Greetings from Portland – the Mike Mitchell memorial + the LOUIE plaques

Two weeks ago, yours truly made a little visit to Portland, Oregon.

I wanted to pay my respects to Mike Mitchell, a founding member of the Kingsmen. From 1967 until his passing this year, he was the only member of the original band that recorded LOUIE LOUIE that was still part of the Kingsmen in 2021. He passed away on April 16th – his 77th birthday.

On Sunday, September 26th, there was a celebration of Mike’s life at the Aladdin Theater in Portland. There was music and memories shared by friends and family of Mike Mitchell.

Mike’s last incarnation of the Kingsmen, led by longtime member Dick Peterson, featuring Mike’s Brother Dennis Mitchell, provided most of the music that evening, joined by Mike’s son Max Mitchell on bass, special guests Mike Skill (of the Romantics), Tommy Tutone, Greg Georegeson, Danny Schauffler, Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson guitarist), and various others whose names escape me. Phil “Fang” Volk and Jim Valley also performed a short set as an abbreviated version of Paul Revere & the Raiders, assisted by Alex Hart (son of longtime Raiders manager Roger Hart) on drums.

The program began with assorted video testimonies from friends of Mike, which included both Paul Shaffer and Will Lee of David Letterman‘s old TV show, Merilee Rush, Gary U.S. Bonds, Arnel Pineda of Journey and original Kingsmen member Don (Gallucci) Caverhill, among others.

I was fortunate to be able to document this evening with the assistance of my friend and LOUIE associate producer David Jester of Pro Video Productions of Portland. You can see some of that footage at the end of this post, with more to come later.

All in all, it was a great evening to celebrate Mike’s life. Hats off to Terry Currier and Alex Hart for producing this fine event.

While I was in town, I was able to obtain some relatively rare archival footage and shoot some new segments for this documentary of mine, including some moments with the current caretakers of the two LOUIE LOUIE plaques (1993 + 2013) – Sean Ely (son of Jack) and Terry Currier (co-producer of event / owner of Music Millenium / chairman of Oregon Music Hall of Fame).

In closing, here’s a snippet from Mike Mitchell’s memorial. This is the big LOUIE LOUIE finale, featuring a lot of guitar solos as a special way of paying tribute to the guitar legacy of Mike Mitchell.*

I’ll try share more clips from that show…which are still being assembled..

– E.P. of


* – Yes, we know that Mike Mitchell replicated Rich Dangel‘s guitar work on the Rockin’ Robin Roberts (Wailers) LOUIE LOUIE recording of 1961. Mike has acknowledged that in interviews.

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