RIP: Ken Kaffke, friend + advisor to LOUIE project

Last week, we lost a dear friend.

Ken Kaffke was an ally, advisor and dedicated advocate for the LOUIE documentary project.

Ken was a man with a deep passion for comic books, rock ‘n’ roll music and televisual cinema that explored the mysterious deviations of the inner psyche.

Our friend Ken, aka “Kaveman Kenny” aka “Unka Kreepy” aka “Kount Kaffula,” sometimes listed his occupation as “Juxtaposer” which made perfect sense if you knew Kenny.

Ken was an early fan of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine!

Long before the internet became the default open freeway for social networks, and online campaigns, Ken organized a mail-order “Thriller Club,” which celebrated the “Thriller” horror suspense TV show hosted by Boris Karloff from 1960 to 1962. Unlike The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, Boris Karloff’s Thriller show had limited distribution, which meant dedicated fans had to rely on trading circles to obtain VHS copies of all 67 episodes. By joining Ken’s Thriller Club, one received a special membership card, a cool looking T-shirt, and a special publication entitled “Good Stuff” that not only provided a comprehensive episode guide of this TV series, but also details on similar horror-suspense anthology shows, as well as artifacts of other exceptional pop culture. At the height of it’s popularity, the Thriller club included over 300 members located all over the world.

I’d like to think that Ken’s efforts contributed to the proper DVD release of the entire run of this TV series.

Ken was all about sharing the “Good Stuff.”

It was more than just the name of his publication, but truly a state of mind that he embraced with exceptional passion. He made a humble living mostly selling original comic book art, vintage publications and VHS tapes of obscure TV programming, but turning people onto obscure music, art or films was what Ken’s primary mission in life was all about.

My LOUIE co-producer Jesse Block was the one who first met Ken at an artist rights benefit show in 1987 at the Fillmore after spotting him with an item that featured some Wally Wood artwork, leading to an interesting conversation, and a friendship that extended to many other friendships along the way.

The three of us shared a deep affinity for EC Comics, MAD magazine, R. Crumb, vintage Batman comics, primal garage rock and homegrown psychedelic music from the bay area.

Kenny was a great beacon of information, providing some excellent leads and suggestions for the LOUIE documentary project, among other things.

Kenny was our direct connection to the Flamin’ Groovies, introducing us to his longtime friends Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney, who also became great allies.

Over the course of 20+ years, we had some wondeful times together, collaborating on a variety of projects, sharing an occasional dealer table at a few collector events, embarking on various road trips, and a variety of delicious dinners over the years.

Kenny was an extremely gracious and generous man with a wonderful sense of humor.

His passing leaves behind a big hole in our universe, and he will be forever missed.

Thank you again, my friend.

ERIC PREDOEHL,
producer-director of the LOUIE documentary project + LouieLouie.net website

Reference Pages:

Ken’s YouTube Channel

Ken’s “Kool Kenny” Photobucket page

Ken’s Weird Tales TV Jeebies Blogspot page

The Embarcaderos at 1989 LL Parade – LOUIE of the Week

UPDATED RE-POST of an article originally shared on Friday, August 4th:

Here’s a little blast from the past….

Many years ago, back during the early stages of the LOUIE documentary project, myself and my LOUIE co-producer pal Jesse Block captured some video footage of the 1989 LOUIE LOUIE Parade produced and promoted by the Leukemia Society of America in conjunction with KFOG Radio. It was April 1st = April Fool’s Day, and this was the second event of it’s kind. As with the first parade, there were various bands set up to perform at various spots along the Embarcadero (the eastern waterfront / roadway of the Port of San Francisco), leading to the final destination of Justin Herman Plaza, where KFOG DJ M. Dung would emcee the final portion of this parade, handing out awards to the liveliest parade attendees, concluding with a special performance of the song by songwriter Richard Berry.

One of the bands that performed along the Embarcadero was a lively little band I thought was Psycotic Pineapple. I figured if the drummer had a Psycotic Pineapple logo on his drumkit, it must be Psycotic Pineapple, right? We shot a little bit of footage of these guys, put it away, and kinda forgot about it.

Fast forward to December 2012, and I get a referral from a friend to shoot some video of Psycotic Pineapple live at the Bottom of Hill in San Francisco. As the request is for a multi-cam production, I enlist my pal Jesse to join me in this special assignment.

Since then, I’ve become friends with these Pineapple guys, seeming them again multiple times, including a recent show with Eugene Chadbourne that I wound up recording for posterity.

With the recent death of M. Dung a little over a month ago, I decided it would be great time to dig up this rare Psycotic Pineapple footage and finally share it with the public.

Then, I found it wasn’t Psycotic Pineapple after all.

Luckily my friend Dave Seabury, who’s the only member of Psycotic Pineapple that’s in this particular band, provided me with some clarification on what happened…

Wow! That is fabulous, Eric, and I just love that almost 30 years ago you shot a video with me in it and now were pals! HA !! So… That’s yours truly on drums vocals, Bill Macbeth on bass. Bill’s very closely associated with Pyno. He was in two bands with Alex (Carlin), Alien Beachhead, and Al and Al (Carlin and Chan).

Dave also recalled that this band was thrown together at the last minute, and may have gotten the call “day of”… and probably just grabbed whatever drumkit was available, which by default was his kit with the Psycotic Pineapple logo on the drumhead.

Almost 30 years after the band-with-no-official name was captured on video, it was finally given a name for this very special 2017 online release!

They shall now be known as The Embarcaderos!

Eric Predoehl, producer/director /blogger of the LOUIE documentary project

https://youtu.be/i1IA8VQ7hpA

Here’s a few still photos from this video footage of this rockin’ band…

ALSO…. As a special treat, this video also includes my friend David Richoux playing Sousaphone at the early part of the performance. As he explains:

My band was playing earlier in the parade, Los Trancos Woods Community Marching Band. Since I knew some of those musicians from Polkacide, they invited me up to jam.

Do you recognize anyone else in this video? Please speak up! We’d love to hear your story!

If you’d like to support this project, and see more of this type of thing, please consider clicking on the “Paypal Donate” button and making a donation for the project.