Last year, we lost quite a few people in the LOUIE universe. Click on their names to read more about them.
Jack Ely, the original lead singer of the Kingsmen, was one of the two people that inspired this documentary project. I met Jack at the same event where he first met Richard Berry, the composer of this legendary song, and their stories inspired this project. It saddens me deeply that my friend will not be able to see the completed documentary.
Lady Bo was also a big part of the event where Jack Ely met Richard Berry. Her band backed up these two major players in the LOUIE universe as they played together for their first and only appearance together. Lady Bo had an extensive musical career working with Bo Diddley and a variety of other musicians.
Lemmy, of course, was the iconic leader of Motörhead that died a few days ago.
Kim Fowley, the legendary musician/producer/writer with an abundance of credits to his name, co-produced Richard Berry’s music during the years between Richard’s initial recording of THE SONG in 1957 and the Kingsmen’s recording of THE SONG in 1963.
Wally Todd, a member of Jack Ely & the Courtmen (formerly known as “Jack Ely & the Kingsmen”), left this world a few days after Jack’s passing. I’m so very grateful I was able to witness their historic reunion at Seaside, Oregon.
Steve Mackay was a saxophone player that performed with the Stooges, whose “Fun House” album was produced by Don Gallucci, original keyboardist with the Kingsmen. His collaboration with Iggy Pop continued after the break-up of the Stooges, as well as the reunion shows with the surviving Stooges.
Gary Abbott was a drummer that joined the Kingsmen for a brief period after their newfound success with LOUIE LOUIE.
Dennis Eichhorn was a gifted writer from Idaho that transformed his life stories into highly entertaining underground comic books. Denis shared memories about working at nightclubs in the Pacific Northwest and getting his hair cut by Paul Revere before the Raiders became the band became they became famous.
Gail Zappa was the keeper of the Frank Zappa legacy – the matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises.
Allen Toussaint was a genuine musical legend from LOUISiana that wrote a ton of unforgettable songs and shared some appreciation for Richard Berry’s special song!
P.F. Sloan was another gifted singer-songwriter that composed some songs that also became big hit records. The LOUIE team was privileged to work with him in 2014, and we discovered that he co-wrote an opera about Ludwig Beethoven entitled “LOUIS! LOUIS!”
Leonard Nimoy was a gifted actor, musician and film director whose works provided great inspiration to the LOUIE team. Using the “Five Degrees of LOUIE” principle, we found some interesting connections.
Eric Caidin is someone whose death was not mentioned on these pages, but he was a kindred spirit that appreciated this project, and provided great words of support over the years. He operated the Hollywood Book & Poster Company, a wonderful store for movie enthusiasts and was a regular exhibitor at various comic conventions in the SF Bay Area.
Joe Houston was one of the great saxophone players that was playing some wild rhythm and blues music before it was ever called “rock music.” I don’t recall him ever playing LOUIE LOUIE, but he was a great musician whose legacy should be acknowledged.
John Harada was an early member of A Western Front, a local band that ye webmaster enjoyed quite immensely back in the 1980s.
Deanna Predoehl was the beloved niece of the producer of this LouieLouie.net webpage. She left us way too early at the age of 20 years old, and not a day goes by without thinking about her.
This blog posting is blog post #7500 of this particular webpage that began in 1996, and was converted to a blog in 2005.
Time is a funny animal that I am still trying to tame….
– Eric Predoehl, producer of the LouieLouie.net experience and upcoming documentary…
With the passing of Lemmy Kilmister this week, so many of us are feeling a deep sense of loss… perhaps more than we expected.
Lemmy Kilmister was a certainly a larger-than-life character in the rock ‘n’ roll universe, and when I started work on the LOUIE documentary, Lemmy was one of the guys I definitely wanted to interview. Motörhead‘s approach to the song was a powerful interpretation that became a personal favorite version for many people I’ve met over the years. I always thought of Lemmy as the quintessential missing link between punk rock and heavy metal.
The interview itself ran smoothly – easy to arrange, which turned to be a very simple setup with just me and Lemmy backstage at the Haze Theater in San Francisco, without any other handlers or assistants hanging around. Lemmy answered all the questions concisely with a no-B.S. approach.
During the interview, Lemmy talked about working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, hearing him perform LOUIE LOUIE at various times during sound checks, but never during any actual concerts for the general public*. Lemmy also discussed Motörhead’s version of LOUIE LOUIE (which he considered THE best version) and recording the song as their first single on Bronze Records, which peaked at the number 68 spot on the UK Singles Chart, followed by an appearance on BBC’s Top of the Pops, which became their first TV performance.
Here’s a little photo I took of Lemmy with some friends* backstage after the interview…
*(UPDATE: Sophie wrote “The one to the right is actually Phil Campbell (Motorhead Guitarist) in a wig. I didnt recognize him at first either.”)
It didn’t mean anything to me when this interview was conducted, but this interview took place on April 11th of 1994 – Richard Berry‘s birthday, and the day that an alliance of dedicated LOUIE enthusiasts (that’s “Llamas” to you) chose to declare as “International LOUIE LOUIE Day” quite a few years later.
Anyways, with the death of Lemmy, I was pleasantly surprised to find a wealth of appreciation for the man.
I certainly NEVER expected my hometown paper to mention his death on the top of the front page.
I found some other wonderful tributes to the man that I thought I’d share, recycled from Facebook postings..
Ray Davies and Dave Davies together again on stage in 2015?
Fantastic news! It feels like an early Christmas present! Thank you!!
It was a special night …. On Friday, the 18th of December of this year (that would be 2015) the Dave Davies band performed at the Islington Assembly Hall in London. Ray Davies showed up to sing on the last song of the show – “You Really Got Me!”
The last time they played together in public was in 1996 – 19 years ago.
Perhaps there may be a Kinks reunion in 2016? One can only hope….
We are very glad our friend Denis Diken was part of this one…..
As some of our associates have implied that this song was directly influenced by “LOUE LOUIE,” so we’ll throw this one into the “LOUIE Relative” category….
Did you know about the investigation of singer-songwriter Pete Seeger? Mother Jones shared some details in an article posted today.
From the 1940s through the early 1970s, the US government spied on singer-songwriter Pete Seeger because of his political views and associations. According to documents in Seeger’s extensive FBI file—which runs to nearly 1,800 pages (with 90 pages withheld) and was obtained by Mother Jones under the Freedom of Information Act—the bureau’s initial interest in Seeger was triggered in 1943 after Seeger, as an Army private, wrote a letter protesting a proposal to deport all Japanese American citizens and residents when World War II ended.
Seeger, a champion of folk music and progressive causes—and the writer, performer, or promoter of now-classic songs, including as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” Turn! Turn! Turn!,” “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” “Goodnight, Irene,” and “This Land Is Your Land”—was a member of the Communist Party for several years in the 1940s, as he subsequently acknowledged. (He later said he should have left earlier.) His FBI file shows that Seeger, who died in early 2014, was for decades hounded by the FBI, which kept trying to tie him to the Communist Party, and the first investigation in the file illustrates the absurd excesses of the paranoid security establishment of that era.
1,800 pages? That’s a LOT more than the FBI LOUIE LOUIE files, which is less than 200 pages.
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.
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….
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….
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…