RIP: Fred Cole of Dead Moon

Fred & Toody Cole (Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows), The Hague Dec 2013 (Mammal Inc. / Arjan van den Berg)

Sad news with the death of Fred Cole of Dead Moon. His death was reported today in the Dead Moon Facebook group:

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”

Fred Cole
Last Train

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.

Rest in peace, Fred.


https://youtu.be/76KaraW8FPI

__________________________

Reference Links:

Facebook – Dead Moon Fan Club

The Stranger – Under a Dead Moon, An Illustrated Timeline of the NW Punk Lifers by Emily Nokes

Wikipedia – Fred Cole

Wikipedia – Dead Moon

Fifty-four years ago yesterday….

My friend Clay found a wonderful little article in the Portland Orbit that celebrates LOUIE LOUIE as “THE greatest moment in rock-and-roll.”

As this article points out, April 6, 1963 was the day that the Kingsmen stepped into the recording studio to make some history..

Will Simmons from the Pittsburgh Orbit wrote some excellent words about this special moment, and you really need to read the whole thing to appreciate it….

It really is a beautiful essay, but I do take exception with one particular statement:

The Kingsmen went on to record a series of albums in the mid-1960s full of decent, but forgettable R&B standards, dance-craze-of-the-week retreads, and unfortunate novelty tunes. It didn’t help matters that shortly after “Louie’s” success, Easton staged a bloodless coup to unseat Ely as lead singer and frontman. In one fell swoop, the band lost both of their greatest assets–the untrained voice and the unhinged beat.

The truth of the matter is that Jack Ely was not unseated after the success of LOUIE LOUIE.

He and bassist Bob Nordby left the band months before the song became a big success. There was a big argument over the direction of the band, as Lynn Easton not only wanted to become the lead vocalist and move Jack from guitar to the drums, but there was also the matter of the trademark registration of the Kingsmen name, which Lynn and his mother took complete control of ownership.

Jack tried to rejoin the band after LOUIE LOUIE it became an unexpected hit, and Lynn refused to allow him back into the Kingsmen.

Other than that little statement, an excellent article.

I really enjoyed seeing the phonebook entry for Pypo Club in Seaside, Oregon.

This a nice affirmation that “1 Broadway, Seaside, Oregon” was indeed the address for this legendary teen dancehall!

Finding anything about the Pypo Club is always a special treat! I’m still hoping to find some definitive photographs of the interior of this club!

Will Simmons will be writing a second installment of his Louie Files, where he may “attempt to find the rock club in Seaside!”

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

Reference Links:

Portland Orbit – The Greatest Moment in Rock-and-Roll
https://portlandorbit.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/the-louie-files-the-greatest-moment-in-rock-and-roll/

Pacific Northwest Bands – Pypo Club
http://pnwbands.com/pypoclub.html

Stumptown Blogger – Who Remembers “The Pypo Club” in Seaside
http://www.stumptownblogger.com/2013/03/who-remembers-the-pypo-club-in-seaside.html

Phil “Fang” Volk w/ the Kingsmen – LOUIE of the Week

fang-kingsmen-vegas-2016

Phil “Fang” Volk, an alumni of Paul Revere & the Raiders, shared a special LOUIE LOUIE performance on his Facebook page– a recent collaboration with the Kingsmen!

Phil “Fang” Volk playing bass guitar and singing “Louie Louie” with the Kingsmen at their Cannery Concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 28, 2016. In honor of the late Smitty, original drummer of the Raiders, Fang shouted out: “Grab your woman, it’s Louie, Louie time!” heard on the Raider’s single of the same song, recorded in the same studio, in the same week in Portland, Oregon over 53 years ago.

https://youtu.be/4hgnFHBpRUM

RIP: Buck Munger, publisher of Two Louies, NW music industry legend

buck-munger-against-wall-Michael_Jaye

On Tuesday night, I received some sad news on Facebook about my friend Buck Munger.

April 19, 2016
just before 2:00 on a beautiful afternoon.
Buck Munger joined his favorite dog Lucee, his favorite bass player John, his best friend Jack and the best soft player he ever played with Richard on the other side of where ever.
So now it is time to go out and celebrate his life.
Go to a record store and buy a CD. No not Amazon or Target, a real record store with people working behind the register who want to turn you on to some great music. If you live in Portland try Music Millennium.
How about some live music entertainment? Go to a club this weekend and see some live music, not a DJ. Make it original music for extra credit. Pay the cover and remember to tip your bartender and cocktail waitress.
All you musicians out there, inspire a kid to play, give a less fortunate musician an instrument you aren’t using, play a gig with an old friend and remember how much fun it is to just play.
Support your local musician and you will celebrate the best part of Buck’s real cool, incredibly interested and too short life.
Thank You,
Mrs. Jayne (Jablonski) Munger

Buck was a supporter of the LOUIE documentary, and one of the biggest advocates of the music community in his home state of Oregon. He had extremely colorful life, and was an extraordinary storyteller.

His career began in the Alaska as a drummer for a country western band during the late 1950s. From there, he would end up joining the U.S. Marine Corp, playing rock music with a government-sponsored band known as the Mark Five, which lasted for a few years. As his tour of duty ended, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked various jobs in the music industry, before throwing in the hat, and moving back to Oregon in 1967.

sunn-Kingsmen

Strangely enough, a job with a new company founded by the Kingsmen‘s bassist, Norm Sunnholm, was the key to Buck’s first big break in the music industry. Buck was hired to work for the Sunn Musical Equipment Company of Tualatin, Oregon, moving back to Los Angeles to promote their new amplifiers. With a company van loaded with Sunn products and a new place in Southern California, Buck was given the mission of finding prominent musicians that would be willing to use and endorse their products.

munger-Hendrix-500x

sunn-Hendrix-ad

Jimi Hendrix turned out to be Buck’s first major celebrity endorsement deal – a musician from the Pacific Northwest whose career exploded when when he moved to England. Buck witnessed Jimi’s pivotal performance at the Monterey Pops Festival and negotiated an endorsement deal that very weekend.

munger-Who-Townshend

sunn-Who-ad

Buck wound up setting up a variety of other endorsements for Sunn, but setting up an alignment with the Who turned out to another major feather for his proverbial cap. His kinship with the band, particularly with John Entwistle, which turned out to a lifetime friendship.

Buck used to share some truly amazing stories about his adventures with The Who on his Facebook wall, including this funny moment involving Keith Moon at an Eric Burdon & Animals show at the Whisky in Hollywood…

There I was, left standing in the intersection, next to the XKE watching Keith Moon run laughing into the hotel waving my car keys. John Entwistle sighed, and said he’d go try to retrieve them. It had been a wild night out. I had picked up John and Keith earlier and we all crammed into the E-Type to cruise out on the Sunset Strip. We rolled up to the Whisky and handed over the keys to the valet. Keith and John were wearing their stage clothes and if not instantly recognizable, certainly somebody out of the ordinary. We were escorted up to the VIP balcony overlooking the stage. On stage were Eric Burdon & The Animals, a group that Moon and Entwistle knew well back home. After several rounds and increasingly rowdy behavior Moon leaned over and yelled in my ear. “He’s bald you know, hasn’t got a hair on his head.” Who? “The guitar player!” I looked down and it seemed to me the guitarist had not only a full head of hair, but flowing locks to boot. Huh? Moon was out of his seat, off like a shot, down the stairs, across the crowded room, up to the corner of the stage, on stage, behind the guitar player, “See!” he yelled, pulling off the wig. Holy shit! It was bedlam on stage. The bald guitarist turned and grabbed at Moon, who threw the wig into the crowd and jumped down. The guitar player dropped his instrument and took off in full pursuit across the room, catching Moon about half-way up the balcony stairs. Thankfully the Whisky bouncers arrived simultaneously and Moon was spared a beating, however we were informed our presence would no longer be tolerated and escorted to the door. Outside, waiting for the car Moonie bowed and smiled to the crowd of clapping patrons that followed us out.

One of Buck’s earliest videos, captured in 1975, shared by LOUIE associate producer David Jester, featured one of Pete Townshend‘s guitars..


https://youtu.be/yN5ekHGQvpk

Buck played a pivotal role in Sunn’s success, which transformed into a major player in the music industry during his time there. After a few years, Buck wound up doing similar work with Norlin which was the home for Gibson and Moog products. With this new job, he was able to work from his homebase in Portland.

munger-Les_Paul-Robert_Moog

After seven years with Norlin, the company decided to consolidate operations, and invited Buck to work at their main headquarters in Chicago.

Buck decided he wanted to stay in Portland, so he turned down the offer and decided to launch a brand new trade publication that would focus on the music scene in Oregon. He would name this new publication “Two Louies” as tip of the hat to the most famous song that was ever recorded in Portland.

twoLouies-RockOregon

Buck created a wonderful resource for the Oregon community with this publication. In era before the internet was an option, bands, nightclubs, recording studios, music shops, photographers and music fans had a place where they could share a lot of information. As a leader in his community, Buck became the instigator a lot of great things in Oregon – big celebrations for various causes and the eventual creation of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

munger-StevieRayVaughn

And with all of this, Buck made sure that people never forgot the legacy of Oregon music, and the very famous song that was recorded by Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders at a Portland recording studio in 1963.

We are all going to miss you, my friend.

Reference:
Buck Munger’s Facebook page

UPDATE: Some of the original statements have been revised.

David Jester shared some details that I missed…

Buck was the founder of The Portland Music Association that started when his friend Peter Burke, (the founder of BMI) came to Portland and talked at a meeting of all the musicians in town at Key Largo.. I recorded that also… I was one of the founding members who put up $20 are the first meeting to put out the first PMA newsletter in 1984 ? or maybe it was 1985?… Buck was the 1st President I believe… Buck was instrumental in establishing the Mayor’s Ball tradition which really put Portland on the International Musical Map…

Terry Currier discussed Buck’s involvement with the Oregon Music Hall of Fame on the OMHOF Facebook page:

Today we lost one of the greats of the Portland Music scene…Buck Munger. Though the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, his publication Two Louies covered the Portland Music scene. Buck championed a lot of artists over this time and after. Before all that, he was the artist rep for Sunn amplifiers. Buck hung with the stars like Eric Clapton, The Who, ZZ Top and here scene with Tom Petty. One of my favorite photos is Buck with Eric Clapton during the Cream years at an empty Memorial Coliseum probably before or after soundcheck. He was involved in the Portland Music Association and putting on the Mayor’s Balls. He was a wealth of information about what went on in Portland. For 3 plus years, Buck called me regularly, trying to get me to start what eventually became the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. I had a full plate and told him I just did not have time to do that on top of having a record store, a record label and a record distribution company as well as being involved in many music based organizations. One day I had a weak moment and said “Yes Buck…I’m going to do it.” I’ve never regretted it and because of the prodding by Buck, The Oregon Music Hall of Fame was created.
There are so many stories and memories I could tell about Buck but today, I think I’ll just reflect my conversations and encounters with Buck. He was a one of a kind character with a passion for music…especially the music that was being made in Portland. Buck was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame because of this passion and all he did to help to champion the music scene here. He got Billboard magazine to do a multi-page feature on what was going on here. We will miss you Buck

2015 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Finale – LOUIE of the Week

Here’s the most important LOUIE performance of the past seven days – the big 2015 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Finale!

Three core members of Paul Revere & the Raiders during the 1960s – Jim Valley, Keith Allison, and Phillip “Fang” Volk are joined by two core members of the Kingsmen during the 1960s – Dick Peterson (front and center) and Mike Mitchell (who’s hiding behind a few people near the podium).

My friend Alex Hart (son of Roger) is playing drums and Terry Currier of Music Millenium (one of my favorite record stores in Portland) is singing at the podium!

Big thanks to my friends Nola Falan and Denise Lamkin for the video!

ENJOY!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vDQxrui_iQ

Oregon Music Hall of Fame tribute to Jack Ely

oregon-hall-2015-10-07

On Saturday, October 10th, there will be the 9th Annual Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) Induction & Concert will be held at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon.

At this event, there will be a big tribute to Jack Ely, the original vocalist for the Kingsmen, who passed away earlier this year. While Jack had not been a member of band since 1963, and there had not been any full-fledged musical reunions of the original players during their 50+ year run, the surviving Kingsmen are planning to pay tribute to their original band member that night.

The Kingsmen will also be joined by Phil “Fang” Volk, Jim “Harpo” Valley and Keith Allison – former members of Paul Revere & the Raiders.

fang-harpo-keith

As you may or may not know, The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders both recorded LOUIE LOUIE in April 1963 at the Northwestern Inc. recording studio in Portland, with respective record releases shared nationally by Wand/Sceptor and Columbia Records. Paul Revere & the Raiders was the first rock ‘n’ roll band signed to Columbia Records (largest record label in the world during 1960s), and LOUIE LOUIE was their first record on that label. In this particular case, the smaller label that signed the Kingsmen wound up with the hit record.

This event should be a lot of fun. Storm Large, a singer from San Francisco that moved to Portland in 2002, then became very successful with an appearance on the “Rock Star” TV show and a whole slew of several critical acclaimed albums, will be receiving OMHOF’s Artist of the Year Award. A lot of other great musicians will also be there, and there will an auction of 15 autographed guitars from such folks as Robert Cray, The B-B2’s, Steve Earle, Chicago, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, to name a few. Proceeds from this event help support our music education and scholarship programs.

I’m not sure I’ll be there, but it sounds like a blast!

You can learn more about the Oregon Music Hall of Fame by visiting the official website at:
http://www.omhof.org

Ticket information for this event can be found at:
http://www.aladdin-theater.com/event/907125-9th-annual-oregon-music-hall-portland/

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.

* * * * * * * * *

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.

steve West guitar Xmas

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

* * * * * * * * *

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!

vintage-guiitar-steve-west-a

vintage-guiitar-steve-west-b

Portland’s LOUIE LOUIE Sing-a-Long – LOUIE of the Week

portland-LL-singalong-2015

This sounds like a great event in Portland! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to attend it!

OregonLive.com reported on this event:

Thursday night rush hour in downtown Portland came with its own rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack at the corner of Southwest 4th Avenue and Southwest Jefferson Street.

Hundreds gathered on the steps of Portland City Hall to belt out “Louie Louie” in unison to pay tribute to the hit song and help roll out a summer fundraising campaign.

“Louie Louie” was written by Richard Berry in 1955, but it’s most known for the version recorded by Portland-based band, The Kingsmen, in 1963. Recorded in a studio at Southwest 13th Avenue and West Burnside Street, the song went on to be a classic and at one point, was even investigated by the FBI for alleged inappropriate lyrics.

More than 50 years later, the surviving members of The Kingsmen, along with an adult marching band and an all-girls rock ‘n’ roll band lead what the group claims to be the “world’s largest Louie Louie sing-a-long.” There was even a specially-made “Bluie Louie doughnut” by Voodoo Doughnut for the cause.

http://www.oregonlive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/06/louie_louie_sing-a-long_rocks.html

The World’s Largest LOUIE LOUIE Sing-A-Long ? (Portland, OR)

I found this one on Facebook…

louie-2x-singalong-portland

The official webpage for this event provides more details…

The World’s Largest Louie, Louie Sing-A-Long
Thursday, June 25th 5:30PM-6:30PM
Portland City Hall
1221 SW 4th Ave

On Thursday, June 25 from 5:30pm-6:30pm Know Your City(KYC) will host The World’s Largest Louie, Louie Sing-A-Long, an event to promote the music tour, Sing a Song of Portland and to launch a new summer fundraising drive, on the steps of Portland City Hall. The event will be led by Master of Ceremonies, Tres Shannon, of Voodoo Doughnuts, and feature performances from local bands, Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls Band with special guests – the original surviving members of The Kingsmen, reggae band Heavy City, and The Beat Goes On Marching Band, with more special guests to be announced.

The World’s Largest Louie, Louie Sing-A-Long is also the launch of a summer fundraising drive to support KYC’s highly regarded placemaking programs which engage the public in arts and social justice. KYC programming appeals to locals and visitors, with the goal to educate through experiential projects, such as youth programs, walking tours and publications. Louie, Louie is featured on the Sing-A-Song of Portland walking tour – a trip through Portland’s musical past, giving tour-goers the opportunity to hear – and sing! – songs featured on the tour. KYC’s summer fundraising drive is necessary to ensure the organization can continue to develop innovative projects that take risks and celebrate creative placemaking in Portland.

Everyone knows the song, Louie, Louie. It’s considered to be one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time, and is known around the world. The familiar opening riff is played by high school marching bands at every parade, every hometown football game. What many people don’t know is that the most famous version was recorded here in Portland by local band, The Kingsmen, in 1963, right off SW 13th and Burnside. Although recorded more than 1600 times, this version of Louie, Louie has been the most enduring and the most controversial from the hard-partying guitars to the hard to distinguish lyrics the FBI thought were obscene. A fact that only added to its allure!

The program for KYC’s World’s Largest Louie, Louie Sing-A-Long will include:

– Tres Shannon as Master of Ceremonies to introduce the festivities and bring his special Blouie, Louie Voodoo Doughnuts made exclusively for the event with proceeds donated to KYC!

Terry Currier, from Portland landmark Music Millennium and Roger Hart, former radio announcer and manager of Paul Revere & the Raiders, will tell the history of the song and provide personal anecdotes from Portland’s musical past.

– Commissioner Nick Fish will read an official declaration June 25th Celebrate Louie, Louie day, by proclamation of the City.

And more bands, as they confirm!

Help us set the world’s record! RSVP to the Facebook event and receive up-to-the-minute info about new bands added and special guests!

Only one day before the event??? A shame I didn’t know about this one sooner….

Good luck, Portland!!

Reference Links

KnowYourCity.org official webpage

Official Facebook page

RIP: Wally Todd, member of Jack Ely & the Courtmen

Wally_Todd_fb_01

I lost my friend Wally last week. On May 14, Wally Todd, guitarist with Jack Ely & the Courtmen, died of a sudden heart attack less than three weeks after the passing of his old bandmate.

I met Wally back in 1999 when the Courtmen did a big reunion show in Seaside, Oregon in 1999. I was lucky to witness this very special reunion of friends that hadn’t played together in over 30 years.

Here’s a photo of what the band looked like in 1966.

ely-courtmen-1966

Here’s what they looked like when they reunited 33 years later.

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The Courtmen took us a walking tour of Seaside, showing off their old stomping ground, including the housing complex where the Courtmen were living during the summer of 1966.

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Here’s a photo of the band right before they went on stage. From the left, we have Wally Todd (guitarist), John Thoennes (promoter of this event, passed away in 2012), Gordon Hirsch (drummer), Jack Ely (singer, leader, bassist, died less than 3 weeks ago), and Billy Truitt (keyboards).

courtmen-1999-023-009-v2

It was really wonderful to see the camaraderie of old friends getting together…

courtmen-1999-023-006-v2

Here’s some video we shot with Wally at the reunion…


https://youtu.be/HF7GtodbvMM

..and of course, a performance of THAT SONG!


https://youtu.be/jC1h5jx8HIk

Rest in peace, my friend.

– ERIC PREDOEHL of LouieLouie.net

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