Today, it’s a birthday celebration for Iggy Pop, punk rock icon, and Jeff “Stretch” Riedle, owner of the world’s largest collection of LOUIE LOUIE recordings.
Truth be told, I do blame Stretch for getting me into this LOUIE LOUIE mess. If it weren’t for that Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon at KFJC many years ago, I would have never known about Richard Berry, Jack Ely, or become captivated by the complicated history of the world’s most misunderstood rock song. Stretch was directly responsible for inspiring that crazy radio marathon. When I brought up the video gear to document this historic event, I had no idea what I was getting myself into…
Iggy & the Stooges did the first definitive explicit recording of the song on their live album “Metallic K.O.” using the naughty lyrics that many folks believed the Kingsmen were singing for their 1963 recording. While there may be a certain degree of controversy over what Jack Ely was actually singing when he the lead singer of the Kingsmen, there was absolutely no ambiguity over what Iggy Pop was singing during the 1974 live recording at Detroit’s Michigan Palace. It was truly the nasty LOUIE that your parents warned you about.
In 1993, Iggy did a stunning re-interpretation of the song for his “American Caesar” LP, which included some new LOUIE lyrics with his thoughts about the current social-political environment, a reference to Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, and a lot of other things you wouldn’t normally hear this garage rock anthem.
As I launched a LOUIE of the WEEK award earlier this year to highlight different variations of the song, I thought I’d use this opportunity to salute a musician who’s released at least six different versions that are commercially available either on CD or DVD.
The version I’m sharing today is a rare acoustic version he did with what looks like a French television show. I have no idea what television show this clip is from, but it’s a bluesy version that doesn’t really sound like any of his other performances. Someone named MC Solaar conducts the interview after the performance. If anyone out there in cyberspace could tell more about this performance, I’d be grateful. Just drop me a line at LOUIE at LouieLouie.net.
Happy Birthday Iggy Pop!
Happy Birthday Stretch!