It’s time for a little non-LOUIE news on the LOUIE REPORT blog…
Back in 2008, i worked with my friend, Emmy-award winner Alison Victor to co-produce / co-direct a short documentary about a blind sailor’s quest to use technology to see. The film entitled “Ed’s Inner Space,” had a special premiere at YURI’S NIGHT, a special worldwide event to celebrate the legacy of Yuri Gargarin, the first human being to travel into outer space.
This event was an international celebration of science, art, technology, and the creative spirit held at NASA. Our film was part of the S.T.E.A.M. Screen Documentary Program, and streamed to the astronauts on the International Space Station.
Since it’s initial release, excerpts of the film have been shown on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show on NBC, KPIX CBS-5 News, as well as various other national and international news outlets.
Recently, Alison and I have decided to release this project for free exhibition on the internet.
So here it is, in it’s entirety on YouTube….
co-producer/ co-director of “Ed’s Inner Space”
This week of musical casualties began with the death of a pirate.
Terry Dolan, of the band Terry & the Pirates, passed away on January 15 at the age of 67.
My first exposure to Terry & the Pirates came about via a record store I used to frequent during my high school years. Steve Bailey, owner-operator of “Phonograph Records” in Sunnyvale, told me about a new group featuring John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service. I used to love the band Quicksilver Messenger Service, especially John’s guitar skills, but I was too young to see them during their prime, and they’d broken up ages ago. This new band with John didn’t really sound like Quicksilver to me, but they had a rootsy-blues vibe I appreciated. It was an interesting group of musicians that featured some other San Francisco veteran players like Greg Douglass, David Hayes and Greg Elmore, who was another alumni from Quicksilver.
When Steve hired Terry & the Pirates for a very special show at the Country Store in Sunnyvale, I volunteered to shoot some photos of the event. From that point on, I wound up going to a lot of their shows, including some that included their part-time keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, who recorded with the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, George Harrison, and numerous other rock ‘n’ rollers whose music were a big part of my musical upbringing.
Ten or so years after my initial exposure to Terry & the Pirates, I reconnected with the universe of Terry & the Pirates, thanks to my new pal Jesse Block, another video production guy that had a great passion for music. With the death of John Cipollina in 1989, Jesse and I produced video of his memorial concert at the Fillmore Auditorium, which led to production of the John Cippolina documentary that Jesse co-directed with Jim Draper.
As Jesse and I worked on the John Cippolina documentary “Electric Guitarslinger,” we captured some great stories about John, and his adventures with Terry.
Terry was proud to call himself a “pirate.” He embraced the swashbuckling, carefree, loose approach to life and music.
For that want to pay respects to Terry, there will be a public service for Terry at Our Lady Of Loretto Church in Novato CA. on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM at 1806 Novato Blvd.
Gonna miss that guy…
(As far as I know, he never performed LOUIE LOUIE)
Today, I’m saddened to report another casualty in the music universe.
Larry “Wild Man” Fischer, as far as I know, didn’t record LOUIE LOUIE, nor did he have any obvious connections to the song.
Wild Man Fischer, was however, the very first musician to record for Rhino Records. The first release was a 45 single from Larry entitled “Go to Rhino Records,” released in 1975 to promote the original Rhino Records store on Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles. A few years later in 1975, Rhino Records released it’s first album ever – a Wild Man Fischer LP entitled “Wildmania.”
In 1983, Rhino Records collaborated with KFJC Radio to release the compilation “The Best of LOUIE LOUIE,” which was released in conjunction with the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon. Richard Foos, co-founder of Rhino, told me that the LOUIE LOUIE compilation was one of Rhino’s early success stories, selling a lot of records.
Rhino Records became one of the most successful reissue record labels, and was eventually purchased by a larger company, becoming a wholly owned unit of Time Warner in 1998.
In 1999, Rhino created a spinoff divsion entitled “Rhino Handmade” which focused on extremely limited editions of hard-to-find rarities. Their very first release – RHM2 7701, was “The Fischer King,” a 2 CD compilation of all the WIld Man recordings made for Rhino Records. It sold out within a weeks of it’s release. and is now selling for top dollar on eBay and Amazon.
One could argue that without Rhino Records, “The Best of LOUIE LOUIE,” and all beautiful connections that made the KFJC event so memorable, I would have never known about the LOUIE LOUIE universe.
One might also argue that without Wild Man Fischer, maybe the Rhino Records label may not have existed…?
Hard to say. To paraphrase a Ray Bradbury concept, the “sound of thunder” may or may not have happened at all….
Wild Man Fischer, was always a fascinating character to me. I was exposed to his music via Dr Demento radio shows. It took many years for me to track down his very first album “An Evening with Wild Man Fischer,” produced by Frank Zappa in 1968 for the Bizarre record label, which remains out of print to this day.
Dennis Eichhorn wrote about some of his adventures with Wild Man in his autobiographical comic book series “Real Stuff.” Those particular stories were later assembled into a biography co-written by illustrator J.R. WIlliams entitled “The Legend Of Wild Man Fischer.”
(On a side note, I did get Dennis on camera to talk about Paul Revere being his barber in Idaho during the early 60’s, but we’ll save that for later….)
Josh Rubin did a great job of directing this film, which I saw for the first time two weeks ago. Larry was a paranoid schizophrenic with bipolar tendencies. He alienated his (former) best friends, and mistrusted everybody. It was difficult for anyone to be close to him. This documentary was fascinating, yet painful on various levels.
Check out the trailer for the Derailroaded film…
Pat Moriarity, who created the illustration I used for the top of this posting, created some great animation for the documentary. He shared the uncut version of this animation on YouTube.
Here’s some other links worth checking for those that want to learn more…
A few years ago, I shared a comic strip-based blog post that explained how I got involved with the LOUIE LOUIE documentary project. With my new efforts to raise money via Kickstarter.com, I thought it’d be worthwhile to share this comic strip again, with a few minor changes.
After many years of self-funding* this historically massive documentary project on the Legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Anthem, LOUIE LOUIE, we’re going to leap into the exciting universe of crowd-source funding by launching a Kickstarter campaign to allow us to provide our undivided attention to focus entirely on completing the film and making it available for all to enjoy, entertain and inspire.
This campaign will not cover the full expenses of the various music, film and video stock footage licenses that we seek, but it will allow us to create an edited version of the documentary that we’d like to release in the near future. By contributing to this campaign, you’ll be a direct participant and player in a project many years in the making.
* Self-funding referring to all operating expenses have previously paid entirely by the producers and a small handful of very close friends.
There’s a couple of reasons why I thought about this song. I wrote about the UnBand a few years ago after seeing a documentary on the band at the Santa Cruz Film Festival. I thought it was an exceptional film about a really fun band that reminded me of mutant hybrid of Motorhead, the Replacements and Spinal Tap. In many ways, the UnBand is like a real-life Spinal Tap, complete with absurd, unintentional comedy.
As I mentioned in my original blog post, immediately after the the director of this film, Lexie Shabel, wrapped up this project, she discovered she had breast cancer. She began work on a very different type of film – an autobiographical documentary on her cancer adventures.
Last Friday, February 4th was declared “World Cancer Day.” By some odd coincidence, that’s also the birthday for a friend of mine that successfully fought two types of cancer.
A few weeks ago, I found out another friend of mine has cancer, and it looks like she’ll probably have to undergo chemo therapy. We made plans to meet up on February 5th at a special music show, but she was was feeling so rotten, she decided to stay home that night.
I am very worried about my friend, and I’m hoping she’ll kick this thing. I don’t want to lose her….
By some strange fluke, tonight I wound up spending 6 hours in the emergency room tonight with my 86 year old mother, who had an injury, which luckily turned out to relatively minor, but still damned scary. At her age, any injury can be life-threatening.
It’s all reminder that life is indeed precious and every day is a gift.
That is the song that makes perfect sense to me this week..
I’d like to encourage more folks to check out the films created by my friend Lexie Shabel, as I do believe they deserve your attention.
Here’s a trailer for the UnBand documentary, complete with naughty language and silly behavior…
There’s also the trailer for the ME film, which is all about Lexie’s bout with breast cancer, complete with naked breasts…
I pay very close attention to documentaries. It’s a genre dear to my heart as I continue to work on my big epic. I want to see these films, and see how they’re financed, produced, and marketed….
Some told me all about The Cove, a documentary about dolphin genocide. It’s supposed to be an excellent film about a very disturbing practice that takes place in a small town Japan.
As many of you probably know, Richard Berry was the guy who wrote LOUIE LOUIE, and he’s the main reason why I’m doing my documentary. He believed in me, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.
So as I looked for showtimes for The Cove, I found it intriguing that the main character has a name that’s similar to Richard’s….
In the 1960’s, Richard O’Barry was the world’s leading authority on dolphin training, working on the set of the popular television program Flipper. Day in and day out, O’Barry kept the dolphins working and television audiences smiling. But one day, that all came to a tragic end. “The Cove” tells the amazing true story of how Psihoyos, O’Barry and an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers embarked on a covert mission to penetrate a hidden cove in Japan, shining light on a dark and deadly secret. The mysteries they uncovered were only the tip of the iceberg.
By some odd coincidence, the guy that directed this film is a guy named Louie Psihoyos. Another LOUIE? Just what does it mean, anyways? Go figure…
Here’s a couple of reviews for this movie that I will definitely be seeing…
On Wednesday, I just finalized a deal for my first-ever VOD digital download. I am pleased to present “ED’S INNER SPACE,” a film I co- produced/ co-directed with my friend Alison Victor, is now available for digital download on IndieFlix.com
Today, Thursday, May 21…. this film gets mentioned on Oprah! Yes, Oprah…..
As the description goes…
“ED’S INNER SPACE” is the story of Ed Gallagher, a blind man who uses space age technology to interact in a world of visual stimuli.
Ed Gallagher was a visual artist until he slowly lost his sight over 8 years. Inspired by space technology, Ed Gallagher developed a special remote guidance system for the blind using wireless internet technology to communicate with a remote operator. Receiving clear commands from someone viewing Ed’s world through his head mounted web cam, Ed, as a blind man, is able to participate in every day tasks, such as shopping, sailing and riding a bicycle.
I love hearing stories about music and empowerment. Last weekend, I saw a film that embraced such concepts.
The Singing Revolution is the story of the non-violent path Estonia took to free itself from Soviet occupation. This is a documentary about a little nation that stood up for its freedom using the power of music.
Most people don’t think about singing when they think about revolutions, but music was the weapon of choice when, between 1986 and 1991, Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. During those years, hundreds of thousands gathered in public to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to rally for independence. Ultimately, the Estonians were successful, and this little country gained it’s freedom.
As a person with an Estonian heritage and a filmmaker working on a big documentary about a very powerful musical phenomenon, this is a story that spoke to me on various levels. Here’s a trailer for this film.
Right now, this film is only being shown at select locations. I saw it at a community center in Half Moon Bay, California. If you contact the filmmakers, you can arrange for a special showing in your community.