RIP: Tom Petty / LOUIE of the Week

Monday was a day of anger, sadness and shock.

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:


https://youtu.be/KtB63qxKBAI

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.


https://youtu.be/19G4L27gW1k

Three years ago, when (LOUIE pioneer) Paul Revere died, Tom and the Heartbreakers did a great tribute to Paul in Anaheim on October 7, 2014 with an inspired rendition of “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone.”


https://youtu.be/0jaZxM5QlWs

With the passing of Tom Petty, there’s been some wonderful tributes shared in cyberspace.

Here’s one of my favorites – Berke Breathed’s Bloom County 2017 Episode #499.

I’ve been informed that in lieu of flowers, Tom’s wife Dana Petty has requested that donations be made to MusiCares OR Midnight Mission Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, here’s an embedded link to a playlist of most of the cool music videos created by
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!

Click on this link, and watch ’em all…

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoopXDarluPBnuxs4PTC55Sc_2ShAXC0i


https://youtu.be/1o4s1KVJaVA

… and don’t forget the Traveling Wilburys!
_____________

Reference Links:

Los Angeles Times – Tom Petty’s final interview: There was supposed to have been so much more by Randy Lewis
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-tom-petty-the-final-interview-20171004-story.html

Ocala Star Banner (Florida newspaper) – Local Tom Petty fans struggle through a tough day by Dave Schlenker
http://www.ocala.com/news/20171003/local-tom-petty-fans-struggle-through-tough-day

American Songwriter – On the Life and Times of Tom Petty by Paul Zollo
http://americansongwriter.com/2017/10/life-times-tom-petty/

E! News – Remembering Tom Petty: The Quintessential All-American Rock Star Who Never Backed Down by Natalie Finn
http://www.eonline.com/news/884334/remembering-tom-petty-the-quintessential-all-american-rock-star-who-never-backed-down

NBC News – Tom Petty, Rock Craftsman Admired for Four Decades, Dies at 66 by Alex Johnson
https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/music/tom-petty-rock-craftsman-admired-four-decades-dies-66-n806936

Billboard – Tom Petty Named 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year by Steve Marinucci
http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7525717/tom-petty-2017-musicares-person-of-the-year

NY Times – Tom Petty’s ‘Greatest Trip’ Was to Los Angeles by Justin Sablich
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/travel/tom-petty-los-angeles-florida-gainesville.html

Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County
https://www.berkeleybreathed.com/

MusiCares
https://www.grammy.com/musicares

Midnight Mission Los Angeles
http://www.midnightmission.org

LOUIE comic strip – Nancy

It’s yet another mention of LOUIE LOUIE in the daily comic strips!

This ones was in Saturday’s NANCY comic strip – May 27, 2017.

The Nancy comic character was originally created by Ernie Bushmiller in 1933, and has continued, thanks to the talents of Guy Gilchrist, who’s been drawing Nancy’s adventures since 1995.

Big thanks to our friend Nola Falan for spotting this LOUIE reference!

You can view this comic strip and all the others at GoComics!

Reference Links:

Official Nancy webpage at GoComics!
http://www.gocomics.com/nancy/

WiKipedia- Nancy (comic strip)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_(comic_strip)

Today’s LOUIE comic strip – The Fusco Brothers!

comic_fuscobros_20161126_ll

Today in the daily funny papers, there was a mention of that very special song in The Fusco Brothers comic strip by J.C. Duffy.

Be sure to visit the official Fusco Brothers page at GoComics.com, where you can order the official Collectible Archive Quality Print!

Bookmark this page!
http://www.gocomics.com/thefuscobrothers

(with special thanks to David Richoux for being the FIRST one to send me this comic strip!)

LOUIE flashback – Election 1988

bloom-county-president-LOUIE-large

Back in 1988, Bloom Country, the brilliant comic strip by Berke Breathed, provided some special LOUIE LOUIE lyrics to celebrate the Presidential Election of United States, imagining different sets of LOUIE lyrics for each of the candidates – Mike Dukakis, George H.W. Bush, and Bill the Cat!

The Bloom County comic strip originally ran from 1980 until 1989, but was recently restarted after a 25 year hiatus, currently available via Facebook and GoComics.com.

More details about the Bloom County universe can be found at:
BerkeleyBreathed.com.

RIP: Dennis Eichhorn, writer, adventurer, underground comic book creator

2001-0965-Eichhorn-framed-text-m

Writer Dennis Eichhorn died last week on Thursday, October 8th, and I’m kinda bummed about it.

With the life that he lived, shared via the stories that he wrote, I imagine he probably went through dozens of different types of business cards, as he had something like a gazillion or so different jobs- detective, publisher, nightclub bouncer, social worker, bartender, concert promoter, driver, researcher, among others.

He lived a life that seemed so outrageous, filled with absurd adventures …so much that sharing his adventures via fantastic comic book stories seemed like the perfect vehicle for him.

As a connoisseur of independent “underground” comic books such as the works of R.Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, S. Clay Wilson, Dan O’Neill, Trina Robbins, Skip Williamson, Joel Beck, Peter Bagge, and so many others, I immediately embraced the “Real Stuff” line comic books written by Dennis Eichhorn. The stories were well-written with outrageous art by a lot of different illustrators.

Needless to say, when these comic book stories referenced a certain song close to my heart, I definitely felt some kindred spirits….

eichhorn-LOUIE-RealStuff_09-m

eichhorn-LOUIE-RealStuff_10-m

When I was living during a brief time in Seattle in 1996, I tracked down Denny, and we shot a little interview. Growing up in Idaho, he had memories of getting his hair cut by Paul Revere, before the Raiders became the one of the most popular rock bands to emerge from the Pacific Northwest. He was a friend of Phil “Fang” Volk, who a track star at his high school, and he worked directly with Mark Lindsay at a nightclub that Lindsay owned. There were also memories of other bands from the Pacific Northwest, as well as thoughts on the song that became a regional anthem.

I also asked Denny to share his story about how he got involved in writing comic book stories, and he graciously provided me with these words, which I’m sharing for the very first time with this newly-assembled video

https://youtu.be/Cc__DzEer6E

I plan on sharing some of my footage of my conversation with Denny about NorthWest Music in the near future. Please continue to check this website for updates…

When Dennis passed away, I’m grateful I was able to find out fairly quickly via my friends on ye Face***k social network, which also allowed me to learn more about Dennis. J.R. Williams, who illustrated a lot of Dennis’s stories was the first to break the news.

Richard Von Busack recycled a cool photo from Pat Moriarity, featuring Pat, Dennis, J.R. Williams and Jim Blanchard

Eichhorn-and-company

Dennis Eichhorn (bespectacled, below, the master of the revels), who just left us at age 70–three-score and ten, let’s not be greedy–was the anti-Adrian Tomine. No insult intended to Tomine’s delicacy and introversion. I just intend to use the much praised Tomine as a compass point to explain where the less famous Eichhorn stood. Eichhorn’s tales of feuding, f’ing and fighting in comic form were beautifully sensitive and rumbustious at the same time. He was one of the few people who could tell you about his intimate love life in print without ooking you thoroughly. Clearly the man loved women. He was a–mostly–unknown master of the autobiographical comic form, a football player, a bouncer, a bartender (in Capitola, where you could, in the 1970s see heinous, murderous behavior). Literally born in a prison, he used his art to captivate many, many others. Glad I met the man once. Eichorn tangled with some serious bruisers, and accidentally put a villain’s eye out once, and yet he couldn’t have been more nice. Thanks for the wonderful stories, which are still out there.

Here’s a wonderful image that R.L Crabb created for a compilation of REAL LIFE comic stories.

eichhorn-RealStuff-content-page-Crabb

Denny eventually left Loompanics, but I heard from him again in 2003 when he was preparing to collect his best stories into one volume. He needed an interior title page, and asked if I would be interested. I dug out all my old copies of the comics and did my best to mimic the styles of the many fine cartoonists who had graced the pages of Real Stuff over the years…

After I sent him a copy of the piece, he asked if he could purchase the original. I remembered that years earlier, during a particularly dry spell in my career, I went to the post office one day and found a letter from Denny, along with a hundred dollar bill. It was like manna from heaven at the time. I sent the artwork to him, with a note telling him that it had already been paid for as far as I was concerned.

Mary Fleener shared this image and thoughts on collaborations with Dennis.

fleener-eichhorn

Denny Eichhorn understood something about artists. To work with one you must let your story become THEIR story. Oh sure, he would give you a script but that was just a list of ingredients, and the way you mixed ’em was up to you. Denny also understood that the key to good storytelling is a bit of exaggeration here, a touch of blarney there, all told in good fun to keep the reader’s attention. I knew exactly what he wanted with “Bad Trip”, having “been experienced” myself plenty o’ times, and after I was done, he told me how spot on the LSD visual images were….he hadn’t told me exactly how he tripped, but I knew. I felt a great bond with Denny, and I bet everyone who worked with him did, too. My heart goes out to Jane and his family.

Art Chantry provided this image of another publication Eichhorn was responsible for, with more details about his wonderful talents.

nw-extra-crumb-xmas

this is the cover of NORTHWEST EXTRA issue #10 from about 1989 or so. my late friend dennis p. eichhorn created and edited this free newsprint magazine in the northwest. i designed the covers through the entire history of the magazine.

it was a gloriously cheapo affair. denny discovered that simply by bidding low (i think it was $50 and there were no other bidders at all) he was able to secure all the syndicated columns for an otherwise uncovered underpopulated region of the country. basically, that meant he was able to buy the rights to print amazing writer’s work for peanuts. you can see the names of the folks at the bottom of the cover who were in this issue. amazing.
denny was also extremely close to the fantagraphics people and even worked at Loompanics, the late publisher of ANYTHING nobody else would publish. denny’s friendly charming personality won over everybody he came into contact with and he became close to ever single name listed on this cover (for instance.) denny was astonishing well- connected. you name the outsider weirdo and chances are he was pals with them.

as a result, i got to work on covers with some of the most interesting illustrators and cartoonists in the world. this is a fine example here. this is actually the crumb family xmas card from that year. denny was on their xmas card list and he loved this thing (each member of the crumb family drew themselves). denny got in touch and asked if he could use it for his xmas issue cover. they said, “SURE!”

the result was that i had to take this little xmas card and turn it into a magazine cover. but, my design cartouche for the covers of NW EXTRA was so bare bones, generic and flexible (intentionally) that i could adapt to just about anything i was handed to make into a cover. throw some red ink in there (for xmas, ya know?) and voila! done!

i also worked with michael dougan, karel moiseiwitsch, s. clay wilson, carol lay, lynda barry, drew friedman, peter bagge, j.r. williams, harvey pekar, several more crumb covers, and a host of others i can’t recall off hand. it was a wonderful opportunity to have worked on this thing with denny. it’s hard to imagine a world without denny eichhorn in it.

Dennis was also a “manager(?)” of the legendary Wild Man Fischer, who provided him with wild stories which were illustrated by J.R. Wiilams and Pat Moriarity for the REAL STUFF comic, and collected into a very entertaining standalone book!

Wild-Man-Fischer-book

Once again, Dennis Eichorn was one of those people I wish I spent more time with, as he was filled with a wealth of incredible stories.

Luckily for me, I’m still hearing more stories about him from his friends.

I leave with this image of Dennis Eichhorn, created by R.L. Crabb. This is from REAL STUFF #20 – the final comic of that series. A fitting way to good bye…

Eichhorn-RealStuff_20_pg02_c2

For MORE on Dennis Eichhorn, please check out:

R.L. Crabb’s tribute to Dennis Eichhorn

The Comics Journal obit on Dennis Eichhorn by Tom Van Deusen

The Stranger obit on Dennis Eichhorn by Sean Michael Hurley

Last Gasp obit on Dennis Eichhorn

The Idaho Statesman obit on Dennis Eichhorn

The InkStuds obit on Dennis Eichhorn

The Comics Journal – MORE tributes to Dennis

The Boing Boing Denis Eichhorn Collection

Church of LOUIE

It’s time for a rarely-seen LOUIE LOUIE comic strip!

My friend Frances Cherman has been saving this one for years, but has no idea what year this one was published. I couldn’t find anything about this “Briefcase” comic strip by Louthan!! Maybe someone out in cyberspace has the answer??

Thank you, Frances!

The LOUIE road

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….