Email Nonsense to

As the number one source on the internet for all things “LOUIE LOUIE” (according to Google, Yahoo, various other search engines), I do tend to become the “net” for all sorts of emails with a variety of different LOUIE stories, some of which are even accurate.

Here’s an email that definitely doesn’t fall in that category:

Hi, allow me to introduce myself.My name is Joe M***, I attended East Los Angeles Junior College in 1959 and met a couple of guys in the student lounge who were trying to work with a guy sitting at a piano. It sounded like they were trying to write a song, but the pianist wasn’t helping them very much. I wandered over and asked what they were doing and offered my help with the music part of it ( I play piano). One of the African American’s asked what did I have in mind and I showed him by putting together the melody that day and subsequent sittings. The person to whom I was talking had a gold cap on one of his front teeth that had a star carved out of it so that the white of his teeth showed through. The only name I knew him by was STAR, but later on, learned his name was Richard Berry. Imagine my surprise, after joining the military service, driving down the road and hearing your redition of the song that I helped write.
No I am not looking for money or anything like that. What I am looking for, if it is possible, is recognition. I have told that story a few times to some of my friends. They get that look on their face that says “SURE YOU DID”. I know I did if no one believes me. Even if you don’t believe me, that’s O.K..
Keep up the good work bringing that old time rock and roll to the new generation. They need something besides that rap crap they listen to.
Joe M***

An entertaining email, but here’s my response:

Joe M*** may think he helped Richard Berry write LOUIE LOUIE, but he is kidding himself if he truly believes this. Here’s why:

1) Richard Berry wrote the song in 1955 at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, and it was released as a single in 1957. If this “historic moment” happened in 1959, then it was two years after the record was released. Check the old Billboard magazines and you’ll see that April 1957 was the month when this song was officially released as the B-side of “You Are My Sunshine.”

2) I have never seen Richard Berry with any “star-carved” teeth, fillings, caps or dentures. Not once during the times I saw him in person, and never in any photographs. Maybe it was another guy named Richard Berry? Certainly not the composer of LOUIE LOUIE.

3) Richard Berry certainly didn’t any help composing songs. He was one of the hottest session players in the Southern California rhythm and blues circles, and he wrote many songs besides LOUIE LOUIE that were recorded by all sorts of musicians, including Etta James, Louis Prima, Sammy Davis Jr, Arthur Lee Maye, and a whole bunch of other people. He certainly wouldn’t need to hang around colleges, getting help from strangers, that’s for sure!

When I finally finish this film of mine, you’ll hear the real story, direct from the folks that made history.

In the meantime, I welcome comments and emails to

’nuff said!

producer, director of upcoming documentary
“The Meaning of Louie”

2 comments to Email Nonsense to

  • I’ll be seeing Ette James opening for Tom Jones tomorrow.

    Oh yeah, I wrote Louie Louie. Richard Berry stole it all from me.

  • Elgin Feccles

    NEVER trust anyone named “Joe”. Not nearly as good as Chuck Berry rippin’ off the Baech Boys…
    Did “Joe” steal “El Loco Cha-cha” from Rene Touzet??

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