Oh boy… this blog post took a bit longer than expected. I try to get these “LOUIEs of the Week” posted early in the week, but this week too many other things pulled away my focus…
This week, I was pre-occupied by my workload – putting in crazy hours at the Outside Lands last weekend, then being part of a big video production with Yo Yo Ma in Berkeley on Tuesday. On top of that, there was Paul Revere’s retirement, my mother’s 90th birthday, and the unexpected death of a beloved entertainer that I met at a little birthday party in San Francisco, which threw me off more than I expected. During this week, I also witnessed some magnificent performances by the Sonics and Sir Paul McCartney.
Anyways, as you the humble viewer, patiently waited for this week’s special LOUIE, I am proud to finally unveil this week’s LOUIE….
Colorfinger is the band that provides this week’s LOUIE. This is a live performance on KFJC radio back in 1990, dedicated to Phil Dirt, one of the masterminds behind the legendary “Maximum LOUIE LOUIE” marathon that inspired this very project.
You might have heard the latest info about Paul Revere…..
Pollstar broke the news on Friday, August 8th with the Headline “Paul Revere Ends His Ride”
Having led The Raiders for five decades, Paul Revere announces he is hanging up his tri-corner hat but his band will keep on rocking.
Today’s announcement states that Revere’s son, Jamie, is returning to the band. Today’s Raiders include Doug Heath, Ron Foos and Danny Krause along with 10-year Lettermen vet Darren Dowler and former Buckinghams drummer Tommy Scheckel.
There is a slight tweak to the band’s name. The group will perform under the moniker Paul Revere’s Raiders.
There’s actually been no confirmation regarding any permanent retirement from the man himself on his official webpages, but here’s a special announcement direct from his official webpage, dated July 18, 2014:
Hey gang, Paul Revere here!
You know, 2014 has been just a great year for the band so far, thanks to you guys. We’ve played killer shows to great audiences all over America, and we’re having a blast – Disney, Busch Gardens, the “Where The Action Is” cruise, Las Vegas and every supermarket opening and pie eating contest along the way.
Even though I’ve had some health issues, nothing can stop the old man. I’m like the Energizer Bunny! I jump on my tour bus and go from city to city, packing a trunk full of great Raider songs, tight pants and bad jokes – all against doctor’s orders, by the way!
I’ve been the worst patient these guys have ever seen, and they’ve been on me to take a break all year. So, we finally did take a break, and recorded two new singles (due out in September), but that’s not good enough for them. They want a longer break. I told them, “Hey, I’ve got to hit the road, I’m booked! And I’m bored!!”
Well, you can’t ignore doctor’s orders forever, and I have to give in this time or these wonderful men and women might stop trying to help me. It breaks my heart to have to stay home while the band goes out without me to our next block of dates. You don’t even know how much it kills me. But the truth is, The Raiders kick major butt with or without me. We’ve designed this show to run like a Ferrari, even if it’s only firing on 11 cylinders. It’s built for speed from the ground up. High energy and fun is what a Paul Revere and The Raiders show is all about, and that’s always the same, no matter which one of us shows up in a body cast.
So come out and see my boys, and tell them how much you miss me. We have the absolute best fans. I love you all and will see you soon.
The show must always go on!
To paraphrase another, may the reports of his retirement be premature, with Paul returning to the stage as soon his health improves!
… But if this does turn out to permanent retirement, he’s certainly entitled to live out his life in whatever manner he sees fit. Paul Revere has been an American treasure that has provided high-quality entertainment for 50+ years.
It would be nice if the first rock band signed to the world’s largest record company in the early 1960s (Columbia) would get a bit more attention.
At their height of their career, they appeared on more television shows than any other rock bands, including the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, but so much of this has been completely forgotten about Paul Revere & the Raiders in 2014….
This week’s LOUIE is a 1973 recording by Line Renaud. (No, it’s not the graphic at the top of this post…. keep reading)
Line Renaud is a popular French singer, actress and AIDS activist whose career began at the age of 16, working with well known French composer LOULOU Gasté. Gaste became her mentor, and they eventually married, with a longtime union that lasted 45 years, ending with his death in 1995.
I wasn’t as familiar with her career, but I discovered quite an impressive legacy spanning many decades of stage, screen, and musical recordings. In 1954 alone, she appeared on Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Dinah Shore and Ed Sullivan shows and recorded the song ‘Relax ay voo’ with Dean Martin. The IMDB page for her listed acting credits in 64 different film/television productions. She’s also produced quite a few her own stage productions. In 2000, a “Golden Palm Star” on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.
Here I was thinking, she was “just another pop singer singing LOUIE LOUIE.”
Silly me. She’s much more than that.
That being said, this is a very cool version of the song, transforming an American rock song into a catchy French pop song. This recording was released as a single on the MGM label (MGM 14500) in 1973.
The original single is a bit tough to find, but luckily it’s been reissued as part of a comprehensive 5-CD box set entitled “100 Chansons D’or” that’s quite a bit easier to find. Thanks to the magical interwebs*, I found multiple websites selling this box set for under $20 – considerably cheaper than the original single!
Anyways to quote another, let’s give it to ‘em… right now! Here’s LOUIE LOUIE by Line Renaud!
As I mentioned briefly, the top graphic is NOT from 1973 MGM. It’s just a cute little image of a Line Renaud EP entitled “Jalouise” that came on on the Pathe label in 1956. It’s a “pre-LOUIE LOUISE,” so to speak…
Official Line Renaud webpage
Wikipedia page for Line Renaud
IMDB page for Line Renaud
An incomplete discography for Line Renaud (no mention of LOUIE LOUIE, but cool graphics)
* = Yes, I know “interwebs” is not a proper term, but I still like using it. So there!
With special thanks to my friend Todd Somers, I am to share a vintage performance captured 30 years ago!
This week’s LOUIE is by Michael and the Shades – live at Off Sunset in Hollywood (now Crazy Girls) March 1984.
According to the YouTube description, this performance features the late, lamented Mike Shelton on vocals, with Loren Molinare of The Dogs on guitar and members of Blow-Up at Pooch’s B-Day jam.
When I don’t get around to posting a LOUIE of the Week until Friday, it’s a sign that things have been pretty hectic at LOUIE Central.
Looking at the website, it appeared that I never acknowledged Johnny Thunders’ contribution to the LOUIE Universe, so today looks like a good day to rectify that situation.
Here’s a vintage recording (as they all are) of Johnny Thunders- live in April 1990, with John Connor, Sam Steiger & Peter O’Kennedy of The Golden Horde doing the song as a medley with “Hang on Sloopy” … one year before Johnny kicked the bucket, so to speak.
Did anyone ever find any recordings of the Ramones doing the song?
If so, please please speak up….
I was running late with this week’s LOUIE, and certainly didn’t plan to to utilize it again as I’ve done in the past to pay tribute to another departed musician… but life often throws you a curveball, as it did this week.
Johnny Winter was an exceptional musician whose work I always enjoyed. In addition to being an award-winning guitar player, he was also the producer of three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues legend Muddy Waters.
The first time I saw Johnny perform was at the Keystone Palo Alto in 1983. I remember being completely mesmerized, and so very grateful I brought a camera with me that night.
The second time I saw Johnny perform was the Catalyst in Santa Cruz sometime in the 1990s. At the time, I was involved with the LOUIE project, so I decided to bring a copy of “A Lone Star Kind of Day” CD, which featured Johnny’s version of LOUIE LOUIE. I was hoping I’d be able to chat with Johnny about that particular recording and maybe get an autograph for my collection. Johnny wasn’t meeting with anyone after the show, but one of the roadies took it back to Johnny for the autograph. Johnny graciously autographed the CD, but I was informed that it was a bootleg released without his permission.
I discovered that this CD was one of many recordings released by Roy Ames, owner of Home Cooking Records/Clarity Music Publishing, who briefly managed Johnny in 1969. Apparently, Johnny left Houston for the express purpose of getting away from Ames, who had a reputation for screwing over various musicians. in 2003, Ames passed away, and the ownership rights of the Ames master recordings remains unclear to this day.
Anyways, Richard Berry LOVED Johnny’s version of LOUIE LOUIE. I would often make some cassette compilations of his famous song, and he told me he used to love blasting that particular version in his car stereo!
This year, when I discovered Johnny Winter would be doing an appearance in Santa Cruz for a meet-and-greet at Streetlight Records, I made plans to be there. I printed up some photographs from the 1983 show, which I hadn’t shared with anyone.
Johnny’s meet-and-greet session turned out to be inside Johnny’s tour van, parked outside the record store. Johnny was very gracious to everyone that lined up to meet him. When I gave him copies of the 1983 photos, he immediately recognized his bass player Scott Spray, who was still playing with the band!
We talked briefly about the LOUIE recording, which was mostly me jabbering away about how much Richard loved that particular recording. Johnny didn’t really have much to say about that recording or the guy who released it without his permission, but he appreciated that Richard loved his version.
Anyways, here’s that version of LOUIE LOUIE that Johnny recorded in 1969. Despite the graphics on this video that someone posted, it was not on the Rhino Records “Best of Louie Louie,” or released on any other recording authorized by Johnny Winter… but it’s definitely a keeper!
Rest in peace, Johnny. You shall be missed…
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P.S. Last night, as I heard unconfirmed news about Johnny’s demise, I shared a Johnny song with friends that I hoped would ring true… It didn’t work out that way, but I still love this track!
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
Jini Dellaccio, photographer of many great rock bands, has passed away at the age of 97. If you’ve paid attention to this project, you’ve seen her work. She’s created some unforgettable, iconic images of The Sonics, The Fabulous Wailers and various musicians from the Pacific Northwest.
On the website of the documentary on her life – Her Aim is True, there’s a nice introductory paragraph that provides a quick overview of her life:
In 1964, a middle-aged self-taught photographer, Jini Dellaccio, began hanging out with raucous garage bands like The Sonics in her backyard, creating startling images and innovative album covers. Soon she was grabbing unprecedented portraits of Neil Young and early performances by bands like The Who, Rolling Stones, and Mamas & Papas. Musicians and rock photographers join Jini Dellaccio on an inspiring tour of her ingenuity and style, with a soundtrack and interviews that capture the Pacific Northwest’s vibrant music subculture. At the heart of this film though, is a legacy lost and found in an enduring story about love, creativity and indie spirit, with universal appeal.
The new documentary, produced and directed by Karen Whitehead, will be released in the very near future, but in the meantime, here’s a trailer to provide a little glimpse on the life of this remarkable woman.
Her Aim Is True – Trailer from Karen Whitehead on Vimeo.
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Jini.
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To learn more about Jini Dellaccio, please visit:
Jini Dellaccio official webpage
Her Aim Is True documentary – official webpage
This week, we’ll point the mighty LOUIE spotlight at what we at LOUIE CENTRAL like to call a “LOUIE Mutant”- a song that borrows heavily from LOUIE LOUIE, but is another song entirely, as opposed to a “LOUIE Bastard,” which would be a completely blatant swipe of LOUIE LOUIE, albeit with a different song title.
Sometimes it does get a bit confusing, trying distinguish whether a song might be a LOUIE Mutant or LOUIE Bastard.
A LOUIE Mutant might be something like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which starts off the same chord progression, holds onto to the riff for an extended period, but becomes another song entirely.
A LOUIE Bastard could be something Frank Zappa‘s original version of “Plastic People,” which sounded just like LOUIE LOUIE, but with completely different lyrics. (Songwriter credit was eventually given to Richard Berry in subsequent releases of the song)
Anyways, this week’s LOUIE shall be a LOUIE mutant called “Gabrielle,” a 1979 record released by a band known as the Nips.
The Nips, also known as The Nipple Erectors, were a English punk rock band formed in London in 1976 by female punk artist Shanne Bradley and were notable for the being the very first musical group featuring Shane MacGowan, who later formed the Pogues.
You can learn more about the Nips by checking out the Wikipedia entry on the Nips, or The Nips: Licensed to Cool – unofficial fan site page.
Anyways, here’s The Nips – Gabrielle!
The Nips (featuring The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan)
This week, the LOUIE spotlight is on “Brother Louie,” a song which many people have confused with Richard Berry‘s LOUIE LOUIE. “Brother Louie” became a hit recording with Ian Lloyd & Stories back in 1973, and was brought back into the spotlight in 2010 with the TV show entitled LOUIE, a sitcom loosely based on the life of American comedian Louis C.K.
This particular clip is by the band Hot Chocolate, which was the band that originally created and recorded this song before Ian Lloyd & Stories discovered it.