It’s a been awhile since I’ve heard any new bagpipe versions of LOUIE LOUIE…
Luckily, I found an excellent rendition by the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band performing a LOUIE LOUIE- Wooly Bully medley as part of a 2008 St. Patrick Day’s celebration somewhere in Savannah, Georgia.
Good jobs, guys!
Our friend Christopher Doll will be giving a special presentation at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Wednesday, March 26th at 7pm EDT.
Christopher Doll (Rutgers University), “Nuclear Holocaust, the Kennedy Assassination, and ‘Louie Louie': The Unlikely History of Sixties Rock and Roll”
Christopher Doll writes, “In narratives of American popular-music history, the song ‘Louie Louie’ is usually depicted (to the extent it surfaces at all) as a minor, and ultimately ephemeral, controversy: a song that initially raised eyebrows and lowered standards but that was quickly forgotten in the wake of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and other more substantive, ‘classic’ sixties artists. My talk will reposition ‘Louie Louie’ as a major turning point in the history of Anglo-American popular-music style—a unique combination of past and contemporary practices, one that anticipated some significant formal aspects of the music that would follow. An abundance of musical examples will illustrate this talk’s exploration of the relationship between sixties socio-political events and youth music, the impact of Latin music in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, the history of melodic-accompanimental textures since the advent of jazz, and the eventual global ubiquity of songs built around short loops of music.
The American Musicological Society and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (RRHOFM) in Cleveland, Ohio, are collaborating on a new lecture series that brings scholarly work to a broader audience and showcases the musicological work of the top scholars in the field.
Free and open to the public, the lectures are held in the RRHOFM’s Foster Theater.
More details at:
Live Streaming at:
Today marks the 75th birthday for one of the first performers to ever cover Richard Berry‘s immortal LOUIE LOUIE.
Happy Birthday to Bill Engelhart – aka Little Bill of Little Bill & the Blue Notes as well as Little Bill with the Adventurers and the Shalimars.
Little Bill’s recording of the song was released in 1961, four years after Richard Berry’s initial release on Flip Records in Los Angeles. Bill’s version came out around the same as another version was released by Rockin’ Robin Roberts with the Fabulous Wailers, another local band from Tacoma, Washington. As fate would have it, Rockin’ Robin was actually an early member of Little Bill & the Blue Notes, as was bassist Buck Ormsby, who joined the Wailers and formed the record label that released Rockin’ Robin’s version… all of which happened a few years before the Kingsmen or Paul Revere & the Raiders released their versions…..
(One of many interconnected pieces of this LOUIE puzzle…)
In case you hadn’t heard it or need a reminder, here’s that original 1961 Little Bill recording, which someone posted to YouTUbe…
… and here’s a 2008 clip I shot of Bill doing a more contemporary version of THE SONG.
Here’s a graphic of an ultra-rare Little Bill album I hope to pick up someday…
Anyways, as today is Little Bill’s birthday, I’d like to encourage folks to celebrate by playing lots of Little Bill music.
if you’re in Seattle on April 7th, there’s going to be a big 75th birthday celebration for Bill at the Triple Door.
More details at the official Little Bill webpage at
Another great rocker has left us. Drummer Scott Asheton, a founding member of The Stooges, passed away on March 15th.
Iggy Pop shared the news on his Facebook page:
My dear friend Scott Asheton passed away last night.
Scott was a great artist, I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning than Scott Asheton. He was like my brother. He and Ron have left a huge legacy to the world. The Asheton’s have always been and continue to be a second family to me.
My thoughts are with his sister Kathy, his wife Liz and his daughter Leanna, who was the light of his life.
The Stooges was one of the embryonic bands that provided a primordial squirt into the conceptual DNA of the music we now like to call punk rock.
According to legend, James Osterberg, a drummer with an Ann Arbor band, The Iguanas, wound up with the “Iggy” nickname” when he joined another band known as The Prime Movers. Inspired by the purity of blues music, and drummer Sam Lay in particular, Mr. Osterberg decided he wanted to create a new variation on blues music, enlisting the Asheton brothers – Scott on drums and Ron on guitar, along with their friend Dave Alexander on bass to a create a band that would be known as the Psychedelic Stooges. The three members gave Osterberg a nickname of “Pop,” in reference to a local character, which eventually merged with the other nickname to become simply “Iggy Pop.”
The band debuted at a Halloween house concert in 1967. Sometime in 1968, they changed their name to “The Stooges,” and were signed to Elektra Records, along with fellow Detroit musicians MC5. Their first album, produced by ex-Velvet Underground member John Cale, did not sell well, and was generally ignored by both the public and the critics.
For the second effort, ex-Kingsmen keyboardist, Elektra A&R man Don Gallucci was hired to produce the 1970 album titled “Fun House.” Much like the first album, critical reviews weren’t very favorable. Melody Maker magazine called it the “worst album of the year” and described it as “a muddy load of sluggish, unimaginative rubbish heavily disguised by electricity and called American rock.”
By some odd bit of irony, 30 years later, in 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Fun House” number 191 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and Melody Maker now stated that this album is “no contest, the greatest rock n’ roll album of all time”.
Funny how opinions evolve over time, huh?
Anyways, sometime in 1970, the Stooges expanded the lineup with another guitar player named James Williamson, did more outrageous shows, wound up with some drug-personal complications, got dropped from Elektra, then broke up in 1971. Within a year later, the band reformed as Iggy & the Stooges, recorded their third album – “Raw Power (ranked # 125 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time),” and then eventually broke up again in 1974.
The final performance of this incarnation of the Stooges took place on February 9, 1974, recorded and released as “Metallic K.O.”- a live album that featured the first explicitly raw rendition of LOUIE LOUIE, featuring the naughty lyrics hinted by interpretations of the 1963 Kingsmen recording.
While The Stooges didn’t reunite until 2003, drummer Scott Asheton was one of the few members of the Stooges to work with Iggy during the long break, joining Mr. Pop for a 1978 European tour.
The Stooges reunion came about as a result of a variety of different elements coming together – renewed appreciation of the band from a wider, younger audience, the expanded reissues of both “Fun House” and “Raw Power,” and some energetic new recording sessions with the Asheton brothers. With Mike Watt (of Minutemen & Firehouse) filling in for the late Dave Alexander, the Stooges reunited for a series of live shows in 2003 that turned into a full-fledged reunion.
James Williamson was invited to join in the band reunion, but decided to remain focused on his career as an executive at Sony Electronics. Six years later in 2009, Ron Asheton died of a hard attack, James Williamson retired from Sony, and wound up playing with the Stooges again.
Scott suffered a serious medical emergency after a Stooges show in France in 2011, returned to his Michigan home to recover, and from what I understod, he was never able to perform with The Stooges again.
(UPDATE: Scott did perform with the Stooges again for Austin City Limits show in October 2012 link)
The photograph shared of Scott is courtesy of her friend Heather Harris, who granted permission to share this image. You can view her special tribute to Scott at:
More details and reference at:
Iggy & the Stooges Facebook page
Rolling Stone obituary
Wikipedia – Ron Asheton page
Wikipedia- The Stooges page
* * * *
UPDATE: Rolling Stone shared a letter from Iggy Pop regarding his old friend and bandmate
Iggy Pop Remembers Scott Asheton: ‘He Played With A Boxer’s Authority’
I first met Scott Asheton when I was working at Discount Records in Ann Arbor to augment my drumming. He used to stand with [future Stooges bassist] Dave Alexander at the corner of State Street and Liberty, which is grand central for the University of Michigan campus. Scott impressed me immediately by his obvious physical gift. He remembered this better than I do, but he would bug me to teach him how to play drums.
Things didn’t get very far until I realized it would better for me to work with a good drummer rather than continuing as a drummer myself in blues bands. Also, you could just look at this guy and tell that he had it. He was just a likable and attractive person, and he picked the drums right up. I gave him my kit and showed him a couple of things. I’d be like, “Here’s how you do a Stax Volt beat. Here’s a Bo Diddley beat. This is a Middle Eastern one.” He got it very quickly. I didn’t have to show him much.
Scott played drums with a boxer’s authority. When he wanted to, he had a heavy hand on the drums. He hit the drum very hard, but there were never a lot of elbows flying. He wasn’t showy. He didn’t have to make a physical demonstration to get the job done. When he played with you, it was always swinging. He brought a swinging truth to the music he played and extreme musical honesty.
Read the rest of this excellent letter… it’s a keeper!
This week, Moose Knuckles gets the honors…
Celebrating the astrological season of Pisces, it seemed like a good time to put the LOUIE spotlight on Phish.
So here tis… a Phish performance of LOUIE LOUIE!
I believe the performance took place on November 27, 1998….. but I can’t tell where it took place…. anyone?
Back in November, we learned about a special video and performance of THE SONG by the band known as The Cry!, featuring Mike Mitchell of the Kingsmen. This version was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kingsmen’s iconic recording.
Three months later, we’ve got another very special LOUIE LOUIE video from The Cry! (and special guest Mike Michell)!
This particular video, I’ve been told, is from a new documentary entitled Animal House of Blues, which also ties into the work of Harold Ramis, who just passed away this week.
The Eugene International Film Festival, which awarded this film the “Best Documentary Feature by a Pacific Northwest Filmmaker,” described this film as ….
The untold story of how the Merry Pranksters from Ken Kesey to Curtis Salgado and the Robert Cray Band helped create the Hollywood Blockbuster and Eugene movie icon, “Animal House.”
At the Oregon Movies, A to Z blog, producer Katherine Wilson discusses the origin of this project at Oregon Film Factory, a Eugene production company, where she worked as a casting agent. Ken Kesey, who owned one of the 16mm film cameras at the factory, used to have some amazing parties at Kesey’s farm. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis of the National Lampooon were members of a video collective that visited one of Kesey’s events in 1976- something called a Poetic Hoo Haw!
Not long after after that event, Harold Ramis was one of the writers for the National Lampoon Animal House movie that was being filmed in Eugene. The Oregon Movies, A to Z blog describes the situation….
(John) Belushi traveled between Eugene and New York to make weekly appearances on Saturday Night Live throughout the duration of the Animal House shoot…
The centerpiece of Animal House Of Blues is a fascinating chorale of four interwoven eyewitness accounts, none of which corroborate each other, of the first encounter between John Belushi and Eugene blues musician Curtis Salgado. Floored by Salgado’s stage presence and musicianship, which he first witnessed at the Eugene Hotel while he was in Eugene shooting Animal House, Belushi initiated a friendship/mentorship which would culminate in the creation of Jake and Elwood Blues. One of the eyewitness accounts comes from Salgado himself, a tart, unsentimental presence in a film which easily could have become wall to wall nostalgia.
The Oregon Confluence webpage provided more information about this documentary, and relationships that exist between the Hollywood and Eugene filmmakers, who all call “Animal House’ their ‘Alma Mater,’ with more details about the special celebrations in the Eugene area…
For the 25th Anniversary of the film, the community of Cottage Grove hosted 5,000 fans from all over the world to an “Animal House” Parade, replete with marching bands and restorations of the Deathmobile and Playboy Bunny Float. That night, over 2000 fans donned Togas to rock out to Otis Day and the Knights, and the Kingsmen of ‘Louie Louie’ fame, creating the Guinness Book of World Record’s largest Toga Party.
More details on this film can be found at:
IMDB page on Animal House House of Blues
Eugene International Film Festival page on Animal House of Blues
Film director/writer Harold Ramis has passed away.
He had a remarkable career creating some very successful motion pictures – Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack and National Lampoon’s Vacation. He was also involved with the highly influential National Lampoon Radio Hour and the SCTV television series.
In the LOUIE LOUIE universe, the Animal House movie was a pivotal piece of pop culture, re-igniting the world to the power of the song LOUIE LOUIE and toga parties.
Harold was one of the writers on the screenplay of that movie, working with Douglas Kenney, and Chris Miller to adapt the script from stories written by Miller orginally published in National Lampoon magazine. The stories were based on Miller’s experiences in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Dartmouth College. Other influences on the film came from Ramis’s experiences in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis, and producer Ivan Reitman’s experiences at Delta Upsilon at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Rest in peace, Harold. You shall not be forgotten.
Wiki on Animal House
This week, we want to tip our hat to David Jester of Portland, Oregon, who’s spent many years documenting the music scene of Portland, which included producing a cable television program in conjunction with the TWO LOUIES magazine. David is currently dealing with the big challenge of preserving his video archive, and he decided to create an event to raise some desperately needed funds.
On Sunday, March 2, 2014, there will be a “JesterFest” at Oddessypdx, 521 N Tillamook, Portland, Oregon 97229.
David describes his situation at his Facebook event page…
I have recorded over 10,000 musicians over the last 36 years… Videotape was only expected to last for 10 years… I have found that about 75% of the tapes are still good… It is time to digitize them all, or not worry about taking care of them any more… I need help to do this… I don’t have 5,000 hours left on my 65 year old bones to finish this project… I want to share as much of the “good ol’ days” as I can… I would love to have all of my friends come down to visit with me and interact with each other… 99% of us share the same “Love of Music” and the common “Love for Our Fellow HuMans”… If you would like to enjoy what I have to give, PLEASE JOIN US, at this event… The music is going to be awesome, and Vintage Antique Videos will play on the big screen between bands.. This is all ages, so bring your family… Please Share this Event on your page, and Invite all of your Friends…
Here’s a video clip from the TWO LOUIES cable TV show. This is the very first episode, which by some coincidence is the story of LOUIE LOUIE!
Seven dollars is a helluva cheap deal for this fundraiser. I’d like to encourage all of my friends in the Portland to support this event, and David’s effort to digitize his video archives.
More details and updates on this event can be found at the official Facebook event page at:
Be sure to tell ‘em that E.P. of LouieLouie.net sent cha!
This week, the LOUIE LOUIE spotlight is pointed at The Electric 3 – an alternative rock band based in Hawaii!