Frequently Asked Questions about “LOUIE LOUIE”
Who wrote “Louie Louie?”
Richard Berry wrote the song, and was responsible for many other great songs, which you may or may not have heard. He was a highly prolific songwriter that often gave songs away to others uncredited, or shared writer’s credits with people that were merely business associates. He was an underrated musical giant, but his influence lives on. For more information about this man, check out the Richard Berry webpage.
Are there any “obscene” words in the song “Louie Louie?”
Defining “obscenity” is truly a matter of personal opinion. What one might define as “obscene” might be considered “fine art” by another. While some might consider the human body a dangerous vision not to be seen by young children, those same people have no objection to exposing their children to random acts of violence seen in television news, dramatic motion pictures, or video game arcades. Perhaps greedy politics might be considered the most obscene of all actions, as they can affect the public in more ways than one can imagine, making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens. One could argue that the lack of personal responsibility or moral code (not treating others as you’d like to be treated) is the most “obscene” action one could take.
In terms of “obscene” words in the song “Louie Louie,” one would be hard pressed to find any such items in the lyrics written by Richard Berry. Other bands have interpreted this song in their own unique way, often adding additional lyrics, which may or may not be considered “obscene,” depending on your own temperament. Whether or not the Kingsmen’s version had “obscene” lyrics is a matter that various people have argued over. In fact, that’s something the F.B.I. spent a lot of time and money trying to decipher….
That being said, if you listen very closely to the Kingsmen’s 1963 recording of the song, there is indeed a moment when the drummer blurts out a questionable 4-lettered word. More specifics on exactly what that word was when we unveil the movie….
Short answer: yes, no, and a definite maybe.
How many versions are there of LOUIE LOUIE?
That’s a very intriguing question! In August 1983, a marathon celebrating the song was held at KFJC Radio in Los Altos Hills, California. For 63 hours, the event known as “Maximum Louie Louie” captivated local and international media alike, playing every known version of the song, encouraging others to deliver their own recording of the song up to the station, where it would find a guaranteed audience on the radio. At the time of the marathon, there were over 800 unique recordings of the song.
Since that point in time, the number of known recordings has expanded dramatically, with the last count somewhere well over the 5,000 range. With big thanks to those within the LLAMAS worldwide community (especially our friend Clay Stabler), big efforts have been made to document all the known recordings. The Wikipedia LOUIE LOUIE subsidiary pages are currently the easiest resource for keeping track of all of the documented recordings. Check the Louie Louie discography – (A-D) (E-K) (L-R) (S-Z)
The upcoming documentary will present the argument that “LOUIE LOUIE” is truly the most-recorded rock ’n’ roll song of all time.
Was “Louie Louie” ever made a state song in Washington or Oregon?
Thanks in a large part to the folks behind KING-TV’s “Almost Live” television show in Seattle, Washington, “Louie Louie” almost became the official state song of the state, edging out the current official state song, “Washington, My Home.” While it never became the “official state song” of Washington, it was instead deemed the “official rock song” of Washington, inspiring other states to also declare “official rock songs.” The state of Oregon tried to also make “Louie Louie” their state song, but it too, fell short.
What are the actual lyrics of the song “Louie Louie?”
The song is now the property of EMI Music Publishing Ltd. which is a British multinational music publishing company owned by parent company Sony Corporation of America.
Only they can legally grant permission to reprint the lyrics for this song. While there may be certain websites out there with the supposed “real lyrics,” they are non-authorized, and they may or may not contain the actual lyrics.
My favorite interpretation of the lyrics, while not necessarily the “real” lyrics can be found at Theo DeGrood’s LOUIE website.
When will “THE MEANING OF LOUIE” be released to the general public, so people can see the ultimate documentary on the world’s most misunderstood song?
Keep checking in to the LOUIELOUIE.NET site, and we’ll provide updates as we can…