On Tuesday night, I received some sad news on Facebook about my friend Buck Munger.
April 19, 2016
just before 2:00 on a beautiful afternoon.
Buck Munger joined his favorite dog Lucee, his favorite bass player John, his best friend Jack and the best soft player he ever played with Richard on the other side of where ever.
So now it is time to go out and celebrate his life.
Go to a record store and buy a CD. No not Amazon or Target, a real record store with people working behind the register who want to turn you on to some great music. If you live in Portland try Music Millennium.
How about some live music entertainment? Go to a club this weekend and see some live music, not a DJ. Make it original music for extra credit. Pay the cover and remember to tip your bartender and cocktail waitress.
All you musicians out there, inspire a kid to play, give a less fortunate musician an instrument you aren’t using, play a gig with an old friend and remember how much fun it is to just play.
Support your local musician and you will celebrate the best part of Buck’s real cool, incredibly interested and too short life.
Thank You, Mrs. Jayne (Jablonski) Munger
Buck was a supporter of the LOUIE documentary, and one of the biggest advocates of the music community in his home state of Oregon. He had extremely colorful life, and was an extraordinary storyteller.
His career began in the Alaska as a drummer for a country western band during the late 1950s. From there, he would end up joining the U.S. Marine Corp, playing rock music with a government-sponsored band known as the Mark Five, which lasted for a few years. As his tour of duty ended, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked various jobs in the music industry, before throwing in the hat, and moving back to Oregon in 1967.
Strangely enough, a job with a new company founded by the Kingsmen‘s bassist, Norm Sunnholm, was the key to Buck’s first big break in the music industry. Buck was hired to work for the Sunn Musical Equipment Company of Tualatin, Oregon, moving back to Los Angeles to promote their new amplifiers. With a company van loaded with Sunn products and a new place in Southern California, Buck was given the mission of finding prominent musicians that would be willing to use and endorse their products.
Jimi Hendrix turned out to be Buck’s first major celebrity endorsement deal – a musician from the Pacific Northwest whose career exploded when when he moved to England. Buck witnessed Jimi’s pivotal performance at the Monterey Pops Festival and negotiated an endorsement deal that very weekend.
Buck wound up setting up a variety of other endorsements for Sunn, but setting up an alignment with the Who turned out to another major feather for his proverbial cap. His kinship with the band, particularly with John Entwistle, which turned out to a lifetime friendship.
Buck used to share some truly amazing stories about his adventures with The Who on his Facebook wall, including this funny moment involving Keith Moon at an Eric Burdon & Animals show at the Whisky in Hollywood…
There I was, left standing in the intersection, next to the XKE watching Keith Moon run laughing into the hotel waving my car keys. John Entwistle sighed, and said he’d go try to retrieve them. It had been a wild night out. I had picked up John and Keith earlier and we all crammed into the E-Type to cruise out on the Sunset Strip. We rolled up to the Whisky and handed over the keys to the valet. Keith and John were wearing their stage clothes and if not instantly recognizable, certainly somebody out of the ordinary. We were escorted up to the VIP balcony overlooking the stage. On stage were Eric Burdon & The Animals, a group that Moon and Entwistle knew well back home. After several rounds and increasingly rowdy behavior Moon leaned over and yelled in my ear. “He’s bald you know, hasn’t got a hair on his head.” Who? “The guitar player!” I looked down and it seemed to me the guitarist had not only a full head of hair, but flowing locks to boot. Huh? Moon was out of his seat, off like a shot, down the stairs, across the crowded room, up to the corner of the stage, on stage, behind the guitar player, “See!” he yelled, pulling off the wig. Holy shit! It was bedlam on stage. The bald guitarist turned and grabbed at Moon, who threw the wig into the crowd and jumped down. The guitar player dropped his instrument and took off in full pursuit across the room, catching Moon about half-way up the balcony stairs. Thankfully the Whisky bouncers arrived simultaneously and Moon was spared a beating, however we were informed our presence would no longer be tolerated and escorted to the door. Outside, waiting for the car Moonie bowed and smiled to the crowd of clapping patrons that followed us out.
One of Buck’s earliest videos, captured in 1975, shared by LOUIE associate producer David Jester, featured one of Pete Townshend‘s guitars..
Buck played a pivotal role in Sunn’s success, which transformed into a major player in the music industry during his time there. After a few years, Buck wound up doing similar work with Norlin which was the home for Gibson and Moog products. With this new job, he was able to work from his homebase in Portland.
After seven years with Norlin, the company decided to consolidate operations, and invited Buck to work at their main headquarters in Chicago.
Buck decided he wanted to stay in Portland, so he turned down the offer and decided to launch a brand new trade publication that would focus on the music scene in Oregon. He would name this new publication “Two Louies” as tip of the hat to the most famous song that was ever recorded in Portland.
Buck created a wonderful resource for the Oregon community with this publication. In era before the internet was an option, bands, nightclubs, recording studios, music shops, photographers and music fans had a place where they could share a lot of information. As a leader in his community, Buck became the instigator a lot of great things in Oregon – big celebrations for various causes and the eventual creation of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
And with all of this, Buck made sure that people never forgot the legacy of Oregon music, and the very famous song that was recorded by Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders at a Portland recording studio in 1963.
UPDATE: Some of the original statements have been revised.
David Jester shared some details that I missed…
Buck was the founder of The Portland Music Association that started when his friend Peter Burke, (the founder of BMI) came to Portland and talked at a meeting of all the musicians in town at Key Largo.. I recorded that also… I was one of the founding members who put up $20 are the first meeting to put out the first PMA newsletter in 1984 ? or maybe it was 1985?… Buck was the 1st President I believe… Buck was instrumental in establishing the Mayor’s Ball tradition which really put Portland on the International Musical Map…
Terry Currier discussed Buck’s involvement with the Oregon Music Hall of Fame on the OMHOF Facebook page:
Today we lost one of the greats of the Portland Music scene…Buck Munger. Though the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, his publication Two Louies covered the Portland Music scene. Buck championed a lot of artists over this time and after. Before all that, he was the artist rep for Sunn amplifiers. Buck hung with the stars like Eric Clapton, The Who, ZZ Top and here scene with Tom Petty. One of my favorite photos is Buck with Eric Clapton during the Cream years at an empty Memorial Coliseum probably before or after soundcheck. He was involved in the Portland Music Association and putting on the Mayor’s Balls. He was a wealth of information about what went on in Portland. For 3 plus years, Buck called me regularly, trying to get me to start what eventually became the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. I had a full plate and told him I just did not have time to do that on top of having a record store, a record label and a record distribution company as well as being involved in many music based organizations. One day I had a weak moment and said “Yes Buck…I’m going to do it.” I’ve never regretted it and because of the prodding by Buck, The Oregon Music Hall of Fame was created.
There are so many stories and memories I could tell about Buck but today, I think I’ll just reflect my conversations and encounters with Buck. He was a one of a kind character with a passion for music…especially the music that was being made in Portland. Buck was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame because of this passion and all he did to help to champion the music scene here. He got Billboard magazine to do a multi-page feature on what was going on here. We will miss you Buck
It’s been awhile since we’ve shared any status updates on the LOUIE documentary, so here’s a little rundown of what’s been going on…
FIRST of all, the film is still being assembled. Most of the principal photography has been completed, but there are still a few interviews we’re hoping to capture, and there’s also been talk of filming some brand-new sequences with some of the surviving principals which may or may not happen.
SECOND, we are very excited to announce a new member to our LOUIE LOUIE team.
Martin Bucky Cameron of DogBrain Studios, will be providing some animation and motion graphics for the project.
Check out this test mock-up he created for the project..
Here’s another example of his magnificent animation. This one was created for the upcoming KSAN radio documentary, another project featuring the talents of the LOUIE team. (Jesse Block, co-producer of LOUIE, is the director for this one)
THIRD, We ARE sitting on some mind-blowing material, if we do say so ourselves. We’ve got some stories about this song that have NEVER been shared publicly, as well as some exclusive audio and video recordings.
– Members of The Playboys, the very first band to ever cover Richard Berry‘s legendary song provided a recent interview and their never-released recording of the song.
– Ken Chase, original producer of the Kingsmen, shared the untold story of the Indiana ban on the song.
– Early audio recordings by the Kingsmen before they ever did LOUIE LOUIE.
– A variety of LOUIE LOUIE recordings by unlikely recording artists, subject to licensing agreements.
– The first and only performance of Richard Berry (songwriter of LOUIE LOUIE) and Jack Ely (original Kingsmen vocalist) backed by the Lady Bo Trio.
The initial film will not be able to share all of the stories but the eventual Blu-Ray/DVD compilations will definitely have a wealth of bonus footage.
FOURTH, This documentary, with a few exceptions, has been mostly self-funded.
We plan to embark on a new crowd source fundraising campaign in the near future.
– Eric Predoehl (producer, director, webpage guy for the LOUIE project)
While I may be somewhat jealous, and I am also in complete awe over the fact that this project is being funded this way.
I also made my largest pledge I’ve ever given to a Kickstarter campaign, because I am fan of Frank Zappa, and I would love to see the unreleased, exclusive footage that’s only being shared with certain Kickstarter supporters.
Check out this rare clip just released by the campaign – Frank Zappa is surprise-greeted by the US Navy Marching Band performing “Joe’s Garage” at the San Francisco Airport in 1980.
This week’s LOUIE came about via a Facebook post by Art Chantry…
Back in the 1970’s, Seattle had it’s fair share of “proto-punk” bands. in the very early part of the decade, there was Ze Whiz Kidz (more of a performance troupe rather than strictly a band). toward the end of the 70’s, there were early real punk bands like chinas comidas, the telepaths, the tupperwares (screamers), the lewd, the heaters,(heats), the enemy, etc. in between these two periods were the ‘proto-punk’ bands.
most of you out there may have never heard of most of those odd duck bands. they had names like lamar harrington and the lamarettes, the feelies, red dress, mojo hand, the moberleys, the mentors, clone, roland rock and (in this example) UNCLE COOKIE.
i don’t know very much about Uncle Cookie, however. they released a single. i’ve seen pictures of Conrad Uno (of Popllama records and Egg studios) performing with them. there are a few existing posters for thier performances – like this one. that’s about all.
however, the one thing i do know about uncle cookie was that artist Carl Smool was also very involved in them. he did all of their flyers, posters and their record cover. you may be more familiar with carl’s later work – especially for bumbershoot.
this little poster is for a benefit for KRAB radio – the listener supported fm radio station (one of the very first in the country). Uncle Cookie were doing a benefit show to help them stay afloat. also, KRAB was so eccentric in their playlist that they would actually let bands like uncle cookie play live on the air.
but, what i find magical about this poster is the artwork by Carl Smool. it’ so different compared to his later work. try to imagine carl’s paper mache dayglo skulls and his ‘hear no evil’ tshirts. then try to imagine him drawing this picture. i can’t do it.
.. and then Mark Campos chimed in….
This treasure catches Conrad Uno in the space between Uncle Cookie and his tenure as Popllama honcho. Here he is trying to teach himself bass and subsequently creating arguably the best cover of “Louie Louie” there is!
Don’t neglect the b-side, the “Kitchen Cantata”, with the narrator introducing the pots and pans like the parts of an orchestra and then throwing them around the room …
Shout out to Casstina, who many years ago one afternoon let me tape rarities from her collection … I taped this and Johanna Went’s “Slave Beyond The Grave” on the same tape …
This week, I’m going to do a little bit of recycling.
This week, the world is thinking about Belgium after the awful incident in Brussels.
Last year, around this time, I shared a clip that featured a performance by my friend Alexander Surmont of Belgium. He did a wonderful Italian version of LOUIE LOUIE that fit in nicely with the First Italian LOUIE LOUIE Marathon organized by Riccardo Lancioni, Caterina Di Biase & company, streamed at Ormeradio.it.
The video footage was something I shot with my then-new Panasonic GH4 camera on the first day of spring in San Francisco.
I thought Alexander did a magnificent Italian version of LOUIE LOUIE, which was initially an exclusive for the LOUIE LOUIE documentary project, but I also thought it was perfect for last year’s Italian marathon.
In this version, he rephrases the song as ‘Da lui non hai’ which translates to ‘From him, you never have.’
He also recorded two English versions and a rocking’ Flemish version… which we’ll get to … eventually, but for now here’s Alexander’s Italian LOUIE, with thoughts of Belgium….
I can’t remember the first time I ever witnessed the band in concert… whether it was at Marsugi’s, the Cactus Club, Paradise Lounge or maybe even Upstairs Eulipia, but it was during one of their visits to the SF bay area during the mid-80s, and I thought they were fantastic.
They were a band from Tacoma, Washington that was absolutely adored whenever they visited the SF bay area. It was always fun whenever they were in town, and they often stayed at my friend Myke Destiny‘s house….. which usually turned into a default party after the show!
Fast forward to the present, and they’re still an active band 30+ years later! It seems like it’s been a few decades or so since they’ve ventured back to the SF bay area, but the band is still doing shows, mostly doing gigs around the Tacoma-Seattle region.
A few months ago, I picked up a Blu-Ray of their official documentary “Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble.”
It brought back a lot of fun memories, and I learned a lot of things about the band I never knew before
I didn’t realize that FAMILY was such an essential part of who they are. I had no idea that Bon and Kahuna were even related, much less brother and sister. Unlike a lot of other rock bands, their families were very supportive of their musical careers. The director of this documentary, Isaac Olsen, is also a family member, and there’s a cute moment in the film where his birth is part of the story.
WiG-OUT was a highly entertaining little publication put out by the band, and I didn’t realize they printed it themselves, as most of the band members work at the same print shop.
Neko Case was one of their Go-Go dancers? Yet another thing I didn’t know about…
This documentary is a wonderful cinematic representation of the band. There’s great stories enhanced by some wonderful little bits of animation, also created by director Isaac Olsen. I also loved the beautiful photography that captured the raw essence of their hometown of Tacoma.
The thing that most impressed me most about the film is how passionate the band is about staying true to the essence of who they are. Whether it’s fighting over album cover art orchestrated by record companies or the pay-to-play promoters that tried to force the band to sell tickets to their own show, Girl Trouble is a band that remains steadfast to their core convictions.
This is a great documentary on a band I really love, and I recommend it to anyone that appreciates this rock ‘n’ roll music stuff.
I recently discovered that I share something very special with this band.
We both came into existence on March 9th!
Girl Trouble made their debut appearance 32 years ago (1984) at the Fort Steilacoom Community College for a “Battle of the Bands.”
March 9 is indeed a fine day for birthdays This year, Google celebrated March 9 on their main page with an acknowledgment of the 105th birthday of Clara Rockmore, master / co-developer of the Theremin, a wonderfully quirky music instrument utilized for the soundtracks of multiple science fiction films, as well as various Beach Boys records.
March 9 is also the birthday for Amerigo Vespucci, Vyacheslav Molotov, Paul Wilbur Klipsch, Mickey Spillane, David Pogue, Ornette Coleman, Keely Smith, Mickey Gilley, Bobby Fischer, John Cale, Raul Julia, Juliette Binoche, as well as Mark Lindsay (original vocalist of Paul Revere & the Raiders) and John Kandarian (road crew veteran for the Kingsmen, and various other great bands).
I’m thinking it should probably be declared a national holiday, but I will admit to being somewhat biased….
Either way, I leave you with this inspired version of LOUIE LOUIE by the band i just finished writing a bunch of words about.
This weekend in SF Bay Area, we’re celebrating the life of Steve Mackay!
On Thursday, Feb 24th at KFJC Radio (home of the infamous Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon) there was a big 4 hour radio show celebrating the legacy of Steve with lots of music and interviews. We got a chance to hear some rare recordings of Steve with Commander Cody, Snakefinger, Z’ev, Smegma, Blue “Gene” Tyrrany, Andre Williams, Sonny Vincent, Violent Femmes, and of course, Iggy & the Stooges. For the next few weeks or so, you can hear the entire show by visiting http://kfjc.org/broadcast_archives/ and downloading each of the four hours.
Today, Saturday the 27th, there’s two different shows happening at Winters Tavern in Pacifica, which is about a mile or so from Steve’s old apartment.
The first show begins in a few minutes, and ends at 6:30 pm. It’s FREE to the public, but donations for Steve’s family are highly encouraged. The bands scheduled to perform include: Girls with Guns (featuring the lovely La-Ni, daughter of Snakefinger, on vocals) Joshua Brody and Roger Rocha with the TTB
The Twisting Twisters with Andy Pollack
Kimberlye Gold with Mike McKevitt and Lizie Skow
Mitch Woods, with Chris Cobb and the Third Thursday Horns
The second show at Winters, which is sold out, begins at 8 pm, includes performances by: mike watt & The Missingmen
The Hampton Wicks
The Third Thursday Band
DJ Sid Presley
Lady Monster reads the poetry of Steve Mackay
Special guest appearance by Jello Biafra
Tomorrow, Sunday the 28th, there will be yet another show for Steve, which will take place at Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, from 5pm to 10pm. This show will include performances by: Glitter Wizard
The Third Thursday Band
So.. if you’re in the SF Bay Area, please join us there, as we celebrate the life of our friend!
The two sing, swing and engage in vocal repartee, with Jordan at one point doing an imitation of Armstrong’s scatting on Life Is So Peculiar, which was written by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen. On You Rascal You (written by Sam Theard), Armstrong and Jordan have a knee-slapping time exchanging lyrics. Armstrong blows beautiful harmony lines behind a singing Jordan while Jordan blows cool lines when it’s Armstrong’s turn to “talk about it for a while.” The joy is relentless and infectious.