RIP: Nokie Edwards of the Ventures, LOUIE of the Week

Nokie Edwards, guitar player for The Ventures, one of the most successful bands to emerge from the Pacific Northwest during the 1960s, has passed away at the age of 82 years old.

Deke Dickerson shared some wonderful memories of the man on his Facebook page:

NOKIE EDWARDS 1935-2018 Hard to know where to start… Nokie Edwards, to me, was one of the greatest guitar players that ever lived. Nokie was also a huge influence on me. As lead guitar player for the Ventures, almost every other famous guitar player you can think of grew up cutting their teeth learning Nokie’s parts from those great albums. My good friend Crazy Joe, after touring with me for a couple of months, said “I think I have you figured out. Your whole guitar style is 1/2 Nokie Edwards and 1/2 Cliff Gallup.“ Boy, he was right. I was fortunate enough to back up Nokie on many occasions, and we even made a record with him. Just being around the guy was like hanging out with some mythical figure, one of the Founding Fathers or one of the Greek gods right here on earth, sitting there in front of you. Sometimes it was hard to speak, realizing this was the same guy who played the lead on things like “Journey To The Stars” and “Diamond Head.” I went to visit Nokie in late October at his home in Yuma, Arizona. I was shocked at how frail and feeble Nokie seemed when I visited. His health had really taken a turn for the worse. Even though his wife Judy talked about future medical care and upcoming surgeries, it really felt like Nokie didn’t have long. While some people might feel extreme sadness with the passing of a legend like Nokie, it occurs to me that Nokie lived an incredibly rich and full life. He had been inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame, had gold records on the wall, toured the world for decades, had millions of little geeky kids like myself idolize him, and a good woman who took care of him. And I know that somewhere up there, Nokie’s looking forward to the jam session this evening with his heroes Chet Atkins and Les Paul. Rest In Peace, my friend.

Rest in peace, Nokie Edwards.

Tom Bishop – LOUIE of the Week

For this week’s LOUIE, I’m sharing a performance by Tom Bishop who performs LOUIE LOUIE to honor his late grandparents, Louie and Louise Poltevecque!

His YouTube page provides more details:

Tom Bishop, Louie Louie, Kingsmen. Performed live by Tom Bishop at Fairmont Hot Springs, Montana, September, 2016. Background instruments performed by Tom Bishop. (The refrain is sung “Louie, Louise” in honor of my late grandparents, Louie and Louise Poltevecque. My three sisters were in the audience.)

This one’s for my Mom

I lost my mother almost two weeks ago.

She was an exceptional being on so many different levels.

She was a World War II survivor that witnessed some terrible things.

Continue reading This one’s for my Mom

The Return of Stretch – non-LOUIE of the Week

Last Saturday, my friend Jeff “Stretch” Riedle returned to the stage to finish an incomplete show that occurred three months earlier when he experienced a cardiac arrest, and his life could have easily ended that night.

Luckily, his death was not meant to happen. With the heroic efforts of a dear friend Wendy Lang, who was able to perform CPR, an efficient ER team and some excellent heart surgeons, Jeff survived.

On February 17, 2018, Stretch and his New Shockwaves returned to the stage at the East Cliff Brewery, Santa Cruz, California to finish that incomplete show.

The first song of that show was “Red Triangle,” and I’ve got some video of that particular performance I’d like to share with all of you.

As most of the loyal followers of this website probably know, Jeff “Stretch” Riedle was the man whose efforts jumpstarted the LOUIE LOUIE revival during the 1980s. He was the KFJC disc jockey that created the LOUIE LOUIE radio shows that led to the “Maximum: LOUIE LOUIE” marathon event of 1983 that was literally reported all over the world. Over 800 unique versions of the song were played at this 63 hour event, and it led to the initial video production that became the starting point for the documentary project that this website is based on.

While Stretch is recovering quickly, and has received some wonderful financial support from generous donors via GoFundMe, there are still some unpaid bills that need to be dealt with. If any generous souls are able to provide additional donations to his GoFundMe campaign, that would be a wonderful thing.

To recycle a wonderful quote by Rockin’ Robin Roberts…

“Let’s give it to ’em, RIGHT NOW!”

Jeff “Stretch” Riedle Medical Fund on GoFundMe


Reference Links:

Fundraiser for Stretch Riedle (aka “give the drummer some”) – LOUIEs of the Week

KFJC Maximum LOUIE memories – LOUIE of the Month

Anniversary of KFJC Marathon – LOUIE of the Week

More on the KFJC marathon + 50th Anniversary

KFJC Tomb of the Unknown LOUIEs, part 1

Jeff “Stretch” Riedle Medical Fund on GoFundMe

The R.F.’s – Smells like LOUIE LOUIE 2018 (LOUIE of the Week)

This week, the mighty LOUIE REPORT spotlight points in the direction of our friend Ron Fowler and his band The R.F.’s (formerly known as Jeff & the R.F.’s), who just unveiled a brand new version of their fine little LOUIE mutant mash-up entitled “Smells Like LOUIE LOUIE!”

Astute observers will recognize this image of Ron from a comic strip blog posted here eleven years ago. That year, Ron had just released a version of this special song for the 2007 LOUIE FEST in Tacoma, WA.

Anyways, the band is back with this brand-new version of the song.

I’ll let Ron introduce this one…

“This is such a loony idea, i’m surprised nobody else did it before we did. We took the 2 most iconic songs associated with Northwest Rock, 2 songs that NO ONE can understand the words to, and we mashed them together. Imagine Paul Revere and the Raiders, circa 1963, onstage, at the Spanish Castle, kicking off the immortal Richard Berry song…and suddenly the time machine transports them to 1992, and a Nirvana concert at Paramount Northwest….does Kurt Cobain know how to stop and shout and work it on out?….”

I’m just glad these guys are still doing it!

Rock on!

Reference Links:
Happy International LOUIE LOUIE Day!
Jeff & the R.F.’s – Smells like LOUIE LOUIE (2007 version)

Big Sandy – Havana Moon (LOUIE relative of the Week)

OK, time for another Sandy fix.

Last week, I witnessed an excellent performance by one of the coolest cats on Planet Earth – my pal Robert Williams, aka Big Sandy, who was touring with Reverend Horton Heat. I caught ’em at the Ritz in San Jose, and Sandy unveiled a nice little surprise… a wonderful rendition of “Havana Moon!”

As some of you, may be aware, “Havana Moon” by Chuck Berry was a song that Richard Berry acknowledged as one of the songs that might have inspired Richard’s “LOUIE LOUIE!” … and no, Richard and Chuck are not related….

Meanwhile, if you happen to be in Malaga, Spain this weekend for the Rockin’ Race Jammboree, be sure to say “HIYA” to Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys!

Sandy and The Wild Wombats – Have Love Will Travel – LOUIE relative of the Week

I just out about a cool German rockabilly band known as Sandy and The Wild Wombats. Apparently, they’ve been doing some extensive touring all over Europe, and they’ve already played the “Viva Las Vegas” event last year.

The lead vocalist / ringleader of this group, Sandy West, has a real distinctive voice, and i’m hoping the band will visit San Francisco in the near future.

Anyways, I found a cool performance they did of “Have Love Will Travel”- Richard Berry‘s own sequel to his LOUIE, and I figured I just had to share this thing.

This recording came from their debut album “The Girl Can’t Help It!” and the video is really a hoot… probably the funniest video i’ve ever seen of this song!

You can find out more about this band by visiting, which for now, is their Facebook page.

Hopefully nobody’s going to confuse this band with another great “Sandy band”- Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys, featuring my friend Big Sandy aka Robert Williams. They also do an excellent version of “Have Love Will Travel,” but it’s more like Richard Berry’s version, as opposed to the Wild Wombats, who used the Sonics version as a template.

For more on Big Sandy, go visit and tell him LOUIE sent ‘cha!

RIP: Edward Allan Clarke, aka Fast Eddie of Motorhead

Sad news reported on the Official Motorhead Facebook page today:

We are devastated to pass on the news we only just heard ourselves earlier tonight…Edward Allan Clarke – or as we all know and love him Fast Eddie Clarke – passed away peacefully yesterday. Ted Carroll (who formed Chiswick Records) made the sad announcement via his FB page, having heard from Doug Smith that Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia…



Fast Eddie…keep roaring, rockin’ and rollin’ up there as goddamit man, your Motörfamily would expect nothing less!!!

RIP FAST EDDIE CLARKE 5th October 1950 – 10th January 2018

The three original members of Motorhead – Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, Phil “Philthy Animal and now “Fast” Eddie Clarke.. are no longer alive.

The Wikipedia LOUIE LOUIE page provides a quick history lesson about their recording of the song:

“Louie Louie” was Motörhead’s first single for Bronze Records in 1978, following their initial release on Chiswick Records in 1977. It was a relatively faithful cover of the song, with “Fast” Eddie Clarke’s guitar emulating the Hohner Pianet electric piano riff. It was released as a 7″ vinyl single and reached number 68 on the UK Singles Chart. The reverse cover carries the dog Latin motto “Nil Illegitimum Carborundum”, which is humorously said to mean “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. The song is released with “Tear Ya Down” and appears on the CD re-issues of Overkill and The Best of Motörhead compilation. On 25 October 1978 a pre-recording of the band playing this song was broadcast on the BBC show Top of the Pops.

Reference Links:
Official Motorhead Facebook page
Wikipedia on LOUIE LOUIE

Incredible LOUIE Birthday Coincidences!

It blows my mind to think about how the man who wrote LOUIE LOUIE and the man who sang the most famous version of LOUIE LOUIE both became fathers for the very first time on January 10th!!

What’s also incredible is that Richard Berry‘s youngest daughter and Jack Ely‘s youngest son also share a common birthday in November!

I don’t think Richard or Jack knew about this.

Would anyone know about such things if not for Facebook social networking? Hard to say….

Either way, a BIG Happy Birthday for Pamela and Robb today, with another set of birthday wishes 10 months later for Christy and Sean!

BONUS COINCIDENCE: This is blog post #9110 and Jack Ely’s birthday was 9/11. I didn’t realize this until after I posted….

Remembering Those We Lost in 2017

Once again, another year ends, and we pause to reflect on those whose journeys came to a close. It’s yet another incomplete list of departed individuals that made an impact on this project.

Today, we take inventory… we celebrate their spirits…. we raise a toast in honoring these people…

Larry Coryell, jazz guitarist from Pacific Northwest

We lost Larry on February 19th. Before he became a jazz legend, he was a rocker with the Dynamics in the Pacific Northwest. He was a big fan of the Fabulous Wailers, and became a very close friend of Richard Dangel, the original guitarist.

Larry provided a great interview for the LOUIE project, and you can see a snippet at the original post last year.

Bobby Lloyd Hicks of Dave Alvin’s Guilty Men

Bobby Lloyd Hicks was a drummer with Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men who later joined NRBQ. He passed away on February 19th, but was acknowledged in November on these pages after a highly entertaining version of THE SONG sung by Bobby was uncovered.

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry left this planet March 18th. I didn’t get around to writing up a proper obit for his passing, but I did write about his 90th birthday what seemed like a few months earlier, acknowledging how “Havana Moon” was an inspiration for Richard Berry’s (no relation) most famous creation.

Anyways, here’s a super-cool photo of Chuck Berry playing with Barry Curtis of the Kingsmen! I don’t know who took this photo, but it’s a keeper!

Lexie Shabel, cancer fighter + documentary maker

On May 29, my friend Lexie lost her battle with cancer. She created one of my favorite rock and roll documentaries, and she fought a hard battle against this terrible type of illness.

Carlo Driggs, singer with Paul Revere & Raiders

Carl (Carlo) Driggs was the lead vocalist for Paul Revere & The Raiders from 1983 through 2004, holding that position for 21 years, longer than any other vocalist that performed with the band. Carlo left us on May 31.

Stephen Furst, aka Flounder of Animal House

Stephen Furst, the actor that played Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in the iconic comedy film National Lampoon’s Animal House, passed away on June 16.

Michael Slavko, aka M. Dung, radio DJ + LOUIE enthusiast

Our friend M. Dung was a major advocate of LOUIE LOUIE. He was a radio DJ that celebrated the song on a massive scale and hosted two LOUIE LOUIE Parades in San Francisco, assisted by special guest, songwriter Richard Berry. We lost Michael on June 30.

Ken Kaffke, friend + advisor to LOUIE project

Ken Kaffke was an ally, advisor and a wonderful friend of the LOUIE documentary project. A generous soul with a mission to share the “good stuff,” Ken shared a deep passion for comic books, rock ‘n’ roll music and humor in a jugular vein. August 18 was his last day on this planet.

Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü

Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü was yet another one lost to cancer, leaving this mortal world on September 13. Memories of a mind-blowing 1983 punk rock show at Foothill College a few months after the infamous Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon at the same campus still remain vivid…. all these years later..

Tom Petty

Yet another death we didn’t expect. An under-rated singer-songwriter whose demise on October 2nd sparked a floodgate of sorrow felt around the world.

As fate would have it, one of the earliest bootleg CDs I ever discovered featuring the song LOUIE LOUIE was a Tom Petty CD entitled simply “LOUIE LOUIE.” It was never a legitimate release, but it’s a cool version..

Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy magazine

An iconic publisher whose exploits, like the song LOUIE LOUIE, inspired some serious F.B.I. investigations overseen directly by J. Edgar Hoover.

Did you know that THE first band to ever cover LOUIE LOUIE named their band after Hugh’s magazine?

Fats Domino

Fats Domino was the modest musical pioneer that brought rock ‘n’ roll music to the American mainstream, selling more hit records between 1950 and 1963 than Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly combined.

Did you know that Richard Berry was part of a Fats Domino show in 1956 that sparked one of the earliest rock and roll riots in the USA?

Stephen Parr, owner of Oddball Films

Stephen Parr was another friend of the LOUIE project. He ran Oddball Films, a stock footage company in San Francisco. He left on October 24, leaving behind a lot of wonderful memories.

Fred Cole of Dead Moon

Fred Cole of Dead Moon lost his battle with cancer on Nov 9th. Before he created Dead Moon with his wife / life-partner Kathleen “Toody” Cole, he recorded with a band known as The Lords, then the Weeds, which evolved into the Lollipop Shoppe in 1968, appearing on the first Nuggets compilation.

Of course, we had to mention that Fred proudly utilized the original lathe used for mastering the original release of the Kingsmen‘s LOUIE LOUIE for many of his own recordings of his band Dead Moon.

Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens

We were saddened to lose yet another friend of the LOUIE project. Pat was an ally that provided a wonderful LOUIE LOUIE interview many years ago, and the LOUIE team collaborated on a special multi-camera concert video production of the Smithereens that was utilized by as a showcase for Apple Quicktime technology.

Keely Smith, jazz and pop vocalist

Keely Smith, the iconic vocalist who achieved success as both a solo artist and with her musical partnership with first husband Louis Prima, died on Dec. 16.

The Louis and Keely partnership was a powerful entity in the entertainment business, working as recording artists in the music industry, as well as performing in theater, television, and motion pictures. In addition to being the first musicians to win a Grammy for best pop vocal performance by a duo or group in 1959, they were also amongst the earliest musicians to ever cover a Richard Berry song when they recorded “(There’ll Be No) Next Time” in 1957.

There were quite a few other artists we lost in 2017. Here’s a partial list of some of the others, in no particular order…

Greg Allman
Glen Campbell
Chris Cornell
Malcolm Young
David Cassidy
Dick Gregory
Jerry Lewis
Rose Marie
Walter Becker
Della Reese
Don Rickles
Mary Tyler Moore
Roger Moore
Jim Nabors
Mel Tillis
Harry Dean Stanton
Sam Shepard
George Romero
Martin Landau
Adam West
Jonathan Demme
J. Geils
Butch Trucks
Miguel Ferrer

rest in peace.


I almost forgot to mention the passing of a beloved Dobermann named Lucy Da Bloozie, who was also provided inspiration for the LOUIE project…

I’m also so very grateful that my friend Stretch Riedle did NOT become part of this list, as he could have easily been added if not for the assistance of certain real-life angels that provided CPR at the right time.

Big thanks again to Wendy and the Santa Cruz County E.R. team for being there.


How could I forget my old friend David Peel??

David Peel, folk-punk singer

We lost David Peel on April 6.