RIP: Lynn Easton of the Kingsmen

Lynn Easton, co-founder of the Kingsmen, whose performance of LOUIE LOUIE inspired countless toga parties, a gazillion re-recordings of the song, and an actual FBI investigation . . . passed away last week.

On Saturday, I received word via the Two Louies Facebook page that Lynn died in Toronto of a massive stroke.

The origins of the Kingmen band can be traced to Lynn Easton and Jack Ely, two kids whose parents became close friends. They met each other when they were 5-6 years old at a Christian Science church on the east side of Portland, Oregon. They lived in different neighborhoods, but spent a lot of time together, often sharing family vacations together at Jack’s parents’ summer cabin in Central Oregon or Lynn’s family boat on the Columbia River.

Both Lynn and Jack had strong musical inclinations. As young teenagers they were both members of children-based vaudeville groups. Jack was a member of the Young Oregonians, which was sponsored by The Oregonian newspaper and Lynn was a member of the Journal Juniors, which were sponsored by the Oregon Journal newspaper. They were both members of the bands that provided musical accompaniment for not only the singers, but also the baton twirlers, unicyclists, dancers and other assorted entertainers that were part of these vaudeville troupes.

They first began playing music together after Lynn’s mom contacted Jack’s mom to see if Jack was available to fill-in for a sick guitar player at an upcoming Journal Juniors performance at one of the local hotels. Jack sat in that night, playing rhythm guitar and singing on a couple of Elvis songs while Lynn played drums.

After this performance, Lynn and Jack realized they really enjoyed playing music together, and decided to start up their own band that would become the Kingsmen. Lynn enlisted his high school friend Mike Mitchell to play lead guitar, and soon afterwards, they brought in another classmate from Lynn’s school (David Douglas High School), Bob Nordby, to play bass in the this new musical group.

Borrowing a name from an after-shave lotion, this 4-piece band of teenage boys known as the Kingsmen came into existence in 1957. With repertoire of music that included popular melodies, Dixieland jazz and this new-fangled thing called “rock ‘n’ roll,” the Kingsmen found themselves in a comfortable niche performing in their hometown of Portland. In an interview conducted for the upcoming documentary, Lynn described what it was like during that period.

“We were then picked up by a food brokerage to play supermarket openings and anniversaries, and our payment there was the use of an old Volkswagen van to haul our stuff, and a portable sound system, and a stage. And it was great. It was really a neat exposure for us, but… on the side of the truck, we were sponsored by… let’s see… Flav-R-Pak Vegetables, Beg-Mor Dog Food, Hoody Peanut Butter, Hood River Apple Juice, and in small letters on the back it said the band… the Kingsmen. That was riding in high style. There were hardly any other bands that had a form of transportation. A couple of little tinny horns were up on top of the truck, so it was a sound truck too. It was a fun thing.”

In 1962, the Kingsmen decided they wanted to add keyboards to the band, and enlisted Don Gallucci to become the fifth member of the band. At the time he joined the Kingsmen, Don was a freshman in high school, and had to quit his other band, the Royal Notes. Not long after joining the band, the Kingsmen took note of a catchy little song that was getting some serious attention in the Pacific Northwest. This special song was on a 45 single by a guy named Rockin Robin Roberts, backed by the Wailers of Tacoma, who had a previous hit record with “Tall Cool One.”

That song was, of course, “LOUIE LOUIE,” which the Kingsmen immediately added to their set list, which they would record, and eventually release as their first commercially available product. Between their discovery of this song, and their recording of their song, the Kingsmen became the house band at The Chase, a teenage nightclub near Portland run by Ken Chase (aka Mike Korgan), who was also a disc jockey at KISN Radio. Ken knew that the Kingsmen would be a more marketable commodity if they became recording artists, so he made plans so the Kingsmen could record that catchy little song for their first single.

The recording took place on April 6, 1963 at Northwestern Inc., a recording studio in downtown Portland owned and operated by Robert Lindahl. There was a certain degree of conflict that day, as Ken Chase wanted a certain type of sound that Robert Lindahl was not comfortable in providing. Jack Ely, as the only band member that could remember the lyrics, was the default singer of LOUIE LOUIE. By Ken’s design, Jack’s vocal microphone was placed on a boom pole, and Jack was forced to tilt his head, literally screaming towards the ceiling. After they finished their recording session, neither the Kingsmen or Robert Lindahl thought they had a decent recording. Ken Chase, on the other hand, was convinced he produced a great recording of the band, but still forced the band to pay for the recording fees.

A few months later, the Kingsmen met for a band rehearsal at The Chase, where they continued to perform as the house band. Some of the band members had previously talked about dissolving the band, as they were losing enthusiasm, and the crowds weren’t as large as they used to be. Lynn announced that he was taking saxophone lessons and wanted to take over as the lead singer of the band. Lynn wanted Jack to become the drummer, which did not go over well with Jack. Lynn also announced that he had registered the trademark for the band in his name, rather than as a group ownership, as was originally discussed. Fed up with the big changes that Lynn installed, Jack Ely and Bob Nordby decided to pack up their equipment and quit the Kingsmen that night.

Unbeknownst to the Kingsmen, their recording was taking on a life of it’s own. While their recording of LOUIE LOUIE, which was released by Jerden, a Seattle record label run by Jerry Dennon, had mediocre sales in Portland, this single found an unlikely audience on the other side of the United States. Prominent disc jockey Arnie Ginsburg of Boston, unveiled this recording on his “Worst Record of the Week” radio show, and his audience embraced the song in a major way, which in turn, trickled out to other radio markets across the county, which was acknowledged in both Billboard and Cash Box music industry publications.

Upon hearing this news, Jack approached Lynn about reuniting the Kingsmen. Lynn told his old childhood friend that the Kingsmen were still a band, and reminded Jack that he was no longer a member of the band, nor would he ever be a member of the Kingsmen. Their friendship was never the same after that incident, and for many decades, was non-existent.

As the song and the band became more popular, Lynn continued as the lead singer of the Kingsmen, which by default, put him in the virtual spotlight when the band did television appearances, which often included lip-synching to his old bandmate’s lead vocals on their hit record. In response to all of this, Jack created his own version of the band, which was called “Jack Ely and the Kingsmen.”

By 1968, neither Lynn or Jack were members of any musical band named the Kingsmen. After a series of lawsuits, Jack was forbidden to call his band “Jack Ely and the Kingsmen,” and after touring with a band rechristened as the Courtmen, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. As part of the settlement, Lynn could no longer lip-sync to Jack Ely’s vocals on any television appearances. Within a year after the legal headaches had been resolved, and the music market changed radically, Lynn decided to retire from active duty in the Kingsmen, leaving Mike Mitchell as the last original member of the Kingsmen, which is still an active band 50+ years later.

After his time with the Kingsmen, Lynn focused on a lot of other ventures, which included hosting a local TV show in Portland, working in the print industry, building special collectable clocks, and tending to his love of boating, sometimes participating as a volunteer for the U.S. Coast Guard.

My thoughts are with family and friends of Lynn Easton.

UPDATE (May 1st):
My friend Denise Lamkin sent me this cool photo of her with Lynn.

Reference Links:
Two Louies Facebook page – Lynn Easton passing
Lynn Easton’s Pinterest page

LOUIE LOUIE in Rap Music

This week, we’re going to take a look at how LOUIE LOUIE has been utilized in rap music.

Werner Von Wallenrod is a serious hip hop enthusiast that created a series of videos that documented the various fusions of LOUIE LOUIE with rap music.

He’s done a great job of documenting this, and we’re sharing his clips along with our own notes and graphics of these recordings.


Louie, Louie (The Raps) part 1
For this first video segment, which was created in 2009, Werner discusses the original 1987 12″ EP of “Introduction to Traveling at Speed of thought” by the Ultramagnetic MCs, which was the first rap music recording that embraced the song LOUIE LOUIE. This was not a cover version, but a song that sampled heavily from the Kingmen‘s 1963 recording of the song, which included chunks of Jack Ely‘s iconic vocals. There were other variations of “Introduction to Traveling at Speed of thought” but this was the only one that included Jack’s voice.


(not sure if this is actual label for this release… but we’ll leave this as a placeholder until we get confirmation or replacement)

Within this clip, we also hear some snippets from two remixes of the 1988 Fat Boys recording of LOUIE LOUIE, starting off with the 7″ version and the !2″ extended version, not to be confused with the more common album version of the song.


Louie, Louie (The Raps) part 2
For this second video segment, also created in 2009, we hear a completely different version of “Introduction to Traveling at Speed of thought” from the 1988 “Critical Beatdown” LP by the Ultramagnetic MCs, as well as an extended 12″ mix of this variation, a “Hip House Remix” and assorted instrumental variations. The LOUIE riff is still part of all of these, but from what I can tell, there’s no longer a Kingsmen sample.

After those variations, we also hear the Young MC recordings of the song, one of which was part of the “Coupe DeVille” motion picture soundtrack. Apparently Young MC got the producer credit for that particular recording, but according to Werner, Maestro Fresh Wes was the actual producer.

What’s especially cool about this Young MC LOUIE LOUIE from “Coupe DeVille” is that I believe this is this first recording that used authorized samples from both Richard Berry and the Kingsmen.


Louie, Louie (The Raps) 2.5
In the 2.5 addition to this series, Werner starts off by mentioning other variations of the Ultramagnetic MCs recordings, but spends most of his time discussing the title cut of the JVC Force “Doin’ Damage” LP, which seems to sample from the 1963 Kingsmen recording. As this is a 1988 recording, it is considered one of the earliest LOUIE Rap recordings, as the #2 recording after the Ultramagnetic MCs.


Louie Louie (The Raps) part 3
For “Part 3” of his series, Werner discusses the LOUIE LOUIE recording from the “Something To Get You Hyped” album by Young and Restless (featuring Leonerist Lamar Johnson and Charles Trahan). This version is not a proper cover of the song, but more of what I’d call a hybrid mutant of the song, as it samples from the original Kingsmen archetype, but also maintains a completely different song structure.


Wack Attack #5! Louie Louie 4 with a Special, Surprise Guest!
For the latest addition to Werner’s LOUIE LOUIE Rap series, he invited one of NJ’s prominent hip-hop producers to discuss “Life’s a Beach” by M.C.K. and the Surfettes. While this is a rap song, their general consensus seems to be that is something like a gimmick type recording by another white rapper. While this song is entitled “Life’s a Beach” with song credits given to someone that isn’t Richard Berry, this is a blatant LOUIE LOUIE recording that one would label a “LOUIE bastard” as it denies its obvious DNA.

I don’t think this a complete list of rap songs that utilized LOUIE LOUIE, but we’ll add more as we go along…

Once again, my thanks go out to our friend Clay Stabler for bringing the good stuff to our attention.

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To learn more about Werner Von Wallenrod’s hip hop research, please visit
Werner Von Wallenrod’s Blogpot
Werner Von Wallenrod’s YouTube Channel

Follow-up on 2020 Intl. Louie Louie Day -the Quarantine Edition

On Saturday, over at LouieLouie.net, we celebrated ” International Louie Louie Day – the Quarantine Edition”.. for hopefully the first and only time.

It was a challenge to find a way to celebrate this day with all the shelter restrictions in place, but we did manage to assemble a last minute Zoom teleconference / musical jam session. Having never used Zoom before, I’m grateful the software was relatively easy to figure out.

Among the participants, we had two of Richard Berry‘s grandkids and the original Kingsmen keyboardist.

It was a fun event, and we’ll do it again sometime.

In the meantime, here’s some other noted celebrations of International Louie Louie Day!

As I mentioned in previous posts, our friend Clay Stabler (who was part of this Zoom conference) has been sharing a lot of great pre-LL Day posts at the LOUIE LOUIE Party group at Facebook that I’ve recycled on these pages, so I’ll use this opportunity to post the rest of them.

April 9 at 12:31 PM

International Louie Louie Day is coming soon! Time to count down the Top 10 “most international” versions. What defines the “most international” version? Not sure how to measure, so here’s an arbitrary standard: The point of origin farthest from L.A. (where LL was created by Richard Berry) is the winner. Distance in miles to country center. Hope my geography is accurate! Here’s the countdown:

10. Turkey – 6,861 (Düşgezginleri)
9. Georgia – 7,029 (Sophie Villy)
8. Israel – 7,605 (RPS Surfers)
7. Australia – 8,251 (many)
6. Thailand – 8,271 (Louis Guitar Boys, Madueli, Rats)

Countdown continues tomorrow. Here’s Sophie Villy‘s interpretation of Iggy Pop (originally noted in The Louie Report 6/17/2014).

More on her at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Villy

April 10 at 7:55 AM

Continuing the Most International LL countdown:
5. Indonesia – 8,359 mi (Antiseptic, HotDog, Jeruji)
4. India – 8,490 mi (Panch High – marginal)
3. Singapore – 8,769 mi (Five Boys, D’Starlights)
2. South Africa – 9,967 mi (In Crowd, Lunar 5, Mally)

Tune in tomorrow for #1.

Trivia: the point on the opposite side of the earth, the antipodal point, for every location in the continental US is in the Indian Ocean. This map shows the detail (and may give you a clue to the location of #1):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipodes

April 10 at 7:49am

And the “Most International Louie Louie” award (at 11,113 miles from South L.A.) goes to — The Dizzy Brains from Madagascar.

Their 2014 album Môla Kely has a LL version titled “Hiala Aho Zao” which translates from Malagasy as “I Will Leave” – pretty close to “Me Gotta Go” I would say.

More info on the album at

https://www.discogs.com/The-Dizzy-Brains-M%C3%B4la-Kely/release/7914021.

More info on the group at www.thedizzybrains.ml.

Here is a video of their performance at Transmusicales 2015 in Rennes, France.


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Also celebrating LOUIE LOUIE Day was Adam Diddy Wah, who shared this post at the LOUIE LOUIE Party Facebook page on Friday:

It’s INTERNATIONAL LOUIE LOUIE DAY tomorrow and y’all in for a treat! DJ Diddy Wah is doing a livestream set on Hipsville A Go Go GORILLA RADIO from 3pm-ish (GMT+1). Click on, tune in, go bananas!
hipsville.co.uk

Luckily, this livestream was recorded!
LOUIE kicks in at 4:42!

Celebrate International Louie Louie Day with DJ Diddy Wah on Hipsville Gorilla radio

Celebrate International Louie Louie Day with DJ Diddy Wah on Hipsville Gorilla radio

Posted by Hipsville A Go Go on Saturday, April 11, 2020

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Today is International LOUIE LOUIE Day!

Bubba the Dog barks a version of LOUIE LOUIE!

Today is April 11th, and we’re celebrating International LOUIE LOUIE Day!

Today we’re going to try to do something We’ve NEVER attempted before.

Today, we’re going to attempt a Zoom teleconference + musical jam session.

We’d like to invite folks to participate in this thing, using their voice and whatever musical instruments they feel like bringing to the party.

it could sound really good or it could sound really awful.

We honestly won’t know until we try it… but it definitely should be fun!

The session will take place at
Apr 11, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada).

if you are able shoot video of take photos of yourself in participating in this thing, we’d love to see it!

You can also visit the LOUIE LOUIE Party group at Facebook for quicker updates.

Topic: International LOUIE LOUIE Day!
Time: Apr 11, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

This is the big one.

You are invited to a very special teleconference + music jam session to celebrate LOUE LOUIE Day! Bring an instrument, bring your voice, and let ‘s see how silly such a thing could be…?

FINAL UPDATE:
The event is over! Big thanks to those that participated.

Countdown to LOUIE Day 2020 – 2 days to go

International LOUIE LOUIE Day – April 11th is coming soon!

With two days to go, here’s some LOUIEs from our friend Clay Stabler who posted these at the LOUIE LOUIE Party over at Facebook.

This first one really blows my mind! TBGO aka “The Beat Goes On” Marching Band from Portland, Oregon took the message of LOUIE to China!

More international Louie Louie: Here’s The Beat Goes On from Portland playing LL atop the Great Wall of China. Could this be seen from space? – Clay


More details about these folks by visiting thebeatgoesonmb.org
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Ever hear of ChickpeaJC and the Big Hair Girls? This is kinda fun!

Lots of amateur LL mixes/videos on YouTube of varying quality. Here’s a good one done by Matty D from Jersey City starring ChickpeaJC and the Big Hair Girls.- Clay


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Here’s something that i’ve never seen or heard – a LOUIE recording from the country of Turkey!

More international LL: Here’s Düşgezginleri with a 1996 version from Izmir, Turkey and an interesting slide show of the band and their history. Can’t get the name to translate — anyone speak Turkish? – Clay

Here’s the YouTube desciption:

1957 ‘de Richard Berry ile başlamış şarkının hikayesi
Sonra Rockin’ RobinRoberts 1960…The Kingsmen söylemiş 1963, FBI şarkının sözlerinin peşine düşmüş yıllarca..
Motorhead söylemiş 1978 ‘de ve daha bir çok kimse.
Biz de 1996 ‘lı yıllarda söyledik Motorhead’den daha naif, Kingsmen ‘den daha sert her iki gruptan farklı orlarak, 3 ses vokali bu şarkıda sadece biz yaptık.
Deep Bar KüçükPark’da “Canlı” kaydedilmiştir

There will be more tomorrow…

RIP: John Prine, singer / songwriter

With the passing of John Prine, I’m gratified to see so much appreciation for his music on the social networks. He was a brilliant singer-songwriter.

In the back of my mind, I kept thinking I had already written something on these pages about John and his special LOUIE reference with his song entitled “Lake Marie.”

This charming little story-song that describes a tender moment with a girl that falls asleep in his arms “humming the tune to Louie Louie.”

It turns out the closest I came to a John Prine blog post was a reference to John’s performance of “Lake Marie” back in January 2019, when I did a post entitled “LOUIE Project Update / LOUIE on TV – part 1” which included a mention of John’s then-semi-recent performance on Austin City Limits (October 2018).

Since then, I’ve discovered there’s more “Lake Marie” than meets the eye.

I’ve been told that is Bob Dylan‘s favorite John Prine song, which is in itself, a major revelation.

Mark Guarino of the Chicago Daily Herald digs a bit deeper than I certainly did when i first heard it..

There’s an odd sort of power in that song, mainly because he combines several disjointed images (a grisly murder, a failing marriage, Native American lore, grilling Italian sausages) and somehow makes them seem natural together. It’s also an example of how Prine’s Chicago past always somehow filters into his songs, whether he knows it or not when he’s writing.

The fact that “Lake Marie’s” a real place and is inspired by real events, makes it strangely moving.

Brand Acid went as far as to write an article entitled “John Prine’s Lake Marie’ is the Most Literary Song I Know.

I never gave this song that much thought, but it is a beautiful song, I’m tickled to see all this special attention.

Certainly, this song and accompanied analysis is all food for thought, and a 2000 performance of this song from the “Live From Sessions at West 54th” TV show may help inspire additional insight on such matters..


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As we celebrate the legacy of this great American singer-songwriter, here’s some clips of John we’d like to recommend…
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This is a collection of John Prine performances that are close to home, literally.

This is from the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festivals in San Francisco which often utilized members of the LOUIE production team to document these very special events.

This compilation does include a 2014 performance of “Lake Marie.”
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This is a collection of John Prine appearances on the David Letterman TV show, which includes some fun banter with these two guys..
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John Prine and his old friend Bill Murray yack about their early days, when music and comedy would often intersect…
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This is a beautiful music video for a song that sometimes invokes involuntary liquid responses from the eye ducts of your truly.
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“Some Humans Ain’t Human” – a song that seems to be inspired by certain people in power that really shouldn’t be.
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When I Get To Heaven- the final track on the last album by John Prine.
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Wow!
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We love ya, John and will miss you.

Thank you for all the great music you’ve created!

– E.P. of LouieLouie.net
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P.S. At the top of this article is a fake postage stamp featuring John Prine. As John Prine worked as a mailman for 5 years before he became a professional musician, I figured this would be a fun way to bring this tribute full circle. Perhaps in the next few years we’ll get the real thing? By all means, feel free to contact the U.S. Postal Service with your suggestions!

(To create this imaginary stamp, I borrowed a photo by Rich Gastwirt from a Grateful Web article.)

REFERENCE LINKS:

Chicago Daily Herald- John Prine on his song “Lake Marie”

Medium.com – John Prine’s “Lake Marie” is the Most Literary Song I Know

chimesfreedom.com – Standing By Peaceful Waters: John Prine & the Story of “Lake Marie”

NY Times – John Prine, Who Chronicled the Human Condition in Song, Dies at 73

JOHN PRINE: The BLUERAILROAD Interview – Paul Zollo conducted a great interview with John Prine.

IMDB – John Prine bio + film credits

LAST MINUTE ADDITION:

Right as I was about to hit the “publish” on this blog post, I saw another great post from my friend Clay Stabler at The LOUIE LOUIE Party at Facebook that I thought I’d recycle…

Don’t want to trivialize a great songwriter and performer, but there are a couple of (tenuous) John Prine – LL connections.

1) The final line of his “Lake Marie” is “Ahh baby, we gotta go now.”
2) Todd Snider released his “Ballad of the Kingsmen” on Prine’s Oh Boy label.

I don’t know of any John Prine version of LL, but Todd Snider did occasionally perform it live. Here’s a brief example from 2012:

Countdown to LOUIE Day 2020 – 3 days to go

International LOUIE LOUIE Day – April 11th is coming soon!

Once again, here’s another fine LOUIE shared by our friend Clay Stabler at the LOUIE LOUIE Party over at Facebook.

Today’s version is from France which by my count is #3 in LL versions behind the US and UK. The group is Stepping Out and they do a great cover of the Toots and the Maytals version. I like the rocking horn section with the thumping tuba (sousaphone?) bass line. – Clay

Countdown to LOUIE Day 2020 – 4 days to go

International LOUIE LOUIE Day – April 11th is coming soon!

Here’s some more tasty ones shared by our friend Clay Stabler at the LOUIE LOUIE Party over at Facebook.

A version I haven’t seen before of Jack Ely performing at a “writer’s round” in Nashville back in 2011. These events are held at various spots around town with the Bluebird Cafe being the best known. – Clay

From the YouTube description:=

Jack Ely paid Nashville a visit and sat in on writer’s round in Nashville, TN with Dawn-joy Thornton (right/ vocals), Jeff Cohen (right/ vocals), Matt McElravy (left/ keys), Steve Wolfe (right/ drums) and Matt Ridenour (left) 7-8-11

Continuing our international LL tour, here’s a version from the Czech Republic with some excellent harmonica work. The group’s name – Iggylou and the Stutz Bearcat Jim Beamers – accomplishes a rare trifecta of American pop culture references. This version was noted in the Louie Report back in 2013, but well worth another listen.- Clay

“Czech it out!”- Frances Bunny Cherman

We’ll share some more tomorrow…

Countdown to LOUIE Day 2020 – 5 days to go

International LOUIE LOUIE Day – April 11th is coming soon!

Here’s a few tasty ones shared by our friend Clay Stabler at the LOUIE LOUIE Party over at Facebook.

Today is April 6, 1963 – The date of the original Kingsmen LL recording. Still searching for my holy grail – a recording of “Louie Louie” by a group named Louie Louie (of which there are several) in a venue named Louie Louie (of which there are many). So far only two out of three: Crude Rockinger performing LL in the Louie Louie Rock Bar in Estepona, Spain (as originally noted in the Louie Report of 9/9/2014).

(This) version is a smooth rendition from David Marks and the Summertime Blues. The Louie Report featured David Marks (aka the “Lost Beach Boy”) back in 2009 but that link isn’t working, so here’s a replacement. Recommend reading more about the interesting story of Mr. Marks and his career in and out of the Beach Boys.
David Marks and the Summertime Blues live at Eddie’s Attic – August 22, 2011

What happens when a band plays LL live in a radio station studio? Perhaps we should ask the KFJC jocks from the 1983 Maximum Louie Louie event. Here’s a 2017 example from the “Transylvania” show on Radio La Fuente in San Jose, Costa Rica featuring an acoustic version by a group named Peñaskazo . The result: good music and some crazy dancing!

This version is from Israel by the RPS Surfers (featuring Nitzan Horesh & Kay Zur) and features an unusual instrument. Is this what they call grindcore?

RIP: Danny Mihm, drummer with Flamin’ Groovies

I’m saddened to report the passing of Danny Mihm, former drummer of the Flamin’ Groovies and the Phantom Movers. This marks the third death of a member of the Flamin’ Groovies within the past 10 months, as we lost Michael Wilhem in May 2019 and Roy Loney in December 2019… (with absolutely no connection to the current virus crisis)

Danny passed away on March 26th. He was the drummer for the Groovies from 1967 until 1973, playing on the first three albums, and was also part of the 1983 reunion.

James Ferrell, a dear friend of Danny / bandmate with Flamin’ Groovies and the Phantom Movers shared these memories..

Daniel Jon Mihm was my best friend for nearly 50 years. We met when I joined the Flamin’ Groovies and we hit it off immediately. We found we had a lot in common; a very high quotient of snide humor, a deep interest in history, particularly military history, probably as both our fathers had served in the military and an abiding love for blues and rhythm and blues. We usually roomed together when whatever band we were in was touring and over the years shared a lot of joyful, and some not so joyful, experiences. A tremendous drummer, Danny was always the best musician in every band we were in. He contributed a great deal to every song he played on with his ideas, energy and talent, though he never got any songwriting credit. Just listen to anything he played on, his ferocious tempo and his driving force powers the music. And everywhere he was he would have pencil and paper in hand making these marvelous drawings, just for the enjoyment of it. If you were very lucky you would get a letter or a card with an envelope decorated in his inimitable style. It was hard not to like Dan, he was charming, witty, gregarious, full of fun and his large personality drew people to him wherever he went. He had his demons and could be most difficult if the mood was on him but it was impossible to hold a grudge against him. He was just being Danny. He deserves a lot bigger place in the history of rock and roll than he has gotten but he will live forever in the hearts of his friends and fans and in the deep grooves of the recordings he was so important to.

Larry Levy, another friend of Danny / bandmate with Phantom Movers, posted these words on his Facebook wall:

Danny was by far one the hugest influences on my life, musically and personally. He was the sweetest toughest person I ever met. He was so fun and joyous and hysterical and emotional and so explosive a guy. A young and an old person in one…a powerful leader and a loyal follower…..he hated pizza, beer, sneakers, stupidity, Mick Jagger, many French people and some kinds of cheese. He loved songs, fistfighting, cognac, snuff, art, smart people, drawing, Mary Travers, history, Catherine Deneuve, Elvis, The Duelists, Bo Diddley and laughing. He taught me how to be on stage. I loved him the minute I met him. When my first son Jake was born, Danny drew an incredible sketch of him. We met once in The Cannery for lunch and he handed me a Jewish star that he had found and had saved for me. I was the “kid” of the Phantom Movers / Flamin’ Groovies family and backstage at a gig at the Whiskey, Danny pulled me aside and said “You know, you’re as good as any of these guys.” Once Danny told a story and concluded by saying, “…but that’s an old wives’ tale…just ask any of my old wives.”…No one played drums like Danny. It was like riding on the back of a motorcycle with the driver going instantly too fast – such an indescribable feeling. My world is a lonelier place without him. I hope he is better off. I love you, Danny…..

David Wees, aka Stinky LaPew of Buck Naked & the Bottom Boys, wrote this about his old friend:

It hurts me deeply to learn of my dearest friend, Danny Mihm’s passing. We have spent so much time working together, in bands and kitchens. He was a supreme artist and friend. We shared common dedication to our art, music, and sports. I am completely gutted. I will hold his memory in my heart forever.
Rest in Peace my brother.

Tom Sagehorn, music enthusiast and longtime friend of the LOUIE project, sent this message to a handful of kindred spirits:

Another huge loss in the music world. It was such an honor to see him with the Flamin Groovies and the Phantom Movers as well.
A hard hitting and tight drummer, Danny was pound for pound as good as anybody I ever saw. I have seen hundreds of shows…..
The Rolling Stones (among others) were publicly envious of the Danny- era “Teenage Head” album, and they made no secret of their musical admiration.

Danny was not only a great drummer, but he was also a gifted illustrator. Here’s a few samples of his work..

Did we mention that Danny played drums on a killer version of LOUIE LOUIE? (this is the live 1970 Matrix rehearsal version)

Rest in peace, Danny.

REFERENCE LINKS:

Discogs – Danny Mihm biography

WikiPedia – Flamin’ Groovies

Noise11.com – Danny Mihm of The Flamin’ Groovies Dies After Stroke