To celebrate today’s historic announcement about normalization of relationships between the United States and Cuba, I’m posting a song that many folks have considered a “Pre-LOUIE song” = something that might have influenced Richard Berry in his composition of “LOUIE LOUIE.”
As the YouTube clip points out, “Havana Moon” was released as a 78rpm record by singer-songwriter Chuck Berry in 1956. A website known as the Chuck Berry Collector’s Guide notes that the song was specifically released as the flipside of “You Can’t Catch Me” (Chess 1645) in November 1956.
One of the things that Richard Berry told me was that he wrote LOUIE LOUIE in 1955, but didn’t release it until 1957, after he changed record labels from Modern/Flip/RPM to Flip Records. Unless he heard “Havana Moon” before it was it was actually released in 1957, then one could argue it couldn’t really be a considered an influence if LOUIE was actually written in 1955.
Then again, Richard did acknowledge “Havana Moon” as having some type of influence, and did his own recording of “Havana Moon” with Steve Douglas… which has yet to be officially released to the public.
For the record, Richard Berry is NOT related to Chuck Berry.
Anyways, “Havana Moon” is a great song, and I’m happy to share it today!
This week’s LOUIE is by Casey Redmond, and his one-man band.
Looking at his official website, he sounds like the kinda guy I would probably get along quite well with…
Casey Redmond is an Ohio singer/songwriter/musician and radio host. In his youth, he attended various Catholic schools resulting in a life-long fear of neckties, standing in line single file and women named “Sister”. His music runs the gamut from folk to blues to rockabilly, surf, rock n roll and spoken word. He has written tunes on a wide variety of subjects including beer, beaches, werewolves, sharks, bars, drunken PTA meetings, Catholic schools, Halloween, witches, babyboomers, gnomes, the FBI, leisure, middle aged white people and sloth.
He has released dozens of songs on his own Iaintgotno record label under his own name, as well as, “The Shark City Beer Guzzlers “… “The North Pole Chimney Shakers”, “The Moonville Tunnel Beer Drinkers Association” “Casey’s One Man Rock N Roll Band”and “The Ohio Melonhead Eradicatlion Society”. Most of these efforts can be heard on Youtube and are available for download wherever digital music is sold. Casey performs at various street fairs, ba festivals and farmers markets, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica, playing a mix of classic pop, folk, blues and rock n roll. He is also host of Casey’s Musical Dustbin, a radio show featuring vintage rockabilly, r&b, surf, blues and rock n roll tunes from his personal music collection. The show can be heard on WJZF in Standish, Maine. In his spare time, Casey enjoys indulging in activities that were forbidden in his youth such as; loafing, slouching and milling around.
Go visit Casey over at:
My friend Cindy Lee Berryhill, who’s been a supporter and participant in the LOUIE project, is on a campaign to finish her new album, using Kickstarter to take it to the finish line.
This will be my first album in 7 years and it will be my 7th album and 7 is a real fancy number when you look at it mythologically. It’s the number of the Muse, otherwise known as Creativity and Love and Romance and all that juicy stuff of life. And that is just what this album is all about.
It’s been a road, as some of you know, my late husband, rock writer, Paul Williams, became ill and passed away last year. He left behind our little family, i.e. myself and our 13 year old son. What would Paul want for us? He’d want us to continue to pursue our passions. So Alexander is diving into technology and physics, and I have spent the last few years writing new songs.
My first album, Who’s Gonna Save The World, came out on Rhino in 1988 and was followed up by the Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) produced, Naked Movie Star. Those first two albums got me a lot of attention and took me on tours around the U.S. and Europe with cool artists like The Smithereens, Billy Bragg and John Doe, Marshall Crenshaw and Keb Mo, Alex Chilton and Camper Van Beethoven. Doing shows with bands like The Violent Femmes, X, The Butthole Surfers, Weezer and Cake. Getting into trouble and making music alongside some of worlds finest.
By my third album I’d really come up with my own kind of sound, something I’d been looking for and it was quite influenced by the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, with some Lou Reed and Patti Smith vibes mixed in. That album was Garage Orchestra.
In some ways this new album is a follow up to Garage Orchestra. I’ll have appearances from some of the GO’s original stellar players (Renata Bratt and Randy Hoffman) and the music will have a bit of that made-in-the-garage-orchestral sensibility. And like G.O. it will be an album informed by feelings of desire and love and the wild ride of the creative path.
But these songs are all entirely new, and, If I do say so myself, some of the best songs Ive ever written. And the sound has grown into a new more mature place especially with the inspiration of co-producer David Schwartz. Altogether we have about 12 or 13 songs to record and mix and master and post to online selling sources. Plus! we will definitely be making a limited amount of physical CD’s.
I would LOVE to see this album completed, and hope many of my friends will join me in supporting this project. I am a big fan of her music, and I can’t wait to hear these new songs she’s been working on!
Here’s a little preview of the project…
Click HERE for the OFFICIAL KICKSTARTER PAGE!
For those of you unfamiliar with Cindy Lee’s music, here’s just a few of my favorite songs that she’s written…
1) Damn, Wish I Was A Man
The first time I’d ever heard her music was when I picked up a little compilation cassette called “Radio Tokyo Tapes Vol. 3, 1985.” There were some other great bands on this tape – the Knitters, the Minutemen, Henry Rollins, Balancing Act, Phranc, and all the others, but Cindy’s song was the ONE that always gave me a good chuckle every time I heard it.
What other woman would have the nerve to wish she “could have a belly like Jack Nicholson?” Too damned funny!
2) She Had Everything
I’ve always been fond of songs that tell intriguing stories with the help of a catchy melody, and this one was especially tasty!
3) Radio Astronomy
“Garage Orchesta” was the album that came out not long after I first met Cindy Lee and her future husband Paul Williams at the ABA Convention in Anaheim. There were some chapters in my life where it felt like this little masterpiece was practically glued into my CD player. Every song just seemed to ooze with the type of playful energy I’d expect within my favorite dreams, and “Radio Astronomy” was just one of those very special gateways.
4) Beloved Stranger
The first time I’d seen Cindy Lee after many years was the 2009 benefit concert for her husband Paul Williams, which took place in San Francisco. “Beloved Stranger” was the title song of her latest album, which focused on the challenges of loving someone whose very core of being was permanently altered by injuries. Like Garage Orchestra, it’s another excellent album filled with songs that received regular rotation in my music-playing devices.
5) When Did Jesus Become a Republican?
A question many of us have been asking for years, and I’m so glad someone put this concept into a song…
Anyways, this is just a small handful of the Cindy Lee Berryhill songs that happened to be posted on YouTube, including my own video of her San Francisco performance of “Beloved Stranger.” She’s got plenty of other great songs, and with your help, she can release even more!
This campaign is ending on Monday, December 15th – only 10 more days to go!
Please join me and support Cindy Lee’s Kickstarter campaign.
For more information on Cindy Lee Berryhill, please visit her official webpage at
UPDATE: Congratulations to Cindy Lee Berryhill on a successul Kickstarter campaign!
Here’s a super-rare version of LOUIE LOUIE that very few people have ever heard.
This is “Dark Side of the LOUIE” by a band known as “Fink Ployd.”
I have NO idea who these people are, but I do know they submitted this recording for the infamous KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon that took place back in 1983. it was a semi-anonymous cassette tape, which I believe didn’t have any names or addresses attached to the package.
As fate would have it, there’s no documentation of this recording being broadcast during this historic marathon. It wasn’t noted on any of the logsheets or recorded on any the air check cassette tapes. It may been aired during the “lost hour” of the 63 hour marathon, or maybe it was never aired at all.
Truly a mystery… in more ways than one….
Anyways, within a year after the original Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon took place, organizers Stretch Riedle, Phil Dirt, and Doc Pelzel brought the LOUIE LOUIE party to other stations around the USA. Earlier this year, Charles McWhorter shared some fond memories of hearing a big LOUIE LOUIE marathon on KRQX (570 AM), an AM stereo station based in Dallas, Texas. He mentioned that he had heard and recorded the Soft Jews version, but he missed out on recording the version he heard by Pink Floyd.
I’m thinking it was probably the “Fink Ployd” version that he heard…. especially as I know for a fact that Stretch does not possess any version by the band Pink Floyd…. yet…
I know … it’s easy to get confused by similar names, and this recording does sound a lot like the band featuring Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and David Gilmour.
As I assembled a quick little video, I found some incredible psychedelic fractal animation from the “Electric Sheep” project coordinated by Scott Draves, which has a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license that freely allows folks to use the footage for non-commercial projects.
Here’s the original video clip that I used…
The way this fractal animation project came together is quite fascinating…
‘Sheep’ are fractal animations that can be designed by humans, generated by computers using a genetic algorithm, or a combination of both. This animation used the top 256 ‘best’ sheep (by number of votes) from the Electric Sheep server, rendered into a continuously-looping animation.votes) from the Electric Sheep server, rendered into a continuously-looping animation.
You can find more about this Electric Sheep project by visiting:
Scott’s website is at
For more information about Creative Commons licensing, please visit:
In the meantime, I’m still searching for the REAL Pink Floyd recording of LOUIE LOUIE, as noted in the liner notes of the Syd Barrett box set, so if you find it, be sure to drop me a line, OK?
Thanksgiving All-Star Turkey Band is this week’s LOUIE of the Week with a YouTube clip entitled “Louie, Louie Why won’t my guitar play??”
What the hey … Happy Thanksgiving!
Big thanks to Margaret Brock for sharing this one!
Grab your woo, man, it’s LOUIE LOUIE time!
This week’s LOUIE is by Jeff & the R.F.’s, a Tacoma band created by my friend Ron Fowler and his brother Jeff. This one was posted for the LOUIE FEST of 2007, a Tacoma event that celebrated the wonders of LOUIE LOUIE. In this version, the band performs a little bit of the famous Nirvana song before paying tribute to the granddaddy of all garage rock anthem – LOUIE LOUIE.
This week, I’d thought I’d point the mighty LOUIE LOUIE spotlight towards one of my favorite semi-forgotten LOUIE LOUIE recordings of 1968.
I’ve never been a fan of naming a musical group after a city, state, country or worse yet, an entire continent. To me, it always seemed like a silly and extremely lazy idea that might have made sense to some stoned hippies in the 60’s and 70’s, but I couldn’t imagine anyone continuing that type of practice in 2014, when bands really need a unique name to distinguish themselves from any other existing entity.
That being said, I LOVED the band Africa, which released one album in 1968.
The album was called “Music From Lil Brown,” which was an inspired response to “Music From Big Pink” by The Band (another band with a silly name), which also came out in 1968.
The front cover of “Music From Lil Brown” was an inspired swipe from the back cover of the “Music From Big Pink”….
.. and the back cover of “Music From Lil Brown”…
…borrowed from the front cover of “Music From Big Pink” …
Africa was a band that consisted of doo-wop veterans Brice Coefield, Gary Pipkin, Chester Pipkin, Ed Wallace, and Freddie Wills, who came from such vocal groups such as the Sabres, the Valiants, the Untouchables, the Electras, and the Alley Cats. Music mogul Lou Adler produced this album and released it on his own Ode record label.
The Record Fiend blog shared some mighty praise for this tasty record..
So does this album sound anything like the LP whose packaging inspired it in the first place? Nope, not in the slightest. Instead, what we have here are some extremely imaginative cover versions of songs originally done by white artists coupled with some compelling soul performances.
Jason Ankeny also gave high marks for the album over at AllMusic:
Although performed by former members of the Los Angeles doo wop group the Valiants, produced by Lou Adler and titled in response to the Band’s classic Music from Big Pink, Africa’s Music from “Lil Brown” defies its pedigree by delivering Latin-tinged psychedelic soul covers of some of the era’s biggest pop hits. Credit all involved with pushing and pulling these familiar songs to their breaking points.
The album is loaded with some truly inspired interpretations of familiar songs by the Rolling Stones and the Doors, but the track that really works wonders for me is their recording of LOUIE LOUIE – a soulful fusion with Bobbie Gentry‘s “Ode To Billie Joe” like nobody had ever done before.
… and to think I was reminded of this version when someone sent me a link to Steve Hoffman’s Favorite LOUIE LOUIE Poll!
Me gotta go now….
Record Fiend: Africa – Music From Lil Brown
AllMusic Guide: Africa – Music From Lil Brown
Steve Hoffman’s Favorite LOUIE LOUIE Poll
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted any LOUIEs from Argentina, so let’s give it to ‘em – RIGHT NOW!!
Ladies, and Gentlemen, we are proud to share a rare version of LOUIE LOUIE by The Rockmen, performing the song live at the “X Rod Car Fest” in Oncativo, Cordoba, Argentina, sometime in September 2014!
This week’s LOUIE is not really LOUIE. It’s what you’d call a LOUIE relative. Different groove, different song, but it feels related in some manner to LOUIE LOUIE, even if I can’t put my finger on it…
Roy Loney & Phantom Movers with special guest vocalist Russell Quan rip it up on “Wooly Bully” live at Winters Tavern, somewhere in Pacifica, CA.
“Wooly Bully” was originally written and recorded by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs in 1965, with no direct connection to Richard Berry & the Pharaohs (the original performers of LOUIE LOUIE), other than a really cool name…
Here’s a song for those of you requiring some coffee to deal with your Monday morning blues…
This is LOUIE LOUIE by the Caffeine Junkies – yet another recording that was unleashed during the legendary KFJC MAXIMUM LOUIE LOUIE Marathon.
I have no idea who the Caffeine Junkies were, but apparently they were based in Michigan, and they contributed this recording specifically for this radio show in California thousands of miles away… years before people were using this “internet thing!!”
Pretty cool, huh? Who were these guys, anyways? Anyone want to ‘fess up on this one?
Needless to say, there will definitely be more versions shared from this KFJC marathon… stay tuned….