Remembering Those We Lost in 2015

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Last year, we lost quite a few people in the LOUIE universe. Click on their names to read more about them.

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Jack Ely, the original lead singer of the Kingsmen, was one of the two people that inspired this documentary project. I met Jack at the same event where he first met Richard Berry, the composer of this legendary song, and their stories inspired this project. It saddens me deeply that my friend will not be able to see the completed documentary.

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Lady Bo was also a big part of the event where Jack Ely met Richard Berry. Her band backed up these two major players in the LOUIE universe as they played together for their first and only appearance together. Lady Bo had an extensive musical career working with Bo Diddley and a variety of other musicians.

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Lemmy, of course, was the iconic leader of Motörhead that died a few days ago.

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Kim Fowley, the legendary musician/producer/writer with an abundance of credits to his name, co-produced Richard Berry’s music during the years between Richard’s initial recording of THE SONG in 1957 and the Kingsmen’s recording of THE SONG in 1963.

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Wally Todd, a member of Jack Ely & the Courtmen (formerly known as “Jack Ely & the Kingsmen”), left this world a few days after Jack’s passing. I’m so very grateful I was able to witness their historic reunion at Seaside, Oregon.

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Steve Mackay was a saxophone player that performed with the Stooges, whose “Fun House” album was produced by Don Gallucci, original keyboardist with the Kingsmen. His collaboration with Iggy Pop continued after the break-up of the Stooges, as well as the reunion shows with the surviving Stooges.

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Gary Abbott was a drummer that joined the Kingsmen for a brief period after their newfound success with LOUIE LOUIE.

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Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate, was the co-writer of “Brother Louie,” a song often confused with LOUIE LOUIE.

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Dennis Eichhorn was a gifted writer from Idaho that transformed his life stories into highly entertaining underground comic books. Denis shared memories about working at nightclubs in the Pacific Northwest and getting his hair cut by Paul Revere before the Raiders became the band became they became famous.

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Gail Zappa was the keeper of the Frank Zappa legacy – the matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises.

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Allen Toussaint was a genuine musical legend from LOUISiana that wrote a ton of unforgettable songs and shared some appreciation for Richard Berry’s special song!

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P.F. Sloan was another gifted singer-songwriter that composed some songs that also became big hit records. The LOUIE team was privileged to work with him in 2014, and we discovered that he co-wrote an opera about Ludwig Beethoven entitled “LOUIS! LOUIS!”

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Leonard Nimoy was a gifted actor, musician and film director whose works provided great inspiration to the LOUIE team. Using the “Five Degrees of LOUIE” principle, we found some interesting connections.

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Eric Caidin is someone whose death was not mentioned on these pages, but he was a kindred spirit that appreciated this project, and provided great words of support over the years. He operated the Hollywood Book & Poster Company, a wonderful store for movie enthusiasts and was a regular exhibitor at various comic conventions in the SF Bay Area.

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Joe Houston was one of the great saxophone players that was playing some wild rhythm and blues music before it was ever called “rock music.” I don’t recall him ever playing LOUIE LOUIE, but he was a great musician whose legacy should be acknowledged.

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John Harada was an early member of A Western Front, a local band that ye webmaster enjoyed quite immensely back in the 1980s.

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Deanna Predoehl was the beloved niece of the producer of this LouieLouie.net webpage. She left us way too early at the age of 20 years old, and not a day goes by without thinking about her.

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This blog posting is blog post #7500 of this particular webpage that began in 1996, and was converted to a blog in 2005.

Time is a funny animal that I am still trying to tame….

Eric Predoehl, producer of the LouieLouie.net experience and upcoming documentary…

Ray and Dave Davis 2015 reunion with “You Really Got Me” – LOUIE relative of the Week

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Ray Davies and Dave Davies together again on stage in 2015?

Fantastic news! It feels like an early Christmas present! Thank you!!

It was a special night …. On Friday, the 18th of December of this year (that would be 2015) the Dave Davies band performed at the Islington Assembly Hall in London. Ray Davies showed up to sing on the last song of the show – “You Really Got Me!”

The last time they played together in public was in 1996 – 19 years ago.

Perhaps there may be a Kinks reunion in 2016? One can only hope….

We are very glad our friend Denis Diken was part of this one…..

As some of our associates have implied that this song was directly influenced by “LOUE LOUIE,” so we’ll throw this one into the “LOUIE Relative” category….


https://youtu.be/2yWZizDPNAY

Pete Seeger – another subject of FBI investigation

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Anyone following these pages knows all about the infamous F.B.I. investigation of the song LOUIE LOUIE.

Did you know about the investigation of singer-songwriter Pete Seeger? Mother Jones shared some details in an article posted today.

From the 1940s through the early 1970s, the US government spied on singer-songwriter Pete Seeger because of his political views and associations. According to documents in Seeger’s extensive FBI file—which runs to nearly 1,800 pages (with 90 pages withheld) and was obtained by Mother Jones under the Freedom of Information Act—the bureau’s initial interest in Seeger was triggered in 1943 after Seeger, as an Army private, wrote a letter protesting a proposal to deport all Japanese American citizens and residents when World War II ended.

Seeger, a champion of folk music and progressive causes—and the writer, performer, or promoter of now-classic songs, including as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” Turn! Turn! Turn!,” “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” “Goodnight, Irene,” and “This Land Is Your Land”—was a member of the Communist Party for several years in the 1940s, as he subsequently acknowledged. (He later said he should have left earlier.) His FBI file shows that Seeger, who died in early 2014, was for decades hounded by the FBI, which kept trying to tie him to the Communist Party, and the first investigation in the file illustrates the absurd excesses of the paranoid security establishment of that era.

1,800 pages? That’s a LOT more than the FBI LOUIE LOUIE files, which is less than 200 pages.

Read the full report at:

Mother Jones – Pete Seeger’s FBI File Reveals How the Folk Legend First Became a Target of the Feds

John Doe’s Keeper album – NON-LOUIE of the week

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.

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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…

Definitely a “Keeper.”

RIP: Steve Mackay, sax player with Stooges, Snakefinger – LOUIE of Week

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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.

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This second photo is interesting – my focus was Steve, even though I had no idea who he was..

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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…

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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.

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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.”


https://youtu.be/Afvo_FPiTdU

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.


https://youtu.be/fHgxlrta9Co

Then, there’s the final performance of Iggy & the Stooges that I witnessed, live at the C2SV event at St. James Park in San Jose on September 28, 2013… doing their final song ever… which is….


https://youtu.be/XDdUoQk7qGI

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:

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“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.


https://youtu.be/SbjMHtOajZw

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?


https://youtu.be/RFlJiOjlX4I

– E.P.

KFJC Maximum LOUIE memories – LOUIE of the Month

Today is the big anniversary for the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon = the event that sparked the documentary project and subsequent webpage you’re viewing right now.

For 63 hours, this song was played with over 800 unique versions of the song.

Can you believe it all started on August 19, 1983?

How many years ago???

Yeah, it’s been awhile…

Here’s a small sample of what took place that special weekend…


THE CAFFEINE JUNKIES (version #108)


THE R.B. FIREBIRDS (version #152)


KRONIC MIND (version #250)


UNKNOWN LOUIE? (version #332)



PALMETTO STATE (version #358)


THE STEVENS (versions #367 / #561 – whoops!)


THE SOFT JEWS (version #374)


BUFFALO CHIPS (version #379)


NEIL YOUNG (version #680)


FINK PLOYD (submitted to KFJC, not sure if played? Might be one of the LOST versions not logged or captured on aircheck tapes?)

For a more expansive overview of this legendary marathon, be sure to check out…

KFJC Tomb of the Unknown LOUIEs – Part 1

Origins of the LOUIE Project

Mystery LOUIE #445 – identified as “York & Toonz”- LOUIE of the Week

The Suburban Kids (version #609)

Marty Preece aka “Max Multi-Track”

Mystery LOUIE- Louie Had a Little Lamb? (version #377)

RIP: Shirley Fisher, photo teacher + inspiration for LOUIE (version #362)

Yet another image from KFJC marathon

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Special newspaper advertisement created by Eric Predoehl to promote then-upcoming KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon of August 1983. Image by Eric Predoehl / All rights reserved.

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Photo of Eric Predoehl, Jack Ely and Richard Berry at KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon of August 1983. Photo by Karen Howe / All rights reserved.

Richard Berry music for auto insurance!

Richard Berry‘s music has been used for a variety of different commercials, but most of the time it’s been utilized in the form of the Kingsmen‘s version of “LOUIE LOUIE.” In the past 10 years, we’re seen more companies embrace some of Richard’s other music for TV commercials, particularly the Sonics version “Have Love Will Travel,” which was first used for a Land Rover ad campaign.

It’s very rare that we hear a Richard Berry song on a commercial with Richard’s voice.

Liverpool Victoria, an insurance company based in the U.K., decided to change this with their latest ad campaign. For this new campaign, we get to hear “Have Love Will Travel” as sung by Richard.


https://youtu.be/WAgSZaUmdeE

Catchy little number, eh?

Here’s a little clip I shot with Richard singing that very song when he performed what turned out to be his final appearance with the Pharaohs.


https://youtu.be/ZVbPumOpsHI

For more information about Liverpool Victoria, you can visit their website, and send ’em some love for exceptional taste in music!

Big thanks to Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys for the heads-up on this one!

Steve West, the Lost Raider – LOUIE of the Week

This week, The Louie Report is honored to share a very special article by Steve West, the original guitarist with Paul Revere & the Raiders for their 1963 recording of LOUIE LOUIE!

Enjoy!! – E.P.

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Steve West - high school

I was born in Portland, Oregon on August 21, 1946. I still live in Portland, Oregon. I started playing guitar at the age of 8 years old.

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I was playing at a teenage nightclub called the Headless Horsemen when I was 15 years old. Mike Smith (aka “Smitty”), Ross Allemang and Don Gallucci were playing there with me. Mark Lindsay came into the club one night. He walked up to me and started talking to me about the Raiders. He told me about Paul Revere’s service duty. He wanted to put a band back together. At this time Paul and Mark were living in Wilsonville (a town 25 miles south of Portland). He also talked to Mike Smith and Ross and asked if we wanted to come out to the Wilsonville house to audition for the group called Paul Revere And The Raiders. We all agreed and met out there the next day.

That was the summer of 1962.

I was still in high school so i could only travel and play on weekends. We played at various shows in Oregon and Idaho.

The first recording I did with the Raiders was “Shake It Up Part 1 and 2.” Then in April of 1963 we recorded “LOUIE LOUIE” and “Night Train.” It was at a recording studio in northwest Portland, and it turned out to he same studio that the Kingsmen recorded LOUIE LOUIE about a week earlier. The recording band was Paul Revere on bass, Mike Smith on drums, Mark Lindsay on sax and on vocal, and myself on guitar. I remember being very nervous during the recording session. It took about 5 takes to do LOUIE LOUIE, just to get the guitar solo right. The song was originally released on Sande Records, produced by Roger Hart, who also owned the Sande record label.

Steve West 1963 guitar amp

We were going to use the LOUIE LOUIE song as a promo for the radio stations to play it in the towns that we were going to make appearances. We did that and as we were touring, the song got so popular along the way that it sparked some interest from a guy at Columbia Records! Roger Hart cut a deal and our song was on the Columbia label. Columbia had never signed with a rock n’ roll group before! It was a number one hit on the charts for the west coast and Hawaii until Mitch Miller nixed it, as he did not want any rock n’ roll music on Columbia Records, mixed with Andy Williams and all the other artists. After that, the Kingsmen’s version of LOUIE LOUIE went national.

Since 1963 both versions of the song have charted in various radio markets. To this day LOUIE LOUIE by the Raiders is still played on the radio!

steve West Raiders hearse

Around that time, I was touring with the Raiders and we returned to Boise, Idaho. I stayed with Charlie Coe and his parents in Boise. Mark wanted me to move to Boise and take correspondence courses to finish my schooling. At that time we were playing in a teenage nightclub that Paul Revere owned. I was working 5 nights a week and started to get sick. I got intestinal flu and I did not want to quit school at that time. I felt that I was being pressured to move to Boise. I quit the band and came back to Portland, Oregon. I graduated from Washington High School in 1964.

I continued to play music in local bands in the area and played with a country band for seven years and played behind Freddie Hart, David Frizzell, Susan Raye (of Hee Haw) and many others. I did recordings for local groups at a Vancouver studio called Ripcord Studios.

steve west redjacket band

I made a career of playing with bands and toured many states. I played with bands until the year 2000. I then joined with my wife Linda as a duo and we played locally and recorded many songs together. We are now web DJs on a radio station and have been for over a year on WHPR radio 101.1 FM. It is based out of Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Steve-and-Linda

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Steve also created a special video to set the record straight on his guitar playing on the original LOUIE LOUIE by Paul Revere & the Raiders, with a demonstration on how it’s done….

This special YouTube performance is this week’s LOUIE of the Week!


https://youtu.be/f03vyG3RgCQ

You can keep up with Steve and Linda West by visiting The Steve West Band – Facebook page

And if you’d like to learn more about Steve, check out the September 2015 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine. There’s a great article on Steve by Dan Forte!

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