Happy Birthday Patti Smith – LOUIE of the Week

On December 30, 1946, Patricia Lee Smith was born in Chicago. This woman grew up to become Patti Smith – the writer, poet and rock music legend that we are all very fond of over at the LouieLouie.net headquarters.

As 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to celebrate with the music of Patti Smith, whose birthday was a day short of New Year’s Eve. In this particular clip, recorded in 1976, Patti performs “LOUIE LOUIE” as part of medley that included “Pale Blue Eyes” – a song written by Lou Reed, who we lost this year.

Happy Birthday Patti Smith!

Happy New Year 2014!


http://youtu.be/9ONkJm9kaZo

I love the photo of Patti with a Bolex film camera. It was taken by Judy Linn, and shared in Smith’s memoir, “Just Kids” and a photo book entitled “Patti Smith 1969-1976.” More details can found at:
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/a-muse-named-patti-smith/

Green Air – LOUIE of the Week

It’s December, a week and a day before Christmas. Holiday shoppers are in force, exchanging little green pieces of paper to buy gifts for family and friends.

Green Air” is not only a state of being, but also a name of a band that performs this week’s LOUIE LOUIE.

In this video clip, Green Air, one of the bands from the Get On the Scene music school of France, performs an “Iggy Pop version” of LOUIE LOUIE.

To be perfectly clear, it’s worth noting that this is an “American Caesar version” not to be confused with a “Metallic K.O. version.”


http://youtu.be/awKFxwjQmzk

To learn more about the the Get On the Scene music school, visit the official Get-on-the-scene.com website.

RIP: Joe Bihari, co-founder of Modern Records

Joe Bihari, the last surviving member of the Bihari brothers, recently passed away on November 28th at the age of 88 years old.

Richard Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, Elmore James and Little Richard were all musicians signed by the Bihari brothers during the early stages of their careers. Modern Records was the primary record label they operated, but they also launched a handful subsidiaries that included RPM, Crown, Flair, Meteor, Kent, and United/Superior Records.

Years before Richard Berry ever wrote LOUIE LOUIE, his very first recording contract was with the Bihari brothers. Richard was a teenager singing with a vocal group that began at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles. After an uneventful audition for John Dolphin of Dolphin Records, the group auditioned for the Bihari brothers, who very impressed by their talents. The Bihari Brothers wanted to sign this group, and rename them after one of their record subsidiaries. Thus, Richard Berry, Cornell Gunther, Obie Jessie, Peter Fox, and Beverly Thompson were transformed into “The Flairs.” This particular configuration of the group lasted for approximately two years before various members, including Richard, would spin off into solo careers.

The story about how the Bihari brothers got into the record industry was certainly an interesting tale. The family moved to Los Angeles in the 1940’s, and the oldest brother – Jules Bihari got a job servicing jukeboxes in Watts. When it was discovered there was a significant lack of desired music within these particular districts, Jules and his brothers decided to launch a record label focusing mostly on blues music. By the mere coincidence of being at the right place at the right time, the Bihari brothers created an empire that was the launching pad for some of the most popular blues musicians of the mid-20th century.

Like many other operators in the music industry, some of their practices were questionable by today’s standards. Songwriting credits for songs solely written by artists at Modern were split with fictitious pseudonyms invented by the Bihari brothers. Jules Bihari received songwriter credits as “Jules Taub,” Joe became “Joe Josea” and Sam took credit as “Sam Ling.”

Sharing songwriting credits with “Joe Josea” was one of the things that Richard Berry didn’t appreciate. When his contract expired, he signed with Flip Records, where he released LOUIE LOUIE in 1957 as the sole songwriter for that particular composition.

Years ago, I tried to interview Joe Bihari for the LOUIE project, but I didn’t have any luck in convincing him to participate. At the time, I hadn’t seen any interviews with him, it seemed like a lost opportunity, considering his role within such an influential record label.

Luckily, Joe Bihari did consent to other interviews. John Broven, who worked with Ace Records, the company that bought the assets of the Bihari brothers record empire, conducted some extensive interviews with Mr. Bihari that were shared in John’s book – Record Makers and Breakers – Voices of the Independent Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneers, which was published in 2009.

Joe Bihari also participated in some public events that year, sharing stories at the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans.

Reading some of the various obituaries, Joe Bihari had quite a diverse life, not only working in the recording industry, but also selling after-market motorcycle parts, racing in motocross competitions, and building homes in Pacific Palisades and Beverly Hills.

Rest in peace, Joe Bihari.
Thank you for sharing the music.

REFERENCE LINKS:

New York Times obituary
New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary
Los Angeles Times obituary
Joe Bihari biography by Eugene Chadbourne for AllMusic
Bihari Brothers biography by Craig Moerer/Records By Mail
Wikipedia on Bihari brothers
Wikipedia on Modern Records
Marv Goldberg’s Notebooks article on The Flairs
Big Road Blues Show: The Modern Downhome Blues Sessions

The Gurus – LOUIE of the Week

Would you believe there’s a 1966 version of LOUIE that I never heard until recently? It’s true – I just discovered a version by The Gurus, thanks to my friend Howard. Apparently it was going to be released on United Artists label, but didn’t happen for whatever reason…

I love the approach on this one – rather unique arrangement! Certainly worthy of a LOUIE of the Week award!

And so it shall be…..


http://youtu.be/Ht3j6SLGK0s

Reissued by Sundazed, it’s now available for a very reasonable price!

The holy grail of psych: the Gurus’ long-rumored, never-issued LP, an electric-raga-laced masterpiece of mind expansion! The original United Artists artwork and several alternate versions join these mega-collectible 1966 tracks.

http://www.sundazed.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=2440

RIP: Dick Dodd of The Standells, LOUIE of the Week

Dick Dodd, vocalist and drummer for The Standells for their 1966 hit recording “Dirty Water,” has died at the age of 68 years old. He had been admitted to a hospital in Orange Country for stage 4 cancer, where he passed away.

Jonny Whiteside provided an excellent biographical overview of Dick Dodd at LA Weekly:

Born in Hermosa Beach, Dodd was one of the original Mickey Mouse Club mousketeers–he bought his first snare drum from Annette Funicello, but got a pink slip at age 11. He next signed on as one of singer Giselle Mackenzie‘s “Curfew Kids,” performing on her NBC variety TV show and on stages in Vegas, Tahoe and Reno.

Dodd may have been a successful child actor but he was no square; by 17, he was already a veteran rock & roller, drumming with surf bands The Bel Airs (that’s Dodd keeping the beat on “Mr. Moto”) and Eddie & the Showmen until he left the OC surf scene for darkest Hollywood, where he worked as, among others things, singer Jackie DeShannon‘s drummer.

“I was doing all the demo sessions with Glen Campbell, James Burton, and the Wrecking Crew,” Dodd told us in April, during the last interview he gave. “It was amazing — the first guys I ever saw with long hair were Jack Nitzsche, Sonny Bono and Phil Spector. I backed up Sonny and Cher when they were Caesar and Cleo, and doing all this studio stuff and making good money, but I wanted to be in a band.”

“Jackie heard that the Standells were losing their drummer, so I auditioned for them and they just handed me five suits: ‘We wear the black ones on Monday the blue ones on Wednesday.’ That was it.”

It was at the Standells where Dick Dodd found his greatest fame. He became the lead singer and drummer, providing an unforgettable voice for their 1966 hit, “Dirty Water.”

Not long after recording “Dirty Water”, Dodd left the Standells, and was replaced by Dewey Martin, who later joined Buffalo Springfield. Dodd returned to the group several months later, as the song began to climb the charts. “Dirty Water” reached No. 11 on the Billboard charts on June 11, 1966, No. 8 on the Cashbox charts on July 9, 1966 and No. 1 on the Record World charts. “Dirty Water” was on the WLS playlist for 17 total weeks, tied only by “California Dreamin'” for most weeks on that playlist during the 1960s.

In 1968, Dick Dodd left the band to pursue a solo career, returning to The Standells off and on for the next 40+ years.

As fate would have it, I was invited to be a camera operator for what might have been the final performance of Dick Dodd with the Standells.

The performance took place November 17, 2012 at the Uptown Nightclub in Oakland, California. My friend Karl Anderson, president of the Global Recording Artists record label, brought in the cameras and the team to capture what would be a very special moment. The plan was release a live DVD in conjunction with the upcoming new album released on Karl’s label. Unfortunately a few things changed the original plans. A tech snafu crashed the master multi-track audio recording that night. A few months later, Dick Dodd was no longer a member of the Standells.

Things have been so hectic, we hadn’t really given that project much thought, but in light of the latest circumstances, I have a feeling that will probably change in the near future…

In the meantime, here’s some LOUIE-centric notes on The Standells…..

The Standells did actually record their own version of LOUIE LOUIE for their very first album- “The Standells In Person At P.J.’s,” released by Liberty Records in 1964…


…. which had some cover variations, but I’m not sure which cover was the original version.


The album was also re-issued in 1966 as “The Standells Live and Out of Sight” with two bonus songs.

I have a CD reissue that’s titled “The Standells – Recorded Live at P.J.’s San Francisco USA 1964.”

At the Apple iTunes and Amazon MP3 store, it’s now listed as simply “Standells – Live at P.J.’s” with rather bland cover art.

There are three interesting parallels the Standells shared with the Kingsmen‘s LOUIE LOUIE.

1) Both bands had lead singers that quit the band not long after the original recording was made – many months before they became big hits.

2) Both bands had songs that politicians tried to ban from the radio… with allegations of “sexually-suggestive lyrics.”

3) Both “LOUIE LOUIE” and “Dirty Water” had a thousand guitar players (give or take a few hundred) performing their song in public arenas – Tacoma and Boston.

To pay tribute to Dick Dodd and the Standells, their version of LOUIE LOUIE shall be this week’s LOUIE LOUIE.

I don’t see any YouTube or Soundcloud clips of this performance, so I will instead refer you to three commercial digital stores where you can hear a sample of the song and/or purchase the complete digital download:

ITUNES- Standells – Live at P.J.’s

AMAZON- Standells – Live at P.J.’s

GOOGLE PLAY- Standells – Live at P.J.’s

Before Dick died, a special support page at GoFundMe was set up to help pay for the massive medical bills that he was facing. After his death, his family is facing some significant bills. If you could make any donation, that would be a kind gesture for his family.

– E.P.

Reference Links:
The Standells – official webpage
Dick Dodd support page on Go Fund Me
Wikipedia page on The Standells
USA Today obituary
LA Weekly obituary
Global Recording Artists