rose).


https://soundcloud.com/havanasol/louie-louie

On the 10th day of Christmas — a laid back version by the Once Removed Blues Band featuring Ruth Israel.


https://soundcloud.com/ruthisrael/louie-louie-kingsmen-blues

On the 11th day of Christmas — a vintage LL version by the XSonics from the mid-60’s:


https://soundcloud.com/melanie-mousel/louie-louie

On the 12th (and final) day of Christmas — Deep Purple does LL in concert (Rome, 2017). Unfortunately this video cuts off in the middle of the track! Jon Lord (died 2012) was also noted for quoting LL in “Lazy” (see The Louie Report, 7/12/2012). The Made In Japan album has a fine example.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax33CZPZgKo

For some of my friends that may not be familiar with the concept of celebrating 12 Days of Christmas after Christmas, I share this solid overview summarized in an article “When Should Tree You Take Down Your Christmas and Decorations?” from (UK) Independent. (please support this paper – please subscribe!

Confusion is rife as to when Christmas is formally over – and after exactly which evening decorations are said to bring you bad luck.

Christmas, which combines the marking of Jesus Christ’s birth with the old pagan date for mid-winter celebrations, formally begins on 25 December.

That and the following 11 days count as “Christmas”, with each day in the past celebrated for its own special reason – from commemorating St Stephen the martyr on the 26th to remembering the baby boys slain by King Herod on the 28th.

One of these days is celebrated as Twelfth Night – the last and final one of Christmas – and marks the coming of the Magi, or three wise men, to the baby Jesus on behalf of the rich and noble around the world.

A count of exactly 12 days from 25 December arrives at 5 January. According to the Church of England, Twelfth Night is 5 January, and the day of Epiphany – when the three wise men came – is 6 January.

Celebrate this Epiphany!

REFERENCE LINKS:

the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group

UK Independent – When Should Tree You Take Down Your Christmas and Decorations?

Epiphany, the Feast of The Three Kings

The Latest List of All Known Versions of LOUIE LOUIE

With the beginning of the new year, we thought this would be a good time to acknowledge the latest efforts to answer the question “How many versions of LOUIE LOUIE are there, anyways?”

Our friend Clay Stabler has created a special Wikipedia page to answer that very question.

“Making progress on the LL discography on Wikipedia, but am finding more than I bargained for. Currently at 2300 entries with another 550+ yet to be added from YouTube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, Soundclick, etc. Looks like the total will be well north of 2850. With the inevitable additions over the next few years, I predict 3000 versions in the near future.”

This has been quite an undertaking. Clay’s discography Wikipedia page has included the initial LOUIE discography by Jeff Stretch Riedle + Doc Pelzel that was included in Dave Marsh’s 1993 book; the KFJC log sheets + air checks from the 1983 Maximum LOUIE LOUIE event; Theo de Grood’s LOUIE Pages website; Mike Hintze’s multiple lists at louielouieweb; Andy Martello’s webpage; the Orme Radio Italian LL Marathon playlist; Real Music Club Radio Show playlists; Discogs; Allmusic; 45catcom pages;IMDb and various other sources as well as the EP’s Almost-Complete LL Discography from these LouieLouie.net pages.

It should be noted that the Wikipedia is a limited online database, where brevity is the norm. A comprehensive online LOUIE database featuring expanded information, graphics and links is still in the planning stage.

This is very much a work in progress to be continued…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louie_Louie_discography

Days of Christmas LOUIE – part 2

It’s time for part 2 of the recycled cool versions of LOUIE LOUIE shared by our friend Clay Stabler originally over at the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group as part of a “Days of Christmas” theme.

…

On the 5th day of Christmas — a fine version by Kelly Melvin. Sounds a bit like Green Day!


https://soundcloud.com/kellymelvin/louie-louie

On the 6th day of Christmas — Greek hip hop LL by Dynasis (with Richard Berry remix intro). We’ve come a long way since 1957.

https://www.reverbnation.com/%CE%94%CE%A5%CE%9D%CE%91%CE%A3%CE%99%CE%A3/song/11361330-dynasisloui-loui

On the 7th day of Christmas — Shuffle dancers! LL soundtrack by Cid Pleasant & The Buckaroos.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYMq7gB4isw

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For the updated list and even more very special LOUIE tidbits, please visit the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/68073899480/

RIP: Neil Innes, music/comedy genius of Rutles, Monty Python, Bonzo Dog Band

Devastated.

One month after receiving handwritten lyrics from Neil Innes, and writing about his misadventures with Pledge Music on my LL blog, he passes away.

Very saddened by his passing, but feeling so very grateful that I saw him perform three times – a Rutles reunion at BeatleFest in Los Angeles, and two solo shows in San Francisco.

A gracious and talented music/comedy genius that will be be missed.

Days of Christmas LOUIE – part 1




This week, our friend Clay Stabler shared a handful of cool versions of LOUIE LOUIE over at the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group as part of a “Days of Christmas” theme.



Here’s an overview of Clay’s first four…

On the 1st day of Christmas — Louie Louie as a power ballad by Ben Caruso/Desire:


https://youtu.be/3vZouxYDdm0

On the 2nd day of Christmas — LL with latin flavor by Brave Combo:

https://www.reverbnation.com/bravecombo/song/1628248-louie-louie

On the 3rd day of Christmas — LL guitar instrumental by Jason Neubauer:

https://www.reverbnation.com/jasonneubauer/song/20125687-louie-louie-instrumental-cover

On the 4th day of Christmas — LL Pink Floyd homage by Richard Grosser. Interesting but impossible to dance to!

https://soundcloud.com/grosserr/louie-louie

For the updated list and even more very special LOUIE tidbits, please visit the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/68073899480/

Happy Holidays w/ vintage Johnny Flamingo Christmas PSA song

It’s that time of the year again.

We’re celebrating the holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus and all the other assorted December festivities as we come to the close of 2019, while preparing ourselves for the new year.

For many of us, it’s also a special time to remember lost loved ones.

With all the holiday music being played this time of the year, we thought we’d use this time to share a somewhat obscure holiday song written and sang by Johnny Flamingo, aka Melvin Broxton, a dear friend of LOUIE songwriter Richard Berry.

We’re also using this opportunity to share a discovered a previously unreleased photo of Johnny Flamingo taken by our friend Paula Berry-Wiwuga, who actually met Richard via Johnny.

This song is called “Drive Slow,” which was originally released in December 1963 as a 45 single on the Whirlybird Records ‎label.

It’s also a timeless public service announcement well worth sharing – PLEASE don’t drink and drive!

Will you be …
Will you be …
Here with Christmas time ?
Girl, I want you here when Christmas comes..
So we can be together to join the fun.
With all your office parties during the holidays..
You need to remember what I’ll always say..
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
and if you’re going to drink, don’t drive.
Don’t drink.. Oh no.. (drive slow) …
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
And darling, keep yourself alive.
You know I want you here to greet the new year in…
We’ll laugh and dance with all our friends..
Please don’t be in a hospital bed..
With your head in pain or with a broken leg.
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Baby, take care of yourself.. (don’t drink).
Oh yeah… (drive slow)…
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
And I’ll kiss you when the clock strikes 12.
Yeah… yeah… yeah… yeah..

Well, Christmas comes but once a year…
To spread it’s warmth and all it’s cheer…
Don’t forget that I love you so.
And I want to kiss you darling ‘neath the mistletoe.
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Baby, just take your time… (don’t drink)..
Oh yeah… (drive slow)…
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Cause the life you save is going to be mine.
One more time… Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Baby, take care of yourself.. (drive slow).
Oh yeah… (drive slow)…
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Cause I want to see you here next year
Remember what the sign said…
(Drive slow)… Hey hey.. (drive slow)…
Whoa whoa.. (drive slow)…

(Melvin Broxton/ BMI)

REFERENCE LINK:
Wikipedia – Johnny Flamingo

RIP: Dorothy Berry, high school sweetheart + first wife of Richard

I’m saddened to report that Dorothy Berry (Durr), high school sweetheart and first wife of Richard Berry, passed away on Friday, December 20th. She suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and died at the age of 79 years old.

Dorothy met Richard Berry during her time at Jefferson High School (Los Angeles) during the mid-1950’s. She was part of the high school a cappella choir group, and Richard was a recording artist that was often invited by his old music teacher Larry Larson to visit his alma matter. Dorothy caught Richard’s eye, and he decided he wanted to get to know her better, which led to their courtship and eventual marriage.

Dorothy was dating Richard when he wrote the song LOUIE LOUIE. As they both described that moment for the documentary project, Richard was a regular singer that appeared every Sunday night with the Rillera Brothers’ Rhythm Rockers when they performed at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, California in 1955. Richard overheard the Rhythm Rockers perform a catchy little song known as “El Loco Cha Cha,” and he decided he wanted to borrow the musical hook from that particular song to create a brand new song that he would call “LOUIE LOUIE.”

Two years later, right before the song was about to be unleashed to the public, Richard and Dorothy were about to get married, and Richard decided to sell the song to pay for a proper wedding ring for his sweetheart. The publishing rights of LOUIE LOUIE and three other songs were sold for $750, which seemed like a pretty good deal time at the time. Two weeks after the wedding, “LOUIE LOUIE” was released as the B-side of “You Are My Sunshine” on the Flip Records label in April 1957.

Of course, at that point in time, nobody had any idea just how successful this song would be.

Richard and Berry were married for ten years, and had two children together.

With encouragement from her husband, Dorothy also become a professional musician, releasing a variety of different records as a solo artist, as well as doing a lot of backup vocals for productions produced by Phil Spector, David Gates, H.B. Barnum, and Gary Paxton, among others.

In 1968, she started working with Ray Charles, providing harmony vocals for various productions, as well as recordings as a solo artist for Brother Ray’s Tangerine Records label. In 1971, she joined up as a member of Ray’s Raelettes, playing music all over the globe for over 10 years.

Sometime in the early 1980s, Dorothy decided she had spent enough time on the road and retired from the Ray Charles band. After one particular tour in the Middle East, where she witnessed the consequences of war in Lebanon, Dorothy came home to America, shaken by what she had seen. Horrified by the ravages of war, Dorothy wrote a song she called “The World Needs Peace.”

As I wrote in a previous blog post, she turned to her dear friend, ex-husband Richard Berry to help with recording this song. Richard loved the song, and agreed to sing it with her as a duet. The song was released as a 45 single that somehow got ignored by radio stations, and languished in obscurity. A few years later, Richard re-recorded the song as “What We Need,” releasing it as one of three songs on a gospel 12″ record on the Blessed label. On this version of the song, all six of Richard’s children provided back-up harmony vocals.

Here’s the original version of that song…

Here’s a YouTube clip for Dorothy’s most popular solo recording – “You’re So Fine,” which came out as a single on the Challenge record label in 1963. This song was written by Lance Finney, Robert West and Willie Schofield.

.. and here’s the flip side for that recording “Cryin’ On My Pillow,” written by David Gates.

Here’s a cute little number I really like – “I Say You’re Driving Me Crazy,” written by H.B. Barnum and released by Little Star Records in 1962.

Here’s a recording Dorothy did for Ray Charles’ record label. It’s a song called “Falling In Love All Over Again,” written by Jackie DeShannon and Jimmy Holiday.

Here’s a clip of Dorothy singing with Ray Charles and the Raelettes on the Dick Cavett Show on September 18, 1972. (She’s on the left side, wearing a blue dress)

Here’s a song that Richard wrote specifically for Dorothy – “Pretty Brown Eyes.”

Lastly, here’s a clip I shared in 2012, featuring Dorothy, her children, Pamela and Richard Marcel Berry (II), and her grandson Richard D’Juan Berry (III). Dorothy is singing with Pamela, Richard Marcel is playing bass, and Richard D’Juan is playing keyboards. The unseen drummer is Donto James, son-in-law of Richard Berry, and son of Etta James. The man with the black hat is Lucky Otis, grandson of Johnny Otis. Lucky Lloyd is the guitar player, and the male background singer is someone named Daryl, who sings with the Medallions. This performance took place on May 20th at A-Mi Hacienda in Pico Rivera, CA.

I was hoping to see Dorothy do another performance, but unfortunately, it was not meant to be. This might have been her last public public performance.

Dorothy Berry never had a proper compilation of her solo musical productions, but she is featured on the covers of two prominent CDs released by Ace Records.

Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls – “More fabulous 60s femmes from the stable of producer Gary S Paxton”

Yama Yama! The Modern Recordings 1954-1956 – This is a collection of songs Richard Berry released when he was recording for the Bihari Brothers recording empire. The cover of this collection features the only existing photograph from the wedding of Dorothy and Richard.

My heart goes out to Dorothy’s family. I’m grateful for all the memories she shared, and am so very sorry to hear of her passing.

Rest in peace, Dorothy Berry.

Reference Links
LOUIE REPORT – Dorothy Berry – the World Needs Peace
LOUIE REPORT -Berry Family 2012- LOUIE of the Week
Ace Records – Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls
Ace Records – Yama Yama! The Modern Recordings 1954-1956
Discogs – the Dorothy Berry discography (a work in progress / incomplete)