LouieLouie.net seeks old movies!

Production on the LOUIE LOUIE documentary continues at a steady pace. It takes a long time to transfer all the footage I’ve shot over the years… in all types of video formats. When I first started production on what would became the intitial starting point for this documentary, I shot footage of Richard Berry, Jack Ely (original Kingsmen vocalist) and the Lady Bo Trio with an old cable access 3-tube 3/4″ U-matic video camera package. Over the years, I’ve shot footage for this documentary in Betacam SP, Hi-8, S-VHS, Digital 8, Mini-DV, DV-Cam, and DV-Pro. I’ll be mixing a lot of footage together, and in some cases, doing a lot of work to salvage excellent source material from a mediocre video format.

If I could go back in time, I’d shoot everything in HD video, transferring everything directly to non-compressed video for editing on my non-linear digital work station. Unfortunately, nobody’s invented a decent time machine, so I’m kinda stuck with what I’ve got- a whole lot of different interviews on all sorts of formats. The great thing is that I actually have this video footage. So many great people are no longer with us, such as Richard Berry, Jerry Garcia, Richard Dangel, Steve Douglas, Arthur Lee Maye, Godoy Colbert, Pat Mason, Robert Lindahl, Ken Sinclair, Charlie Ceciliani, Hunter Hancock, and probably some others that I can’t remember right now. I am honored that they shared their stories with me, and I look forward to releasing a documentary that celebrates their memories of a song that has touched millions of people.

One of the things I continue to do is seek out more archival movie footage. I do have a SPECIAL LIST of materials that I seek, which can be easily downloaded by the casual web-surfer.

Obviously, if ANYONE has video footage of Richard Berry, I’d like to talk to you. Not only am I interested in old archival footage, I’m also looking for ANYTHING on Richard Berry from his later years. Back in the 50’s, he appeared on a Los Angeles TV show called “Dixie Showboat,” performing “Riot in Cell Block #9” with the Robins. He wasn’t even a member of the Robins (which later became the Coasters), but he sang lead vocals on the original recording, and appeared at least once on TV with the band.

After Jack Ely left the Kingsmen, he created his own group entitled “Jack Ely and the Kingsmen,” which toured America, and appeared on a few TV shows including the Lloyd Thaxton Show before the cease-and-desist orders stopped him from using that name.

Based on what I’ve been able to determine, there are NO existing film or TV clips of either Richard Berry or Jack Ely from the 1950’s-1960s. I’ve searched high and low, trying to find them. I don’t think they exist in any form, but I pray that I’m wrong.

In the Central Avenue district of Los Angeles, Richard Berry performed with the Flairs and as a solo artist, on such stages as the Lincoln Theater, the Paramount, and the Manchester. Over in Orange Country, Richard also shared the stage with Rick Rillera and the Rhythm Rockers at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, which is actually the place he wrote LOUIE LOUIE. I haven’t had much luck finding any film footage of any of these locations.

I’m also trying to track down old home movies, or TV news footage of the Pacific Northwest teen clubs of the 1950’s-1960’s. It would be such a treat to find footage of the Spanish Castle, the legendary nightclub near Tacoma, Washington where the Wailers held court, inspiring a young Jimmy (not yet Jimi) Hendrix to play music. It’s also been absolutely impossible to find any remnants of the TV marathon where Jim Manolides taught the words of LOUIE LOUIE to a young Rockin Robin Roberts. Finding old movies of the Chase, the teen club in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, would be an amazing achievement, as it was the place where the Kingsmen worked out their version of LOUIE LOUIE before creating the legendary recording heard around the world. I’ve been told the Kingsmen even appeared on regional televison, long before LOUIE was even recorded. Footage of the Evergreen Ballrom near Olympia, Washington would also be a wonderful addition, as it as the location where Richard Berry first performed the song in the Pacific Northwest, back in 1957.

Surprisingly, even many significant events in the 1980s’ were not as well-documented as I would have expected. In December 1983, Richard Berry joined the Kingsmen, the Wailers, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Bill Engelhart, Ron Holden, and whole bunch of Northwest musicians for a massive jam at the Tacoma Dome. There was also a big LOUIE LOUIE guitar event in South Carolina featuring hundreds of guitar players, supposedly documented for a Guiness world record. I haven’t been able to find ANYONE that has video of either events, which is rather shocking, as far as I’m concerned.

So….. if you have ANY film or video footage that fits into this type of category, PLEASE feel free to email via louie at louielouie.net or call me at (408) 273-6071.

director/producer of the long-awaited MEANING OF LOUIE documentary

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