Following up on last week’s blog post, which touched on the concept of “LOUIE Mutants” and “LOUIE Bastards,” here’s another song that could fit into either category.
“Questions I Can’t Answer” was recorded and released by Heinz in 1964 on the Columbia label in the UK, and the Tower label in the USA. According to my ears, this feels like a “LOUIE Bastard” – an absolute rip-off of LOUIE LOUIE, borrowing 95% of the LOUIE melody, adding new lyrics, giving full credit to two other songwriters.
Looking at this YouTube clip, I discovered that this song was produced by legendary UK record producer Joe Meek. Heinz, whose full name was Heinz Burt, was a bassist for the Tornados, whose 1962 recording of “Telstar” (produced by Meek) became the first record by a British group to reach No.1 in the US Hot 100. With the help of Meek, Heinz was transformed into a solo artist, touring at various times with Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and Bobby Rydell.
This particular song was sixth single and his first on Columbia, eventually released on an American ‘Brit Invasion’ LP from 1964.
The story of Joe Meek and Heinz is a fascinating one, and was transformed into a controversial and somewhat-fictional film entitled “Telestar” that was released in 2009.
More details on their lives can be found at their Wikipedia pages.
Heinz (singer) – Wikipedia page
Joe Meek – Wikipedia page