A song and concept I NEVER get tired of….
Today, we pay tribute to my friend Mike Slavko, aka the legendary disc jockey known as “M. Dung.”
M.Dung was a very popular disc jockey on KFOG Radio in San Francisco for many years. He had a program called the “Idiot Show” that celebrated the absurdity of rock ‘n’ roll. Rhino Records even released a special CD that paid this tribute to very special show.
When the Leukemia Foundation partnered up with KFOG to create the first LOUIE LOUIE Parade in 1988, Dung was the man chosen to be the ringleader /”Grand Louie” of this event. The event, which also featured composer Richard Berry as a special guest, turned to be very successful, and they did it again in 1989.
Since that time, Dung has done of lot of other things, eventually leaving KFOG, and launching a special “Idiot Show” podcast for the 21st Century.
A few days ago, on November 22 = Dung’s birthday, he shared a very special message for all of his friends on Facebook:
Well, your old Dung-boy is happy to say he survived a heart attack. I now have 3 stints in 2 arteries. The blockages were at 95 and 90%. The cardiologist at Valley Care in Pleasanton did an amazing job. I am lucky to be alive.
That being said, I am not out of the woods. I was diagnosed with myleofibrosis last year. It is a blood cancer and could be advancing, and may be the reason I am now experiencing so much pain and swelling in my joints. The pain meds don’t seem to be helping and every move is a struggle. The hematologist at Valley Care is going to take me as a patient. He is affiliated with Stanford University so I am hopeful he can help me figure this out.
I might be lucky, and this pain may be from reactive arthritis. Needless to say, there will be more tests, and more waiting until we know what is going on. Being diabetic on top of all of this has really thrown the medical staff for a loop.
I have had to turn down 3 job offers within the past month, one of which I really wanted. Judy has been working 2 jobs, and is pretty wiped out. I am not sure how long it will take, or if I can get either short or long term disability. So, as difficult as this is, I am reaching out to you, for a little financial help while we get through one of the toughest times of my life.
Music is my passion, and I like to share it with anyone who will listen. I really want to get back to my studio and whip it out for you baby!
Please give what you can, any amount will help.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money to help Mike pay for his various medical bills. If any of my friends could donate something to help him out, that would be quite awesome.
To celebrate the legacy of my friend, I’m sharing some footage of him from the first LOUIE LOUIE parade. He talks about getting involved with this event, and his personal history with this song.
You can also see some snippets of various musicians performing this song at this event.
Here’s some footage of Dung performing with Richard Berry.
Digging around Facebook, I found this cool of M. Dung as Elvis, playing with The Nomads – Dave Barrett on the sax, John “Pyno Man” Seabury with his head cut off playing bass, Al Chan, Ben Dover, and Joseph Marc. (photo courtesy of Dave Barrett)
Here’s a photo of yours truly with the man himself.
All my best to you, my friend.
Please continue to fight against all that ails you.
I want you to be one of my special guests when I finally unveil this long-awaited film of mine….
Stick around, OK?
Singer-songwriter P.F. Sloan died on Sunday, November 15th.
Last year, the LOUIE team (myself, Eric Predoehl + Jesse Block, co-owner of the Octalouie.com video production company) had an opportunity to document his performance last year at the Art House Gallery in Berkeley, CA.
His concert felt like a stage version of a documentary- sharing stories of his life, discussing how he constructed songs, and then performing those songs live. He wrote a lot of songs that became hit records for other artists, including “Eve of Destruction,” “Secret Agent Man,” among others.
So many of the stories he shared seemed so much larger than life … one of his first jobs during high school, working as in an A&R department of prominent record label, playing a prominent role in getting the Beatles their very first record contract in the USA … the challenges of writing socially-responsible songs in an era when the industry didn’t want to broadcast such messages . .. his story about having himself institutionalized in a mental hospital … and so much more …
While I had no idea before the event, I discovered at the performance that P.F. Sloan had a LOUIE LOUIE connection…
For the past 10+ years of his life, Philip Sloan had been working on a musical project that celebrated the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. A few months before this event in Berkeley took place, he released a CD from the project entitled “My Beethoven.”
The big project, as designed, is an original, contemporary opera that utilizes Beethoven classic compositions and brand new P.F. Sloan compositions.
This project is titled “LOUIS! LOUIS! (The Real Life and Times Of Beethoven)” as written by S.E. Feinberg and P.F. Sloan. S.E. Feinberg is also the co-author of P.F. Sloan’s autobiography – “What’s Exactly The Matter With Me?”
If you visit the official P.F. Sloan page on the My Beethoven project, you can download two sample chapters of this very special production.
Rest in peace, Phil. I wish I could have had more conversations with you, but I’m grateful to have made your acquaintance….
READ MORE at..
The official P.F. Sloan page on “My Beethoven” / LOUIS LOUIS stage production
N.Y. Times obit on P.F. Sloan by Bruce Weber
PF Sloan: the 1960s enigma admired by Bob Dylan and Jimmy Webb by Michael Hann
American Songwriter tribute to P.F. Sloan by Paul Zollo
Examiner tribute to P.F. Sloan by Jim Bessman
10 Essentially ’60s Songs Written By P.F. Sloan (ReBeatMag.com)
This week, my focus is elsewhere…. not necessarily spending a lot time in the LOUIE universe.. as there’s too much on the plate… too busy working on other projects… and otherwise trying to take care of things in my life. The life of a media freelancer is one that requires very different focus than a regular 9-5er, and my world is no exception.
With this soapbox of mine, I thought I’d share some thoughts on one of my favorite album purchases in the past five years. “Keeper,” the 2011 release by John Doe of the band X, is a collection of songs that I felt really lived up to it’s title.
When the album/CD was released, John Doe embarked a promotional tour, performing at various record stores. I’m not sure how many record stores he visited, but when he performed on August 25, 2011 at Streetlight Records in San Jose, CA, it was a striped-down affair, driving himself to this event to play a solo performance with just him and his guitar.
I brought a camera and shot a little bit of video of this show, but never got around to sharing any of this footage until recently…
“NEVER ENOUGH” was the song with the big theme I could absolutely relate to. As a dedicated archivist that’s sometimes overwhelmed by his own collection, there were certain aspects that felt so darned familiar….
“THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING” is a solid song – great story telling and catchy musical hooks.
“GIANT STEP” is another magnificent song that John describes as a “time-travelling song.”
Anyways, this “Keeper” album is a collection of songs that I fully approve. If you enjoyed any of the songs I captured, I would like to encourage you to track down this album, and listen to the rest of ’em…
Definitely a “Keeper.”
Allen Toussaint, an extremely talented musician, passed away on November 10, 2015 while on tour in Madrid, Spain. He was 77 years old.
Emerging from the fertile hotbed of New Orleans R&B during the 1950s, Toussaint was the guy that could do it all – a singer, a gifted piano player, a prolific songwriter and producer of multiple hit records. He produced a string of hits in the early-mid 1960s for a handful of New Orleans R&B artists including Ernie K-Doe, Chris Kenner, Irma Thomas, Art and Aaron Neville, The Showmen, and Lee Dorsey.
He also collaborated with Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Patti LaBelle and The Band.
Toussaint’s songs were recorded by such artists as the Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley, Jerry Garcia, Ringo Starr, Little Feat, Robert Palmer, the Yardbirds, Glen Campbell, Bonnie Raitt, The Pointer Sisters, Warren Zevon, Iron Butterfly, Spirit, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and many others.
Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. In 2013 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.
At the time of his death, Toussaint was scheduled to perform with friend Paul Simon at a December 8th benefit for New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness, a charity Toussaint helped found.
He will be deeply missed by many.
Allen Toussaint wrote a song called “LOUIE,” a little instrumental that sounds nothing at all like Richard Berry‘s LOUIE LOUIE. It first appeared in 1970 on his second album, originally titled simply “Allen Toussaint” which was later re-issued on CD in 1994 on the Kent Soul record label with a new name of “From a Whisper to a Scream.”
Allen did actually perform a little version of LOUIE LOUIE that will be an exclusive for my documentary project, but we’ll save that for another time….
In the meantime here’s some other songs by Allen that absolutely need to be heard …
Here’s Allen Toussaint performing “Get Out My Life, Woman,” a song covered by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
Here’s his performance of “Working in the Coal Mine, which was an international hit for Lee Dorsey in 1966, and covered by a lot of other musicians including Devo in 1981.
Using his mother’s name Naomi Neville as a pseudonym for contractual reasons, Toussaint wrote “A Certain Girl” for Ernie K-Doe. It wasn’t quite that successful when it was first unveiled in 1961, but found some extra attention with covers by The Yardbirds and Warren Zevon.
I always loved the song “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley,” which I first heard via Robert Palmer‘s version.
Special bonus points for any of my friends named Sally….
New Orleans based WDSU News shares memories of the life and legacy of the legendary musician.
You can learn about this talented musician by visiting…
If you’ve ever done any kind of online research on the music of the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably seen the work of my friend Sam Carlson.
The pnwbands.com page is an amazing resource that Sam assembled. It’s a virtual encyclopedia of information documenting the various rock ‘n’ roll groups that existed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia, mostly focusing on the 1950s-1970s era. Not only is it a wealth of information detailing the histories of these bands, it also documents the various venues where so many these bands performed – the armories, dance halls, auditoriums, theaters and music-friendly restaurants.
Sam was a bass player with the Regents, a rock band from Tacoma that existed from 1963 to 1967. He created this webpage not only to acknowledge his band, but also to pay tribute to the rich legacy of the music that came out of this region.
Today, I want to pay tribute to Sam for not only creating this wonderful resource, but also for his service to his country on this very special day = Veterans Day.
Sam enlisted in the US Army in 1967 at the age of 20, and spent the next 20 years in the service. His grandfather served in World War I, his father in World War II + Korea, his son in the first Gulf War + Afghanistan and his grandson served in the second Gulf War. In 2005, at the age of 58 years old, he chose to return back to active duty, serving two years at Fort Mead, MD, then volunteered for Afghanistan in 2007, where he served with the 82nd + 101st Airborne Divisions. He retired again in 2008, only to be called back to serve as an intelligence officer with the 10th Mountain Division at Forward Operating Bases Shank + Airborne. He was considered the oldest captain in the US Army until he finally retired for good a few years ago.
This month, Sam was featured in article entitled “A Late Tour of Duty” for the November 2015 issue of the AARP Bulletin. Not only was his photograph used as the primary photograph for this article, but it was also featured on the cover of this publication.
Thank you, Sam, for all that you do. You are indeed awesome, and I, for one, am very grateful for your service.
Facebook users should also check out Sam’s Pacific Northwest Bands Facebook page.
To get a copy of the November 2015 AARP Bulletin with the article featuring Sam, please visit aarp.org/bulletin.
Here’s another LOUIE rarity I’ve never heard of.. . but it popped up on YouTube.
This is a LOUIE LOUIE by the All-Niters “Recorded Live At The Barn” sometime in 1966. It was a “stereo-sonic release” from the “Erie Record Company,” pressed by Ohio Recording Service of Toledo, Ohio. LOUIE was the final song of Side 2 of LP001, which also featured “Long Tall Sally,” “Sincerely,” and “Medley: Buckley, Happy Time.” It was shared via 9711886n’s YouTube channel.
Beyond that, I don’t know anything else about the band.
Maybe YOU know who these folks are?
Steve Mackay, a super talented sax player and all-around nice guy, died two weeks ago on October 10th.
Last year, I had an opportunity to interview Steve for the LOUIE documentary project, which turned into a wonderful day for everyone involved. As one of last surviving members of The Stooges, he had a unique history with Iggy Pop, and had some fond memories of recording “Fun House” with producer Don Gallucci, who was also the original keyboardist with the Kingsmen.
Steve also talked about some of his other musical collaborations including some of the early bands in Michigan before he hooked up with before the Stooges.
Iggy Pop wrote these words about his old bandmate:
“Steve was a classic ’60s American guy, full of generosity and love for anyone he met. Every time he put his sax to his lips and honked, he lightened my road and brightened the whole world. He was a credit to his group and his generation. To know him was to love him.” – Iggy
Looking through my own photo archives, I actually found some images of Steve that I didn’t even realize I had.
In 1983, I was a big fan of Snakefinger and the band he often played with – The Residents. He had a new project that was all about celebrating the history of blues music and Steve Mackay was part of that.
For the first time ever, here’s some previously unreleased images of the Snakefinger Blues Band, featuring Steve on saxophone. I think the venue might have been the Old Waldorf in San Francisco.
This second photo is interesting – my focus was Steve, even though I had no idea who he was..
Fast forward to July 1, 2014. Steve was playing a little show with some guy named Dick Deluxe at Winters, a comfy little divebar in Pacifica, slightly south of San Francisco. Even though I’d been at various shows that Steve appeared at, I had never really had a chance with chat with him before.. and so I went…
As fate would have it, this guy Dick Deluxe was also part of the Snakefinger Blues Band, and that particular night was the 27th anniversary of Snakefinger’s passing.
Had I known such a thing, I would certainly would invited some of my friends that were also big Snakefinger fans!!
Needless to say, I had a great time yacking with Steve, and we wound up shooting an interview at his home a few weeks later.
Here’s a few videos I’ve shot over the years that feature Steve…
For the first time in 35 years, James Williamson, returned to the stage to perform the songs he used to perform with Iggy & the Stooges. The Careless Hearts are his backup band, and Steve is one of the special guests. The venue is the Blank Club in San Jose, the date is September 5, 2009 and the song is “I Got Nothing.”
A few years later, James Williamson is now part of a reunited Iggy & the Stooges, featuring Steve again on sax. The venue is the Warfield in San Francisco on December 6, 2011, and the song is “LOUIE LOUIE.” According to my experts, this performance is the FIRST time Iggy & the Stooges have played the song since 1974.. and I was there.
Then, there’s the final performance of Iggy & the Stooges that I witnessed, live at the C2SV event at St. James Park in San Jose on September 28, 2013… doing their final song ever… which is….
Needless to say, there will be more videos of Steve Mackay shared in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned for future details..
In the meantime, here’s a few other things on Steve that i thought deserved a second look…
Craig Englund shared this photo of Steve with these memories on Facebook:
“Hi Chachy, just want to let you know that you’ve made yourself a star among parents and we are absolutely thrilled with your superstar performance and feel privileged that you teach our kids. Thanks a lot.” – from a parent today after I performed for the kids a couple nights ago. Sometimes an email like this is all it takes to pull me out of a sad mood.
The pic was taken during Steve’s trip to my school in Shanghai. The kids were blown away (plenty of pun). It’s always a pleasure to see kids react to something as powerful as rock n roll and have the opportunity to meet it face to face and ask questions. Steve was such an approachable guy to them; they asked him everything from what kind of music did he like, how did he get so old, and finally how many bands had he been in (with this question he had to sit down to think a bit haha). Life certainly does go on but damn Steve Mackay you certainly put a profound dent in mine and I will forever wear it as a badge of honor. Love ya man and happy trails through the unknown.
Here’s a video clip of Steve Mackay with the Third Thursday Band, performing at the Riptide, a fine little San Francisco nightclub that is currently getting rebuilt after a nasty fire accident a month ago. This is a performance of a song called “Go To Hell” that took place on March 20. 2010.
Here’s a video clip of Steve playing with Vacuum Tree Head, a band fronted by my old friend Jason Berry. This is a performance of “Cushion Fortress” performed at Night Light in Oakland on Januaary 18, 2014. I’ve been informed that Peter Conheim from Negativland is responsible for this clip.
Would you believe my friend La-Ni, daughter of Snakefinger, got me a free pass into this one?
Here’s the most important LOUIE performance of the past seven days – the big 2015 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Finale!
Three core members of Paul Revere & the Raiders during the 1960s – Jim Valley, Keith Allison, and Phillip “Fang” Volk are joined by two core members of the Kingsmen during the 1960s – Dick Peterson (front and center) and Mike Mitchell (who’s hiding behind a few people near the podium).
My friend Alex Hart (son of Roger) is playing drums and Terry Currier of Music Millenium (one of my favorite record stores in Portland) is singing at the podium!
Big thanks to my friends Nola Falan and Denise Lamkin for the video!