The First and Long-Lost LOUIE LOUIE plaque of Portland?

Last month, I was shocked when I stumbled upon a certain LOUIE LOUIE plaque being sold on eBay.

The Kingsmen Louie Louie cast bronze dedication plaque Vintage
14 inch x 20 inch Mint condition
This Item has been in my store as a display item for the past 20 years it has a board mounted to the back and Velcro attached to it so we could hang it on the display wall
would look great in your music room or office

The 1993 LOUIE LOUIE plaque of Portland, Oregon

This looked exactly like the plaque installed by the Oregon Historic Society on July 3, 1993 at the former site of Northwestern Inc., the former recording studio in Portland where both the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders both recorded the song LOUIE LOUIE in April 1963. This special event was attended by Richard Berry – the original singer-songwriter of LOUIE LOUIE; four of the original Kingsmen that recorded this song; Mike Korgan aka “Ken Chase” – the original producer of the Kingsmen recording, Roger Hart – producer and manager of Paul Revere & the Raiders, and Robert Lindahl – the original owner and chief engineer of Northwestern Inc.

Richard Berry, Roger Hart (Portland DJ and former manager of Paul Revere & the Raiders), Mike Mitchell (partial view) and Chet Orloff of the Oregon Historical Society.

The Kingsmen semi-reunion of 1993 = Dick Peterson, Bob Nordby (hidden behind Dick), Jack Ely, Mike Mitchell, Lynn Easton, Norm Sunholm, Barry Curtis, Todd McPherson

Marlene and Robert Lindahl (original owner/ operator of Northwestern Inc recording studio). I have no idea these other people are…

A few years later, this plaque was stolen and never seen again, or so we thought. As fate would have it, this plaque had some misinformation on it (the Kingsmen did not record the song on April 13th), and a brand new plaque was installed at the same location in 2013 ….. which was later taken down when it also became a casualty of vandalism.

When I saw this eBay listing, I immediately thought it was the long-lost first plaque. Was it stolen, and then displayed at a record store in Martinsburg, West Virginia for 20 years?

I reached out to members of Oregon Historic Society to see if they had any interest in recovering this lost plaque, but received no response.* (SEE UPDATE AT END OF ARTICLE)

I also alerted my friend Sean Ely, son of Jack Ely, the original Kingsmen vocalist, who was super-excited to see this thing being sold! Sean reached out to the seller, and received assurance that this plaque was NOT the original stolen plaque.

Sean did wind up buying this plaque, which he just received this week.

I can’t think of a better person to give this special plaque a loving home.

Sean Ely – new owner of the 1993 LOUIE replicant plaque

Jack Ely and Sean Ely at the 1999 Courtmen reunion at Seaside, Oregon, featuring a photo bomb by Courtmen guitarist Wally Todd and a partial view of promoter John Thoennes between Jack and Sean.

Apparently, I missed the reply from O.H.S., which somehow got lost in my email pile.

Here’s the reply I received from Nicole Yasuhara, Deputy Museum Director of O.H.S.:

Thank you for contacting the Oregon Historical Society. I appreciate you taking the time to contact us about this listing. The plaque is not the property of OHS, it appears it was dedicated by OHS, but the plaque was likely gifted to the building, and they would be the owners.

I did forward your email to our security department to report the listing to local authorities.

Reference Links:
The (Temporary) Rebirth of a Recording Studio
The Portland LOUIE celebration of September 2013 – the Lindahl report

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