One week ago, my good friend Jeff Riedle (aka “Stretch“), who’s been a major advisor to the LOUIE project, suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday night, and has been in the hospital ever since.
Actually, I think he just got moved from one hospital to another.
It has been a very hectic week…
Stretch is a great guy, a local legend in the music community, and someone I’ve often acknowledged as the man whose “brilliant moment of inspiration” – playing a full hour of LOUIE LOUIE on a late night radio shift led to the legendary “Maximum LOUIE LOUIE” KFJC marathon that inspired this very documentary project.
There is a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his medical bills, and I’m hoping that many of you could make a donation to help him out.
Jeff “Stretch “ Riedle suffered Cardiac Arrest on Saturday November 25th while playing drums in downtown Santa Cruz, Ca.
Everyone who is a drummer, musician or a fan of Jeff’s band The New Shockwaves, The Fascinating Creatures of The Deep or has bought gear at Starving Musician Knows and Loves Jeff or “Stretch” as he is affectionately known.
Jeff , is currently scheduled for surgery in the following days. We all know that he really is a “ Starving Musician “ and the road to recovery and medical costs, along with loss of work will be an extra stress.
On behalf of Jeff, please join me in raising money to help him through this unexpected and traumatic life event.
Stretch met and interviewed quite a few musicians when he was a DJ at KFJC.
Of course, this post it seems perfectly natural to share a video clip of Stretch and LOUIE LOUIE for the “LOUIE of the Week,” but because it’s Stretch, he gets multiple versions… just because one version is never enough…
This particular clip features a short excerpt of the big 45 minute version that featured Richard Berry, Jack Ely & the Lady Bo Trio at the infamous KFJC marathon. Stretch isn’t actually playing music in this one (even though I do have video evidence of him doing such a thing in the full version of this performance), but he is mentioned, and can be seen dancing to the music…
On Sunday, I was able to visit with Stretch and show him one of the new donations to the LOUIE archives – the original LOUIE LOUIE 45rpm master stamper of 1957 (Richard Berry on Flip Records-254), courtesy of Neal P. of the Max & Lilian Feirtag estate.
May the powers of LOUIE LOUIE heal my good friend!
We’re a bit late in reporting this, we wanted to acknowledge the passing of Bobby Lloyd Hicks, who died on February 19, 2017.
Bobby Lloyd Hicks performed an inspired version of LOUIE LOUIE when he was a member of Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men. Wedged between “Abilene” and “Thirty Dollar Room,” the band delivered this magical moment of inebriated absurdity on February 21, 1999 at the Harmony Bar & Grille in Madison, Wisconsin.
Dave Alvin paid tribute to his old bandmate on his Facebook page:
Bobby Lloyd Hicks passed away last night surrounded by his loving children and wife. He was/is my dear friend, drummer, singer, teacher, troublemaker, Guilty Man-Skeleton-NRBQer inspirational rock and roll anarchist angel. How do I summarize nearly 30 years of close friendship? How do I explain 16 years on the road together? All the sweaty gigs, miles, adventures, great shows, bad shows, drunken misdeeds, music lessons, disappointments,, laughs, tears and all the brotherly love and broken drum heads. We battled our demons together and, happily, Bobby eventually triumphed over his. He didn’t get the fame and fortune he deserved but, never the less, he kept playing until his body gave out. Selfishly I have to say that so far in 2017, I’ve lost two of the closest friends I’ll ever have. First was my Blaster era road manager, Wally Hanley, and now Bobby. I already hate this terrible year but I’m gonna do what musicians do to survive: turn up loud, sing our songs, mourn, celebrate, touch some hearts, shake some asses and play some damn music to raise the dead. I love and miss ya, Bobby Lloyd, but I’ll see you onstage every night.
I’m so sorry to have to let you know that Fred lost his battle with cancer & passed away peacefully in his sleep last night, Nov 9, 2017. Thanks you one & all for all the years & memories we all shared together, for being friends first & business partners second, so proud to be a part of your lives.
Fred had that quality of being “immortal” and I believe his songs & recordings will make it so. We can always hear his voice & his passion there and remember it like it was only yesterday & will go on forever.
I love you all, Toody
“The last train is leaving
Can’t you read the signals in my eyes
And I’m standing on the platform
Waiting for the ones I’ve left behind”
P.S. Please forward or post this to your own circle of “family” who were touched by Fred Cole & his music.
Dead Moon was a punk rock band from Portland, Oregon that lasted from 1987 to 2006, with a reunion that took place in 2014. The band consisted of Fred on vocals and guitar, his wife Kathleen “Toody” Cole on bass, and Andrew Loomis on drums. Robert Christgau wrote a review in Rolling Stone magazine where he described the band as sounding “like the 13th Floor Elevators without the clinical dementia”.
A couple of years ago, The Stranger provided a wonderful overview of Dead Moon`s legacy, written and illustrated by Emily Nokes, which included these tasty tidbits..
• Fred Cole (born August 28, 1948) started his musical career in Las Vegas at the age of 15 with a project called Deep Soul Cole (billed as the “White Stevie Wonder”) and a band called the Lords, which recorded a single, “Ain’t Got No Self Respect,” before disbanding in 1964. Cole then joined the Weeds in 1966.
• While on their way north, the Weeds ran out of gas in Portland, Oregon. Fred met Kathleen “Toody” Conner (born December 30, 1948) at a local bar called the Folk Singer, where she was working at the time.
• The Weeds changed their name to the more bubblegum-marketable the Lollipop Shoppe, which also avoided rhyming with the Seeds (the bands shared a manager). They played with the Doors, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Buffalo Springfield, Love, and other greats before dissolving in 1968. Their psych/garage jam “You Must Be a Witch” can be found on the first Nuggets compilation.
Of course, there was one aspect of the Dead Moon legacy that I always appreciated…
• Fred and Toody started Tombstone Records (“Music too tough to die”) in 1988. Tombstone would release most of Dead Moon’s discography. Fred cut the master lacquers on the vintage monophonic lathe that Toody gave him for his 39th birthday. It was the very same lathe, incidentally, that had been used to cut the original release of the Kingsmen‘s “LOUIE LOUIE.”
Fred joins his drummer, Andrew Loomis, who died on March 8, 2016.
Here’s a video of what might be one of the lasts Dead Moon performances.
Stephen Parr was someone I’ve known for many years. Stephen owned Oddball Films, a stock footage company in San Francisco that supplied a lot of wonderfully quirky material for a lot of different film productions.
Before Stephen was running Oddball, I knew him as the guy who assembled some of liveliest nightclub events in San Francisco, often featuring an eclectic array of performance artists, musicians and exotic dancers.
Stephen’s creation of Oddball fell into place after director Ridley Scott contacted him for some specific film footage. From that point on, the seed for planted for this venture, and Stephen wound up assembling the largest film collection in Northern California.
Right now, the IMDb page for OddBall Films currently lists credits for 145 documentaries, 42 television productions and 16 feature films. I have no doubt this list will be expanded as more films get completed.
Stephen was definitely an ally of the LOUIE documentary, and provided some 16mm film transfers over the years.
Rick Prelinger, fellow film archivist, provided some extra insight about our friend for Laura Wenus‘ article for MissionLocal.org:
Now there is a question of what will become of his collection, rumored to contain 50,000 cans of film. Prelinger said archivists from near and far are reaching out to Parr’s family to determine the archive’s future. For one thing, it is a formidable collection of, yes, oddities, but it has also served as a resource for footage in important documentaries — a catalogue of, as Parr himself put it, memories.
Oddball was really set apart, however, by Parr’s determination to share what he’d found with others and bring future archivists into the fold.
“Archives tend to be really closed places, behind closed doors, mysterious and to serve some people and not others,” Prelinger said. “Stephen’s archive was very hospitable. Tons of people came through Capp Street as interns, volunteers, people who worked for his nonprofit, the SF Media Archive.”
Many of them took to social media to lament the loss of the person who had been their introduction to the film — actual physical film — world.
“Oddball was the first time I encountered film on film, and since then, my life has changed as well,” wrote Hila Avraham on Facebook. “Rest in peace, and thank you Stephen for being yourself and sharing your light.”
Glamorous clients aside, Parr was also always ready to share his treasure trove with creative types who didn’t have a hefty corporate bank account. If you were an artist or documentarian, Prelinger said, “you were very likely to just get a gift from him. He was just very generous that way.”
We are going to miss you, my friend.
– E.P. of LoueLouie.net
(photo of Stephen taken by yours truly at the November 1991 Bill Graham memorial concert at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Graphic of the various nightclub flyers borrowed from Joshua Moore‘s “Oddball” short film shared below)
He was an early pioneer of the music genre we call “rock ‘n’ roll music,” and became one of the first rhythm and blues musicians to gain popularity with white audiences.
Fats sold more than 60 million records, with more hit records between 1950 and 1963 than Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly combined.
Elvis Presley considered Fats “the real king of rock ’n’ roll.”
The first song John Lennon ever learned how to play on a guitar was “Ain’t That a Shame,” a Fats Domino song.
A humble man whose humility and shyness may have contributed to the reason why his legacy has often been overlooked
In 1956, Fats Domino made national headlines when his appearance in San Jose, California sparked one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll riots in America, which LOUIE LOUIE songwriter Richard Berry was actually a part of.
Fats Domino performed at the Palomar Gardens Ballroom on Saturday, July 7, 1956 for what turned out to be one of the the earliest rock and riots in the history of America. 3,500 tickets were sold. Lines of people wrapped around six blocks. Beer bottles were thrown, windows were broken, clothes were ripped, teeth were broken, and a lot of people were taken to the hospital. Nothing of this scale ever happened in America, and it set off a tidal wave of reactions from concerned parents, politicians, psychiatrists, and journalists that were concerned about the dangers of this explosive music called “rock and roll.”
Two of my dear friends were at this event, which I never knew about until I got them both together in the same room. Richard Berry, author of LOUIE LOUIE, met my friend Bob Sidebottom at Bob’s store, the Comic Collector Shop. Although Richard wasn’t listed on the bill, he was part of the big show. Both of these guys saw the chaos up close, with beer bottles flying all over the place…
Today, I’m sharing a brand new video clip that utilizes a snippet of my audio recording of that conversation, combined with some photos I shot of Richard and Bob along with some newspaper clippings from the San Jose Mercury News archive at San Jose Library…
I’m not sure who the person is that’s speaking at the 0:05 mark with the comment “never heard of you.. sorry to say that.” It was one of the friends or customers at Bob’s store that night, and his name has since been forgotten.
Last month, we lost Hugh Hefner, the creator of Playboy magazine.
A lot of things have been written about this man and the empire he created. When he started this magazine his initial goal was simply to create a publication that featured the best writers, some great cartoonists and some beautiful photos of some lovely women without a lot of clothing.
It was revolutionary idea that somehow worked, and Hugh Hefner wound up becoming the world’s first celebrity publisher.
Along the way, he became one of the foremost defenders of the First Amendment, the right of American citizens to be able obtain birth control (illegal in various states when the magazine first started), and along with the revolutionary work of Masters & Johnson, helped Americans educate themselves about their own human bodies, providing a shortcut for many people in their pursuit of happiness.
Of course, all of this wasn’t without controversy. Playboy was, and continues to criticized for objectifying human bodies. Certain body types do receive more attention than other body types, and nudity continues to be frowned upon within many cultures.
Luckily, nobody should be forced into buying something they don’t want. Playboy is NOT for everyone and there are many places in the world where such things are simply not allowed.
In the meantime, here’s some notes on some unlikely connections between Playboy magazine and the song LOUIE LOUIE that you may or may not know about…
1) F.B.I. Investigations of Playboy magazine and LOUIE LOUIE
Both Playboy magazine and the song LOUIE LOUIE were subjects of some serious F.B.I. investigations overseen directly by J. Edgar Hoover.
In 1985, I received a 122 page dossier on the LOUIE LOUIE investigation via an FOIA request.
In 2000, APB News received a 213-page dossier on the Playboy magazine investigation.
James Gordon Meek, one of the APB News investigative reporters assigned to the project, provided a brief overview of events that led up to the investigation of the magazine:
The 213-page dossier on Playboy was recently sent to APBnews.com by the FBI— appropriately, in a plain brown wrapper— in response to a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request.
The magazine, founded in 1953, rst caught the attention of agents two years later when Playboy ran a science- ction piece about G-men spying on the solar system. But it was Hefner’s outspokenness that sparked the most intense monitoring of the publication.
Hefner took a jab at Hoover in the February, 1963, issue. A column, called “Playboy Philosophy,” spelled out the magazine’s editorial credo and criticized Hoover for his stand against pornography, which Hefner said was meant to divert public attention from the FBI’s failure to get rid of the Mafia.
Hoover’s reaction to the published affront was an ominous note to his subordinates: “What do we know of H. M. Hefner?”
For more than a year, agents not only read every word of the magazine, but they summarized each issue for Hoover and his deputies.
You can obtain a copy of the FBI Playboy dossier by visiting PaperlessArchives.com, which has a “pay-what-you-want” interface.
2) The Playboys of Seattle – FIRST band to cover LOUIE LOUIE (1957)
Not many people realize this, but the very first band to cover Richard Berry‘s immortal song was a Seattle band that named their band after Hugh Hefner’s magazine. They not only used the name, but they also borrowed the rabbit head logo.
The Playboys initially consisted of Robert Risley (keyboards), Andy Duvall (drums, vocals), Roland Green (guitar), John O’Francia (tenor saxophone) and Carlos Ward (alto saxophone). Ron Holden later joined the band as a lead vocalist, but from what I understand, he was only with the Playboys for less than a year before leaving to join the Thunderbirds before embarking on a solo career, which led a hit record with “I Love You So” which was recorded in 1959.
A lot of people, including Buck Ormsby and Kent Morrill of the Wailers gave credit to Ron Holden & the Playboys as the first band to perform the song in the Pacific Northwest, but according to Robert Risely and Andy Duvall, the Playboys were actually performing the song before and after Ron joined them
While they were the very first band to perform the song, they never released a recording of their version.
There actually IS a recording of their version of the song, captured in 1960, but we’ll save that performance and the interview with Robert and Andy for the documentary…
3) The origins of the Kingsmen name – a Playboy advertiser
One of the products that was regularly advertised in Playboy magazine between 1958 and 1967 was “King Men” after-shave, a brand owned by Helene Curtis Industries.
According to various members of the band, this was the after-shave used by Mike Mitchell, the guitarist, and they all thought this was a catchy name for the band, so they used it…
4) LOUIE LOUIE direct acknowledgement in Playboy magazine
Over the years, Playboy magazine has been very good about sharing some pro-LOUIE LOUIE tidbits.
In the July 1985 issue, Kurt Loder shared his thoughts on the song for the 20 Questions column:
Louie Louie is beautiful. I think the FBI studied it for a while. If you can picture those guys siting around listening to it. The words are easily available, but in the recording done by the Kingsmen, no one could understand what was going on. Not even the guys who were singing it. It could have been dirty. Can we imagine a time when people cared? It was a much more innocent time. I’m sure there are conservatives who wish we had Louie Louie back again and that Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg were some-where else.
The KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon got a nice mention on page 42 of the January 1984 issue.
(The event actually contained over 800 versions of the song and the Rhino LP was released during the weekend of the marathon in August 1983)
The Washington LOUIE state song campaign also received a welcome acknowledgement on page 33 of the July 1985 issue.
5) Little Annie by the Kingsmen – homage to the Playboy cartoon
After their big hit recording with LOUIE LOUIE, The Kingsmen followed up with a handful of songs including “Annie Fanny,” which paid tribute to “Little Annie Fanny” – the Playboy comic strip created by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder!
Never mind that it borrowed heavily from “Alley Oop”- the 1960 hit record by The Hollywood Argyles. Gary Paxton, the lead singer / producer of that particular band, produced a handful of records with Richard Berry after Richard recorded LOUIE, as well as records with Paul Revere & Raiders before their recording of LOUIE LOUIE.
One of the worst mass shootings ever in USA. Another great singer-songwriter left us. More natural disasters and a clueless elected official that continues to make even more stupid, insensitive statements via Twitter.
Just another day in America that sadly felt all too familiar, unfortunately.
In the case of the departed singer-songwriter, it turned out to be a premature announcement of the departure of Tom Petty, who passed away many hours after his death was initially announced in the major media outlets.
The death of Tom Petty caught so many of us completely off-guard. He seemed to be at the top of his game, playing better than ever with his band of Heartbreakers, having just finished an extremely successful 40th anniversary tour.
Meanwhile, yours truly was 400 miles away from his homebase, dealing with an unexpected broken tooth accident while helping a friend deal with the aftermath of a major move.
As it’s taken me a few days to assemble this blog post, here’s a few things I thought needed to be shared about Tom Petty….
1) When Tom Petty was an 11 years old boy, he saw Elvis Presley (who he didn’t know much about) on a movie set in Florida for the feature film “Follow That Dream.” As he witnessed how people reacted to this special visit by Elvis, Petty’s life was forever changed by the experience.
“He stepped out, radiant as an angel. He seemed to glow and walk above the ground. It was like nothing I’d ever seen in my life,” Petty said of Presley in the book “Conversations With Tom Petty,” written by Paul Zollo.
2) Tom Petty fought hard for artistic independence and his fanbase. NBC News provided a reminder of his battles with record labels:
Always a fierce advocate for artistic independence and putting his fans first, Petty fought many battles with his record labels. In 1981, Petty took on MCA Records over the list price for the album “Hard Promises” — MCA wanted to issue it for $9.98, while Petty insisted that it sell for $8.98. Petty won.
It wasn’t the first time he’d gone to war with MCA. In 1979, when the band’s label, Shelter, was bought by MCA, Petty soon got into a dispute with the new owner over songwriting rights. Litigation ensued, putting Petty’s career on hold — and forcing him to file for bankruptcy protection.
Petty settled with MCA in a deal that saw him and the band move to another MCA subsidiary, and the records soon resumed. Petty, both solo and with the Heartbreakers, remained a fixture on the lists of the highest-grossing concert acts in the world for the next quarter-century.
3) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers‘ 13th and final studio album, 2014’s Hypnotic Eye, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart—the band’s first No. 1 debut—and was nominated for the Grammy for Best Rock Album.
4) Tom Petty was honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year for his charitable work. Six years earlier, he and his wife Dana were given the Midnight Mission Award in May 2011. Midnight Mission offers emergency help and drug and alcohol assistance programs for the homeless in the Los Angeles area.
Would you believe that one of the first bootleg CDs I ever saw featuring the song LOUIE LOUIE was a Tom Petty CD entitled “LOUIE LOUIE?”
It was a live recording of a show he did in Ultrecht, Holland on December 4, 1982, released by some EEC record label called “On Stage” in 1993.
Here’s a snippet from that particular recording, now shared freely on YouTube:
Tom and the Heartbreakers also performed the song live at The Fillmore in San Francisco on February 7, 1997. This entire concert is also on YouTube, but you’ll have to cue it to the 2:55:36 mark to hear LOUIE LOUIE.
A few months ago Freddie Dennis suffered a medical setback with two strokes and now needs some help with his bills as he continues to recover.
A fundraising campaign for Freddie has been set up at YouCaring.com.
if you can help Freddie, that would be wonderful!
Screamer Freddie Dennis will Rock the House again!
Let’s all help to bring back one of the Pacific Northwest’s Rock Legend, Freddie Dennis. Formerly of the Liverpool Five, Kingsmen, Freddie and the Screamers and currently Lead Vocalist/Bass Player for The Sonics. In July, Freddie had two strokes. These affected his communication center, leaving him with two conditions, aphasia and apraxia. We have been working hard to bring back his memory, speaking, listening and understanding. He has therapy sessions 4 to 5 times a week. Freddie’s progress has been remarkable. This is all because of the talent of all of the wonderful providers, specialists and therapists that have helped us. The copays have been high and continue to grow which is why we are reaching out in this way.
Today, we learned that Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü passed away from kidney cancer at the age of 56.
Grant was best known as the drummer and co-songwriter for Hüsker Dü, a three-piece punk band from Minnesota.
Hüsker Dü had a nine year run, starting off in 1979, and eventually breaking up in 1987. Hüsker Dü was one of the earliest American bands from the indie punk circles of the 1980s to sign a record deal with a major label, linking up with Warner Brothers, where they released two studio albums.
After the break-up of Hüsker Dü, Grant formed Nova Mob (another 3 piece band), where he moved to vocals and guitar. In 1995, Grant became a solo artist and even became the subject of a documentary by Gorman Bechard (director of “Color Me Obsessed” the documentary about The Replacements‘ notoriety)
It looks like the last project Grant released was a double album entitled “The Argument” (based on John Milton‘s “Paradise Lost”), which came out in the summer of 2013
The first time I ever saw Grant Hart and Hüsker Dü was at a KFJC benefit concert at Foothill College, the same place where the infamous “Maximum LOUIE LOUIE” marathon took place two months earlier (different buildings, though). At this show, which took place on October 21, 1983, Hüsker Dü were part of a punk rock cavalcade that also featured the Dead Kennedys, Angst, Mal and Grim Reality.
It turned out to be one of the most exciting shows I’ve ever seen in my life.
Rest in peace, Grant Hart.
Oh and lest we forget.. and here’s a version of LOUIE LOUIE by Hüsker Dü (with Grant Hart) live in San Francisco on March 1, 1985, featuring special appearances by members of the Minutemen and the Meat Puppets. LOUIE kicks in at the 2:28 mark right immediately after “Makes No Sense At All.”
Are you ready for a world premiere of a very special LOUIE LOUIE performance?
Today, I’m proud to unveil a video performance by The Pre-Minstrel Sisters. This was a video that was shot over 20 years, but never fully edited until recently.
This was something created specifically for the LOUIE project.
My friend Suzie Kriz got together with her pal Lynelle Tyler to write special lyrics that acknowledged the history of the song. Lynnelle sang the song and produced the audio recording at her home studio, while Suzie came up all sorts of imagery for this music – the costumes, the set design and all sorts of funny props. The other sisters were other friends that showed up for this little production. The paparazzi-style photographer was played by Donrad Montgomery. The shoot took place at a studio in Santa Cruz, CA.
The video services and the LOUIE wine coolers were provided by yours truly.