Writer Dennis Eichhorn died last week on Thursday, October 8th, and I’m kinda bummed about it.
With the life that he lived, shared via the stories that he wrote, I imagine he probably went through dozens of different types of business cards, as he had something like a gazillion or so different jobs- detective, publisher, nightclub bouncer, social worker, bartender, concert promoter, driver, researcher, among others.
He lived a life that seemed so outrageous, filled with absurd adventures …so much that sharing his adventures via fantastic comic book stories seemed like the perfect vehicle for him.
As a connoisseur of independent “underground” comic books such as the works of R.Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, S. Clay Wilson, Dan O’Neill, Trina Robbins, Skip Williamson, Joel Beck, Peter Bagge, and so many others, I immediately embraced the “Real Stuff” line comic books written by Dennis Eichhorn. The stories were well-written with outrageous art by a lot of different illustrators.
Needless to say, when these comic book stories referenced a certain song close to my heart, I definitely felt some kindred spirits….
When I was living during a brief time in Seattle in 1996, I tracked down Denny, and we shot a little interview. Growing up in Idaho, he had memories of getting his hair cut by Paul Revere, before the Raiders became the one of the most popular rock bands to emerge from the Pacific Northwest. He was a friend of Phil “Fang” Volk, who a track star at his high school, and he worked directly with Mark Lindsay at a nightclub that Lindsay owned. There were also memories of other bands from the Pacific Northwest, as well as thoughts on the song that became a regional anthem.
I also asked Denny to share his story about how he got involved in writing comic book stories, and he graciously provided me with these words, which I’m sharing for the very first time with this newly-assembled video…
I plan on sharing some of my footage of my conversation with Denny about NorthWest Music in the near future. Please continue to check this website for updates…
When Dennis passed away, I’m grateful I was able to find out fairly quickly via my friends on ye Face***k social network, which also allowed me to learn more about Dennis. J.R. Williams, who illustrated a lot of Dennis’s stories was the first to break the news.
Richard Von Busack recycled a cool photo from Pat Moriarity, featuring Pat, Dennis, J.R. Williams and Jim Blanchard…
Dennis Eichhorn (bespectacled, below, the master of the revels), who just left us at age 70–three-score and ten, let’s not be greedy–was the anti-Adrian Tomine. No insult intended to Tomine’s delicacy and introversion. I just intend to use the much praised Tomine as a compass point to explain where the less famous Eichhorn stood. Eichhorn’s tales of feuding, f’ing and fighting in comic form were beautifully sensitive and rumbustious at the same time. He was one of the few people who could tell you about his intimate love life in print without ooking you thoroughly. Clearly the man loved women. He was a–mostly–unknown master of the autobiographical comic form, a football player, a bouncer, a bartender (in Capitola, where you could, in the 1970s see heinous, murderous behavior). Literally born in a prison, he used his art to captivate many, many others. Glad I met the man once. Eichorn tangled with some serious bruisers, and accidentally put a villain’s eye out once, and yet he couldn’t have been more nice. Thanks for the wonderful stories, which are still out there.
Here’s a wonderful image that R.L Crabb created for a compilation of REAL LIFE comic stories.
Denny eventually left Loompanics, but I heard from him again in 2003 when he was preparing to collect his best stories into one volume. He needed an interior title page, and asked if I would be interested. I dug out all my old copies of the comics and did my best to mimic the styles of the many fine cartoonists who had graced the pages of Real Stuff over the years…
After I sent him a copy of the piece, he asked if he could purchase the original. I remembered that years earlier, during a particularly dry spell in my career, I went to the post office one day and found a letter from Denny, along with a hundred dollar bill. It was like manna from heaven at the time. I sent the artwork to him, with a note telling him that it had already been paid for as far as I was concerned.
Mary Fleener shared this image and thoughts on collaborations with Dennis.
Denny Eichhorn understood something about artists. To work with one you must let your story become THEIR story. Oh sure, he would give you a script but that was just a list of ingredients, and the way you mixed ’em was up to you. Denny also understood that the key to good storytelling is a bit of exaggeration here, a touch of blarney there, all told in good fun to keep the reader’s attention. I knew exactly what he wanted with “Bad Trip”, having “been experienced” myself plenty o’ times, and after I was done, he told me how spot on the LSD visual images were….he hadn’t told me exactly how he tripped, but I knew. I felt a great bond with Denny, and I bet everyone who worked with him did, too. My heart goes out to Jane and his family.
Art Chantry provided this image of another publication Eichhorn was responsible for, with more details about his wonderful talents.
this is the cover of NORTHWEST EXTRA issue #10 from about 1989 or so. my late friend dennis p. eichhorn created and edited this free newsprint magazine in the northwest. i designed the covers through the entire history of the magazine.
it was a gloriously cheapo affair. denny discovered that simply by bidding low (i think it was $50 and there were no other bidders at all) he was able to secure all the syndicated columns for an otherwise uncovered underpopulated region of the country. basically, that meant he was able to buy the rights to print amazing writer’s work for peanuts. you can see the names of the folks at the bottom of the cover who were in this issue. amazing.
denny was also extremely close to the fantagraphics people and even worked at Loompanics, the late publisher of ANYTHING nobody else would publish. denny’s friendly charming personality won over everybody he came into contact with and he became close to ever single name listed on this cover (for instance.) denny was astonishing well- connected. you name the outsider weirdo and chances are he was pals with them.
as a result, i got to work on covers with some of the most interesting illustrators and cartoonists in the world. this is a fine example here. this is actually the crumb family xmas card from that year. denny was on their xmas card list and he loved this thing (each member of the crumb family drew themselves). denny got in touch and asked if he could use it for his xmas issue cover. they said, “SURE!”
the result was that i had to take this little xmas card and turn it into a magazine cover. but, my design cartouche for the covers of NW EXTRA was so bare bones, generic and flexible (intentionally) that i could adapt to just about anything i was handed to make into a cover. throw some red ink in there (for xmas, ya know?) and voila! done!
i also worked with michael dougan, karel moiseiwitsch, s. clay wilson, carol lay, lynda barry, drew friedman, peter bagge, j.r. williams, harvey pekar, several more crumb covers, and a host of others i can’t recall off hand. it was a wonderful opportunity to have worked on this thing with denny. it’s hard to imagine a world without denny eichhorn in it.
Dennis was also a “manager(?)” of the legendary Wild Man Fischer, who provided him with wild stories which were illustrated by J.R. Wiilams and Pat Moriarity for the REAL STUFF comic, and collected into a very entertaining standalone book!
Once again, Dennis Eichorn was one of those people I wish I spent more time with, as he was filled with a wealth of incredible stories.
Luckily for me, I’m still hearing more stories about him from his friends.
I leave with this image of Dennis Eichhorn, created by R.L. Crabb. This is from REAL STUFF #20 – the final comic of that series. A fitting way to good bye…
Gail Zappa, beloved wife to Frank, mother for Dweezil, Moon, Ahmet & Diva, and keeper of the Zappa legacy, has left us.
The official Frank Zappa Facebook page provided this statement:
January 1, 1945 – October 7, 2015
Gail Zappa, nee Adelaide Gail Sloatman, age 70, departed this earth peacefully at her home on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, surrounded by her children.
Married to Frank Zappa at age 22, Gail was a doe-eyed, barefooted trailblazer, giving equal value to her domestic and professional responsibilities as matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises. She devoted herself to partnering with her husband in the music business and raising their children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.
Gail enthusiastically executed her role as guardian of her husband’s creative life and, with his passing, strove to ensure his legacy as one of the leading American composers and musicians of the 20th century. In this and all business endeavors, Gail passionately advocated to establish clear definitions of intellectual property and copyright laws on behalf of not just her husband, but all artists. While she conducted intricate legal negotiations with corporations as grande dame of the Zappa Family Trust, she never failed to impart the sense of humor that was part and parcel of her indomitable and formidable personality. Gail, self-described as a pagan absurdist, was motivated by love in all aspects of her life, kept her authenticity intact, unbowed and, simply put, was one bad ass in the music business and political world.
Gail will forever be identified as a key figure in the creative renaissance that is Laurel Canyon. But more than any singular accomplishment, she defined herself in her personal relationships, happiest when surrounded by loved ones and artists, often one and the same. The memories she leaves behind are indeed her own art form. Her searing intelligence, unforgettable smile, wild thicket of hair and trailing black velvets leave a blur in her wake.
There is no further information to report. This is the only statement that will be released by the family.
On Saturday, October 10th, there will be the 9th Annual Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) Induction & Concert will be held at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon.
At this event, there will be a big tribute to Jack Ely, the original vocalist for the Kingsmen, who passed away earlier this year. While Jack had not been a member of band since 1963, and there had not been any full-fledged musical reunions of the original players during their 50+ year run, the surviving Kingsmen are planning to pay tribute to their original band member that night.
The Kingsmen will also be joined by Phil “Fang” Volk, Jim “Harpo” Valley and Keith Allison – former members of Paul Revere & the Raiders.
As you may or may not know, The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders both recorded LOUIE LOUIE in April 1963 at the Northwestern Inc. recording studio in Portland, with respective record releases shared nationally by Wand/Sceptor and Columbia Records. Paul Revere & the Raiders was the first rock ‘n’ roll band signed to Columbia Records (largest record label in the world during 1960s), and LOUIE LOUIE was their first record on that label. In this particular case, the smaller label that signed the Kingsmen wound up with the hit record.
This event should be a lot of fun. Storm Large, a singer from San Francisco that moved to Portland in 2002, then became very successful with an appearance on the “Rock Star” TV show and a whole slew of several critical acclaimed albums, will be receiving OMHOF’s Artist of the Year Award. A lot of other great musicians will also be there, and there will an auction of 15 autographed guitars from such folks as Robert Cray, The B-B2’s, Steve Earle, Chicago, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, to name a few. Proceeds from this event help support our music education and scholarship programs.
I’m not sure I’ll be there, but it sounds like a blast!
You can learn more about the Oregon Music Hall of Fame by visiting the official website at: http://www.omhof.org
Time for a little flashback.. or as they say in ye onine social networks, a “Throwback Thursday”…..
I’ve been shooting videos for quite a few years. One of the things I’m rather proud of is the fact I was able to capture what i’ve been told is the only footage of the band known as “Big Hair.”
Big Hair was a rockin’ little cowpunk band from San Jose, California. Scott Long, Caryl Miller, Theresa McClure, Matt Rook, Margot Lipp, Margot Lipp and Ricky Quisol were members of this fine group that had a short, but memorable run. When the band fell apart, it splintered off into various splinter groups – Frontier F-in’ Wives, Whistling Bullets, The Kettles, the Frisky Frolics, and probably some other groups I’m forgetting.
I shot some concert footage of this band at an event produced by KFJC Radio in conjunction with the I.B.S. conference (some kind of college radio consortium) that took place at at the Works Gallery in San Jose, California on November 22, 1985. This took place a few years after the infamous Maximum LOUIE LOUIE event and there were a lot of KFJC types that participated at both events. This particular concert had quite a few other bands that performed that night – Tex & the Horseheads, the Morlocks and Thin White Rope.
That night, I had a borrowed video camera that was an old tube camera with portable VHS recorder. The camera was not a great camera for low low-light situations, but it was the best camera available at the time.
After I shot this video, only a handful of people ever saw it. Decades later, thanks to the internet, and YouTube in particular, I was able to share it with a much wider audience.
Caryl Miller, who sadly passed away a few years ago, did an rockin’ version of “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” followed by Margot Lipp (now Margot Potter) performing a number called “12th Street Blues.”
Theresa also collaborated with Caryl on a song entitled “Giddy Up and Go.”
Thanks to the online social networks I was able to connect with band members I hadn’t communicated with in decades. It felt wonderful to be able to reconnect and share this material all these years later.
Then, there’s the present… with my old friend Theresa dealing with some serious struggles right now..
Theresa is dealing with real problems right now and she’s embarking some major changes in her life. She just created a GoFundMe page as a means to get out of an awful situation and move back to her old base in California.
As some of you know I’m going through a horrible divorce and I lost everything but my personal property. I really want and need to come back home as I am homeless here.
Please help me come home and rock Cali.
Thank you all for anything You can contribute.
If any of my friends out in Cyberspace can assist my friend Theresa, that would be wonderful. I haven’t seen her in decades, and would love to see her back in California again, playing music with some of her old friends again.
In fact, here’s what I’ll do….
For the first five people that read this page and then donate to Theresa’s GoFundMe campaign, I will send an archival “KFJC NO LOUIE LOUIE BUTTON.”
Whoever reads this page and donates $100 to Theresa’s GoFundMe campaign, I will give them an extremely rare LOUIE LOUIE WINE COOLER BOTTLE. If you are in or at least visiting San Francisco Bay Area, the first five that do so can choose to receive a sealed bottle with actual wine cooler, if you are of legal age. Everyone else gets an empty bottle.
You need to contact me directly if you want these items and we will work out the details – this is NOT an official offer from Theresa or GoFundMe… just me.
I was so very saddened when I learned that Lady Bo passed away last week.
When I first began what turned into a rather unique journey documenting the legacy of the song LOUIE LOUIE, Lady Bo was there at the very beginning.
The KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon was ground zero for this special adventure. This small radio station in Los Altos Hills, California created a marathon to collect and broadcast every single version of this song, and Richard Berry, the author of the song, was the very special guest. Lady Bo and her band the Lady Bo Trio, featuring her husband Wally Malone on bass and George Ostrander on drums, was originally supposed to back up Richard Berry. A few hours before the event, Jack Ely, the original vocalist for the Kingsmen, flew in from Portland, Oregon. This was the very first time Richard Berry had ever met a member of the Kingsmen, which had a national hit record with their interpretation of Richard’s song.
It turned out to be a more elaborate performance than expected. Richard Berry played the keyboards, Jack Ely became a second bass player and local musician Ricky Sludge of the Readymades brought in his trumpet. It all took place in a college classroom that was converted into a makeshift recording studio. An audience of KFJC DJs and local musical enthusiasts squeezed their way into this room, with many audience members becoming actual participants singing portions of the song to a live radio audience.
While the marathon itself received a lot of local news coverage, I was the only one that brought a video camera to this once-in-a-lifetime performance. Using a somewhat bulky 3-tube video camera and portable 3/4″ U-matic recorder that I borrowed from a local public access channel, I was able to capture something that nobody else was getting.
Here’s the first ten minutes of the historic performance by Richard Berry, Jack Ely and the Lady Bo Trio at the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon.
This is the FIRST TIME this footage has ever been shared publicly.
Lady Bo had quite a career in the music biz. She played rhythm guitar with Bo Diddley‘s band in the late 1950s and early 1960s, becoming one of the first female rock guitarists in a famous rock ‘n’ roll band.
She was often called the “Queen Mother of Guitar.”
AfroPunk provided a wonderful history lesson on her career:
Peggy Jones, aka Lady Bo grew up in New York City, attending Manhattan’s famed High School for the Performing Arts (of Fame fame) as a singer and dancer. She studied tap and ballet and trained in opera. She had been playing guitar for only 2 years when a chance encounter with Bo Diddley before a show at the legendary Apollo Theatre led to a life-changing gig as Bo Diddley’s lead guitarist. Diddley was awestruck by the sight of a beautiful young woman with a guitar and struck up a conversation. When Jerome Greene (the single luckiest maraca player in the history of music) ran out to tell Bo that dinner was being served in the dressing room, Bo invited Jones in. Jones recounts in an interview with Lea Gilmore:
After a while he opened his guitar, asked me to grab mine and play something. When I opened my case he laughed louder than anyone I’d heard before. I wanted to know what¹s funny? Hysterically he said what is that? He had never seen a Supro guitar. I said, “Now that’s a dumb question! First you probably never saw a girl carrying a guitar down the street before and want to know if I played it, did you think that was funny?” He said, “NO!” I continued, “then you insult my ax and I listen to Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell and Charlie Parker and I THINK I’ve heard of you! Do you think that’s funny?” He said, “No, but I like your attitude, let’s play something.” I said OK and the rest is history.
SheShreds provided an overview of her career after her initial run with Bo Didley:
In addition to her work with Bo Diddley’s band, Jones had a rich solo career. She formed her own band, The Jewels (also known as The Family Jewel, Lady Bo and the Family Jewel, The Fabulous Jewels, Little Jewel and the Family Jewel, and Lady Bo and the BC Horns). Jones left Diddley’s band in 1961 to focus on her work with the Jewels which went on to become one of the most popular touring bands on the East Coast. During this time she also released singles with groups such as the Bop Chords and the Continentals and even briefly joined James Brown’s backing band. When Jones rejoined Bo Diddley in 1970 her entire band came with her and became his new backing band. At their first show back together the crowd was so excited to see them back on stage together that they chanted “Lady Bo”—thus creating Jones’s famous nickname.
My friend Dave Seabury took some great photos of Lady Bo performing with Bo Diddley. Here’s one of his photos from an appearance at the Keystone Berkeley sometime in the 1970’s…
Lady Bo’s death was announced on Facebook by her beloved husband / longtime band member Wally Malone. Eighteen days after she was diagnosed with cancer, she died on September 16th at the age of 75 years old.
Today is one of the saddest days of my life. My wife and partner of 47 Years has been called up to that great rock & roll band in the heavens to be reunited with Bo Diddley, Jerome Green and Clifton James.
Details for her memorial / celebration of life will be announced in the near future.
Mention the day “September 11,” and you cannot help but be reminded of certain events that took place in semi-recent American history.
For some of us, September 11 is a day to celebrate the birthday of loved ones, like my sister Ann, for example.
As this is “the website for all things LOUIE LOUIE,” this is the place to ponder unlikely connections within the LOUIE LOUIE universe.
So …. here’s something on the connections between September 11 and LOUIE LOUIE….
Jack Ely, lead singer of the Kingsmen, would have celebrated his 72nd birthday today, had we not lost him earlier this year.
Jack shared his birthday and year with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, which performed some memorable versions over the years of their existence.
Some of you may not know it, but “LOUIE LOUIE” was first released as a B-side on a 45rpm single by Richard Berry. The A-side was a cover of “You Are My Sunshine,” a catchy little country western song that Richard Berry’s mom really loved. As LOUIE LOUIE became more popular, the record was reissued with LOUIE on the A-side and a Richard Berry original “Rock Rock Rock” taking over the B-side.
“You Are My Sunshine” was recorded and probably written by Jimmie Davis in 1940. Four years later, he was elected Governor of the state of LOUIsiana, which he served for two non-sequential terms (1944–1948 and 1960–1964).
While his exact birth year is still questionable (various publications stating 1899, 1901, 1902 or 1903), it is believed that Jimmie Davis would have been 116 years old today.
There’s a handful of other musicians that also share this birthday today, but until they perform a version of LOUIE, or at least a LOUIE Bastard/ Mutant, then we probably won’t mention Moby, Harry Connick, Jr., Gidget Gein, Ted Leo, or Ludacris … yet.
So today… it’s a Happy Birthday for the spirits of Jack Ely and Jimmie Davis…. as well as my sister Ann, my friends Debee, Joey, Sally, another friend named Eric, and anyone else that wound up with this very special birthdate!
Less than a year ago, we showcased a version of “Smells Like LOUIE LOUIE” – an inspired mashup by Jeff & the R.F.s, fusing the Richard Berry song with a familiar Nirvana ditty. That particular version was created for the 2007 LOUIE Fest of Tacoma.
It’s 2015, and my friend Ron Fowler, leader of that particular band, just unveiled a brand-new recording of this song mashup, sharing it with the world via Soundcloud!
Mashup of 2 classic tracks from the Northwest – Richard Berry’s Louie Louie, popularized by the Kingsmen, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Fabulous Wailers; and Nirvana’s immortal Smells Like Teen Spirit. Yeah!
Today is National Dog Day. Nationaldogday.com has the details about how this event came to be…
National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and was founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige (also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day …to name a few).
National Dog Day serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.
As I searched for a likely connection between this topic and the theme of this very website, I found something from the Give Back News YouTube channel that seemed that felt like a natural fit:
This Give Back News update is about LOUIE, an American Bulldog rescued by Pet Orphans. He needs a forever home, but he’s not alone. Check him or other rescues our at PetOrphans.org and help us make a difference one story at a time! Thanks for watching GiveBackPR’s positive community news update.
So there you go… a rescued dog named LOUIE that needs a home, with some catchy music that feels so very familiar. . .
PLEASE – if you can adopt a rescued dog, I would encourage you do so!
Today is a very good day to do that sort of thing!
Maybe YOU could be the one to adopt LOUIE the American Bulldog??
If so, feel free to drop me a line, OK?
. . . . and in the meantime, if we’re going to talk about dogs and LOUIE LOUIE, I might as well recycle an old image from the past – my beloved friend Bubba the Dog (R.I.P.), posing with a Chewy LOUIE dog bone package!