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.
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…
Time for a little flashback.. or as they say in ye onine social networks, a “Throwback Thursday”…..
I’ve been shooting videos for quite a few years. One of the things I’m rather proud of is the fact I was able to capture what i’ve been told is the only footage of the band known as “Big Hair.”
Big Hair was a rockin’ little cowpunk band from San Jose, California. Scott Long, Caryl Miller, Theresa McClure, Matt Rook, Margot Lipp and Ricky Quisol were members of this fine group that had a short, but memorable run. When the band fell apart, it splintered off into various splinter groups – Frontier F-in’ Wives, Whistling Bullets, The Kettles, the Frisky Frolics, and probably some other groups I’m forgetting.
I shot some concert footage of this band at an event produced by KFJC Radio in conjunction with the I.B.S. conference (some kind of college radio consortium) that took place at at the Works Gallery in San Jose, California on November 22, 1985. This took place a few years after the infamous Maximum LOUIE LOUIE event and there were a lot of KFJC types that participated at both events. This particular concert had quite a few other bands that performed that night – Tex & the Horseheads, the Morlocks and Thin White Rope.
That night, I had a borrowed video camera that was an old tube camera with portable VHS recorder. The camera was not a great camera for low low-light situations, but it was the best camera available at the time.
After I shot this video, only a handful of people ever saw it. Decades later, thanks to the internet, and YouTube in particular, I was able to share it with a much wider audience.
Caryl Miller, who sadly passed away a few years ago, did an rockin’ version of “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” followed by Margot Lipp (now Margot Potter) performing a number called “12th Street Blues.”
Theresa also collaborated with Caryl on a song entitled “Giddy Up and Go.”
Thanks to the online social networks I was able to connect with band members I hadn’t communicated with in decades. It felt wonderful to be able to reconnect and share this material all these years later.
Then, there’s the present… with my old friend Theresa dealing with some serious struggles right now..
Theresa is dealing with real problems right now and she’s embarking some major changes in her life. She just created a GoFundMe page as a means to get out of an awful situation and move back to her old base in California.
As some of you know I’m going through a horrible divorce and I lost everything but my personal property. I really want and need to come back home as I am homeless here.
Please help me come home and rock Cali.
Thank you all for anything You can contribute.
If any of my friends out in Cyberspace can assist my friend Theresa, that would be wonderful. I haven’t seen her in decades, and would love to see her back in California again, playing music with some of her old friends again.
In fact, here’s what I’ll do….
For the first five people that read this page and then donate to Theresa’s GoFundMe campaign, I will send an archival “KFJC NO LOUIE LOUIE BUTTON.”
Whoever reads this page and donates $100 to Theresa’s GoFundMe campaign, I will give them an extremely rare LOUIE LOUIE WINE COOLER BOTTLE. If you are in or at least visiting San Francisco Bay Area, the first five that do so can choose to receive a sealed bottle with actual wine cooler, if you are of legal age. Everyone else gets an empty bottle.
You need to contact me directly if you want these items and we will work out the details – this is NOT an official offer from Theresa or GoFundMe… just me.
I was so very saddened when I learned that Lady Bo passed away last week.
When I first began what turned into a rather unique journey documenting the legacy of the song LOUIE LOUIE, Lady Bo was there at the very beginning.
The KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon was ground zero for this special adventure. This small radio station in Los Altos Hills, California created a marathon to collect and broadcast every single version of this song, and Richard Berry, the author of the song, was the very special guest. Lady Bo and her band the Lady Bo Trio, featuring her husband Wally Malone on bass and George Ostrander on drums, was originally supposed to back up Richard Berry. A few hours before the event, Jack Ely, the original vocalist for the Kingsmen, flew in from Portland, Oregon. This was the very first time Richard Berry had ever met a member of the Kingsmen, which had a national hit record with their interpretation of Richard’s song.
It turned out to be a more elaborate performance than expected. Richard Berry played the keyboards, Jack Ely became a second bass player and local musician Ricky Sludge of the Readymades brought in his trumpet. It all took place in a college classroom that was converted into a makeshift recording studio. An audience of KFJC DJs and local musical enthusiasts squeezed their way into this room, with many audience members becoming actual participants singing portions of the song to a live radio audience.
While the marathon itself received a lot of local news coverage, I was the only one that brought a video camera to this once-in-a-lifetime performance. Using a somewhat bulky 3-tube video camera and portable 3/4″ U-matic recorder that I borrowed from a local public access channel, I was able to capture something that nobody else was getting.
Here’s the first ten minutes of the historic performance by Richard Berry, Jack Ely and the Lady Bo Trio at the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon.
This is the FIRST TIME this footage has ever been shared publicly.
Lady Bo had quite a career in the music biz. She played rhythm guitar with Bo Diddley‘s band in the late 1950s and early 1960s, becoming one of the first female rock guitarists in a famous rock ‘n’ roll band.
She was often called the “Queen Mother of Guitar.”
AfroPunk provided a wonderful history lesson on her career:
Peggy Jones, aka Lady Bo grew up in New York City, attending Manhattan’s famed High School for the Performing Arts (of Fame fame) as a singer and dancer. She studied tap and ballet and trained in opera. She had been playing guitar for only 2 years when a chance encounter with Bo Diddley before a show at the legendary Apollo Theatre led to a life-changing gig as Bo Diddley’s lead guitarist. Diddley was awestruck by the sight of a beautiful young woman with a guitar and struck up a conversation. When Jerome Greene (the single luckiest maraca player in the history of music) ran out to tell Bo that dinner was being served in the dressing room, Bo invited Jones in. Jones recounts in an interview with Lea Gilmore:
After a while he opened his guitar, asked me to grab mine and play something. When I opened my case he laughed louder than anyone I’d heard before. I wanted to know what¹s funny? Hysterically he said what is that? He had never seen a Supro guitar. I said, “Now that’s a dumb question! First you probably never saw a girl carrying a guitar down the street before and want to know if I played it, did you think that was funny?” He said, “NO!” I continued, “then you insult my ax and I listen to Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell and Charlie Parker and I THINK I’ve heard of you! Do you think that’s funny?” He said, “No, but I like your attitude, let’s play something.” I said OK and the rest is history.
SheShreds provided an overview of her career after her initial run with Bo Didley:
In addition to her work with Bo Diddley’s band, Jones had a rich solo career. She formed her own band, The Jewels (also known as The Family Jewel, Lady Bo and the Family Jewel, The Fabulous Jewels, Little Jewel and the Family Jewel, and Lady Bo and the BC Horns). Jones left Diddley’s band in 1961 to focus on her work with the Jewels which went on to become one of the most popular touring bands on the East Coast. During this time she also released singles with groups such as the Bop Chords and the Continentals and even briefly joined James Brown’s backing band. When Jones rejoined Bo Diddley in 1970 her entire band came with her and became his new backing band. At their first show back together the crowd was so excited to see them back on stage together that they chanted “Lady Bo”—thus creating Jones’s famous nickname.
My friend Dave Seabury took some great photos of Lady Bo performing with Bo Diddley. Here’s one of his photos from an appearance at the Keystone Berkeley sometime in the 1970’s…
Lady Bo’s death was announced on Facebook by her beloved husband / longtime band member Wally Malone. Eighteen days after she was diagnosed with cancer, she died on September 16th at the age of 75 years old.
Today is one of the saddest days of my life. My wife and partner of 47 Years has been called up to that great rock & roll band in the heavens to be reunited with Bo Diddley, Jerome Green and Clifton James.
Details for her memorial / celebration of life will be announced in the near future.
Today is National Dog Day. Nationaldogday.com has the details about how this event came to be…
National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and was founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige (also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day …to name a few).
National Dog Day serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.
As I searched for a likely connection between this topic and the theme of this very website, I found something from the Give Back News YouTube channel that seemed that felt like a natural fit:
This Give Back News update is about LOUIE, an American Bulldog rescued by Pet Orphans. He needs a forever home, but he’s not alone. Check him or other rescues our at PetOrphans.org and help us make a difference one story at a time! Thanks for watching GiveBackPR’s positive community news update.
So there you go… a rescued dog named LOUIE that needs a home, with some catchy music that feels so very familiar. . .
PLEASE – if you can adopt a rescued dog, I would encourage you do so!
Today is a very good day to do that sort of thing!
Maybe YOU could be the one to adopt LOUIE the American Bulldog??
If so, feel free to drop me a line, OK?
. . . . and in the meantime, if we’re going to talk about dogs and LOUIE LOUIE, I might as well recycle an old image from the past – my beloved friend Bubba the Dog (R.I.P.), posing with a Chewy LOUIE dog bone package!
The past two weeks have hectic, chaotic and otherwise pre-occupied at LOUIE Central. I don’t feel like sharing details, but it’s been a very stressful time …
So it’s time for something out of the ordinary at the LOUIE Report. It’s time for a blog post I started, but never finished, covering the topic of the “most annoying version of LOUIE LOUIE.”
For some folks…. this might be a large list of possible candidates, but from where I’m sitting, it’s a short list.
The Coalition Of Unified Men version would be my first choice. Juvenile humor with bad jokes and an abundance of flatulent sound effects. It uses redefines the term “LOUIE” in less-than flattering terms… not unlike the British term “trump,” which is experiencing a bit of a revival in the USA these days.
Political correctness is definitely not part of this performance
I’d like to thank the members of Coalition Of Unified Men for sharing this version with me years ago. I believe they also created a special music video for this performance, but I can’t find it online anywhere, and the VHS tape i believe they sent me (??) is buried deep in the EP-LOUIE archives.
Anyways, here’s this special version, and my first choice for the “Most Annoying Version of LOUIE LOUIE.” If anyone out in cyberspace has any other nominations for this category they’d like to share, please drop me a line, OK?
My friend Cindy Lee Berryhill, who’s been a supporter and participant in the LOUIE project, is on a campaign to finish her new album, using Kickstarter to take it to the finish line.
This will be my first album in 7 years and it will be my 7th album and 7 is a real fancy number when you look at it mythologically. It’s the number of the Muse, otherwise known as Creativity and Love and Romance and all that juicy stuff of life. And that is just what this album is all about.
It’s been a road, as some of you know, my late husband, rock writer, Paul Williams, became ill and passed away last year. He left behind our little family, i.e. myself and our 13 year old son. What would Paul want for us? He’d want us to continue to pursue our passions. So Alexander is diving into technology and physics, and I have spent the last few years writing new songs.
My first album, Who’s Gonna Save The World, came out on Rhino in 1988 and was followed up by the Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) produced, Naked Movie Star. Those first two albums got me a lot of attention and took me on tours around the U.S. and Europe with cool artists like The Smithereens, Billy Bragg and John Doe, Marshall Crenshaw and Keb Mo, Alex Chilton and Camper Van Beethoven. Doing shows with bands like The Violent Femmes, X, The Butthole Surfers, Weezer and Cake. Getting into trouble and making music alongside some of worlds finest.
By my third album I’d really come up with my own kind of sound, something I’d been looking for and it was quite influenced by the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, with some Lou Reed and Patti Smith vibes mixed in. That album was Garage Orchestra.
In some ways this new album is a follow up to Garage Orchestra. I’ll have appearances from some of the GO’s original stellar players (Renata Bratt and Randy Hoffman) and the music will have a bit of that made-in-the-garage-orchestral sensibility. And like G.O. it will be an album informed by feelings of desire and love and the wild ride of the creative path.
But these songs are all entirely new, and, If I do say so myself, some of the best songs Ive ever written. And the sound has grown into a new more mature place especially with the inspiration of co-producer David Schwartz. Altogether we have about 12 or 13 songs to record and mix and master and post to online selling sources. Plus! we will definitely be making a limited amount of physical CD’s.
I would LOVE to see this album completed, and hope many of my friends will join me in supporting this project. I am a big fan of her music, and I can’t wait to hear these new songs she’s been working on!
For those of you unfamiliar with Cindy Lee’s music, here’s just a few of my favorite songs that she’s written…
1) Damn, Wish I Was A Man
The first time I’d ever heard her music was when I picked up a little compilation cassette called “Radio Tokyo Tapes Vol. 3, 1985.” There were some other great bands on this tape – the Knitters, the Minutemen, Henry Rollins, Balancing Act, Phranc, and all the others, but Cindy’s song was the ONE that always gave me a good chuckle every time I heard it.
What other woman would have the nerve to wish she “could have a belly like Jack Nicholson?” Too damned funny!
2) She Had Everything
I’ve always been fond of songs that tell intriguing stories with the help of a catchy melody, and this one was especially tasty!
3) Radio Astronomy
“Garage Orchesta” was the album that came out not long after I first met Cindy Lee and her future husband Paul Williams at the ABA Convention in Anaheim. There were some chapters in my life where it felt like this little masterpiece was practically glued into my CD player. Every song just seemed to ooze with the type of playful energy I’d expect within my favorite dreams, and “Radio Astronomy” was just one of those very special gateways.
4) Beloved Stranger
The first time I’d seen Cindy Lee after many years was the 2009 benefit concert for her husband Paul Williams, which took place in San Francisco. “Beloved Stranger” was the title song of her latest album, which focused on the challenges of loving someone whose very core of being was permanently altered by injuries. Like Garage Orchestra, it’s another excellent album filled with songs that received regular rotation in my music-playing devices.
5) When Did Jesus Become a Republican?
A question many of us have been asking for years, and I’m so glad someone put this concept into a song…
Anyways, this is just a small handful of the Cindy Lee Berryhill songs that happened to be posted on YouTube, including my own video of her San Francisco performance of “Beloved Stranger.” She’s got plenty of other great songs, and with your help, she can release even more!
This campaign is ending on Monday, December 15th – only 10 more days to go!
This has nothing to do with LOUIE LOUIE, but today I’m sharing some rare footage of James Brown that I produced for promoter Brian Martin. This was from James Brown’s last performance in San Francisco.
Four months later, James Brown left us on Christmas Day.