It’s taken two weeks to process, but I am proud to announce that I not only survived, but absolutely thrived at the recent 24 hour LOUIE LOUIE marathon in Portland, Oregon.
I admit there was some hesitation on my part. There were a lot of things I was juggling when I first heard about this event, and I didn’t buy airline tickets in advance when the price was reasonable. I wound up waiting until a few days before the event before I made the big decision to drive solo 700 miles to this event.
Portland has some substantial history with the song LOUIE LOUIE. Two bands from this region, the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders, recorded their version of the song, a few days apart, at the same recording studio in Portland. Both of these bands had a manager that worked as a DJ at KISN, a prominent Portland radio station. Both of these bands saw their recordings of the song achieve significant attention in the national charts. For Revere & the Raiders, that recording was their first record for Columbia Records, as they were signed in 1963 as the first rock band for the world’s largest record company. For the Kingsmen, their record became a #1 hit record in the Cash Box charts, and a #2 hit record in the Billboard charts (denied the #1 spot by the Singing Nun’s “Dominique”.
In the past, Portland has celebrated the song LOUIE LOUIE with a handful of special events with two plaque ceremonies (20 years apart) that commemorated the historic recordings of the Kingsmen and the Raiders at the former recording studio; a unique abstract sculpture with LOUIE LOUIE theme at a Federal office building, and a recent mural that celebrates the Kingsmen as musical heroes of Portland.
The one thing that Portland didn’t have* was a crazy multi-hour marathon that celebrated unique interpretations of the song until now.
It certainly sounded like a great event. I’d been in contact with the organizers, and it sounded like they had a lot of good things in place.
As I walked into the gallery a few hours before it was open to the public, my jaw dropped when I saw the signs created for primary stage. They had replicated the logo used by the original Kingsmen of 1963 – the five guys that recorded LOUIE LOUIE all those years ago, but never toured nationally in the original configuration.
I thought it looked beautiful!
It was also great to see special guest Bob Nordby, the original bassist of the Kingsmen appear at this event with his beautiful family.
To state that I didn’t expect this event to be dynamic as it turned out to be, was a massive under-estimation on my part. I say this as someone that participated at two LOUIE parades in San Francisco, a handful of LOUIEFests in Tacoma, a special LOUIE show in Venice (CA) as well as the infamous 63 hour marathon at the KFJC radio that was the initial spark for this quest of mine to document the history and legend of this very special song. This was a very impressive event!
The big focus at this event was all about the music and the diversity of interpretations of what’s usually a simple 3 chord melody. With only two stages, the event featured non-stop LOUIE LOUIE music, with a continuous flow of live LOUIE LOUIEs, with musicians lined up to play as soon as any given band would be ending their performance. It was like clockwork to see this sort of thing come together the way it did.
A big round of applause goes out to Luke Strahota, Julie Madsen, Matt Stanger, Michael Joyce, Eric Kilkenny, Justin Thorpe and Jen Lane – the Louie Louie Committee Committee that produced this very special event. Big thanks also go out to the staff of AFRU Gallery, which includes president Jonas Nash, director Lindsay Hogland, and all their volunteers. We should also give thanks to the generous sponsors – Gigantic Brewing Company, Passadore Properties, Cavity Search Records, Trench Digger Productions, Jackpot Records, Creatures Closet and KISN Radio!
And what about that cool Kingsmen sign that replicated their 1963 crown logo? That is due to the efforts of Matt Stanger of the Louie Louie Committee Committee, who was responsible for the set design and construction for this show, which included Kingsmen crown, the letters, and the LL mascot (What ..me worry?) with assistance from Megan Stanger, who installed these items at the gallery.
Incredible stuff. Truly.
I’m still thinking about it.
The Louie Louie Committee Committee is currently in the process of gathering video footage from the event and are encouraging folks to submit footage via Google Form https://forms.gle/p1BVAGo7X2vTjrGE7 and/or WeTransfer. (use “louielouiemarathon @ gmail .com”)
With this post, I/m publicly sharing the raw videos that I shot of the performances at the event. You can watch what I’ve shot via a multi-hour playlist on YouTube.
Most of the photos in this post are screen captures from my videos.
For this batch of images and videos, I’m tagging these with a Creative Commons license that encourages folks to share, re-mix this footage for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is shared. (That would be “Eric Predoehl / LouieLouie.net”)
I.E. – No-budget creative types don’t need to pay me to use this footage – just give me credit. Commercial news outlets should send me money and provide full credit me for whatever footage of mine that they choose to use.
I would love to see video footage that other folks have shot of this event. Feel free to some send email to “LOUIE @ LouieLouie .net” at this website and just send whatever files via WeTransfer or DropBox.
We’ll have more on this subject later…
– E.P. of LouieLouie.net
* That I knew about.
To watch these videos, click on the above box or THIS LINK