Thirty years ago today, Richard Berry, author of the song “LOUIE LOUIE” met Jack Ely, the original vocalist for the Kingsmen, at KFJC Radio, Los Altos Hills, California. The date was August 20, 1983 – the second day of the legendary “Maximum: LOUIE LOUIE” radio marathon which played every known version of the song at time, which turned out to be well over 800 versions, lasting approximately 63 hours. This particular moment marked the very first time Richard Berry had ever met any member of the band that transformed his composition into the popular hit recording heard all over the world.
At the time of this meeting, Richard Berry was surviving on welfare in Los Angeles, taking data entry courses to obtain a more marketable job skill.
After this particular event, his life was forever changed…
(We’ll have more on that later…)
Big Happy Birthday wishes go out to Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground, who shared some LOUIE memories for the documentary project years ago.
if you haven’t heard her version of LOUIE LOUIE, now’s your chance….
An article posted at Examiner.com yesterday:
Classic rock’s Paul Revere flooded with well wishes and prayers for good health
On August 13, 2013, Facebook trended strongly for bandleader and music icon Paul Revere, as longtime fans and new visitors alike flocked to Revere’s “Paul Revere and the Raiders” Facebook page to express their thoughts, concerns and prayers for healing. Revere, their beloved leader, is presently battling unspecified health problems, which have come to public attention today via numerous social media posts.
To read more of this article, click HERE.
Paul Revere and the Raiders Facebook Page
Paul Revere and the Raiders Official Web Site
UPDATE from the man himself (August 15th on Facebook):
Hey kids, it’s me, Paul Revere!
That’s right, I’m still alive and still kickin’! The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated, but I won’t lie to you, I got my butt kicked but good. If you live long enough you’re going to get something, and over the past 75 years I’ve had just about everything you can get – 2 types of cancer (beat em both!), rotator cuff surgery (killed it!), hysterectomy (don’t ask) and on and on – there’s always maintenance and repair in this band, now it’s my turn. Again!
I don’t want to get into the details but let’s just say, it ain’t fun. It’s been rough getting through the last few shows but I would do whatever it takes to avoid missing a show. I’m giving it my all, and then some, and the band tells me I’ve been even more awesome than usual. Of course, I do have the gun.
I want to thank you all for the prayers, they’re working! You people must be in good with the Lord because I’m feeling better and stronger every day. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to all of our upcoming shows, it’s what I live for! I mean, performing for you is literally what I live for, and that’s no joke. So, keep the prayers coming, and keep me alive long enough to come to your town a couple more times. I promised my guys I was going to live to be 100 and to plan accordingly. Now I’ve got to keep my promise.
I love you all,
PS-Thanks to the examiner.com for this article
His Facebook page also shared some photos from tonight’s show – August 25th:
This week’s LOUIE LOUIE is from the Soul Pistols – a Rocksteady Ska Reggae tribute band from Poland. This is a “54-46 /Louie Louie” medley that borrows from the Toots & The Maytals arrangement.
Show ‘em some love by visiting their Facebook page at
My friend Gene Maye, just launched a website dedicated to his brother Arthur Lee Maye.
Arthur Lee Maye (1934-2002) was a singer of great Doo-Wop melodies, a major league baseball player, and a very close friend of Richard Berry, author of LOUIE LOUIE. Gene was a member of Richard Berry & the Pharaohs, and appeared with the band for the final 1996 reunion in Long Beach, CA.
Gene is in the process of writing a book about his brother, and this website shares a PDF preview excerpt from the upcoming publication.
Gene is out to set the record straight…
“Whatever you’ve heard and read before this, compare it with what you will now read. There have been a number of stories that have been floating around the internet for quite some time, and are supposedly based on interviews with the principals involved. Well, if that were the case why can’t they get the facts correct? Well, I was there.
I was a part of the group. I’m speaking from first person’s perspective, and experience. I know the facts. I don’t have to research anything. The only question now is, “Whose report will you believe?” Nobody, but nobody can tell this story like I can.”
Here’s a photo of Gene as part of Richard & the Pharaohs in 1996 (from left- Eugene Maye, Richard Berry, Robert Harris and Godoy Colbert):
Read more over at:
I’m saddened to report that George Duke has passed away. He just released his album- “DreamWeaver,” which debuted at #1 on the Contemporary Jazz Chart. It was a tribute to his wife, Corine, who passed away last year.
George passed away at Monday at St John’s Hospital in Los Angeles, where he was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was 67 years old.
New York Daily News provided a summary of his career:
In a career that spanned more than 40 years, Duke worked with stars including Michael Jackson, on 1979’s “Off The Wall,” Miles Davis, producing and composing tracks on several key albums of the ‘80s, and Frank Zappa, with whom he appeared on “Mothers of Invention” albums from 1970 through the early ‘90s.
Duke, who was born in San Rafael, Calif., began taking piano lessons at age 4, after seeing Duke Ellington perform.
“I don’t remember it too well … but my mother told me I went crazy,” Duke said on his website. “I ran around saying, ‘Get me a piano, get me a piano!”
George did perform LOUIE LOUIE at various times throughout this career, more than likely during his run with Frank Zappa, but his collaboration with Stanley Clarke provided what many people consider the definitive soul-funk version of the song, which was released in 1981.
Here’s a little music video created for that recording by the Clarke-Duke Project …
I was fortunate to capture a very quick little interview with George about that special song when he played San Jose Jazz Fest a few years ago.
Rest in peace, George. You will be missed.
New York Daily News obituary by Jim Farber
Jazz Times obituary by Jeff Tamarkin
NPR obituary by Eyder Peralta
Last week, I had an opportunity to meet and shoot an interview with Kim Fowley for the long-awaited documentary on the song LOUIE LOUIE. Kim worked with Richard Berry in early 1960′s – after Richard made his original LOUIE recording of 1957, but before the Kingsmen made their iconic hit recording of the song. Kim co-produced, along with Gary S. Paxton, four different Richard Berry singles that be heard on the “Have Louie, Will Travel” compilation CD from Ace Records.
Kim also shared co-production duties on the very first record by Paul Revere & the Raiders- “Like Long Hair,” which was released on Gardena Records in 1961, two years before they were signed as the first rock band on Columbia Records – the largest record company in the world at the time.
It was a fascinating experience to finally meet and interview Kim. He’s a man that’s lived a very exciting life, and he continues to be extremely productive in spite of the limitations of his current medical condition. As I arrived at his home office, I had to wait until he had finished a session with another documentary crew that arrived before I did.
Right now, Kim is fighting bladder cancer, and preparing for what he calls his “next long term project” – his own demise. He recently released his first book of a three-volume autobiography – “Lord of Garbage,” published by Kicks Records, a company created by Miriam Linna of Norton Records.
Here’s a little press release that Kim wrote to promote his new book:
Kicks Books must be gluttons for punishment for publishing Kim Fowley’s First Book of a 3 Volume series that features Sex, Death, Dope, & Violence as its basis. Don’t worry folks, Lust & No Love is also covered. Notorious for his Bad Behavior Kim Fowley has launched LORD OF GARBAGE from his Battered Loins to your Soon-To-Be Shattered Body & Soul. Expect yourself to be abused by these Terrible Tales of 30 years of Torture, from 1939-1969. Sickened by his Big Orange Childhood Damage. KF gets even on the printed page, with the Ghosts Of Hollywood, who left him for dead in The Vinyl Jungle. The Canyons of Your Mind’s War Crimes, will drive all you crazies wild. You can find Kim Fowley’s name on Liner Notes/Set Lists/& Label Copy of His works, recorded and/or performed by such Household Names as: The Hollywood Argyles, B. Bumble & The Stingers, The Murmaids, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Manfred Mann, The Seekers, Cat Stevens, Steppenwolf, The Byrds, NRPS, Flying Burrito Brothers, Sir Douglas Quintet, Kris Kristofferson, ELP, BTO, Leo Kottke, Stars On 45, KISS, Alice Cooper, Blue Cheer, The Runaways, Leon Russell, Dead Boys, Germs, Helen Reddy, Van Halen, Wayne Newton, Gene Vincent, Herman Brood, The Mothers Of Invention, The Seeds, Wildman Fisher, Soft Machine, Motley Crue, The Leather Nun, Nirvana, Teenage Fan Club, BMX Bandits, Them aka Belfast Gypsies= Minus Van Morrison & Guitar/Bass (Keyboard/Drummer remain the same). , British Lions (formerly Mott The Hoople Minus Ian Hunter), Rose Garden, 45 Grave, Venus & The Razorblades, St. John Green, Lance Romance, Jimmy Jukebox, Frankenstein & The All Girl Monster Band, Modern Lovers, Gram Parsons, etc. etc. etc.
“So What?” you might say. Can Kim Fowley write a book that a reader can’t put down? Of course he can. KVF= Kim Vincent Fowley. He has sold Creative Contributions of Music & Movies, in 110 Countries Of The World. For over 50 years. The pages of LORD OF GARBAGE contain the Confessions of a Madman. In luxurious Prose, & dynamite poetry. Combining both Literary Disciplines, in a Book Format First. Kim Fowley is NOT a nice guy. But, he wrote 3 separate books that are more interesting than he is. Completed & turned into the Executive Offices of Kicks Books… covered in Blood, Pain, & Tears.
Don’t invite Kim to any of your Holiday Parties. He is no fun in a Polite Society Situation. He’s not good company, but his books will be, if you’re Empty, Bored, or Insanely Curious. KVF Wrote this PR Announcement. Nobody, can put words in Kim Fowley’s Mouth. Once a Control Freak/ Always a Control Freak.
One thing you can say about Kim is that he is truly man of his own design; an individual unlike any other.
If you haven’t checked out Kim Fowley’s massive list of music credits, I’d highly recommend you do so.
I asked Kim if he ever borrowed any elements from LOUIE LOUIE for any of his musical creations, and not surprisingly, he denied ever doing such a thing.
I knew that Kim produced a recording of LOUIE LOUIE when he recorded a few songs with Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids for the George Lucas film “American Graffiti,” but didn’t get around to asking him about that particular experience.
In the spirit of celebrating Kim Fowley’s work for this LOUIE-centric website, I thought about posting a snippet of the Flash Cadillac recording for the LOUIE of the Week, but couldn’t find any free samples out in cyberspace.
Instead, I thought I’d share a Kim Fowley song that reminds me of LOUIE. It’s got a title that some people have actually used to describe LOUIE LOUIE!
What the hey… let’s give it to ‘em, right now!
“The Worst Record Ever Made” – Althea & The Memories (aka Kim Fowley & company)
Rock on, Kim!
May you continue defy the odds a bit longer… as I’m still hoping to be able to share the completed documentary with you.
(Big thanks to Harold Sherrick for taking the photograph of me and Kim)
Cracked.com had an intriguing article entitled “5 Insane Lost Verses That Change the Meaning of Famous Songs.”
LOUIE LOUIE is not one of the featured songs with the “lost lyrics,” but it is referenced within this article:
It’s been said (by us, right now) that 90 percent of all popular music is about love and sex. Take any random song and it’s a fair bet that the singer has someone or wants someone or lost someone. And if the song title is someone’s name, the odds are even better. Who are “Roxanne,” “Carrie Anne,” “Barbara Ann”? We don’t know … but we have a pretty good guess.
The bet gets a little less sure when the title’s a man’s name and the singer’s male. When “Louie, Louie” came out, while people were sure there was something dirty about it, they didn’t picture a threesome between the singer, Louie, and Louie.
The article goes on to discuss the original lyrics removed from songs by Elton John and the Rolling Stones, which had some definite sexual connotations in their original form.
I didn’t expect similar innuendoes in the 1928 song “Big Rock Candy Mountain” by Harry McClintock, but it all makes sense….
It’s enlightening, entertaining information, but some of you may wish you didn’t read it… after reading it!
This week, LOUIE is a special treat from the Czech Republic.
This time, it’s Iggylou and The Stutz Bearcat Jim Beamers – performing LOUIE LOUIE on May 30th, 2013 from Czech Republic, Praha, Kain.
With a name like “Iggylou,” it’s hard to go wrong…
This week, the LOUIE of the Week spotlight is directed at J.J. Jackson, performing LOUIE LOUIE on July 7, 2013 at Festival de Inverno Granja Vianna – Jazz & Blues at The Square Open Mall in São Paulo, Brazil.
This J.J. Jackson is not be confused with the MTV personality (aka John J. “J.J.” Jackson, Jr.) who passed away in 2004.
This J.J. Jackson, whose full name is Jerome Louis Jackson, is an American soul/R&B singer, songwriter, and arranger. He started out as a songwriter and arranger for “Brother” Jack McDuff, Jimmy Witherspoon, and the Shangri-Las, among others, for whom he wrote “It’s Easier to Cry.” He also composed the Pretty Things‘ 1966 hit single, “Come See Me,” but is best known for the 1966 soul hit “But It’s Alright” which became a very popular dance song that year, reaching No. 22 on the Billboard chart.
Big thanks to Clay Stabler for spotting this one!