Playboy, LOUIE LOUIE and the Pursuit of Happiness (RIP: Hugh Hefner)

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.

It’s all in the family, right?


https://youtu.be/axsRvZSabAw

Thank you, Hugh Hefner!

Thank you Playboy magazine!

(all images from Playboy magazine are copyright Playboy Enterprises, Inc.)

_____________________

Reference Articles

The Official Playboy Archive

The Globe and Mail- The FBI and the Playboy files – by James Gordon Meek

NY Times – Media Talk I Was a Playboy Reader for the F.B.I. – By Felicity Barringer

The FBI Files on Hugh Hefner & Playboy Enterprises

David Bowie + LOUIE connection part 3 / Footstompin’ – non-LOUIE of the Week

bowie-alomar-photo-by-DavidPlastik-IconicPix
(David Bowie and Carlos Alomar – superb photo by David Plastik of IconicPix)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using this LOUIE blog as an excuse to explore some of the unlikely connections between David Bowie and LOUIE LOUIE.

With the passing of David Bowie, I certainly learned a lot more about this multi-faceted artist.

I didn’t realize that Bowie’s very first #1 single in the USA was his 1975 collaboration with John Lennon “Fame,” which I thought used a recycled James Brown riff.

As it turned out, there was much more to the origin of this song than I realized.

lennon-bowie-retouch

David Bowie discussed how this song created in a Washington Post article dated June 9, 2002:

Carlos Alomar said, ‘Oh, I know that old thing [Footstompin’].’ And he said, ‘Listen, I’ve got this great riff that we could use for it.’ It was something that he’d written for James Brown, though Brown never used it…
[In 1975] Lennon said, ‘You know, let’s do something.’ I said, ‘Yeah, what can we do?’ And I said, ‘Carlos, that riff you’ve got!’
We used it for Fame but it came from our version of Footstompin’. Fame was built around a recycled riff.”

The CBC Music Rear-View Mirror website discussed the creation of this song, and the James Brown connection:

In the mid ’70s, James Brown found himself at a crossroads. Musical tastes were changing and he wanted to stay relevant. So he took some inspiration, and arguably a little more, from the hottest musician on Earth at the time: David Bowie.

In late 1974, David Bowie made an appearance on the extremely popular Dick Cavett Show. James Brown was watching and was struck by two things. First, he saw a familiar face, that of guitarist Carlos Alomar, who quit James Brown’s band five years before. Second, he heard an amazingly funky riff that Alomar was playing. “

Here’s the clip of David Bowie performing “Footstompin'” with guitarist Carlos Alomar on the David Cavett Show.


https://youtu.be/PCKFMTeVBO0

Here’s a performance “Fame,” with songwriting credits shared by David Bowie, John Lennon, and Carlos Alomar.


https://youtu.be/wFImjufN_2I

Around the same time that “Fame” was being assembled, James Brown was also in the studio, recording a song called “Hot (I Need To Be Loved),” which recycled Alomar’s riff, note for note, but with James Brown listed as the sole songwriter.


https://youtu.be/lbIIic5lhhU

Here’s where it gets even more interesting…

The original version of “Footstomping” was a single by the Flares, which came out in 1961 on FELSTED label, number 8624.

As you can hear, it doesn’t have the catchy guitar riff.


https://youtu.be/MmKw1ebNxH8

As my friend David J. Coyle pointed out, the name of the Flares should be a familiar name to LOUIE enthusiasts.

I didn’t even think of connecting the Flares with the Flairs….

flairs-crown-LP

The Flairs was the musical group that provided Richard Berry (author of LOUIE LOUIE) with his first opportunity to be signed to a record label. Originally, the band was called the Debonairs, featuring some talented teenagers from Jefferson High School in Los Angeles. As the band developed, it eventually merged with some members of a band called the Flamingos (not to be confused to with a band of the same name from Chicago). In December 1952, the band recorded some audition tracks with a local record label/ record store known as Dolpin’s of Hollywood. As there didn’t seem to be much interest in the band, they chose to look for another record label.

The band found a receptive ear with Modern Records, a label run by the Bihari brothers that had already released some successful records by B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Lighting Hopkins, and Big Joe Turner, to name a few few.

Marv Goldberg described how the band was renamed as the Flairs:

Modern decided that the Debonairs would come under the wing of Joe Bihari (the youngest of the brothers) and be placed on the (mostly Country & Western) Flair label. While the “Debonairs” wasn’t a bad name, Bihari suggested that they rename themselves the “Flairs.” The group thought it over and quickly realized that if they were named after the label, the Biharis would have a greater stake in pushing their records.

Within a few years after the band first recorded as the Flairs for the Flair label, Richard Berry left the band to form a brand new band known as Richard Berry & the Dreamers (which later evolved into the Blossoms – another interesting story). The Flairs continued with a variety of different personnel changes, changing record labels, and eventually evolving into a band known as the Flares with no members of the original band.

Despite rumors elsewhere on the interwebs, I have not found any evidence that Carlos Alomar was ever a member of the Flares, which actually split up in 1964. Carlos simply covered this Flares song when he was part of the Bowie band, and added a little extra pizazz to the mix…

During an eight-month period in 1968–69, Carlos Alomar toured with James Brown’s live band, eventually quitting after being docked wages for missing a musical cue.

Approximately five years later, Carlos Alomar joined David Bowie’s band during second portion of the Diamond Dogs tour in September–December 1974, and he came up with this particular riff for a performance of “Footstomping” during the tour. Bowie thought was “a waste” to only use this riff for a cover song, and thought it would be best to come up with a brand new song… which became “Fame.”

The Plain or Pan website shared some additional information and insight on the two songs inspired by the Carlos Alomar guitar riff:

Both tracks, it turns out, were recorded sometime in 1975 at Electric Lady Studios in New York, Bowie’s in January and Brown’s later on in the year. Carlos Alomar, having played with many of the band still backing James Brown at this time was, by all accounts, absolutely livid by the steal. Bowie was a bit cooler, agreeing to sue if the track became a hit, which it never did. It’s interesting to note that in the fully comprehensive booklet that accompanies the James Brown Star Time Box set, where recording personnel are meticulously listed, under Hot (I Need To Be Loved, Loved, Loved) it just says ‘backing by unknown personnel’, which, for me, is just about as good an admittance you’ll get that James Brown took the original Bowie track, dubbed out his voice and sang his own melody across the top. Just my theory, at any rate.

bowie-brown

The bottom line: Carlos Alomar created some great music with David Bowie, John Lennon and James Brown – three brilliant musicians that will never be forgotten!

… and using the “Five Degrees of LOUIE LOUIE Principle,” we’ve got yet another connection that somehow ties David Bowie to the LOUIE LOUIE universe!

borrowed from the Carlos Alomar website
borrowed from the Carlos Alomar website

Reference Links

RIP: David Bowie (aka Davie Jones) + LOUIE LOUIE part 1 – LOUIE of the Week

David Bowie + LOUIE LOUIE part 2 / Les Dantz – LOUIE of Week

Wikipedia on Fame (David Bowie song)

Wikipedia on Carlos Alomar

CBC Music Rear-View Mirror: The Song That Both David Bowie And James Brown Stole

Death of David Bowie: his friendship with John Lennon recalled

Wikipedia on The Flairs

Marv Goldberg’s R&B Notepad – The Flairs

Modern Records Story By David Edwards and Mike Callahan

Plain or Pan – James Brown Samples

The Official Carlos Alomar Blog

David Bowie + LOUIE LOUIE part 2 / Les Dantz – LOUIE of Week

kfjc_LOUIE_1983-091-04_web

Following up on last week’s tribute / celebration / acknowledgement of David Bowie‘s legacy, here’s even more thoughts on his connection within the LOUIE LOUIE universe…

1983 was a very important year for David Bowie. This was the year that David Bowie achieved his biggest commercial success with the release of his “Let’s Dance” LP, which went platinum in both the UK and the USA. He supported that album with his Serious Moonlight Tour, which was massively successful.

1983 was also the year that LOUIE LOUIE broke out in a very big way with the legendary KFJC marathon that received a lot of national and international attention. This was the event that dared to play every known version of the song, which lasted for 3 and half days with over 800 versions. It was the event that marked the very first meeting of Richard Berry, songwriter of the song, with Jack Ely, original vocalist of the Kingsmen, who recorded the most popular version of the song.

When Jack Ely showed up, flying in from Oregon to California for this event, he was wearing a David Bowie t-shirt.

Berry_Ely_1983-091-08_web

David Bowie’s influence was also felt in the newly released “Best of LOUIE LOUIE” album from Rhino Records, which was unveiled that very same weekend in August 1983.

On this album, there was a version of the song by a mysterious band known as “Les Dantz and his Orchestra” which sounded an awful lot like David Bowie…

It was an indeed a spoof designed to capitalize on the success of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” hit album. “Les Dantz and his Orchestra” was actually the creation of members of Big Daddy, a satirical rock band. I was fortunate to get an interview last year with two of the key members of Big Daddy – Bob Wayne and Tom Wayne, who confessed to their inspired mockery!

bigDaddy_LesDantz


https://youtu.be/G–2l6E20R8

EXTRA SIDENOTE CONFESSION:

In that very same year, I attended the second US Festival, where I witnessed my second David Bowie concert.

I wasn’t close enough to take decent photos of the man himself, but I did wind up taking photos of the big screen video projection of Bowie in concert. When I showed them to my friend Mike, publisher of BravEar magazine, he said “I want to use one of these in my next issue” and I said “Sure…. be my guest!”

…. and so my photo of David Bowie via a video screen was published ….

bravEar-Bowie-montage

Eric Predoehl, mastermind of LouieLouie.net and long-awaited documentary

Remembering Those We Lost in 2015

louie-lost-2015-big

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

jack-ely-blog-pix

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.

ladyBo-WallyMalone-KFJC-radio

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.

lemmy-backstage-SF-1994
Lemmy, of course, was the iconic leader of Motörhead that died a few days ago.

kim-fowley-screenshot-2013

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.

wally-todd-Courtmen

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.

Steve_Mackay_portrait_EP

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.

gary-Abbott-Kingsmen-late-1963

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

erroll-brown

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

eichhorn-screenshot

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.

gail-and-frank

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

allen_Toussaint
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!

pf-sloan-LL

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!”

spock-on-guitar-bw

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.

eric-caidin-youTube-image

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.

Joe_Houston-2000
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.

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

deanna-predoehl
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.

________

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…

RIP: P.F. Sloan, singer-songwriter

pf-sloan-berkeley-2014

Singer-songwriter P.F. Sloan died on Sunday, November 15th.

Last year, the LOUIE team (myself, Eric Predoehl + Jesse Block, co-owner of the Octalouie.com video production company) had an opportunity to document his performance last year at the Art House Gallery in Berkeley, CA.

His concert felt like a stage version of a documentary- sharing stories of his life, discussing how he constructed songs, and then performing those songs live. He wrote a lot of songs that became hit records for other artists, including “Eve of Destruction,” “Secret Agent Man,” among others.

So many of the stories he shared seemed so much larger than life … one of his first jobs during high school, working as in an A&R department of prominent record label, playing a prominent role in getting the Beatles their very first record contract in the USA … the challenges of writing socially-responsible songs in an era when the industry didn’t want to broadcast such messages . .. his story about having himself institutionalized in a mental hospital … and so much more …

While I had no idea before the event, I discovered at the performance that P.F. Sloan had a LOUIE LOUIE connection…

pf_sloan_myBeethoven

For the past 10+ years of his life, Philip Sloan had been working on a musical project that celebrated the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. A few months before this event in Berkeley took place, he released a CD from the project entitled “My Beethoven.”

The big project, as designed, is an original, contemporary opera that utilizes Beethoven classic compositions and brand new P.F. Sloan compositions.

This project is titled “LOUIS! LOUIS! (The Real Life and Times Of Beethoven)” as written by S.E. Feinberg and P.F. Sloan. S.E. Feinberg is also the co-author of P.F. Sloan’s autobiography – “What’s Exactly The Matter With Me?”

If you visit the official P.F. Sloan page on the My Beethoven project, you can download two sample chapters of this very special production.

Rest in peace, Phil. I wish I could have had more conversations with you, but I’m grateful to have made your acquaintance….

READ MORE at..

The official P.F. Sloan page on “My Beethoven” / LOUIS LOUIS stage production
N.Y. Times obit on P.F. Sloan by Bruce Weber
PF Sloan: the 1960s enigma admired by Bob Dylan and Jimmy Webb by Michael Hann
American Songwriter tribute to P.F. Sloan by Paul Zollo
Examiner tribute to P.F. Sloan by Jim Bessman
10 Essentially ’60s Songs Written By P.F. Sloan (ReBeatMag.com)

RIP: Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek actor, musician, multi-talented human)

spock-on-guitar-bw

On Friday as I began my day checking email and info feeds via social media, I was alerted to the sad news of the loss of legendary actor Leonard Nimoy.

One of the first things I saw was the Facebook posting of George Takei, a fellow Star Trek alumni.

George Takei on Leonard Nimoy

I saw a lot of love shared this man that so many of us grew up with. Friends shared impressions of his impact on their lives .. not unlike a virtual parent, providing clarity, common sense and an endorsement for that often-ignored concept of “logic.”

Within the LOUIE LOUIE online forum, I received an email from my pal Stretch Riedle, asking the question that needed to be asked…

OK, I don’t think there’s a connection to Louie Louie, but I’ll mention that Leonard Nimoy left us today.

Anyone know if there IS a LL connection?

With this in mind, I took the challenge and applied the “Five Degrees of LOUIE” principle to Leonard Nimoy. Here’s what I came up with:

LOUIE Connection #1

nimoy-bilbo-via-Maidenwine-com

The Sandpipers appeared on American Bandstand (season 10) on December 17, 1966 to perform “Louie Louie.” On the same show, Tina Mason (future wife of Phil Fang Volk of Paul Revere & Raiders) sang “Any Way That You Want Me.”

Eight months later, Leonard Nimoy appeared on American Bandstand TV show (season 10) on August 26, 1967 to perform “Bilbo Baggins.”

LOUIE Connection #2

nimoy-Revere-Lindsay

Leonard Nimoy appeared with Paul Revere & the Raiders on Happening ’68 TV show on January 13, 1968

LOUIE Connection #3

rhino-louie-nimoy

Thanks to various compilations assembled by Rhino Records, LOUIE LOUIE and the music of Leonard Nimoy were exposed to a new audience 20+ years after their initial releases.

OK, that’s the best I can for now. Perhaps there’s more connections I don’t know about. Maybe SOMEBODY has a super-rare recording of Mr. Nimoy performing LOUIE LOUIE? Hey, crazier things have happened, right?

Anyways, here’s a few things about Nimoy that I found especially interesting / not generally shared in the usual articles about the man …

rare photo courtesy of Mark Arnold
rare photo courtesy of Mark Arnold

My friend Mark Arnold obtained this ultra-cool photo of Leonard Nimoy performing live at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles in December 1967. He paid some ridiculously low price for this photo that I’ve NEVER seen anywhere else….

Here’s really funny music video by Bruno Mars that featured Leonard Nimoy.

Nimoy explained it in his own blog posting:

Here’s the deal: I am married to Susan Bay Nimoy and she has a son named Aaron Bay Schuck. His father is John Schuck who played the Klingon ambassador for me when I worked in Star Trek IV.
Aaron who’s been in my life since he was 4 1/2 is now an executive at Electra and Atlantic Records. So he brought Bruno Mars to the label and started recording Bruno.
And Bruno asked Aaron whether I would perform in this music video for him. So that’s how it came about. I think it is very funny I hope, you enjoy it.

nimoy-bangles

Did you know that Leonard Nimoy also directed and starred in a music video with the Bangles?

My friend Thanayi Jackson found out about a 1962 telegram Leonard Nimoy sent to President John F. Kennedy, pleading for a planet free of nuclear weapons and testing…. years before Nimoy became a popular actor with the Star Trek series.

telegram to JFK from Nimoy
Telegram to JFK from Leonard Nimoy, courtesy of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

… and some cool statements spoken by Mr. Spock:

Top Ten Spock Quotes:

10. Spock: I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose.

09. Spock: It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.

08. Spock: (Explaining to Kirk how the mirror versions were so quickly spotted) It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave like barbarians than it was for them as barbarians to behave like civilized men.

07. Spock: Those who hate and fight must stop themselves, Doctor, otherwise it is not stopped.

06. Spock: Change is the essential process of all existence.

05. Spock: Humans smile with so little provocation.

04. Dr. Miranda Jones: The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity.

Spock: And the way our differences combine to create meaning and beauty.

03. Spock: Virtue is a relative term.

02. Spock: I’ve noticed that about your people, Doctor. You find it easier to understand the death of one than the death of a million. You speak about the objective hardness of the Vulcan heart, yet how little room there seems to be in yours.
McCoy: Suffer the death of thy neighbor, eh, Spock? You wouldn’t wish that on us, would you?
Spock: It might have rendered your history a bit less bloody.

01. Spock: Live long and prosper.

futurama-nimoy-tv

When I turned on the TV on Friday, would you believe the Futurama* episode with Nimoy was the first thing that popped onto the screen?

INcredible!!

In closing, I thank Leonard Nimoy for being a great inspiration for many of us.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Reference Links:

The Musical Touch of Leonard Nimoy
American Bandstand -Season 10 – TV.com
Happening ’68 – TV.com
Leonard Nimoy introduces The Kinks – Milwaukee 6/12/1978

* * * * *

* LOUIE Connection #4
Some folks have noted that the Futurama theme song sounds remarkably close to LOUIE LOUIE.

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* * * * * *
UPDATE March 6th, 2015:

LOUIE Connection #5
From Tommy Dunbar of the Rubinoos – This week’s LOUIE Mutant:

You asked if there was any link between Leonard Nimoy and Louie Louie. Well, it may be a stretch, but…..in a Kevin Bacon sort of way…….

Thanks again for the Mutant award! – Tommy

The original Star Trek theme done in the style of surf music.

LOUIE LOUIE Leonard Cohen – Five Degrees of LOUIE

gallucci-cohen-LL

Last year, I shared my thoughts on the “Five Degrees of LOUIE LOUIE” concept … which borrows from the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” … but with one less step.

My friend Clay Stabler utilized this concept for linking Leonard Cohen to the LOUIE universe…

Louie Louie –à Leonard Cohen

1. Don Gallucci was the keyboardist for the Kingsmen version in 1963

2. After he left the Kingsmen, Gallucci founded the prog rock group Touch

3. Touch performed the theme song and other music for the film “The Second Coming of Suzanne.”

4. The film was based on the lyrics of the song “Suzanne”

5. “Suzanne” was written by Leonard Cohen

Voila!

Barry Rillera, Bobby Kennedy, Demi Moore + Five Degrees of LOUIE – LOUIE of Week

Last week, I was alerted to an excellent article in the Huntington Beach Independent on Barry Rillera of the Rillera Brothers. The Rillera Brothers had a band in the 1950s called the Rhythm Rockers that played regularly at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, CA. One of their special guest vocalists for these shows was their friend Richard Berry, who actually came up with the inspiration for the song LOUIE LOUIE while performing with the Rhythm Rockers.

This article brought up some really interesting aspects of his career that I wasn’t aware of. I knew that the Rillera Brothers were also part of the band that backed the Righteous Brothers and Dick Dale, who also played at the Harmony Park Ballroom.

I didn’t know that Paul McCartney once asked Barry Rillera about guitar techniques.

I also didn’t know that Barry Rillera was playing at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, the day Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

As I thought about Bobby Kennedy, there were more than a few things that came to mind….

The F.B.I. investigation of LOUIE LOUIE featured a 1964 letter to then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy complaining about the “pornographic” content of LOUIE LOUIE, demanding that the musicians, record companies and promoters of this song be “prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The song “Wild Thing,” which many people consider a very close relative to LOUIE LOUIE, was once recorded by a Robert Kennedy impersonator named Bill Minkin, produced by “Wild Thing” songwriter Chip Taylor, and released as simply “Senator Bobby” on Parkway Records. This single reached #20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In the movie “Bobby” – a semi-fictional movie by Emilio Estevez about the events leading up to Bobby Kennedy’s death in Ambassador Hotel, there is a sequence featuring Demi Moore as a lounge singer that happens to sing LOUIE LOUIE.

All of these connections reminded me of the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” theme … the “six degrees of separation” concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.

My sense is that the degrees of separation are considerably shorter within the LOUIE LOUIE Universe. Any person that has performed LOUIE LOUIE is a core member of the LOUIE Universe, and every man, woman and child is connected in some way to at least one of those performers. I think it’s considerably less than six degrees, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ll keep it conservative at five degrees.

FIVE DEGREES OF LOUIE – a concept worth sharing.

Please feel to do your investigations on the subject, and share this idea freely.

In the meantime, here’s a snippet of this week’s LOUIE LOUIE – Demi Moore channeling the spirit of Julie London for her version of this legendary song….


http://youtu.be/k2GIYMJoFwU

REFERENCE

Huntington Beach Independent article on Barry Rillera

All-Music entry on “Senator Bobby” production by Chip Taylor

Wikipedia on Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon