Lately, I’ve been celebrating a little more than usual. For years, I’ve been pestering my pal Buddy Awreetus to get off his proverbial heinie and do some proper digital transfers of the barely-heard audio recordings of his old “Live Open Mike” shows that he hosted on KFJC radio way back in the early 1980s.
KFJC Radio was the place where the LOUIE project began for me. It was the spot where the infamous 63-hour, “no version repeated twice,” 800+ version MAXIMUM LOUIE LOUIE marathon took place, and where I happened to meet Richard Berry, author of the song, and Jack Ely, original vocalist of the Kingsmen, who had never met each other before. I happened to be the ONLY one shooting video of this historic occasion, and it launched an extremely ambitious documentary project that I’m still trying to finish.
Before the marathon took place in August 1983, there was a serious effort to gather all versions of this song, and gather new ones for this very special event. A lot of new versions were recorded on the KFJC Open Mike show, hosted by Mr. Buddy Awreetus aka Paul Korntheuer. I happened to attend quite a few of those of those live shows, and often took still photos of the various musicians that performed on this show.
A few years ago, I made a serious effort to digitize all of my photos from these KFJC live shows, which I shared via my Flickr account. As a result of these images, I’ve reconnected with a lot of these musicians, who were very excited to see that I preserved some of these special moments. Invariably, I’d often get folks asking if I had any AUDIO recordings of these shows. Other than a few select shows, I really didn’t have much of an audio archive of those performances, but I knew that Buddy did record many of them.
Sadly, many of Buddy’s original audiotapes were falling apart, and needed some serious help before they could be properly transferred.
This month, all of that changed, as Buddy recently invested in some equipment to “bake” the tapes, and he’s been able to do some excellent transfers of these special shows.
This week, we will celebrate with a special performance from Buddy’s archives! The band was The Stevens, a rockin’ pop band from the San Jose-Saratoga area, featuring my old friends Kevin McCaughey, Marc Spooner, and Wesley Billingslea, who I’ve reconnected with all these years later via the Facebook experience. I really loved this band, who always put on a fun show!
Would you believe TODAY is actually Buddy’s Birthday?
Happy Birthday, my friend! Thank you again for all that you do!