The Portland LOUIE celebration of September 2013 – the Lindahl report

Today, I am honored to have a very special guest blogger – my friend Cindy Lindahl, whose father engineered the original LOUIE LOUIE recordings by The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders!

I knew when I saw the announcement that I had to attend:
‘Louie, Louie Celebration in Portland Begins September 5th.”

It had been twenty years since the last attempt at marking the site where my father, Bob Lindahl’s studio, Northwestern, Inc., once stood and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame decided to try it again, tying it in with the Kingsmen’s induction in October.

As the place where Louie, Louie was recorded by the Kingsmen and Paul Revere and the Raiders, my father’s recording studio and his role as sound engineer had for decades been the recipient and subject of a multitude of praise, blame and associated myths and legends. But as unofficial guardian and defender of my father’s professional legacy, I made plans to be there.

A brief email exchange with Portland’s Mayor Hales provided my brother, Dan Lindahl, and me with the assurance we would be welcome to this OMHF sponsored shindig. So under ominously dark and threatening skies we showed up at 411 SW 13th to take part in yet another milestone of the ongoing phenomena of the song that never dies.

An assortment of Kingsmen were in attendance with the notable exception of a few members. Don Gallucci, Dick Peterson and Jack Ely (my persistent debate opponent in the Louie, Louie page Wikipedia Wars and other online venues) all were absent. Dennis Mitchell caused a faint stir when he arrived sporting Lennon-esque sunglasses, flamboyant rocker attire and a glamorous blond on his arm. A fairly decent crowd of onlookers were on hand and above the closed off street ,the windows filled with gawking office workers. Wilson and Lincoln High School bands and David Douglas cheer leaders were lined up in anticipation, a mountain of “LL” emblazoned Voodoo Donuts stood at the ready while photographers swarmed over the arriving Kingsmen.

In the meantime, my brother and I stood anonymously off to the side of the unofficial ‘stage’ and watched the proceedings unfold. The usual introductions were made by the Mayor and others, the bands played a decent rendition of the honored song, an ancient electric guitar was produced and Dennis Mitchell knocked off a few energetic licks of the opening bars to ‘Louie, Louie.’

Finally, after the official proclamation of October 5th being ‘City of Portland Louie, Louie Day,’ we got down to the real reason I was there – the unveiling of the plaque. I had positioned myself directly in front of the podium as a good vantage point for the first read of the marker for my Dad’s old studio building. And there it was…’This marks the location…’. I re-read it. My heart sank as neither the words Northwestern nor Lindahl were anywhere to be seen on the prototype of the marker. The crowd began to disperse as my brother and I headed out into the dimming light of the late summer afternoon. As the torrential rains began, we pushed open the doors and entered the enfolding warmth of Jake’s Bar to lift a glass in honor of our father, Bob Lindahl, Northwestern, Inc. and, yes, ‘Louie, Louie’.

Cindy Lindahl

Here’s a little photo of her father Robert Lindahl at the studio where the special recordings took place…

For more information about the studio and the last LOUIE LOUIE celebration that took place at the location, check out my previous posting:

The (Temporary) Rebirth of a Recording Studio

2 comments to The Portland LOUIE celebration of September 2013 – the Lindahl report

  • thank you cindy for the report and pics – I share your mixed feelings about the celebration: no mention of my late, great husband Richard Berry who as you probably know wrote the song and recorded the first version with the Pharoahs – but at least your dad’s recording studio was honored = long live louie louie and all the memories they evoke!!!!! Paula

  • Linda West

    My husband is Steve West the former Original Raider who did the guitar work at your studio and the great guitar solo for the Raiders song “Louie, Louie”. Why is the band the Kingsmen the only band getting the honor? My husband recorded in your studio for the same song and a week apart and the song went #1 on the West Coast and in Portland, Oregon. I had some very mixed feelings about this honor that left my husband out of this celebration! We live here in Portland and my husband was born here………Linda

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