By special request, I’m sharing a very special, ultra-rare performance of the song from the LOUIE archives. It’s a recording by a band known as The Soft Jews, and as far as I know, it was only heard ONCE* on the radio.
(…or so I thought… – SEE UPDATE at end of this post)
I was reminded of this version when Charles McWhorter contacted me….
I was looking for a few versions of Louie Louie and was wondering if maybe you had them (Andy Martello recommended I contact you). Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, and The Soft Jews. I`ve been told the Soft Machine and Pink Floyd versions don`t exist, BUT, I heard the Pink Floyd version on an AM radio station back in 83-84.
I wrote back…
I’ve been looking for years, trying to find the Pink Floyd version. Even thou their performance was acknowledged in the Syd Barrett box set, I’ve had no luck finding a copy of this thing.
I do have a version of the song by the Soft Jews, which was played on the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon. Give me a few days, and I’ll dig it up..
Who are these guys, anyways?
Hey Eric, right on,thanks!! I have a version I recorded off that same radio station that sounds like the Soft Machine, BUT,I remember the dj saying “The Soft Jews”, so I have no idea who I have doing it. It`s a horrible partial recording that’s on a long lost tape (I was 14 when I taped it), so I totally can’t wait for you to share The Soft Jews with me!!!! If that’s the version I used to have on tape,that’ll be AWESOME!! Does it have a synthesized drumbeat throughout the whole song, with a Soft Machine monotone style vocalist, KILLER organ solo in the middle?? That’s what I had on tape. Soon as I get The Soft Jews from you,the mystery will be solved :^)
Did the Pink Floyd version have Roger Waters saying repeatedly “Same shit, Louie Louie” at the end of the song? I remember hearing that as well on that radio show. Man, it was soooo long ago, I’m having a hard time remembering haha.
Looking forward to it,Thanks again Eric!!
So by special request, I’m pleased to share the ultra-rare performance of the song LOUIE LOUIE, performed by the mysterious musical group known as the Soft Jews. This recording was broadcast on the radio at the legendary KFJC “Maximum LOUIE LOUIE” marathon of 1983, which broadcast every known version of the song, which lasted 63 hours with over 800 versions. This is version #374.
I believe songwriter Richard Berry was actually present at KFJC Radio when this version was broadcast on the radio during the weekend of August 19-22, 1983. I’m pretty sure he was around the studio when the Buffalo Chips played a live LOUIE (version #379) a few songs later.
For the video of this song, I thought I’d try something a little different. I borrowed some public domain film footage from the Prelinger Archives at The Internet Archive (archive.org). I used clips from an odd Russian medical film -”Experiments In The Revival Of Organisms,” which seemed to compliment the quirky temperament of this rather unique version of the song.
This is definitely NOT a mainstream pop recording, nor do I expect universal appreciation for this video.
This is certainly one of the strangest versions of the song I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard a lot of variations…..
Meanwhile, who are those Soft Jews, anyways?
… and Who’s got that Pink Floyd version?? WE WANT TO HEAR THAT THING!!
UPDATE! THE SOFT JEWS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED!
My friend Mark Renner of the band DOT 3 responded:
The Soft Jews was a one man group consisting of Josh Pollock. No idea what happened to him, but I recorded this for him at my garage “studio” using an old Viking reel to reel ping-ponging! It blew me away! Great to hear this again! Truly inspired!
Josh Pollock was a KFJC DJ with the air name of “Josh Vox!”
I am indeed, though that’s all Mark’s equipment I’m playing, so he’s partially to blame. Wow–I’m pretty sure I lost my lone cassette copy of this decades ago, so thanks!
You can learn more about Josh’s recorded musical legacy by visiting his official discography:
The photo I shared of Josh came from my archive of photos that I shot at KFJC studios. Here’s the full photo of Josh – interviewing the Ramones at KFJC in 1983, the year this version was recorded.
… and no, we didn’t get any LOUIE LOUIE recordings by the Ramones…
Following up on the initial inquiry with Charles McWhorter, he wrote…
SWEET!!!! Yeah,this has got to be THEE BEST version of Louie Louie EVER!! I’d love to find out who this group is,see if they released an lp,year it was recorded,etc. That mp3 would be awesome!! I want to put it on a cdd to play on my stereo along with a few other fave Louies on mine (Black Flag,The Last, Sandpipers,etc). Yeahh!! I’d love to hear the radio announcements talking about this version,I bet it’s crazy! Man it’s a trip, I can still remember sitting in my bedroom hearing the first few beats of The Soft Jews on that AM radio broadcast that night,and scrambling to find a blank tape to record it,haha! BUT, I can’t believe I didn’t get a recording of Pink Floyd! Funny thing about that night, when I first turned on my stereo, Pink Floyd’s version was playing,and I was like,”What the hell is that song??” and I just sat and listened to it,and the KRQX dj said “That was Pink Floyd doing Louie Louie”. That radio station would play some really killer stuff. The dj’s would actually bring in records from their own collections and play them on the air.
Now like you said…….IF we can only track down Pink Floyd and Soft Machine’s versions :^)
I wrote back…
KRQX ? Where’s that?
Interesting…. I know the two main DJs from the big KFJC marathon brought the LOUIE show to other stations, so that would have to be the way the Soft Jews came to this station. There were some other bands that used fake almost-celebrity names, so i’m wondering if the “Pink Floyd” version might have been one of these fakes, using a name like “Punk Floyd” or “Pink Lloyd?”
and Charles responded..
Hey Eric! KRQX was an AM stereo station that was in Dallas, Texas (570 AM). They played 60s rock from about 1983-1987 or so. That’s how I got introduced to 60s garage rock. They’d play more “real” rock and roll instead of all that awefull golden oldies garbage. I have a tape someplace (I left it recording while I was at school one day) and they played stuff like Music Machine, Count Five, Status Quo, Mouse and the Traps, Zakary Thaks, Novas, Seeds,etc. But then they’d throw in some golden oldie junk.
I never thought about the impersonators like Punk Floyd,etc. Makes perfect sense! Because when I heard whichever Floyd it was someone trying to sound like Waters,and from what I’ve read, Barrett sang on the real Floyd’s version,right? Man if only I’d left a tape in all night that night!!
So there you go… the version that I thought was only heard once at the KFJC marathon in Los Altos Hills (30+ miles south of San Francisco), was also heard on KRQX – an AM radio station in Dallas, Texas!
Who would have guessed?
Anyways, it’s wonderful that another mystery was solved, thanks to the power of the internet!
This has nothing to do with LOUIE LOUIE, but today I’m sharing some rare footage of James Brown that I produced for promoter Brian Martin. This was from James Brown’s last performance in San Francisco.
Four months later, James Brown left us on Christmas Day.
- Eric Predoehl of LouieLouie.net
I’m not sure who created this little cartoon, but it feels like an accurate representation of the road travelled to to finish this documentary….
Today is August 19th – a very special day in the LOUIE Universe!
Many years ago on this date, a little radio station known as KFJC 89.7 began a marathon called “Maximum LOUIE LOUIE,” with the sole purpose of sharing every known version of the song LOUIE LOUIE.
For 63 hours, over 800 unique versions of this song were played on this station, setting a new world record for such things.
This week’s LOUIE is from that crazy weekend. This one is KFJC version #379. It’s a live performance by the Buffalo Chips that went over the airwaves on 89.7 FM on August 20, 1983, sometime around 9:30 pm.
Another rarity from the as-yet-uncompleted, but-still-trying-to-wrap documentary from yours truly…
Recognize any of these people? Please leave some comments below….
Oh boy… this blog post took a bit longer than expected. I try to get these “LOUIEs of the Week” posted early in the week, but this week too many other things pulled away my focus…
This week, I was pre-occupied by my workload – putting in crazy hours at the Outside Lands last weekend, then being part of a big video production with Yo Yo Ma in Berkeley on Tuesday. On top of that, there was Paul Revere’s retirement, my mother’s 90th birthday, and the unexpected death of a beloved entertainer that I met at a little birthday party in San Francisco, which threw me off more than I expected. During this week, I also witnessed some magnificent performances by the Sonics and Sir Paul McCartney.
Anyways, as you the humble viewer, patiently waited for this week’s special LOUIE, I am proud to finally unveil this week’s LOUIE….
Colorfinger is the band that provides this week’s LOUIE. This is a live performance on KFJC radio back in 1990, dedicated to Phil Dirt, one of the masterminds behind the legendary “Maximum LOUIE LOUIE” marathon that inspired this very project.
You might have heard the latest info about Paul Revere…..
Pollstar broke the news on Friday, August 8th with the Headline “Paul Revere Ends His Ride”
Having led The Raiders for five decades, Paul Revere announces he is hanging up his tri-corner hat but his band will keep on rocking.
Today’s announcement states that Revere’s son, Jamie, is returning to the band. Today’s Raiders include Doug Heath, Ron Foos and Danny Krause along with 10-year Lettermen vet Darren Dowler and former Buckinghams drummer Tommy Scheckel.
There is a slight tweak to the band’s name. The group will perform under the moniker Paul Revere’s Raiders.
There’s actually been no confirmation regarding any permanent retirement from the man himself on his official webpages, but here’s a special announcement direct from his official webpage, dated July 18, 2014:
Hey gang, Paul Revere here!
You know, 2014 has been just a great year for the band so far, thanks to you guys. We’ve played killer shows to great audiences all over America, and we’re having a blast – Disney, Busch Gardens, the “Where The Action Is” cruise, Las Vegas and every supermarket opening and pie eating contest along the way.
Even though I’ve had some health issues, nothing can stop the old man. I’m like the Energizer Bunny! I jump on my tour bus and go from city to city, packing a trunk full of great Raider songs, tight pants and bad jokes – all against doctor’s orders, by the way!
I’ve been the worst patient these guys have ever seen, and they’ve been on me to take a break all year. So, we finally did take a break, and recorded two new singles (due out in September), but that’s not good enough for them. They want a longer break. I told them, “Hey, I’ve got to hit the road, I’m booked! And I’m bored!!”
Well, you can’t ignore doctor’s orders forever, and I have to give in this time or these wonderful men and women might stop trying to help me. It breaks my heart to have to stay home while the band goes out without me to our next block of dates. You don’t even know how much it kills me. But the truth is, The Raiders kick major butt with or without me. We’ve designed this show to run like a Ferrari, even if it’s only firing on 11 cylinders. It’s built for speed from the ground up. High energy and fun is what a Paul Revere and The Raiders show is all about, and that’s always the same, no matter which one of us shows up in a body cast.
So come out and see my boys, and tell them how much you miss me. We have the absolute best fans. I love you all and will see you soon.
The show must always go on!
To paraphrase another, may the reports of his retirement be premature, with Paul returning to the stage as soon his health improves!
… But if this does turn out to permanent retirement, he’s certainly entitled to live out his life in whatever manner he sees fit. Paul Revere has been an American treasure that has provided high-quality entertainment for 50+ years.
It would be nice if the first rock band signed to the world’s largest record company in the early 1960s (Columbia) would get a bit more attention.
At their height of their career, they appeared on more television shows than any other rock bands, including the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, but so much of this has been completely forgotten about Paul Revere & the Raiders in 2014….
This week’s LOUIE is a 1973 recording by Line Renaud. (No, it’s not the graphic at the top of this post…. keep reading)
Line Renaud is a popular French singer, actress and AIDS activist whose career began at the age of 16, working with well known French composer LOULOU Gasté. Gaste became her mentor, and they eventually married, with a longtime union that lasted 45 years, ending with his death in 1995.
I wasn’t as familiar with her career, but I discovered quite an impressive legacy spanning many decades of stage, screen, and musical recordings. In 1954 alone, she appeared on Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Dinah Shore and Ed Sullivan shows and recorded the song ‘Relax ay voo’ with Dean Martin. The IMDB page for her listed acting credits in 64 different film/television productions. She’s also produced quite a few her own stage productions. In 2000, a “Golden Palm Star” on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.
Here I was thinking, she was “just another pop singer singing LOUIE LOUIE.”
Silly me. She’s much more than that.
That being said, this is a very cool version of the song, transforming an American rock song into a catchy French pop song. This recording was released as a single on the MGM label (MGM 14500) in 1973.
The original single is a bit tough to find, but luckily it’s been reissued as part of a comprehensive 5-CD box set entitled “100 Chansons D’or” that’s quite a bit easier to find. Thanks to the magical interwebs*, I found multiple websites selling this box set for under $20 – considerably cheaper than the original single!
Anyways to quote another, let’s give it to ‘em… right now! Here’s LOUIE LOUIE by Line Renaud!
As I mentioned briefly, the top graphic is NOT from 1973 MGM. It’s just a cute little image of a Line Renaud EP entitled “Jalouise” that came on on the Pathe label in 1956. It’s a “pre-LOUIE LOUISE,” so to speak…
Official Line Renaud webpage
Wikipedia page for Line Renaud
IMDB page for Line Renaud
An incomplete discography for Line Renaud (no mention of LOUIE LOUIE, but cool graphics)
* = Yes, I know “interwebs” is not a proper term, but I still like using it. So there!
With special thanks to my friend Todd Somers, I am to share a vintage performance captured 30 years ago!
This week’s LOUIE is by Michael and the Shades – live at Off Sunset in Hollywood (now Crazy Girls) March 1984.
According to the YouTube description, this performance features the late, lamented Mike Shelton on vocals, with Loren Molinare of The Dogs on guitar and members of Blow-Up at Pooch’s B-Day jam.
When I don’t get around to posting a LOUIE of the Week until Friday, it’s a sign that things have been pretty hectic at LOUIE Central.
Looking at the website, it appeared that I never acknowledged Johnny Thunders’ contribution to the LOUIE Universe, so today looks like a good day to rectify that situation.
Here’s a vintage recording (as they all are) of Johnny Thunders- live in April 1990, with John Connor, Sam Steiger & Peter O’Kennedy of The Golden Horde doing the song as a medley with “Hang on Sloopy” … one year before Johnny kicked the bucket, so to speak.
Did anyone ever find any recordings of the Ramones doing the song?
If so, please please speak up….
I was running late with this week’s LOUIE, and certainly didn’t plan to to utilize it again as I’ve done in the past to pay tribute to another departed musician… but life often throws you a curveball, as it did this week.
Johnny Winter was an exceptional musician whose work I always enjoyed. In addition to being an award-winning guitar player, he was also the producer of three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues legend Muddy Waters.
The first time I saw Johnny perform was at the Keystone Palo Alto in 1983. I remember being completely mesmerized, and so very grateful I brought a camera with me that night.
The second time I saw Johnny perform was the Catalyst in Santa Cruz sometime in the 1990s. At the time, I was involved with the LOUIE project, so I decided to bring a copy of “A Lone Star Kind of Day” CD, which featured Johnny’s version of LOUIE LOUIE. I was hoping I’d be able to chat with Johnny about that particular recording and maybe get an autograph for my collection. Johnny wasn’t meeting with anyone after the show, but one of the roadies took it back to Johnny for the autograph. Johnny graciously autographed the CD, but I was informed that it was a bootleg released without his permission.
I discovered that this CD was one of many recordings released by Roy Ames, owner of Home Cooking Records/Clarity Music Publishing, who briefly managed Johnny in 1969. Apparently, Johnny left Houston for the express purpose of getting away from Ames, who had a reputation for screwing over various musicians. in 2003, Ames passed away, and the ownership rights of the Ames master recordings remains unclear to this day.
Anyways, Richard Berry LOVED Johnny’s version of LOUIE LOUIE. I would often make some cassette compilations of his famous song, and he told me he used to love blasting that particular version in his car stereo!
This year, when I discovered Johnny Winter would be doing an appearance in Santa Cruz for a meet-and-greet at Streetlight Records, I made plans to be there. I printed up some photographs from the 1983 show, which I hadn’t shared with anyone.
Johnny’s meet-and-greet session turned out to be inside Johnny’s tour van, parked outside the record store. Johnny was very gracious to everyone that lined up to meet him. When I gave him copies of the 1983 photos, he immediately recognized his bass player Scott Spray, who was still playing with the band!
We talked briefly about the LOUIE recording, which was mostly me jabbering away about how much Richard loved that particular recording. Johnny didn’t really have much to say about that recording or the guy who released it without his permission, but he appreciated that Richard loved his version.
Anyways, here’s that version of LOUIE LOUIE that Johnny recorded in 1969. Despite the graphics on this video that someone posted, it was not on the Rhino Records “Best of Louie Louie,” or released on any other recording authorized by Johnny Winter… but it’s definitely a keeper!
Rest in peace, Johnny. You shall be missed…
* * * * * * *
P.S. Last night, as I heard unconfirmed news about Johnny’s demise, I shared a Johnny song with friends that I hoped would ring true… It didn’t work out that way, but I still love this track!