Thinkin’ ’bout Abilene, Texas

Today in the flow of my digital news feed*, I read the news about some good things in Abilene, Texas

City of Abilene becomes first city in Texas to house all homeless veterans, 9th in America

ABILENE, Texas — The City of Abilene is the first city in Texas and ninth in America to house all homeless veterans.

In October, Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams launched the Mayor’s Challenge to end veterans’ homelessness within 100 days.

The idea was to find housing for homeless veterans, which would help them start to turn their lives around.”

“During the 100 days of this challenge, our local housing and service providers redoubled their efforts to house as many veterans as possible in order to make veteran homelessness in Abilene something that is rare, brief, and nonrecurring,” said the West Texas Homeless Network.

Actually, this is a 5-month old piece of news, but it’s news to me, and I applaud the city of Abilene for doing the right thing by providing support for many homeless veterans.

While there’s a chance I might have been on a bus that passed through the town during a road trip I once did (on a Greyhound, no less), I don’t recall ever stopping in the town of Abilene.

Dave Alvin wrote a magnificent song about Abilene that I can never get tired of

By default, this song is often the first track that gets played whenever I plug my iPhone into my car stereo, as it often starts with the first alphabetically named song of my 100+GB music collection. It’s either “Abilene” or “About a Bird” by Fantastic Negrito, depending which assortment of music i’m carrying with me at the time. If you’ve never heard this song before, you’re welcome. It’s a definite keeper.

Anyways, today, I thought this might be a good time to share a special archival LOUIE LOUIE nugget that originated in this very special town of Abilene.

On August 10, 1961, there was a big rock ‘n’ roll show that took place at the Key City Sportatorium in Abilene, Texas. It was billed as an “Oldies But Goodies” show featuring the “Greatest Rock n’ Roll Stars of All Time.” Amongst the 50 Top Recording Stars that included Don and Dewey, the Shields, Ron Holden, the Medallions, Gene & Eunice, Marvin & Johnny, the Viceroys, Thurston Harris, and the Phantom Band, there was Richard Berry, who was noted in the Abilene Reporter News advertisement for having a hit record with the song “LOUIE LOUIE.”

This event took place the same year that Rockin’ Roberts (with the Wailers) released his version of the song on Etiquette Records, which was four years after Richard released his original version on Flip Records in 1957.

Two years later, the Kingsmen as well as Paul Revere & the Raiders would release their own versions of the song, both of which wound up selling a lot more recordings than the previous recordings.

Anyways, it was nice to see that in 1961, Richard Berry was considered one of the “Greatest Rock n’ Roll Stars of All Time“…. at least in Abilene, Texas.

Thank you again, Abilene!

* The news feed on that particular article came from a Facebook posting by Gloria A. Jones, a founding member of Richard Berry & the Dreamers! It all comes full circle….


KTXS 12 ABC – City of Abilene becomes first city in Texas to house all homeless veterans, 9th in America – Memories of yesteryear….. Sportatorium of Abilene

LOUIE production update – June 2019 with Don Gallucci

photo by Laurelish Rudy

About a week and a half ago, I had an opportunity to visit with the man formerly known as Don Gallucci.

Don’s kinda like the lost and forgotten member of the original Kingsmen that recorded LOUIE LOUIE back in 1963. His keyboard playing is the very first sound you hear in that iconic recording.

It’s been awhile since Don’s been involved with any big events that acknowledged his musical heritage, but we were fortunate to help him break that cycle with a little followup interview for the LOUIE documentary project.

In addition to playing keyboards on the world’s most popular version of the world’s most performed rock song, Don was also…

– the producer of The Stooges‘ second album, “Fun House“, featuring a relatively unknown singer at the time, Iggy Pop, aka James Osterberg;

– the creative force behind “Touch“, the self-titled album considered to be the very first progressive rock album;

– the producer/arranger of probably the very first professional recordings of Tom Waits, which were eventually released as part of the two “Early Years” compilations released by Rhino Records in the early 1990s… without proper credit.

Despite these associations, up until a recent interview with some folks at WBEZ Radio of Chicago, Don had no idea about Iggy’s uniquely inspired renditions of LOUIE (refer to 1974 “Metallic K.O.” + 1993 “American Caesar” albums), much less both Iggy and Tom’s cinematic adventures with Jim Jarmusch.

(I did tell Don about the new zombie film – “The Dead Don’t Die,” which sounds like a total blast!!)

Needless to say, it was a very enjoyable and entertaining afternoon!

Don dropped out of the music biz ages ago, changed his last name to Caverhill and wound up doing quite well with a career in real estate.

Anyone want to buy his beautiful Beverly Hills hilltop home?

(… to be continued…)

Universal Music Group’s 2008 fire disaster + LOUIE LOUIE ?

Yesterday, thanks to the New York Times, we learned of a terrible fire disaster that took place in 2008 at the Universal Music Group vault, which apparently destroyed over 500,000 master recordings.

Amongst the reported lost recordings by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Louis Jordan, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Little Walter, Etta James, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, the Andrews Sisters, the Ink Spots, the Mills Brothers, Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Ward, Sammy Davis Jr., Les Paul, Fats Domino, Big Mama Thornton, Burl Ives, the Weavers, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Bobby (Blue) Bland, B.B. King, Ike Turner, the Four Tops, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Sonny and Cher, the Mamas and the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Captain Beefheart, Cat Stevens, the Carpenters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Al Green, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Don Henley, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Iggy Pop, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Barry White, Patti LaBelle, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Police, Sting, George Strait, Steve Earle, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Eric B. and Rakim, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Guns N’ Roses, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Sonic Youth, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Hole, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent and the Roots, we also learned about the supposed destruction of the Kingsmen‘s LOUIE LOUIE master tape.

As it turns out, it appears that the original Kingsmen recording of LOUIE LOUIE was NOT one of the casualties of this terrible disaster in Los Angeles.

Here’s the official word from the Kingsmen:

Unless someone removed the masters from our vault in Washington, they are still there.

Norm Sundholm
Kingsmen International Licensing, inc.

Meanwhile, the full story of this terrible accident is still unfolding…



NY Times Magazine – The Day The Music Burned
NY Times – Recordings by Elton John, Nirvana and Thousands More Lost in Fire
Washington Post- Music group’s PR staff fooled the media
Billboard – Universal Fire in 2008 Estimated to Have Destroyed 500,000 Iconic Master Recordings
Variety – Universal Music Disputes Severity of 2008 Fire Cited in New York Times Article
Los Angeles Times – Report: Universal Music Group covered up destruction of irreplaceable master tapes in 2008 fire
NME – Unheard material from Nirvana, R.E.M and many more lost in 2008 Universal Studios fire
WMMR – Master Recordings for Nearly 500,000 Songs Destroyed in 2008 Universal Music Group Fire
. – Steely Dan, Nirvana and Others React to Fire Loss of Master Tapes
LA List- Universal Studios Fire Destroyed The Original Recording Of Etta James’s ‘At Last’ — And 500,000 Other Songs
AV Club – Universal Music Group disputes New York Times’ claim that 500,000 master recordings were lost in 2008 fire

Billboard original June 2, 2008 article – “Universal Music Group Masters Unharmed In Fire”

Andy Zax – “Goodbye, 20th Century!”: How Stupidity, Incompetence, Obsolescence, Carelessness, Greed, Malfeasance, Lazy Lawyers And A Basic Misunderstanding Of Physics Are—At This Very Moment!—Eviscerating What’s Left Of Our Musical Heritage

RIP: Anthony Randall, lost son of Johnny Flamingo

A few days ago, I received some very sad news from my friend Joe Macoll

Hello Eric, it breaks my heart to tell you Anthony Randall has died after a battle with motor neurone disease, he was a lovely man.

I remember when Joe introduced me to Tony back in 2008..

Hi Eric, today one of those strange coincidences that seem to thrive in the Louie world happened to me. I met up with an old friend, who I haven’t seen in ten years, since he moved from the U.K. to New Zealand. He in turn brought along a friend of his I hadn’t met before, and he hadn’t seen in thirty years, a guy called Tony Randall, and when Tony told his story to Brian, he said you must meet Joe.

Tony never met his father, who was an American airman based in the U.K in the 50`s, he`s now a journalist and published his story of the search for his father, in an article he wrote for one of our quality papers, in 2004, I remember reading it at the time, you can find the article here.

I remember you saying you had footage of an interview with Johnny Flamingo, and wondered if there was any way Tony could see this footage, as he has only photographs (and of course the music) of his father, nothing of him “walking and talking” so to speak.

Forgive the intrusion Eric, but my time spent with Tony convinces me he is one of the good guys, and if you could help, it would make his life.

Thanks, Joe

Johnny Flamingo in 2000 -

With an introduction from Joe, I did make contact with Tony, and I posted this footage of his father on YouTube. It was a humbling moment to meet his father 9 months before his untimely death in 200, especially as my footage turned out to be one of the few video clips of him in existence.

Tony’s story was quite remarkable, and I remember reading about his journey in a 2004 article he wrote for The (UK) Guardian entitled “Looking for Johnny Flamingo.”

It’s an excellent article, and it sounded like it would make a great documentary

Tony did visit me back in 2012. We spent the day yacking up a storm in Santa Cruz. I was happy to give Anthony permission to use my footage in his documentary… but I have no idea how far he got with that…

My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Anthony Randall.

– E.P.

Reference links:
The (UK) Guardian- Looking for Johnny Flamingo
Hail Hail, Johnny Flamingo… and Jeanette Baker!

RIP: Roky Erickson, psychedelic garage rock icon

We are saddened to learn that Roky Erickson, singer-songwriter of the 13th Floor Elevators, has left the land of the living. He passed away today at the age of 71 in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

Years ago, I shared a memory of Roky Erickson on these pages on my LOUIE comic blog post “E.P. and the Art of Music Documentaries.”

You’re Gonna Miss Me” by the 13th Street Elevators, like LOUIE LOUIE, is one of those songs that often appears on those “best garage rock songs” type lists.

Washington Post wrote about Roky and that song in a 1991 article, which featured these quotes….

It was a prototypical punk record — one that would later become a garage-rock standard influencing alternative bands like Television in America, Radio Birdman in Australia and the Jesus & Mary Chain in England. (“It was like ‘Louie, Louie’ sideways,” says R.E.M‘s Peter Buck. Says Texas music historian Casey Monahan: “‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ is just as important as {Buddy Holly‘s} ‘Peggy Sue.’ “)

We’re definitely going miss you, Roky….

Reference Links:
Variety- Roky Erickson obituary
Washington Post – The Elevator Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (1991 article)
Paste – The 50 Best Garage Rock Songs of All Time
E.P. and the Art of Music Documentaries

KFJC Battle of the Surf Bands 2019

This week, I’m sharing something that’s not obviously LOUIE-related, but ties into the LOUIE Universe via osmosis.

Every year, KFJC Radio, the community radio station where the LOUIE documentary project began with a 63 hour Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon (over 800 versions!), celebrates a month of MAYHEM. Along with a series of different radio specials, there’s usually an assortment of live events scattered around the San Franciso Bay Area.

Last weekend, KFJC hosted “Battle of the Surf Bands #8,” which took place on Saturday Mayhem 18 at The Art Boutiki of San Jose, California. Thirteen different surf bands took the stage for 15 minutes (which included their setup and soundcheck) for a wonderful cavalcade of fine music. The bands that participated in this event included Frankie & the Pool Boys, Reverbivores, Reefriders, Young Barons, Aloha Screwdriver, Gillbillies, GnarlyMen, Del Novas, Pyronauts, New Shockwaves, Drifting Sand, Uncle Sea Monster and Meshugga Beach Party!

My pal Jeff Stretch Riedle, whose radio antics inspired the LOUIE project, gave me a nudge towards attending this event, as his band The New Shockwaves were performing that night. I’m very glad he did that. It was an amazing evening of entertainment, and I ran into a ton of old friends at this one.

Gillbillies did a superb set as usual…

I didn’t expect to see the Haggard brothers (aka MIRV and Bosco) as part of Uncle Sea Monster, but that was a wonderful surprise!

Frankie & the Pool Boys, which also featured members of Meshugga Beach Party, closed the show with a powerful performance. They also won my award for the coolest band t-shirt / album design with The Adventures Of Cap’n Coconuts.

I wasn’t able to shoot any video of the other nine bands, but every group put on an excellent performance that night.

Big thanks to Dan Vado and his staff at Art Boutiki for providing a beautiful space for this event!

Support Community Radio!

Reference Links:
KFJC Month of Mayhem
The Art Boutiki of San Jose, CA
The Bay Area Surf Twang And Reverb Directory (Facebook group page)

RIP: Mike Wilhelm of the Charlatans, Flamin’ Groovies, Loose Gravel

On Tuesday we lost another good guy.

Michael Wilhelm was a true original. He was a founding member of the Charlatans, the pioneers of the psychedelic wild west that forged a pathway in San Francisco for the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and all those who followed.

There’s a lot of great stories about Michael.

As a teenager, Michael was fortunate to have linked up with Walter “Brownie” McGhee, the legendary bluesman and partner of Sonny Terry, who taught him some powerful guitar picking techniques.

In 1967, photographer Herb Greene once asked Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia to name his favorite guitarist, and he replied simply, “Mike Wilhelm.”

Over the years, the LOUIE production team (Eric Predoehl and Jesse Block) was honored to work with Michael on a variety of different productions.

Here’s a clip of Michael that we produced with our friend Alec Palao concurrent with the big Dan Hicks birthday celebration concert in 2001. Originally created for the Dan Hicks program that was released as a DVD/CD set, this previously unreleased video features Michael talking about working with Dan Hicks, who was another core member of the Charlatans.

After the Charlatans fell apart in 1969, Wilhelm formed another group that would be known as “Loose Gravel.” One of the unforgettable moments in that band’s history occurred was when Michael confronted San Francisco promoter Bill Graham about setting up a gig for Loose Gravel to perform during the closing performances at the Fillmore West Auditorium. Graham is not interested, and Wilhelm flips his middle finger and shouts out “Fuck you and thanks for the memories!” before vacating the office in a huff.

While this particular cinematic moment is not readily available online, someone by the name of almanac1951 created a rather inspired reinterpretation of that special moment using computer generated animation… (with special thanks to Ms. Shaglyn Hearne for spotting this one)

Years after Loose Gravel broke up, Wilhelm joined the Flamin’ Groovies in 1976, which also featured Loose Gravel alumni Chris Wilson, who’d already been a member of the Groovies for an album and various tours before Wilhelm jumped onboard.

After recording a couple of albums, and extensive tours in both Europe and America, Wilhelm eventually left the Groovies in 1982.

In 2001, the LOUIE team documented a very special performance by Wilhelm with his old Flamin’ Groovies bandmate Cyril Jordan at the Cafe Dunord in San Francisco.

Cyril Jordan and Michael Wilhelm, two Flamin’ Groovies, warming up before a show at Cafe DuNord, San Francisco in August 2001.

In the later years, we were pleasantly surprised when Michael made LOUIE LOUIE a regular part of his repertoire… fully acknowledging it as a “Richard Berry song.”

Live at the Blue Wing Saloon, Upper Lake, CA on Sept. 17, 2012

. . . . . .

You can read a lot more about Michael by visiting his page.

Girl George has some excellent performances by Michael on her YouTube page.

In the near future, we hope to share more previously unreleased clips of Michael from the archives.

We are going to miss our friend Michael.

– E.P. and J.B.

Reference Links – the official page
Wikipedia page for Michael Wilhelm
Michael Wilhelm on Girl George’s YouTube page

RIP: Peggy Lipton, actress + singer

Today, we learned that actress + singer Peggy Lipton died from cancer at the age of 72.

“She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side,” Lipton’s daughters said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.”

Born in New York on Aug. 30, 1946, Lipton began modeling at age 15, transitioning into acting at the age of 19, appearing in such TV shows as “The John Forsythe Show,” “Bewitched,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and “The Virginian.”

When Peggy Lipton was 21 years old, when she rocketed to fame in 1968 when she played the role of Julie Barnes, a street-smart flower child that happened to be an undercover cop on the ABC crime series “The Mod Squad.” This TV show, one of the first to feature an interracial cast, lasted for five seasons, earning her four Emmy nominations, a 1971 Golden Globe award for best actress in a TV drama, and the cover of MAD magazine!

Apparently, she was also a girl friend of Paul McCartney.

In 1974, Ms. Lipton married music producer Quincy Jones. Together, they had two daughters, Rashida and Kidada Jones, who each became successful actresses. While the marriage ended 1990, it turned out to be the last and longest marriage for Mr. Jones, who had two previous marriages.

On Twitter, Nell Scovell pointed out something I wasn’t aware of…

Peggy Lipton’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in (Michael Jackson)’s “Black or White” video was a perfect pop culture moment. #RIP

Some of you may be asking… “What does Peggy Lipton have to do with LOUIE LOUIE?”

Here’s the answer….

In 1970, Peggy released a single of the song “Lu” (1970), written by Laura Nyro, a song that we at the LOUIE Report would categorize as a “LOUIE Mutant.”

Listen closely to this performance of the song on The Andy Williams Show on October, 31, 1969….

Reference Links:
Los Angeles Times – Actress Peggy Lipton, star of ‘The Mod Squad’ and ‘Twin Peaks,’ dies at age 72
Wikipedia – Peggy Lipton
Nell Scovell Twitter

LOUIE LOUIE graphics from Madrid

Sometimes Facebook can be a place for lovely distractions.

Case in point, LOUIE LOUIE of Madrid, a nightclub we mentioned a few years ago with our special LOUIE LOUIE Clubs/Stores of the World feature, has been sharing a lot of really fun flyers on their Facebook page.

There’s no specific references to the song written by Richard Berry, but more of just a rock ‘n’ roll celebration by the club that embraced the song title as a name for this establishment!

Check these images out – they’re all from the photo album entitled “Poster Fiestas By Nuria Alsina.”

Bravo to Nuria Alsina for creating these thingies!

if you’re in Madrid, this sounds like the place to be!!

Reference Links:
Facebook page for LOUIE LOUIE of Madrid, Spain
LOUIE LOUIE Clubs/Stores of the World – part 3

(minimal) LOUIE at the Movies – Band Aid (2017)

This week, I share a “(minimal) LOUIE at the Movies” post.

The movie is called “Band Aid,” and it’s an indie film that my friend Jason Roeber found on Netflix. Because Rotten Tomatoes wrote such a wonderful description of this production, and I am feeling lazy (as well as busy with all sorts of other stuff), I’m going to borrow their brief description of this film…

Band Aid, the refreshingly raw, real, and hilarious feature debut from Zoe Lister-Jones, is the story of a couple, Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally), who can’t stop fighting. Advised by their therapist to try and work through their grief unconventionally, they are reminded of their shared love of music. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to turn all their fights into song, and with the help of their neighbor Dave (Fred Armisen), they start a band. A story of love, loss, and rock and roll, Band Aid is a witty and perceptive view of modern love, with some seriously catchy pop hooks to boot.

The LOUIE reference is definitely minimal, as there’s a moment when the lead characters are sampling the riff (which one could argue might have been swiped from “El Loco Cha Cha” or “Wild Thing”), and they come up with another song entirely.

This would be the type of song we’d categorize as a “LOUIE bastard,” with just enough elements for some of us to go “AHA!”

I really enjoyed this film, which was filmed with an all-female crew, and features some witty dialogue and fun songs with rather silly lyrics.

Colin Hanks, the son of Tom, who directed that wonderful “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records” documentary, has a brief appearance as a character called “Uber Douche.”

Hats off to Zoe Lister-Jones for creating this charming little production, which not only offered new fuel for drummer jokes, but also provided at least one moment that I imagine Joe Bob Briggs would likely assign special points if he were still keeping track of such things…

Tis a keeper!

Rotten Tomatoes – Band Aid
Wikipedia- Band Aid