My friend Joe Macoll turned me onto the recording of LOUIE LOUIE by Atomic Suplex.
Here’s a little description from the band on how they came to record this song…
We don’t really do covers but when we were rehearsing for our second album a couple of years ago we did for some reason broke into an impromptu version of Louie Louie which was committed to tape. I forgot about it until the other day when I was looking to nick a loop of JDs Drums for a demo.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this week’s LOUIE of the Week!
My friend Gary S. Paxton has passed away a few days ago.
Gary was an extremely talented musician that produced #1 hit records in rock, country and gospel music. As a singer-songwriter of a teenage duo with a hit song that sold a million records, he toured America with legendary DJ Alan Freed in 1959. From 1959 until the time of his passing, he produced thousands of records for a wide variety of musicians. He was both admired and feared by his peers including Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and Buck Owens.
I got to know Gary because of his connection with Richard Berry, songwriter of LOUIE LOUIE, as well as his role as producer of the first album by Paul Revere & the Raiders.
Gary, along with his then-business partner Kim Fowley, produced a handful of Richard Berry records in the early 1960s after Richard’s contract with the Flip Records label had expired.
One of my proudest moments was helping facilitate the proper reissue of these recordings, as well as the original Flip recordings, which both found a loving home with Ace Records of UK.
Gary S. Paxton’s first success in the music business was with the singing duo Skip & Flip, whose initial recording was “It Was I,” which entered the Billboard Top 20 in 1959, peaking at No. 11.
The duo consisted of Gary and Clyde Battin, who were both part of The Pledges, a rock band based in Tucson, Arizona.
As Gary explained to me, the song was originally a demo recording sent to record label that Gary didn’t follow up on. He discovered that the song became a hit record after he moved from Tucson to Tacoma, Washington. He heard the song on the radio while he was working a job picking fruit in an orchard, and didn’t even recognize his own voice. When he contacted Brent Records, the New York label that released this record, they told him they had been trying to get ahold of him, and immediately made plans for him to rejoin his old bandmate for a nationwide tour that included television appearances on American Bandstand.
The duo, which was re-named “Skip & Flip” by the record label, lasted for a few years before it dissolved, as their partnership fell apart when Gary’s wife decided to be with Clyde.
Gary moved to Hollywood, where he linked up with Kim Fowley to produce records together, which included “Alley Oop” by the Hollywood Argyles, their studio project that became a band, featuring with Gary on lead vocals.
In the meantime, I leave you with a short video… a small sample of some of the footage that I shot with Gary at his home in Nashville in 1998. He talks about his special storage trailer, the band Limey and the Yanks, Red West (Elvis Presley‘s bodyguard) and some of the recordings he did with Richard Berry.
This week, we point the LOUIE spotlight at a 1976 recording by a Dutch band known as Zodiac.
The band Zodiac was formed in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), featuring members of Crown’s Clan. I wasn’t able to find out details on all six of the band members, but some of the core players included vocalist Sylvia van Asten, guitarist Jan Kroon and keyboardist Fred Sammelius.
LOUIE LOUIE was released as a 45 single on the CNR label in 1976, with the song “Back Again” on the flipside.
This may, quite possibly, be the ONLY the version of LOUIE LOUIE that could be categorized as “Dutch Glam Rock Disco.”
Here’s a little something I recently stumbled upon .. a 2011 solo performance of LOUIE LOUIE by Dez Cadena, the man who sang on Black Flag‘s very first LOUIE LOUIE recording.
I also found out he’s fighting cancer.
Dez joined Black Flag in 1980, replacing singer Ron Reyes who apparently quit the band in the middle of a particularly violent show in Redondo Beach. With Dez onboard, they embarked on their first nationwide tour, which included their first and only sold-out performance at the 3,500-seat Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
A year later, Black Flag released their recording of LOUIE LOUIE, which featured some revised lyrics written by Dez..
“You know the pain that’s in my heart
It just shows I’m not very smart
Who needs love when you’ve got a gun?
Who needs love to have any fun?”
The artwork on the record includes these special lyrics superimposed over a photo of Dez by Edward Colver.
As fate would have it, Dez’s voice was severely strained after extensive touring, which led to Dez voluntarily stepping down from vocal duties to become a guitar player in the band. Dez continued with Black Flag for a few more years before leaving to work with a variety of other bands that included Redd Kross, DC3, Twisted Roots, Ella and the Blacks, among others.
Dez also participated in the 2003 reunion shows of Black Flag, as well as the 2013 shows of Flagg– the alternative re-formation of former Black Flagg members.
From 2001 until 2015, Dez was a member of the Misfits. In June 2015, Dez announced he was leaving the Misfits, and two months later, he revealed he was battling throat cancer.
In August 2015, a GoFundMe campaign was set up to raise money to pay for his cancer treatments.
Dez Cadena, beloved member of Black Flag, Misfits, DC3, Vida, Ella & The Blacks, Redd Kross, and Flag, is battling throat cancer.
Dez has just finished debilitating radiation treatments, and is confident he will return to active performance again within a year. So Dez has had to take a long break from touring and recording and he had no other income to pay for the quite expensive treatments and doctor’s bills.
We ask you today to donate funds to help Dez’s cause, as this friendly man has given so much to the music community, and he is literally a living punk rock legend, having played on some of the classic records of the genre, and remains one of the most beloved members of the scene.
We ask you to please consider donating anything you can to help see Dez through the next year, so he can resume his proper place on the stages and records of our future. Thank you for assisting us in helping this very kind man in his time of need.
Best wishes, and thank you again!
Friends of Dez Cadena
Ten months later, it appears that the campaign is $13,000 short of its original goal to pay for cancer treatments. Perhaps this little post will inspire some extra generosity…
Anyways, here’s the performance of LOUIE LOUIE by Dez Cadena and his Broke Down Bitches, live at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, New Jersey, sometime in July 2011. Dave Travis is responsible for creating this video.