This week, my focus is elsewhere…. not necessarily spending a lot time in the LOUIE universe.. as there’s too much on the plate… too busy working on other projects… and otherwise trying to take care of things in my life. The life of a media freelancer is one that requires very different focus than a regular 9-5er, and my world is no exception.
With this soapbox of mine, I thought I’d share some thoughts on one of my favorite album purchases in the past five years. “Keeper,” the 2011 release by John Doe of the band X, is a collection of songs that I felt really lived up to it’s title.
When the album/CD was released, John Doe embarked a promotional tour, performing at various record stores. I’m not sure how many record stores he visited, but when he performed on August 25, 2011 at Streetlight Records in San Jose, CA, it was a striped-down affair, driving himself to this event to play a solo performance with just him and his guitar.
I brought a camera and shot a little bit of video of this show, but never got around to sharing any of this footage until recently…
“NEVER ENOUGH” was the song with the big theme I could absolutely relate to. As a dedicated archivist that’s sometimes overwhelmed by his own collection, there were certain aspects that felt so darned familiar….
“THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING” is a solid song – great story telling and catchy musical hooks.
“GIANT STEP” is another magnificent song that John describes as a “time-travelling song.”
Anyways, this “Keeper” album is a collection of songs that I fully approve. If you enjoyed any of the songs I captured, I would like to encourage you to track down this album, and listen to the rest of ’em…
Allen Toussaint, an extremely talented musician, passed away on November 10, 2015 while on tour in Madrid, Spain. He was 77 years old.
Emerging from the fertile hotbed of New Orleans R&B during the 1950s, Toussaint was the guy that could do it all – a singer, a gifted piano player, a prolific songwriter and producer of multiple hit records. He produced a string of hits in the early-mid 1960s for a handful of New Orleans R&B artists including Ernie K-Doe, Chris Kenner, Irma Thomas, Art and Aaron Neville, The Showmen, and Lee Dorsey.
He also collaborated with Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Patti LaBelle and The Band.
Toussaint’s songs were recorded by such artists as the Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley, Jerry Garcia, Ringo Starr, Little Feat, Robert Palmer, the Yardbirds, Glen Campbell, Bonnie Raitt, The Pointer Sisters, Warren Zevon, Iron Butterfly, Spirit, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and many others.
Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. In 2013 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.
At the time of his death, Toussaint was scheduled to perform with friend Paul Simon at a December 8th benefit for New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness, a charity Toussaint helped found.
He will be deeply missed by many.
Allen Toussaint wrote a song called “LOUIE,” a little instrumental that sounds nothing at all like Richard Berry‘s LOUIE LOUIE. It first appeared in 1970 on his second album, originally titled simply “Allen Toussaint” which was later re-issued on CD in 1994 on the Kent Soul record label with a new name of “From a Whisper to a Scream.”
Here’s his performance of “Working in the Coal Mine, which was an international hit for Lee Dorsey in 1966, and covered by a lot of other musicians including Devo in 1981.
Using his mother’s name Naomi Neville as a pseudonym for contractual reasons, Toussaint wrote “A Certain Girl” for Ernie K-Doe. It wasn’t quite that successful when it was first unveiled in 1961, but found some extra attention with covers by The Yardbirds and Warren Zevon.
If you’ve ever done any kind of online research on the music of the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably seen the work of my friend Sam Carlson.
The pnwbands.com page is an amazing resource that Sam assembled. It’s a virtual encyclopedia of information documenting the various rock ‘n’ roll groups that existed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia, mostly focusing on the 1950s-1970s era. Not only is it a wealth of information detailing the histories of these bands, it also documents the various venues where so many these bands performed – the armories, dance halls, auditoriums, theaters and music-friendly restaurants.
Sam was a bass player with the Regents, a rock band from Tacoma that existed from 1963 to 1967. He created this webpage not only to acknowledge his band, but also to pay tribute to the rich legacy of the music that came out of this region.
Today, I want to pay tribute to Sam for not only creating this wonderful resource, but also for his service to his country on this very special day = Veterans Day.
Sam enlisted in the US Army in 1967 at the age of 20, and spent the next 20 years in the service. His grandfather served in World War I, his father in World War II + Korea, his son in the first Gulf War + Afghanistan and his grandson served in the second Gulf War. In 2005, at the age of 58 years old, he chose to return back to active duty, serving two years at Fort Mead, MD, then volunteered for Afghanistan in 2007, where he served with the 82nd + 101st Airborne Divisions. He retired again in 2008, only to be called back to serve as an intelligence officer with the 10th Mountain Division at Forward Operating Bases Shank + Airborne. He was considered the oldest captain in the US Army until he finally retired for good a few years ago.
This month, Sam was featured in article entitled “A Late Tour of Duty” for the November 2015 issue of the AARP Bulletin. Not only was his photograph used as the primary photograph for this article, but it was also featured on the cover of this publication.
Thank you, Sam, for all that you do. You are indeed awesome, and I, for one, am very grateful for your service.
Google didn’t like the auto-play sound clips in the site (they claimed they were malware) or the software I’ve used since 1998 to make the pages so they told web.com (falsely) I was hosting malware and viruses and had them shut down the site. To fix it have to completely re-write all 7,000+ pages, eliminating the auto-play music and using Google friendly software. PNWBands.com will be back but it will take time for my old eye (macular degeneration in the other) and fingers to meet the Google Nazis’ requirements.
Here’s another LOUIE rarity I’ve never heard of.. . but it popped up on YouTube.
This is a LOUIE LOUIE by the All-Niters “Recorded Live At The Barn” sometime in 1966. It was a “stereo-sonic release” from the “Erie Record Company,” pressed by Ohio Recording Service of Toledo, Ohio. LOUIE was the final song of Side 2 of LP001, which also featured “Long Tall Sally,” “Sincerely,” and “Medley: Buckley, Happy Time.” It was shared via 9711886n’s YouTube channel.
Beyond that, I don’t know anything else about the band.
Steve Mackay, a super talented sax player and all-around nice guy, died two weeks ago on October 10th.
Last year, I had an opportunity to interview Steve for the LOUIE documentary project, which turned into a wonderful day for everyone involved. As one of last surviving members of The Stooges, he had a unique history with Iggy Pop, and had some fond memories of recording “Fun House” with producer Don Gallucci, who was also the original keyboardist with the Kingsmen.
Steve also talked about some of his other musical collaborations including some of the early bands in Michigan before he hooked up with before the Stooges.
Iggy Pop wrote these words about his old bandmate:
“Steve was a classic ’60s American guy, full of generosity and love for anyone he met. Every time he put his sax to his lips and honked, he lightened my road and brightened the whole world. He was a credit to his group and his generation. To know him was to love him.” – Iggy
Looking through my own photo archives, I actually found some images of Steve that I didn’t even realize I had.
In 1983, I was a big fan of Snakefinger and the band he often played with – The Residents. He had a new project that was all about celebrating the history of blues music and Steve Mackay was part of that.
For the first time ever, here’s some previously unreleased images of the Snakefinger Blues Band, featuring Steve on saxophone. I think the venue might have been the Old Waldorf in San Francisco.
This second photo is interesting – my focus was Steve, even though I had no idea who he was..
Fast forward to July 1, 2014. Steve was playing a little show with some guy named Dick Deluxe at Winters, a comfy little divebar in Pacifica, slightly south of San Francisco. Even though I’d been at various shows that Steve appeared at, I had never really had a chance with chat with him before.. and so I went…
As fate would have it, this guy Dick Deluxe was also part of the Snakefinger Blues Band, and that particular night was the 27th anniversary of Snakefinger’s passing.
Had I known such a thing, I would certainly would invited some of my friends that were also big Snakefinger fans!!
Needless to say, I had a great time yacking with Steve, and we wound up shooting an interview at his home a few weeks later.
Here’s a few videos I’ve shot over the years that feature Steve…
For the first time in 35 years, James Williamson, returned to the stage to perform the songs he used to perform with Iggy & the Stooges. The Careless Hearts are his backup band, and Steve is one of the special guests. The venue is the Blank Club in San Jose, the date is September 5, 2009 and the song is “I Got Nothing.”
A few years later, James Williamson is now part of a reunited Iggy & the Stooges, featuring Steve again on sax. The venue is the Warfield in San Francisco on December 6, 2011, and the song is “LOUIE LOUIE.” According to my experts, this performance is the FIRST time Iggy & the Stooges have played the song since 1974.. and I was there.
Needless to say, there will be more videos of Steve Mackay shared in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned for future details..
In the meantime, here’s a few other things on Steve that i thought deserved a second look…
Craig Englund shared this photo of Steve with these memories on Facebook:
“Hi Chachy, just want to let you know that you’ve made yourself a star among parents and we are absolutely thrilled with your superstar performance and feel privileged that you teach our kids. Thanks a lot.” – from a parent today after I performed for the kids a couple nights ago. Sometimes an email like this is all it takes to pull me out of a sad mood.
The pic was taken during Steve’s trip to my school in Shanghai. The kids were blown away (plenty of pun). It’s always a pleasure to see kids react to something as powerful as rock n roll and have the opportunity to meet it face to face and ask questions. Steve was such an approachable guy to them; they asked him everything from what kind of music did he like, how did he get so old, and finally how many bands had he been in (with this question he had to sit down to think a bit haha). Life certainly does go on but damn Steve Mackay you certainly put a profound dent in mine and I will forever wear it as a badge of honor. Love ya man and happy trails through the unknown.
Here’s a video clip of Steve Mackay with the Third Thursday Band, performing at the Riptide, a fine little San Francisco nightclub that is currently getting rebuilt after a nasty fire accident a month ago. This is a performance of a song called “Go To Hell” that took place on March 20. 2010.
Here’s a video clip of Steve playing with Vacuum Tree Head, a band fronted by my old friend Jason Berry. This is a performance of “Cushion Fortress” performed at Night Light in Oakland on Januaary 18, 2014. I’ve been informed that Peter Conheim from Negativland is responsible for this clip.
Would you believe my friend La-Ni, daughter of Snakefinger, got me a free pass into this one?
Here’s the most important LOUIE performance of the past seven days – the big 2015 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Finale!
Three core members of Paul Revere & the Raiders during the 1960s – Jim Valley, Keith Allison, and Phillip “Fang” Volk are joined by two core members of the Kingsmen during the 1960s – Dick Peterson (front and center) and Mike Mitchell (who’s hiding behind a few people near the podium).
My friend Alex Hart (son of Roger) is playing drums and Terry Currier of Music Millenium (one of my favorite record stores in Portland) is singing at the podium!
Big thanks to my friends Nola Falan and Denise Lamkin for the video!
Writer Dennis Eichhorn died last week on Thursday, October 8th, and I’m kinda bummed about it.
With the life that he lived, shared via the stories that he wrote, I imagine he probably went through dozens of different types of business cards, as he had something like a gazillion or so different jobs- detective, publisher, nightclub bouncer, social worker, bartender, concert promoter, driver, researcher, among others.
He lived a life that seemed so outrageous, filled with absurd adventures …so much that sharing his adventures via fantastic comic book stories seemed like the perfect vehicle for him.
As a connoisseur of independent “underground” comic books such as the works of R.Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, S. Clay Wilson, Dan O’Neill, Trina Robbins, Skip Williamson, Joel Beck, Peter Bagge, and so many others, I immediately embraced the “Real Stuff” line comic books written by Dennis Eichhorn. The stories were well-written with outrageous art by a lot of different illustrators.
Needless to say, when these comic book stories referenced a certain song close to my heart, I definitely felt some kindred spirits….
When I was living during a brief time in Seattle in 1996, I tracked down Denny, and we shot a little interview. Growing up in Idaho, he had memories of getting his hair cut by Paul Revere, before the Raiders became the one of the most popular rock bands to emerge from the Pacific Northwest. He was a friend of Phil “Fang” Volk, who a track star at his high school, and he worked directly with Mark Lindsay at a nightclub that Lindsay owned. There were also memories of other bands from the Pacific Northwest, as well as thoughts on the song that became a regional anthem.
I also asked Denny to share his story about how he got involved in writing comic book stories, and he graciously provided me with these words, which I’m sharing for the very first time with this newly-assembled video…
I plan on sharing some of my footage of my conversation with Denny about NorthWest Music in the near future. Please continue to check this website for updates…
When Dennis passed away, I’m grateful I was able to find out fairly quickly via my friends on ye Face***k social network, which also allowed me to learn more about Dennis. J.R. Williams, who illustrated a lot of Dennis’s stories was the first to break the news.
Richard Von Busack recycled a cool photo from Pat Moriarity, featuring Pat, Dennis, J.R. Williams and Jim Blanchard…
Dennis Eichhorn (bespectacled, below, the master of the revels), who just left us at age 70–three-score and ten, let’s not be greedy–was the anti-Adrian Tomine. No insult intended to Tomine’s delicacy and introversion. I just intend to use the much praised Tomine as a compass point to explain where the less famous Eichhorn stood. Eichhorn’s tales of feuding, f’ing and fighting in comic form were beautifully sensitive and rumbustious at the same time. He was one of the few people who could tell you about his intimate love life in print without ooking you thoroughly. Clearly the man loved women. He was a–mostly–unknown master of the autobiographical comic form, a football player, a bouncer, a bartender (in Capitola, where you could, in the 1970s see heinous, murderous behavior). Literally born in a prison, he used his art to captivate many, many others. Glad I met the man once. Eichorn tangled with some serious bruisers, and accidentally put a villain’s eye out once, and yet he couldn’t have been more nice. Thanks for the wonderful stories, which are still out there.
Here’s a wonderful image that R.L Crabb created for a compilation of REAL LIFE comic stories.
Denny eventually left Loompanics, but I heard from him again in 2003 when he was preparing to collect his best stories into one volume. He needed an interior title page, and asked if I would be interested. I dug out all my old copies of the comics and did my best to mimic the styles of the many fine cartoonists who had graced the pages of Real Stuff over the years…
After I sent him a copy of the piece, he asked if he could purchase the original. I remembered that years earlier, during a particularly dry spell in my career, I went to the post office one day and found a letter from Denny, along with a hundred dollar bill. It was like manna from heaven at the time. I sent the artwork to him, with a note telling him that it had already been paid for as far as I was concerned.
Mary Fleener shared this image and thoughts on collaborations with Dennis.
Denny Eichhorn understood something about artists. To work with one you must let your story become THEIR story. Oh sure, he would give you a script but that was just a list of ingredients, and the way you mixed ’em was up to you. Denny also understood that the key to good storytelling is a bit of exaggeration here, a touch of blarney there, all told in good fun to keep the reader’s attention. I knew exactly what he wanted with “Bad Trip”, having “been experienced” myself plenty o’ times, and after I was done, he told me how spot on the LSD visual images were….he hadn’t told me exactly how he tripped, but I knew. I felt a great bond with Denny, and I bet everyone who worked with him did, too. My heart goes out to Jane and his family.
Art Chantry provided this image of another publication Eichhorn was responsible for, with more details about his wonderful talents.
this is the cover of NORTHWEST EXTRA issue #10 from about 1989 or so. my late friend dennis p. eichhorn created and edited this free newsprint magazine in the northwest. i designed the covers through the entire history of the magazine.
it was a gloriously cheapo affair. denny discovered that simply by bidding low (i think it was $50 and there were no other bidders at all) he was able to secure all the syndicated columns for an otherwise uncovered underpopulated region of the country. basically, that meant he was able to buy the rights to print amazing writer’s work for peanuts. you can see the names of the folks at the bottom of the cover who were in this issue. amazing.
denny was also extremely close to the fantagraphics people and even worked at Loompanics, the late publisher of ANYTHING nobody else would publish. denny’s friendly charming personality won over everybody he came into contact with and he became close to ever single name listed on this cover (for instance.) denny was astonishing well- connected. you name the outsider weirdo and chances are he was pals with them.
as a result, i got to work on covers with some of the most interesting illustrators and cartoonists in the world. this is a fine example here. this is actually the crumb family xmas card from that year. denny was on their xmas card list and he loved this thing (each member of the crumb family drew themselves). denny got in touch and asked if he could use it for his xmas issue cover. they said, “SURE!”
the result was that i had to take this little xmas card and turn it into a magazine cover. but, my design cartouche for the covers of NW EXTRA was so bare bones, generic and flexible (intentionally) that i could adapt to just about anything i was handed to make into a cover. throw some red ink in there (for xmas, ya know?) and voila! done!
i also worked with michael dougan, karel moiseiwitsch, s. clay wilson, carol lay, lynda barry, drew friedman, peter bagge, j.r. williams, harvey pekar, several more crumb covers, and a host of others i can’t recall off hand. it was a wonderful opportunity to have worked on this thing with denny. it’s hard to imagine a world without denny eichhorn in it.
Dennis was also a “manager(?)” of the legendary Wild Man Fischer, who provided him with wild stories which were illustrated by J.R. Wiilams and Pat Moriarity for the REAL STUFF comic, and collected into a very entertaining standalone book!
Once again, Dennis Eichorn was one of those people I wish I spent more time with, as he was filled with a wealth of incredible stories.
Luckily for me, I’m still hearing more stories about him from his friends.
I leave with this image of Dennis Eichhorn, created by R.L. Crabb. This is from REAL STUFF #20 – the final comic of that series. A fitting way to good bye…
Gail Zappa, beloved wife to Frank, mother for Dweezil, Moon, Ahmet & Diva, and keeper of the Zappa legacy, has left us.
The official Frank Zappa Facebook page provided this statement:
January 1, 1945 – October 7, 2015
Gail Zappa, nee Adelaide Gail Sloatman, age 70, departed this earth peacefully at her home on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, surrounded by her children.
Married to Frank Zappa at age 22, Gail was a doe-eyed, barefooted trailblazer, giving equal value to her domestic and professional responsibilities as matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises. She devoted herself to partnering with her husband in the music business and raising their children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.
Gail enthusiastically executed her role as guardian of her husband’s creative life and, with his passing, strove to ensure his legacy as one of the leading American composers and musicians of the 20th century. In this and all business endeavors, Gail passionately advocated to establish clear definitions of intellectual property and copyright laws on behalf of not just her husband, but all artists. While she conducted intricate legal negotiations with corporations as grande dame of the Zappa Family Trust, she never failed to impart the sense of humor that was part and parcel of her indomitable and formidable personality. Gail, self-described as a pagan absurdist, was motivated by love in all aspects of her life, kept her authenticity intact, unbowed and, simply put, was one bad ass in the music business and political world.
Gail will forever be identified as a key figure in the creative renaissance that is Laurel Canyon. But more than any singular accomplishment, she defined herself in her personal relationships, happiest when surrounded by loved ones and artists, often one and the same. The memories she leaves behind are indeed her own art form. Her searing intelligence, unforgettable smile, wild thicket of hair and trailing black velvets leave a blur in her wake.
There is no further information to report. This is the only statement that will be released by the family.
On Saturday, October 10th, there will be the 9th Annual Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) Induction & Concert will be held at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon.
At this event, there will be a big tribute to Jack Ely, the original vocalist for the Kingsmen, who passed away earlier this year. While Jack had not been a member of band since 1963, and there had not been any full-fledged musical reunions of the original players during their 50+ year run, the surviving Kingsmen are planning to pay tribute to their original band member that night.
The Kingsmen will also be joined by Phil “Fang” Volk, Jim “Harpo” Valley and Keith Allison – former members of Paul Revere & the Raiders.
As you may or may not know, The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders both recorded LOUIE LOUIE in April 1963 at the Northwestern Inc. recording studio in Portland, with respective record releases shared nationally by Wand/Sceptor and Columbia Records. Paul Revere & the Raiders was the first rock ‘n’ roll band signed to Columbia Records (largest record label in the world during 1960s), and LOUIE LOUIE was their first record on that label. In this particular case, the smaller label that signed the Kingsmen wound up with the hit record.
This event should be a lot of fun. Storm Large, a singer from San Francisco that moved to Portland in 2002, then became very successful with an appearance on the “Rock Star” TV show and a whole slew of several critical acclaimed albums, will be receiving OMHOF’s Artist of the Year Award. A lot of other great musicians will also be there, and there will an auction of 15 autographed guitars from such folks as Robert Cray, The B-B2’s, Steve Earle, Chicago, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, to name a few. Proceeds from this event help support our music education and scholarship programs.
I’m not sure I’ll be there, but it sounds like a blast!
You can learn more about the Oregon Music Hall of Fame by visiting the official website at: http://www.omhof.org
Time for a little flashback.. or as they say in ye onine social networks, a “Throwback Thursday”…..
I’ve been shooting videos for quite a few years. One of the things I’m rather proud of is the fact I was able to capture what i’ve been told is the only footage of the band known as “Big Hair.”
Big Hair was a rockin’ little cowpunk band from San Jose, California. Scott Long, Caryl Miller, Theresa McClure, Matt Rook, Margot Lipp, Margot Lipp and Ricky Quisol were members of this fine group that had a short, but memorable run. When the band fell apart, it splintered off into various splinter groups – Frontier F-in’ Wives, Whistling Bullets, The Kettles, the Frisky Frolics, and probably some other groups I’m forgetting.
I shot some concert footage of this band at an event produced by KFJC Radio in conjunction with the I.B.S. conference (some kind of college radio consortium) that took place at at the Works Gallery in San Jose, California on November 22, 1985. This took place a few years after the infamous Maximum LOUIE LOUIE event and there were a lot of KFJC types that participated at both events. This particular concert had quite a few other bands that performed that night – Tex & the Horseheads, the Morlocks and Thin White Rope.
That night, I had a borrowed video camera that was an old tube camera with portable VHS recorder. The camera was not a great camera for low low-light situations, but it was the best camera available at the time.
After I shot this video, only a handful of people ever saw it. Decades later, thanks to the internet, and YouTube in particular, I was able to share it with a much wider audience.
Caryl Miller, who sadly passed away a few years ago, did an rockin’ version of “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” followed by Margot Lipp (now Margot Potter) performing a number called “12th Street Blues.”
Theresa also collaborated with Caryl on a song entitled “Giddy Up and Go.”
Thanks to the online social networks I was able to connect with band members I hadn’t communicated with in decades. It felt wonderful to be able to reconnect and share this material all these years later.
Then, there’s the present… with my old friend Theresa dealing with some serious struggles right now..
Theresa is dealing with real problems right now and she’s embarking some major changes in her life. She just created a GoFundMe page as a means to get out of an awful situation and move back to her old base in California.
As some of you know I’m going through a horrible divorce and I lost everything but my personal property. I really want and need to come back home as I am homeless here.
Please help me come home and rock Cali.
Thank you all for anything You can contribute.
If any of my friends out in Cyberspace can assist my friend Theresa, that would be wonderful. I haven’t seen her in decades, and would love to see her back in California again, playing music with some of her old friends again.
In fact, here’s what I’ll do….
For the first five people that read this page and then donate to Theresa’s GoFundMe campaign, I will send an archival “KFJC NO LOUIE LOUIE BUTTON.”
Whoever reads this page and donates $100 to Theresa’s GoFundMe campaign, I will give them an extremely rare LOUIE LOUIE WINE COOLER BOTTLE. If you are in or at least visiting San Francisco Bay Area, the first five that do so can choose to receive a sealed bottle with actual wine cooler, if you are of legal age. Everyone else gets an empty bottle.
You need to contact me directly if you want these items and we will work out the details – this is NOT an official offer from Theresa or GoFundMe… just me.