Days of Christmas LOUIE – part 1

This week, our friend Clay Stabler shared a handful of cool versions of LOUIE LOUIE over at the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group as part of a “Days of Christmas” theme.

Here’s an overview of Clay’s first four…

On the 1st day of Christmas — Louie Louie as a power ballad by Ben Caruso/Desire:

On the 2nd day of Christmas — LL with latin flavor by Brave Combo:

On the 3rd day of Christmas — LL guitar instrumental by Jason Neubauer:

On the 4th day of Christmas — LL Pink Floyd homage by Richard Grosser. Interesting but impossible to dance to!

For the updated list and even more very special LOUIE tidbits, please visit the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group at:

Happy Holidays w/ vintage Johnny Flamingo Christmas PSA song

It’s that time of the year again.

We’re celebrating the holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus and all the other assorted December festivities as we come to the close of 2019, while preparing ourselves for the new year.

For many of us, it’s also a special time to remember lost loved ones.

With all the holiday music being played this time of the year, we thought we’d use this time to share a somewhat obscure holiday song written and sang by Johnny Flamingo, aka Melvin Broxton, a dear friend of LOUIE songwriter Richard Berry.

We’re also using this opportunity to share a discovered a previously unreleased photo of Johnny Flamingo taken by our friend Paula Berry-Wiwuga, who actually met Richard via Johnny.

This song is called “Drive Slow,” which was originally released in December 1963 as a 45 single on the Whirlybird Records ‎label.

It’s also a timeless public service announcement well worth sharing – PLEASE don’t drink and drive!

Will you be …
Will you be …
Here with Christmas time ?
Girl, I want you here when Christmas comes..
So we can be together to join the fun.
With all your office parties during the holidays..
You need to remember what I’ll always say..
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
and if you’re going to drink, don’t drive.
Don’t drink.. Oh no.. (drive slow) …
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
And darling, keep yourself alive.
You know I want you here to greet the new year in…
We’ll laugh and dance with all our friends..
Please don’t be in a hospital bed..
With your head in pain or with a broken leg.
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Baby, take care of yourself.. (don’t drink).
Oh yeah… (drive slow)…
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
And I’ll kiss you when the clock strikes 12.
Yeah… yeah… yeah… yeah..

Well, Christmas comes but once a year…
To spread it’s warmth and all it’s cheer…
Don’t forget that I love you so.
And I want to kiss you darling ‘neath the mistletoe.
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Baby, just take your time… (don’t drink)..
Oh yeah… (drive slow)…
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Cause the life you save is going to be mine.
One more time… Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Baby, take care of yourself.. (drive slow).
Oh yeah… (drive slow)…
Drive slow… (drive slow)…
Cause I want to see you here next year
Remember what the sign said…
(Drive slow)… Hey hey.. (drive slow)…
Whoa whoa.. (drive slow)…

(Melvin Broxton/ BMI)

Wikipedia – Johnny Flamingo

RIP: Dorothy Berry, high school sweetheart + first wife of Richard

I’m saddened to report that Dorothy Berry (Durr), high school sweetheart and first wife of Richard Berry, passed away on Friday, December 20th. She suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and died at the age of 79 years old.

Dorothy met Richard Berry during her time at Jefferson High School (Los Angeles) during the mid-1950’s. She was part of the high school a cappella choir group, and Richard was a recording artist that was often invited by his old music teacher Larry Larson to visit his alma matter. Dorothy caught Richard’s eye, and he decided he wanted to get to know her better, which led to their courtship and eventual marriage.

Dorothy was dating Richard when he wrote the song LOUIE LOUIE. As they both described that moment for the documentary project, Richard was a regular singer that appeared every Sunday night with the Rillera Brothers’ Rhythm Rockers when they performed at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, California in 1955. Richard overheard the Rhythm Rockers perform a catchy little song known as “El Loco Cha Cha,” and he decided he wanted to borrow the musical hook from that particular song to create a brand new song that he would call “LOUIE LOUIE.”

Two years later, right before the song was about to be unleashed to the public, Richard and Dorothy were about to get married, and Richard decided to sell the song to pay for a proper wedding ring for his sweetheart. The publishing rights of LOUIE LOUIE and three other songs were sold for $750, which seemed like a pretty good deal time at the time. Two weeks after the wedding, “LOUIE LOUIE” was released as the B-side of “You Are My Sunshine” on the Flip Records label in April 1957.

Of course, at that point in time, nobody had any idea just how successful this song would be.

Richard and Berry were married for ten years, and had two children together.

With encouragement from her husband, Dorothy also become a professional musician, releasing a variety of different records as a solo artist, as well as doing a lot of backup vocals for productions produced by Phil Spector, David Gates, H.B. Barnum, and Gary Paxton, among others.

In 1968, she started working with Ray Charles, providing harmony vocals for various productions, as well as recordings as a solo artist for Brother Ray’s Tangerine Records label. In 1971, she joined up as a member of Ray’s Raelettes, playing music all over the globe for over 10 years.

Sometime in the early 1980s, Dorothy decided she had spent enough time on the road and retired from the Ray Charles band. After one particular tour in the Middle East, where she witnessed the consequences of war in Lebanon, Dorothy came home to America, shaken by what she had seen. Horrified by the ravages of war, Dorothy wrote a song she called “The World Needs Peace.”

As I wrote in a previous blog post, she turned to her dear friend, ex-husband Richard Berry to help with recording this song. Richard loved the song, and agreed to sing it with her as a duet. The song was released as a 45 single that somehow got ignored by radio stations, and languished in obscurity. A few years later, Richard re-recorded the song as “What We Need,” releasing it as one of three songs on a gospel 12″ record on the Blessed label. On this version of the song, all six of Richard’s children provided back-up harmony vocals.

Here’s the original version of that song…

Here’s a YouTube clip for Dorothy’s most popular solo recording – “You’re So Fine,” which came out as a single on the Challenge record label in 1963. This song was written by Lance Finney, Robert West and Willie Schofield.

.. and here’s the flip side for that recording “Cryin’ On My Pillow,” written by David Gates.

Here’s a cute little number I really like – “I Say You’re Driving Me Crazy,” written by H.B. Barnum and released by Little Star Records in 1962.

Here’s a recording Dorothy did for Ray Charles’ record label. It’s a song called “Falling In Love All Over Again,” written by Jackie DeShannon and Jimmy Holiday.

Here’s a clip of Dorothy singing with Ray Charles and the Raelettes on the Dick Cavett Show on September 18, 1972. (She’s on the left side, wearing a blue dress)

Here’s a song that Richard wrote specifically for Dorothy – “Pretty Brown Eyes.”

Lastly, here’s a clip I shared in 2012, featuring Dorothy, her children, Pamela and Richard Marcel Berry (II), and her grandson Richard D’Juan Berry (III). Dorothy is singing with Pamela, Richard Marcel is playing bass, and Richard D’Juan is playing keyboards. The unseen drummer is Donto James, son-in-law of Richard Berry, and son of Etta James. The man with the black hat is Lucky Otis, grandson of Johnny Otis. Lucky Lloyd is the guitar player, and the male background singer is someone named Daryl, who sings with the Medallions. This performance took place on May 20th at A-Mi Hacienda in Pico Rivera, CA.

I was hoping to see Dorothy do another performance, but unfortunately, it was not meant to be. This might have been her last public public performance.

Dorothy Berry never had a proper compilation of her solo musical productions, but she is featured on the covers of two prominent CDs released by Ace Records.

Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls – “More fabulous 60s femmes from the stable of producer Gary S Paxton”

Yama Yama! The Modern Recordings 1954-1956 – This is a collection of songs Richard Berry released when he was recording for the Bihari Brothers recording empire. The cover of this collection features the only existing photograph from the wedding of Dorothy and Richard.

My heart goes out to Dorothy’s family. I’m grateful for all the memories she shared, and am so very sorry to hear of her passing.

Rest in peace, Dorothy Berry.

Reference Links
LOUIE REPORT – Dorothy Berry – the World Needs Peace
LOUIE REPORT -Berry Family 2012- LOUIE of the Week
Ace Records – Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls
Ace Records – Yama Yama! The Modern Recordings 1954-1956
Discogs – the Dorothy Berry discography (a work in progress / incomplete)

RIP: Roy Loney, founding member of Flamin’ Groovies

Last week, we lost a dear friend.

Roy Loney, a founding member of the Flamin’ Groovies, died on Friday the 13th of December. He passed away at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center Davis Campus. As noted in the SF Chronicle, the cause of death was severe organ failure, according to Vivian Altmann, his longtime lady friend, who acknowledged “Roy was born on a Friday the 13th and he died on a Friday the 13th. That is a very rockin’ thing to do.”

It took us a full week to write this post.

Roy was someone that we shared a solid friendship with that lasted multiple decades. it wasn’t that long ago that we all commemorated the passing of our mutual friend Ken Kaffke, as we all shared some serious affection for the “good stuff” – EC Comics, monster movies and MAD magazine. Roy was a part of our tribe, and a trusted consultant for this documentary project.

It goes without saying that this news hit close to home. Not seeing Roy around town is going to feel odd.

Today, we’re going to share a special video to honor our dear friend. Hot off the griddle, here’s a special tribute to Roy from the LOUIE team..

Here’s a couple of other Roy-isms we want to share..

George Alexander, founding member of Flamin’ Groovies shared these memories of Ro on his Facebook wall:

Roy Loney’s passing is a blow to my heart. We had such good times together back in the 60’s. We first met each other in high school. As a folk music duo, he and another classmate, Tim Lynch, performed there at rallies. Roy was also an actor in the school plays. He and Timmy campaigned for me when I ran for school president our senior year, which I lost to the school jock. I had an interest in folk music, which was big at that time, so I asked Roy to help me learn to play guitar. When I went over to his house for a lesson on one occasion, he said to me…” I want to start a rock and roll band. I’m gonna be the lead singer, Tim will play rhythm guitar. We’re gonna need a lead guitar, bass and a drummer.” I didn’t want to lug around a drum set and lead guitar was too daunting, so I asked if I could join and play bass. After all, it was just four strings! Later on by chance I ran into Cyril Jordan who said he played lead guitar, so after I told Roy, we invited him to Timmy’s house where we jammed to all the hit songs we knew from that period. Cyril was in…and he said he had a friend, Ron Greco, who he jammed with that played drums. We started hanging out in Greco’s garage and soon after we became a band Roy named the Chosen Few. We had issues with Ron’s drumming and eventually replaced him with Danny Mihm, an outstanding drummer, and then Roy came up with a new name for our band…the Flamin Groovies. It was then that we took the leap of creating original songs. I was amazed at how quickly we became more and more competent as musicians. Roy was an awesome lyricist. But I think one of the most impactful occurrences during that time was when I introduced everybody to “MaryJane”! The first time Roy smoked a joint, he fell over a couch and succumbed to hysterical laughter. He couldn’t stop and neither could we in response to his reaction. His jaw was locked, even when he had finally stopped laughing and that of course started a new round of laughter. From that point on, if there was one thing we wanted out of being in a band, reflected in our music, was for everybody to have a good time. We were hedonists, which embodied much of the spirit of the counterculture in San Francisco back then. We were serious about having fun. My fondest memories of Roy come to mind from these bygone days of yore. Living our lives more fully than we had ever imagined before.

Chris Wilson, who became lead singer with Flamin’ Groovies after Roy left, also shared his memories on Facebook:

I first met Roy in 1971 on the road with Dan Hicks,The Groovies and Loose Gravel , Roy and I didn’t really want to like each other , but we wound up quite liking each other anyway.Soon after these shows in the mid west, I was leaving Loose Gravel due to being black- balled by Bill Graham, and Roy left the Groovies .On the eve of me decamping Loose Gravel , Cyril, Danny and George came over to my digs and asked if I would join the Groovies .I liked the band very much but was sad to hear Roy had left, so I agreed. We went on to go to record in Britain and Roy left music to do some stage acting .He was very talented and he was very good at it, but he craved being back n Rock and Roll, so he started The Phantom Movers with Larry Lea and later, Danny and James (Ferrell).They were a great, tight band , with a lot of great songs and made some classic records.Over the years Roy and I met up occasionally in Europe, he with his various bands and I in whatever band I happened to be in, and we would have a meal and a bevy and chat away about anything and everything. Roy was especially knowledgeable about old films and we were both partial , we found, to the over the top, “Grand Guignol films of Britain’s greatest ham , Tod Slaughter, and we had a lot of laughs.The last time we were on the road together a couple of years ago , we had a great time, and the fan’s reactions to seeing Roy was wonderful to see , and I know it pleased him greatly. I am still trying to come to terms with his passing on, and I will miss his sense of humour and his infectious laugh a great deal.I will miss him, and I pray he is at peace.R.I.P. Roy, The boy whose operating speed was always “A Hundred Miles An Hour !

Our friend Tom Sagehorn also provided some wonderful memories of Roy….

We wandered into S.F. on Broadway to check out Mabuhay Gardens in the late 70’s, and saw Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers….they just tore up the place. Ironically, Roy and the Phantom Movers were the opening band this night- and they absolutely blew our minds! It was such a treat to have this group be our first music experience at the fabulous Mabuhay Gardens. Roy Loney was amazing, running back and forth across the stage like a wired rock & roll maniac. The band was tight, and I can still remember talking to my friends about how ironic it was that Roy & the Movers were opening for 2 other bands. This night the best band started the festivities, and undoubtedly it wasn’t the last time that Roy Loney and his band blew away the top billed group. Kudos to Roy for being the king in the ring, a true unheralded legend. He was always nice to the fans, truly a class act. It was always a treat to go to Jack’s records and hear the amazing historic stories from the lips of the Great Roy Loney……just a huge loss for the Rock & Roll world. Everybody can take solace in the fact that Mike Wilhelm and Roy Loney are together in Rock & Roll heaven now. Thank you Roy for the great music and memories. Rest in Peace.

.. and a follow-up..

Roy Loney worked at Jack’s Records in S.F. for years. Since Jack’s specialized in 78’s, I mentioned to Roy during a visit that my dad had a 78 rpm record made while playing in S.F.’s Lowell High School marching band (in the late 1930’s). It was my father playing “Ave Maria” on his old silver trombone. Without any prompting, Roy volunteered to bump the 78 over to cassette. I dutifully went back to my place 30 miles south of S.F. and returned with the 78, and Roy did me the huge favor of transcribing it to cassette. When my Dad was presented the cdr that was bumped from the tape Roy recorded, he was emotionally overwhelmed. An old friend did custom artwork that included a picture from Dad’s Lowell high school yearbook which showed my dad walking down the hall at school with one of his old buddies….. A huge Flamin’ Groovies fan (Eric Predoehl) did the final touches by bumping the tape to CD-R for me. This was the kind of person Roy Loney was-polite to the fans, and thoughtful in a rare kind of “groovy” way. The amazing story of Roy’s generosity in helping preserve and showcase my father’s song on that 78 rpm record is something I will never forget. When Roy and the Phantom Movers played with the Flamin’ Groovies last year at the chapel in S.F. -he let us have my picture taken with him. Going home after the show, I realized that I totally forgot to thank Roy for taping that 78 for me…….Cripes!! This posting is the closest thing to actually thanking him…..
Thanks for the fantastic musical contributions Roy!
Thanks for being the humble and kind person you were – a true rock & roll legend.
Rest In Peace Roy Loney, give my regards to Mike Wilhelm in Rock & Roll Heaven too!

Here’s a rarely-seen 1991 clip we shot of Roy singing with his pal Cyril, backed by the Sneetches at the DNA Lounge, San Francisco.

Following by a more recent clip of Roy in Oakland with the Phantom Movers in 2014..

.. and a cool photo of Roy Loney during his last European tour with the Flamin’ Groovies, taken by Alberto Morant, shared on Facebook and other places..

Rest in peace, Roy. We’re definitely gonna miss ya.

(the LOUIE team)

SF Chronicle – Roy Loney, dynamic frontman for SF’s Flamin’ Groovies, dies at 73
CBS Local – Iconic Flamin’ Groovies Singer Roy Loney Dies At 73
Rolling Stone – Flamin’ Groovies Singer Roy Loney Dead at 73

RIP: René Auberjonois, Star Trek actor

Actor Rene Auberjonois has passed away after a battle with lung cancer.

The New York-born Auberjonois began his career in the theatre in the 1960s, and made his feature film debut in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H. in 1970, portraying the character of Father Mulcahy.

Auberjonois would go on to become a prolific character actor, enjoying starring roles in the TV series Benson, Boston Legal and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in which he portrayed the shape-shifting head of security known as Odo.

It was in that TV show where his character referenced the song LOUIE LOUIE, as noted 10 months ago in a post entitled “LOUIE on TV – part 2.”

Today, we recycle this portion of that post to pay tribute to Mr. Auberjonois.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (syndicated)
Season 3 / episode 14 / 1995-02-06

“Heart of Stone”

There’s no LOUIE performance, but the song is discussed in this TV show moment.

In this episode, Odo (René Auberjonois) and Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) travel to a moon in the Badlands as they try to track down a Maquis vessel. They wind up in a small cave, where Kira’s foot is caught in an expanding crystal mass, and it appears her foot cannot be removed from this thing.

24:34 – Odo discusses with Nana the idea of LOUIE LOUIE as a therapeutic sea chanty, and somewhere in this conversation, they discover they are both in love with each other.

On Wikipedia, there’s some solid information about the backstory on this particular episode:

The idea of having a character trapped was taken from the Ken Kesey novel “Sometimes a Great Notion” in which a character is trapped under a log and drowned by rising water. (Co-Screenwriter Ira Steven) Behr described the same scene in the 1971 film as “a great scene in a not so great movie”.The episode was intended to be low budget, but heavy on characterization.

At one point it was intended for Odo to sing the 1955 Richard Berry song “Louie Louie”, which the character described as a sea shanty, but producers couldn’t acquire the rights in time.

Full details on this particular back story can be found in Terry Erdmann‘s 2000 book – “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion.”

Neil Innes and the PledgeMusic fiasco

This post has very little to do with LOUIE LOUIE, but it does address a terrible situation that occurred with a rocker we’re quite fond of.

Neil Innes is a brilliant singer-songwriter that created quite a few wonderful, iconic songs over the course of five decades. Sadly, he’s had to deal with some ugly headaches in the music biz. He lost the copyrights to the initial music he wrote as a member of the Rutles when the administrators of the Beatles songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney sued him for plagiarism. Even though he was often considered a “seventh member” of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus, with all the various songs he’s written for the comedy troupe, he had to fight to receive royalties from the Spamalot stage show. Recently, his old Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, made the news when it was discovered the surviving band members had to fight to stop a former promoter from holding their trademark hostage.

You’d think with all the legal nightmares he’s had to endure, it shouldn’t have been a problem for him to utilize a very popular music crowdfunding website to finance his latest musical endeavor… but unfortunately, Neil ran into yet another music biz nightmare when he used Pledge Music.

Neil’s wife Yvonne shared an update on his website:

Monday, 28th October 2019 in Noticeboard.

A message from Yvonne to Neil’s fabulous fans
You will be pleased to hear that I have now worked my way through the names of all the fans who originally Pledged money for the new CD then, when Pledge went belly-up owing all of us a lot of money, re-donated to our GoFundMe account. Thanks to your generosity the CD was finished and your CDs will be sent out this week.

Thanks are also due to many generous people who just wanted to donate to GoFundMe to help with the production of the CD, and we are so grateful for their help. However there might be some people who thought they were actually ordering a CD with their donations. GoFundMe does not give out donor information, like addresses, so if you were one of those please send your name and address to the following email address so we can get the CDs to you – yvonne at

I am hoping that people who lost money when Pledge collapsed, realised that we lost a lot more and have had to rely on people re-donating to GoFundMe in order to get the CD finished. We did advertise this widely but If you did not manage to get your money back or re-donate it I’m afraid we cannot promise to send you a CD. We have honoured the ‘Tee Shirt’ requests as we already had them in stock, and Neil is working his way through the ‘Lyric’ requests as time is the only requirement. We wish we could do more, but we still need every penny we can recoup to pay off all the debts we incurred in making the album when Pledge collapsed, and, hopefully, make the vinyl version sometime in the future.

We would be so grateful if you could share Neil’s two websites on social media. Neil was recently seen and heard by a whole new audience when he accompanied the Bootleg Beatles on their recent tour . We are just waiting for the photographs and they will accompany a short blog about the experience.

On his page, you can see a graphic breakdown on his PledgeMusic pledges.

As someone that contributed to Neil’s campaign, this hits home. While I may not have received all that I was due to get from my contribution, I was thrilled to get one of the items personally sent by Neil and his wife, which they did without the funds that Pledge Music was supposed to give to them.

I’d like to encourage my music and comedy loving friends to support Neil Innes by purchasing some of his products!

Long live Neil Innes and the Rutles

Neil Innes official notice – A message from Yvonne to Neil’s fabulous fans
Neil official page
Dangerous Minds – Neil Innes On The Rutles, ‘Working’ With Lennon & McCartney and Being Impersonated By Elvis!
Daily Mail – Rock legends Bonzo Dog Band win legal ding-dong to put the Doo Dah back into their name
Daily Mail – Monty Python stars are facing a costly new legal action: Neil Innes says gloves are off with Eric Idle over Spamalot royalties
Variety- Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic (FEBRUARY 22, 2019)
Wikipedia – Neil Innes
Big Noise Now – Neil Innes
Wikipedia – PledgeMusic

KeysToTheCaravan – LOUIE Mashup of the Week

Things have been hectic at LOUIE Central, doing all sorts of LL-related things behind the scenes, so to speak, and we haven’t been spending as much time on the blog as we’d like to.

Our friend Joe Maccoll just sent us a LOUIE, which feels like a great version to highlight as a LOUIE of the Week, even if its been awhile since the last one.

To paraphrase Rockin’ Robin Roberts and Jack Ely, let’s give it to ’em right now!

From the YouTube description for this week’s LOUIE by KeysToTheCaravan:

KeysToTheCaravan perform a live mashup cover of Wild Thing/Louie Louie

KeysToTheCaravan are an Aberdeenshire based band currently looking for gigs in the UK and beyond!

Filmed by Terry Walker
Edited by Gregor Carlin
Audio Recorded at Captain Toms

Featuring: Gregor Carlin (Rythm Guitar and Vocals), Callum Ewen (Lead Guitar), Matthew Mckessick (Drums) and Michael Fyffe (Bass and Vocals)

For Contact message us on Facebook at
Email [email protected]

RIP: Don Baskin of Syndicate of Sound (w/ rare LOUIE recording)

We recently lost Don Baskin, singer / founding member of Syndicate of Sound. His death was announced on the Syndicate of Sound Facebook page:

Don Baskin 1946 – 2019

Don died peacefully October 22, 2019 in his sleep. We are all saddened and shocked by Don’s unexpected passing. He was a founding member of the Syndicate of Sound, co-writer of “Little Girl”, and it was his singing performance that “delivered” the song and made it the hit that it continues to be………. So long brother.

The Syndicate of Sound was a rock band from San Jose, California. Don (vocals/guitar) and Bob Gonzalez (bass) were previously in a couple of other bands (Lenny Lee and the Nightmen and the Pharaohs*), before teaming up with John Sharkey (keyboards), Larry Ray (lead guitar), and John Duckworth (drums) to create the Syndicate of Sound in 1964. By the time the band recorded their first album, Larry Ray had left and was replaced by Jim Sawyers. The band eventually disbanded in 1970, then reunited in 1990, continuing to play a handful of shows up until the present.

“Little Girl” was their one and only hit record, reaching the US national pop charts in June 1966, peaking at #5 on Cash Box and #8 on Billboard.

In 2001, the LOUIE team (E.P. and Mr. Block) shot some video of their performance at the BayPop music festival in San Francisco. Here’s an excerpt of an interview which we shot with Don at this music festival, where he discusses the formation of the band and the creation of “Little Girl,” their “one-hit wonder,” which he wrote with Bob Gonzalez

As fate would have it, the Syndicate of Sound actually performed and recorded a live version of LOUIE LOUIE before “Little Girl” was ever released.

Back in September 1965, they performed and recorded this song as part of their live set at the Silver Dollar Saloon, a teen dance club inside the Frontier Village amusement park in San Jose.

Thanks to Bob Gonzalez, I’m sharing this ultra rare recording of LOUIE LOUIE, which features Larry Ray on lead vocals. This particular recording was only released as a bonus flexi-disc for the first 100 copies of Cream Puff War magazine, issue #2, which I believe came out in 1993. The label claims it was a 1966 performance, but Bob assures me that it was actually from a 1965 show.

Here’s a rare live photo of the original configuration of the band from that period, featuring from left to right: Bob Gonzalez, John Duckworth, Don Baskin, John Sharkey, and Larry Ray.

Speaking of “Little Girl,” here’s a previously-unreleased video clip of that particular song from the very last Syndicate of Sound concert I attended – live at the Blank Club, San Jose on March 28, 2014.

Rest in peace, Don. You shall not be forgotten.

Syndicate of Sound – official page
Syndicate of Sound – Facebook page
Syndicate of Sound – Wikipedia page

* = No relation or any memories of any other bands that shared that name in early 1960s.

Update on KFJC 60th Anniversary

Last Sunday, October 20th, KFJC Radio held an Open House as part of their 60th Anniversary celebration.

As many of you probably know, KFJC Radio was the place where the legendary “Maximum LOUIE LOUIE” marathon took place many decades ago. Songwriter Richard Berry met original Kingsmen vocalist Jack Ely for the very first time, and together, they performed a 45 minute version of LOUIE LOUIE, backed by the Lady Bo Trio. When this event finally ended 63 hours later, there were over 800 unique versions that were broadcast, and Richard’s life was forever changed by this experience.

It was wonderful to run into a lot of friends from the KFJC community, including a lot of disc jockeys that participated in the big LOUIE marathon, including Jeff Stretch Riedle, Doc Pelzel, Cookie Baker, Buddy Awreetus, J.C. Clone, Al Monday, Sherman Peabody, Robert Emmett, Cory, Danny Detroit, Keith Sparks, Spliff Skankin, Hawkeye Joe and probably some others that escaped my memories…

Here’s a few of the KFJC folks, most of who were part of that part of that LOUIE Marathon …

Top row, from left to right – Cookie Baker, Kenny King, J.C. Clone, Hawkeye Joe, Sherman Peabody, and Robert Emmett. Bottom row, from left to right – Cory and E.P.

One of the local newspapers, the (San Jose) Metro had a big cover story on the KFJC 60th Anniversary, which mentions the LOUIE marathon.

It’s an excellent article, but there’s four statements that I would take issue with.

1) “Inspired by the marathon, Rhino Records released a “Louie Louie” double-album compilation, for which Doc wrote the liner notes.”

Actually, the Rhino “Best of LOUIE LOUIE” LP wasn’t so much inspired by the marathon, but was more of a project that was released in conjunction with the marathon. Rhino Records was thinking about putting out a LOUIE LOUIE compilation, and this turned into a coordinated effort working with KFJC Radio, releasing the album on the first day of the LOUIE marathon.

It was a single album. The second Best of LOUIE LOUIE” LP came out a years later.

2) “In 1959, Richard Berry was just 24, a poor artist trying to get enough money together to marry his sweetheart.”

In 1957, Richard sold the rights to LOUIE LOUIE and three other songs, and then married his girlfriend Dorothy Adams not long afterwards on March 23rd. A few weeks later, LOUIE LOUIE was unveiled to the world in early April as the flip side to Flip Record release of “You Are My Sunshine.”

3) “About 30 hours into Maximum “Louie Louie,” Berry got a call from an artists’ rights firm. Having heard about the marathon, they wanted to help him get the rights to the song back.”

Richard Berry had already enlisted the services of the Artists Rights Enforcement organization before he participated in the KFJC event. That being said, this event made the negotiations easier to pursue, especially as this LOUIE event became the subject of a front page article of the Wall Street Journal*.

4) “(Richard Berry) still didn’t make as much money as he should have, but at least he was able to end his life by reuniting with his family, playing music with his son and driving a Cadillac.”

A few things to note:
– From what I’ve been told, Richard was always there for his kids and ex-wives, so there was never a need for any type of “reunion.”
– As far as I know, Richard didn’t own any Cadillacs. The main vehicle I remember him driving was a truck that was photographed for Art Fein‘s book “The L.A. Musical History Tour,” which you can see in this picture below this paragraph.

For the record, LOUIE LOUIE was written in 1955 by Richard Berry at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, California. According to Dorothy, at that particular time, Richard was living with his father at another house in Los Angeles, and not the one shown in the photograph.

Here’s a snippet of the video featuring Richard Berry, Jack Ely and the Lady Bo Trio at the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE event.

Here’s a group shot I created of the KFJC staff – one year before the LOUIE marathon.

E.P. of

* The August 25, 1983 issue of the Wall Street Journal is the one to find. It’s not easy to access via an online search, so visit your local library if you care to view it.

Reference Links:

(San Jose) Metro – (webpage title) “Rebel Radio” / (newspaper title) “Alternative Airwaves” / (cover story) “No Rules Radio”
Metro PDF – downloadable issues
Celebrating KFJC Radio 60 Year Anniversary
Memories of KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE

RIP: Kim Shattuck, of the Muffs, the Pandoras and the Coolies

This week, I was shocked and saddened to learn that Kim Shattuck passed away.

Kim was a rock ‘n’ roll woman blessed with a wealth of charisma and a wicked sense of humor. As New York Times so eloquently pointed out, she was a member of the “vanguard of punk bands crashing into the mainstream in the 1990s,” that somehow a found a way to “combine bubble-gum melodies with roaring guitars.”

Those of us that had the good fortune to have known Kim, understood completely why she would inspire the creation of a Facebook group entitled “Kim Shattuck please marry me.” She had that special type of charm.

I met Kim a few decades ago when she was a member of The Pandoras, and did an in-store appearance at Streetlight Records in San Jose, CA. I wound up shooting a short segment of the band talking about their “LOUIE LOUIE Moment” (which I’m sharing at the bottom of this web post).

Over the years, I’d often see Kim perform with The Muffs, the band she and Melanie Vammen created after they both left the Pandoras. They’d often play at Marsugi’s, one of my favorite local venues in the Bay Area, sometimes collaborating with our mutual friends Myke Destiny and the performance artist known as the PieMan.

I lost track of Kim for a handful of years, but reconnected after the emergence of Facebook social media and the Muffs reunion at the Burger Boogaloo in Oakland, CA

I was happy to learn of The Coolies, her brand new band with longtime pal Melanie Vammen and Palmyra Delran of The Friggs . Their debut EP was designed as a benefit for the ALS Association, but I had no idea that she was suffering with this awful disease.

She passed away on Wednesday, October 2nd, after a two-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a nerve condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

On Wednesday, Kim’s husband, Kevin Sutherland, posted a wedding photo and announced her passing…

Bandmates, peers and fans posted tributes all over social media after Kim’s death. Here’s a handful of ’em..

Melanie Vammen:

Yesterday I kissed my beautiful and talented BFF Kim Shattuck goodbye. When you left part of me left with you. But also know part of you stays with me. I am heartbroken but know you will always live on with me and everything I do. We’ve been friends for over 34 yrs. A friendship that was meant to be. From that very first day we met we knew how special in life we would be to each other. We were and will always be musical soulmates! We have created incredible music together in three bands… The Pandoras, The Muffs, The Coolies that will last a lifetime. I feel so honored to have done this with you my BFF. Wow what a journey! Exciting, fun, funny, happy but also sad too. We lost each other for some amount of time but realized what a void it was not having each other. When we reconnected it was like no time had passed. We picked up where we left off and the love had never left. Something we shared together was a sick and the funniest sense of humor ever. Man you all would be shocked at what fun we can have! Our shenanigans are legendary (at least in our minds). Kim you are the most badass person I know! When you were diagnosed with ALS two years ago you stood strong and said I’m going to fight this. I know how scared you were but you never gave up. You were always yourself and continued life and adapted to the struggles that wracked your body through this horrific disease. You told me you wanted to make new memories with me and oh boy did we!! You were the one that said “hey let’s start posting pictures of Melanie & Kim” and you named it #MelanieAndKimMonday. I will never stop posting these and you know this! You also wished you could have a band with Palmyra and I. Omg we made it happen!!! You named the band The Coolies from a comment Palmyra made. You worked so hard through this project and we know how special it was to you. I know you and I were meant to be in one last band together. We did it!! One of our proudest accomplishments! And there’s more Coolies to come!! Kim I cherish every moment we’ve shared together. I’m grateful for the last two years of being with you nonstop, holding hands, telling stories of our crazy wild adventures, going through photos of our lives, creating new music together, listening to your playlists that you worked so hard on, our sleepovers, pranks, watching movies and most of all… knowing how much love we have for each other. We will speak to each other in dreams. Kim my Gazoo I LOVE YOU! You are my hero! ❤️ Melanie

Cindy Lee Berryhill:

I’m so sorry to see her go. She was a wild and bright spirit with great guitar chops, a panthers scream, great songs and a rad sense of style. I’d only just gotten to know her a few years ago. We’d shared that we dug each other’s music and both had an affinity for mid 1960s music. I sent her an iPhone video of myself singing Herman’s Hermits “Im Leaning On A Lamppost” once cuz I knew it from memory and she did too. I’m sad to see her go , may her spirit fly with the great legendary and influential rockers that came before her, she is one of them.

Billie Joe Armstrong:

So sad to hear the news about Kim. She was always so cool and tough. All my interactions with her were great. She was one of my favorite song writers. When we recorded dookie we listened to the first Muffs record constantly. We will hear that rock n roll scream from heaven.

Veruca Salt:

Heartbroken about Kim. One of the all time greats. How could anyone be such a brilliant pop songwriter, singer, screamer, and such a total punk-rock badass, and be so insanely cute at the same time? No one funnier or cooler. We love you, Kim

Here’s a video of a Muffs song which seems very appropriate this week. The song is called “Sad Tomorrow.”

And finally, here’s a video of Kim Shattuck, Melanie Vammen, Sheri Kaplan, and Lissa Beltri, 4 out of 5 Pandoras (everyone but Paula Pierce, who wasn’t feeling well that day) talking about that special song at Streetlight Records, San Jose, CA on May 26, 1990.

My heart goes out to her family, friends and all those who loved her.
Kim was special.


L.A. Weekly – Kim Shattuck Takes Her Final Holiday, 1963-2019
NY Times – Kim Shattuck, Musician Who Fronted the Muffs, Is Dead at 56
NPR – Kim Shattuck, An Enduring Presence In L.A. Punk, Dead At 56
Rhino – R.I.P., Kim Shattuck of The Muffs
Variety – The Roxy, Amoeba Records, Neko Case Pay Tribute to Late Muffs Singer Kim Shattuck
Rolling Stone – Kim Shattuck, Muffs Founder and Singer, Dead at 56
Facebook group – Kim Shattuck please marry me
Wikipedia – The Pandoras


Palmyra Delran shared a reminder on Facebook about the last musical project Kim worked on….

A third pressing of “Uh Oh! It’s The Coolies!” is now available from Wicked Cool Records. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to The ALS Association Golden West Chapter under Kim Shattuck’s name. Please make a donation and get an EP.

BandCamp – Uh Oh! It’s​.​.​. The Coolies