The 2013 Portland Plaque

My friend Wm. Christman, a KFJC Max LOUIE alumni, just sent me this photo from Portland, Oregon. This is the new plaque at the location where the Kingsmen recorded their version of LOUIE LOUIE back in 1963. There was a big ceremony for this plaque in September last year, and my friend Cindy Lindahl, daughter of original studio owner/ engineer Robert Lindahl, did a guest blog post reporting on that very event.

It’s a shame the plaque didn’t acknowledge Paul Revere & the Raiders as well, as they recorded their version a couple days later in the same studio. Revere & Raiders were the first rock band signed to Columbia Records – the world’s largest record label in 1963, and their single of LL was the first record released as part of that alliance.

Anyways, I’m glad this new plaque was installed by the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. Hopefully this one will stay at the location for a very long time. The other plaque – installed in 1993, stolen a few years later….. listed the wrong recording date.

More details on the recording studio, 1993 ceremony and plaque can be found by clicking HERE

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….


Huntington Beach Independent article on Barry Rillera

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

Wikipedia on Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon