RIP: Danny Mihm, drummer with Flamin’ Groovies

I’m saddened to report the passing of Danny Mihm, former drummer of the Flamin’ Groovies and the Phantom Movers. This marks the third death of a member of the Flamin’ Groovies within the past 10 months, as we lost Michael Wilhem in May 2019 and Roy Loney in December 2019… (with absolutely no connection to the current virus crisis)

Danny passed away on March 26th. He was the drummer for the Groovies from 1967 until 1973, playing on the first three albums, and was also part of the 1983 reunion.

James Ferrell, a dear friend of Danny / bandmate with Flamin’ Groovies and the Phantom Movers shared these memories..

Daniel Jon Mihm was my best friend for nearly 50 years. We met when I joined the Flamin’ Groovies and we hit it off immediately. We found we had a lot in common; a very high quotient of snide humor, a deep interest in history, particularly military history, probably as both our fathers had served in the military and an abiding love for blues and rhythm and blues. We usually roomed together when whatever band we were in was touring and over the years shared a lot of joyful, and some not so joyful, experiences. A tremendous drummer, Danny was always the best musician in every band we were in. He contributed a great deal to every song he played on with his ideas, energy and talent, though he never got any songwriting credit. Just listen to anything he played on, his ferocious tempo and his driving force powers the music. And everywhere he was he would have pencil and paper in hand making these marvelous drawings, just for the enjoyment of it. If you were very lucky you would get a letter or a card with an envelope decorated in his inimitable style. It was hard not to like Dan, he was charming, witty, gregarious, full of fun and his large personality drew people to him wherever he went. He had his demons and could be most difficult if the mood was on him but it was impossible to hold a grudge against him. He was just being Danny. He deserves a lot bigger place in the history of rock and roll than he has gotten but he will live forever in the hearts of his friends and fans and in the deep grooves of the recordings he was so important to.

Larry Levy, another friend of Danny / bandmate with Phantom Movers, posted these words on his Facebook wall:

Danny was by far one the hugest influences on my life, musically and personally. He was the sweetest toughest person I ever met. He was so fun and joyous and hysterical and emotional and so explosive a guy. A young and an old person in one…a powerful leader and a loyal follower…..he hated pizza, beer, sneakers, stupidity, Mick Jagger, many French people and some kinds of cheese. He loved songs, fistfighting, cognac, snuff, art, smart people, drawing, Mary Travers, history, Catherine Deneuve, Elvis, The Duelists, Bo Diddley and laughing. He taught me how to be on stage. I loved him the minute I met him. When my first son Jake was born, Danny drew an incredible sketch of him. We met once in The Cannery for lunch and he handed me a Jewish star that he had found and had saved for me. I was the “kid” of the Phantom Movers / Flamin’ Groovies family and backstage at a gig at the Whiskey, Danny pulled me aside and said “You know, you’re as good as any of these guys.” Once Danny told a story and concluded by saying, “…but that’s an old wives’ tale…just ask any of my old wives.”…No one played drums like Danny. It was like riding on the back of a motorcycle with the driver going instantly too fast – such an indescribable feeling. My world is a lonelier place without him. I hope he is better off. I love you, Danny…..

David Wees, aka Stinky LaPew of Buck Naked & the Bottom Boys, wrote this about his old friend:

It hurts me deeply to learn of my dearest friend, Danny Mihm’s passing. We have spent so much time working together, in bands and kitchens. He was a supreme artist and friend. We shared common dedication to our art, music, and sports. I am completely gutted. I will hold his memory in my heart forever.
Rest in Peace my brother.

Tom Sagehorn, music enthusiast and longtime friend of the LOUIE project, sent this message to a handful of kindred spirits:

Another huge loss in the music world. It was such an honor to see him with the Flamin Groovies and the Phantom Movers as well.
A hard hitting and tight drummer, Danny was pound for pound as good as anybody I ever saw. I have seen hundreds of shows…..
The Rolling Stones (among others) were publicly envious of the Danny- era “Teenage Head” album, and they made no secret of their musical admiration.

Danny was not only a great drummer, but he was also a gifted illustrator. Here’s a few samples of his work..

Did we mention that Danny played drums on a killer version of LOUIE LOUIE? (this is the live 1970 Matrix rehearsal version)

Rest in peace, Danny.

REFERENCE LINKS:

Discogs – Danny Mihm biography

WikiPedia – Flamin’ Groovies

Noise11.com – Danny Mihm of The Flamin’ Groovies Dies After Stroke

LOUIE bits of March 2020 – Clay Day!

As March 2020 comes to close with minimal blog activity, this seemed like a good time to do a little recycling to make up for lost time.

Our friend Clay Stabler has shared some assorted LOUIE bits over at the LOUIE Party located at Facebook, so with his permission, we’re bringing mo these bits to the Louie Report…

As fate would have it, today is also Clay’s birthday, so please join me in celebrating this very special day… which also happens to be my brother Tom’s birthday!

Cheers!
E.P.

_______________

1) Here’s one for Stretch: Mick Fleetwood pounding out LL back in 1985. Anyone know more about this performance? – Clay

2) Scott Baio does LL! Here’s another TV show version from Full House S3E9 with Scott Baio, John Stamos, and cast. The John Stamos and David Coulier version on Full House S7E3 was documented on the Louie Report back in January 2019. – Clay

3) Here’s one for Mike Hintze: Some Berlin night club ‘borrowed’ your 2005 Nicholas Hintze version to advertise a special Louie Louie night show way back in 2007. – Clay

4) Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth talks about the influence of Louie Louie. – Clay

5) For those with some time on their (well-washed) hands, here’s a video of Dr. Christopher Doll‘s 2014 lecture at the Rock Hall of Fame on the history of 60s R&R with special emphasis on the impact of the “three chord vamp” from LL. Our own EP gets a mention in the Q&A session at the end! This will all be familiar to our LLAMAS members, but it’s still worth a listen.

Dr. Doll also wrote an article for the 2012 Indiana Theory Review that digs even deeper into the music theory of LL and similar songs:

https://www.academia.edu/2137366/A_Tale_of_Two_Louies_Interpreting_an_Archetypal_American_Musical_Icon_

Some dense reading, but several excellent points about how Richard Berry transformed the riff and how LL is, per Frank Zappa, an “Archetypal American Music Icon” in rock music history. Again our own EP gets a mention in a footnote! – Clay

6) Been doing some serious LL searching whilst self-quarantined. The LL discography on Wikipedia is now at 3000+ versions and still growing. Will share some of my discoveries as we approach International Louie Louie Day 2020. – Clay

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louie_Louie_discography

Current total version count for all known LOUIE LOUIE recordings as of March 27, 2020 (10:56 am PDT): 3200

Incredible work! Thank you again, Clay!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

LOUIE for March 2020

My friend Joe Maccoll shared this one.

A fine little meme, it waits for me…

UPDATE – MORE VARIATIONS!

I just created this subreddit dedicated to all things Louie Louie.
https://www.reddit.com/r/LouieLouie/

Also attached is the WashYourLyrics meme, using the Iggy Pop version of the song.

Craig Clark

… and while it’s not a LOUIE-specific meme, here’s a variation of that meme that references a LOUIE-enlightened artist…

This is my pick!
David Richoux

a cool Richard Berry photo with Wanda Coleman and Michelle T. Clinton

© Heather Harris

My friend Heather Harris shared this wonderful photograph on Facebook!

For Black History Month, one of the most important persons ever in Rock & Roll: this man wrote “Louie, Louie.” Richard Berry flanked by Wanda Coleman and Michelle T. Clinton.

Heather shared some history on how this photo happened..

I did the art direction and design for Black Angeles, a spoken word album by Michelle T. Clinton and Wanda Coleman on New Alliance, produced by Harvey Kubernik, released 1988. This is my primary clue that my photo of the two poets with Richard Berry was taken in 1988 at a spoken word event at the Ash Grove in 1988. This was taken backstage with no flash, under a bare lightbulb. Someone must have pointed out Richard Berry to me, whereupon I insisted that this important songwriter musician pose with my two clients.

To see more of Heather’s wonderful photographs, please visit:

heatherharris.net
fastfilm1.blogspot.com

The Unlikely Adventure of Emma Berquist

Today’s post may not seem to have any obvious LOUIE connections, but it’s a human story that I thought was worth sharing.

This post refers to a scary real life story of Emma Berquist, who survived a terrible assault in New Zealand.

Emma is the daughter of my friend and film school teacher Lon Berquist.

Lon was in charge of the public access TV program that I used when I borrowed some video gear to document a crazy LOUIE LOUIE marathon at KFJC Radio many years ago, which somehow became the starting point for this LOUIE documentary quest that this website is connected to.

Emma lived in “dangerous cities” in the USA, but got attacked, and almost killed in “peaceful” New Zealand.

Emma’s story is a scary one, but it’s well written and has a good ending (she survived).

In fact, I enjoyed so much I decided to subscribe to Medium.com, the website that shared Emma’s story.

Check it out…

Baby We’ll Be Fine – by Emma Berquist

MIA at the 2020 Grammy Awards? (the forgotten ones)

Many of us were excited when we found out that Iggy Pop would be receiving his lifetime achievement award at the Grammy Awards last Sunday. We figured there would be a special ceremony where someone would say some nice words and then we’d witness a musical performance that celebrated the musical legacy of this man.

We watched the whole show, sometimes fast-forwarding through the commercials and a few less-than-stellar performances. We did see a small tribute for fellow lifetime achievement award winner John Prine delivered by Bonnie Raitt, but when the four hour show finally came to an end, we asked ourselves… “What happened to Iggy?”

As it turned out, we missed the part of the program that focused on all of the lifetime achievement awards of 2020. Sandwiched in between Demi Lovato‘s performance and the Nipsey Hussle tribute, there was a very small segment on these awards, sort of wedged within a long commercial break. Iggy Pop, along with Roberta Flack, Isaac Hayes, John Prine, Public Enemy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe were each given a brief acknowledgement of these special awards.

Iggy’s segment lasted all of 5 seconds. If you sneezed at the wrong moment, you would have missed it… which is exactly what happened to us at LOUIE Central.

According to the official Grammy page, a special award presentation ceremony and concert celebrating the honorees will be held on April 18, 2020, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Additional details regarding the ceremony will be announced shortly.

So we’ll save that celebration of Iggy Pop for later…

In the meantime, we did enjoy much the rest of the show, even if our favorite parts typically involved the elaborate dance sequences.

As always, there was a special segment designed to acknowledge the dearly departed, and we were glad to see our friend Kim Shattuck of the Muffs and the Pandoras acknowledged, as well as kindred spirits Dick Dale, Neil Innes, Gary Stewart, Roky Erickson, Daniel Johnson, Dr. John, among others.

That being said, we thought there were a few people that should have been included in this list, so here’s our special addendum …

RIP: Dorothy Berry

Dorothy Berry‘s passing didn’t receive a lot of attention outside of her immediate circle of family and friends, but her musical legacy is certainly worth noting. As the high school sweetheart and wife of singer-songwriter Richard Berry, she had a direct impact on the the legend of the song LOUIE LOUIE. She was with Richard when he wrote the song and the publishing rights to that song were sold to pay for her wedding ring. In addition to being the primary muse for Richard, whom she was married to for ten years, she was also a solo recording artist that worked with 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, eventually joining Ray as a member of his Raelettes in 1971, playing music all over the globe for over 10 years.

RIP: Roy Loney, founding member of Flamin’ Groovies

Roy Loney was a founding member and original lead singer of the Flamin’Groovies, a highly-influential San Francisco band that began in 1965, releasing three albums before Roy left the band. According to various sources, the last album featuring Roy – “Teenage Head” was considered so similar to the music of the Rolling Stones that Mick Jagger considered it a better album than their own “Sticky Fingers” album, both of which were released in 1971.

During Roy’s time with the Groovies, the band also became concert promoters for a brief period. After Bill Graham pulled out of the original Fillmore Auditorium to create the new Fillmore West on Van Ness, the Groovies took over the lease of the building, putting on a handful of shows, and renting out the hall for special occasions. The most memorable show they ever promoted was a concert in 1970 that included Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Commander Cody, an amazing super-bill that failed to draw a crowd, contributing to their early retirement as concert promoters.

After Roy left the Groovies in the early 70s, he went to work as a talent scout for ABC Records before forming the Phantom Movers, a roots band, which Rolling Stone magazine labelled as “punkabilly.”

RIP: Don Baskin of Syndicate of Sound

Don Baskin was a founding member and lead singer for Syndicate of Sound, a band from San Jose, California. They had a hit record with “Little Girl,” reached the US national pop charts in June 1966, peaking at #5 on Cash Box and #8 on Billboard.

RIP: Robert Hunter, songwriter for Grateful Dead

Robert Hunter was an American lyricist, singer-songwriter, translator, and poet, best known for his work with the Grateful Dead. Robert wrote lyrics for quite a few of the Grateful Dead’s signature pieces, including “Dark Star”, “Ripple”, “Truckin'”, “China Cat Sunflower”, and “Terrapin Station”

RIP: Mike Wilhelm of the Charlatans, Flamin’ Groovies, Loose Gravel

Michael Wilhelm was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the influential Bay Area band the Charlatans, who have been widely credited as starting the Haight-Ashbury psychedelic scene during the 1960s. He also played with the bands Loose Gravel and the Flamin’ Groovies.

RIP: Peggy Lipton, actress + singer

Peggy Lipton was an American actress, model, and singer. As a singer, three of Lipton’s singles landed on the Billboard charts.

RIP: Barrie Jackson, manager of Wailers, Sonics

Barrie Jackson was a manager of the Sonics and the (Fabulous) Wailers, two great bands from Tacoma, Washington.

(amazing photo © Marilyn K Wagner / San Jose Fountain Blues Fest)

RIP: Ted Gehrke, San Jose blues king

Ted Gehrke was the founder of the San Jose Foundation Blues Festival, the longest-running blues music festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.

RIP: Tom Guido, garage rock impresario of North Beach SF

Tom Guido was responsible for reviving the legendary Purple Onion, a nightclub in San Francisco that began in the 1950s, and found a new lease on life in the 1990s. From 1994 until 1999, Mr. Guido provided a warm home for this music we like to to call “garage rock.”

Can you think of any other great musicians or music industry folks that we lost within the past year that didn’t get proper attention at the Grammys?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in these comments…
________________________________

Reference Link:
Grammy.com – 2020 Special Merit Awards Recipient Announced

LOUIE Micro-Mentions #1 (Don Imus, John Fogerty, Frank Zappa)

It’s time to make note of a special category of LOUIE moments.

LOUIE Micro-Mentions“- is the special type of moment when the song LOUIE LOUIE is mentioned, but not performed.

We’ll start off with these three Micro-Mentions…

1) Don Imus, the controversial disk jockey that recently passed away last month, released a LOUIE-related 45 in 1964.

As our friend Clark Besch pointed out, “The Boogala,” the B-side of “I’m A Hot Rodder” by Jay Jay Imus and Freddy Ford (Don Imus and his brother Fred), mentions LOUIE in the opening.


https://youtu.be/qrEsWlwz9Ng

2) On the October 19, 2015 episode of Conan O’Brien‘s TBS show, John Fogerty was asked to sing “a little something” with a guitar that was conveniently placed near Conan’s interview couch.

“What would you like, a little LOUIE LOUIE?” Fogerty asked, but didn’t play. (Conan wanted a Forgerty song)

Thanks to Len Sarfati for sharing this one!


https://youtu.be/qJUxdhbxqfg

3) Frank Zappa asks “Do you want Grace Slick to sing LOUIE LOUIE?” at a Zappa & Mothers of Invention late show November 14, 1970 at the Fillmore East, New York City. (05:29)


https://youtu.be/lDRUvpDmsyQ

More to come….

Days of Christmas LOUIE – part 3

Today, the “Days of Christmas LOUIE” celebrations comes to an end.

Our friend Clay Stabler shared the remaining LOUIE LOUIE clips over at the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group as part of a “Days of Christmas” theme, starting the new year with Day 8.

On the 8th day of Christmas (and the 1st day of 2020) — “Lui Lui Non Ha” from I Mitomani.


https://www.reverbnation.com/imitomani/song/4570696-lui-lui-non-ha

On the 9th day of Christmas — LL by Havanasol (channeling Axl Rose).


https://soundcloud.com/havanasol/louie-louie

On the 10th day of Christmas — a laid back version by the Once Removed Blues Band featuring Ruth Israel.


https://soundcloud.com/ruthisrael/louie-louie-kingsmen-blues

On the 11th day of Christmas — a vintage LL version by the XSonics from the mid-60’s:


https://soundcloud.com/melanie-mousel/louie-louie

On the 12th (and final) day of Christmas — Deep Purple does LL in concert (Rome, 2017). Unfortunately this video cuts off in the middle of the track! Jon Lord (died 2012) was also noted for quoting LL in “Lazy” (see The Louie Report, 7/12/2012). The Made In Japan album has a fine example.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax33CZPZgKo

For some of my friends that may not be familiar with the concept of celebrating 12 Days of Christmas after Christmas, I share this solid overview summarized in an article “When Should Tree You Take Down Your Christmas and Decorations?” from (UK) Independent. (please support this paper – please subscribe!

Confusion is rife as to when Christmas is formally over – and after exactly which evening decorations are said to bring you bad luck.

Christmas, which combines the marking of Jesus Christ’s birth with the old pagan date for mid-winter celebrations, formally begins on 25 December.

That and the following 11 days count as “Christmas”, with each day in the past celebrated for its own special reason – from commemorating St Stephen the martyr on the 26th to remembering the baby boys slain by King Herod on the 28th.

One of these days is celebrated as Twelfth Night – the last and final one of Christmas – and marks the coming of the Magi, or three wise men, to the baby Jesus on behalf of the rich and noble around the world.

A count of exactly 12 days from 25 December arrives at 5 January. According to the Church of England, Twelfth Night is 5 January, and the day of Epiphany – when the three wise men came – is 6 January.

Celebrate this Epiphany!

REFERENCE LINKS:

the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group

UK Independent – When Should Tree You Take Down Your Christmas and Decorations?

Epiphany, the Feast of The Three Kings

The Latest List of All Known Versions of LOUIE LOUIE

With the beginning of the new year, we thought this would be a good time to acknowledge the latest efforts to answer the question “How many versions of LOUIE LOUIE are there, anyways?”

Our friend Clay Stabler has created a special Wikipedia page to answer that very question.

“Making progress on the LL discography on Wikipedia, but am finding more than I bargained for. Currently at 2300 entries with another 550+ yet to be added from YouTube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, Soundclick, etc. Looks like the total will be well north of 2850. With the inevitable additions over the next few years, I predict 3000 versions in the near future.”

This has been quite an undertaking. Clay’s discography Wikipedia page has included the initial LOUIE discography by Jeff Stretch Riedle + Doc Pelzel that was included in Dave Marsh’s 1993 book; the KFJC log sheets + air checks from the 1983 Maximum LOUIE LOUIE event; Theo de Grood’s LOUIE Pages website; Mike Hintze’s multiple lists at louielouieweb; Andy Martello’s webpage; the Orme Radio Italian LL Marathon playlist; Real Music Club Radio Show playlists; Discogs; Allmusic; 45catcom pages;IMDb and various other sources as well as the EP’s Almost-Complete LL Discography from these LouieLouie.net pages.

It should be noted that the Wikipedia is a limited online database, where brevity is the norm. A comprehensive online LOUIE database featuring expanded information, graphics and links is still in the planning stage.

This is very much a work in progress to be continued…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louie_Louie_discography

Days of Christmas LOUIE – part 2

It’s time for part 2 of the recycled cool versions of LOUIE LOUIE shared by our friend Clay Stabler originally over at the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group as part of a “Days of Christmas” theme.

…

On the 5th day of Christmas — a fine version by Kelly Melvin. Sounds a bit like Green Day!


https://soundcloud.com/kellymelvin/louie-louie

On the 6th day of Christmas — Greek hip hop LL by Dynasis (with Richard Berry remix intro). We’ve come a long way since 1957.

https://www.reverbnation.com/%CE%94%CE%A5%CE%9D%CE%91%CE%A3%CE%99%CE%A3/song/11361330-dynasisloui-loui

On the 7th day of Christmas — Shuffle dancers! LL soundtrack by Cid Pleasant & The Buckaroos.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYMq7gB4isw

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For the updated list and even more very special LOUIE tidbits, please visit the Facebook LOUIE LOUIE PARTY group at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/68073899480/