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Me Gotta Go Now....
October 4, 2003 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Duh Duh Duh, Duh Duh, Duh Duh Duh. Inspired by part of a Latin dance record by Rene Touzet, transformed into a quickie R&B b-side by Richard Berry & the Pharoahs made legendary by the Kingsmen covered by everybody in the universe and investigated by the FBI and the subject of a book. Yes, I'm talking about "Louie Louie" one of the most famous, controversial and influential rock and roll records of all time and origin of the uber-riff and the famously indecipherable lyrics. So let's give it to 'em right now....
posted by jonmc (15 comments total)

 
Jon: when The Pretenders, in 1980, played "Louie Louie" in Manchester, two things happened: my twin daughters kicked my wife's belly for the first time (an enormous shock and joy) and, at the end, I actually caught the drummer's drumsticks in my hands. I still have them. He died a few years later, in a car accident, I think. Funny thing is I also remembered seeing The Kinks perform "Louie Louie" when I was thirteen or so and on holiday in London. I've seen it played at least ten times - it used to be obligatory for British rock bands.

Great post, Jon! You got me singin' here, across the Atlantic.

Why is it always better live and badly played?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:10 PM on October 4, 2003


i forgot to mention, for those not in the know, that the lead singer and lyric-writer of The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde (former NME music critic) was famously married to her hero, Ray Davies of the Kinks, for a short time.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:12 PM on October 4, 2003


when The Pretenders, in 1980, played "Louie Louie" in Manchester, two things happened: my twin daughters kicked my wife's belly for the first time

If I'm ever in Lisbon I should be on the lookout for a Louise Louise Cardoso, then?
posted by jonmc at 7:20 PM on October 4, 2003


"...when The Pretenders, in 1980, played "Louie Louie" in Manchester, two things happened: my twin daughters kicked my wife's belly for the first time..."

Don't read too much into it, I'm sure they were only trying to stick their little feet in their little ears.
posted by cedar at 8:08 PM on October 4, 2003


More Louie Stuff here (warning -- bouncy letters) including variant lyrics and sightings in comics and other media, including the wonderful Bloom County strip.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:11 PM on October 4, 2003


Strange. I heard Louie Louie in a pizza joint last night and realized I hadn't heard it, any version, for probably three or four years. That seemed like a long Louieless time.
posted by billder at 9:20 PM on October 4, 2003


Don't read too much into it, I'm sure they were only trying to stick their little feet in their little ears.

Laughing, touched and delighted, cedar! Honestly, they weren't that bad. The opening band was UB40, before they'd released their first single. Awful. But did the twins give a sign of life? Not on your nelly. It took the first chords of "Louie Louie". Hmmm, I see what you mean.... ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:23 PM on October 4, 2003


Ah, "Louie." Almost Washington's State Song (they made it the official state rock song instead), and the birthright of every true Northwesterner. My mom, who was there during the first Northwest rock "scene" (her picture is on the back cover of the vinyl issue -- not the recent cd reissue -- of this legendary album, recorded at this legendary venue; my uncle was in one of the most popular NW bands of the time, and yes, they played "Louie" too), tells me that in the late 50s-early 60s every Northwest band played "Louie Louie." It wasn't an option; it was a requirement. Dave Marsh theorizes that "Louie" is at the root of the Seattle sound that became famous in the 90s, and I wouldn't argue with that.

I wanted to find a better link for that last one... but this was the best I could do.
posted by litlnemo at 3:21 AM on October 5, 2003


My favorite cover of Louie Louie was Black Flag's. Kick ass.

Damn. I just realized I don't have a copy of that...

*wanders off to fire up the p2p*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:46 AM on October 5, 2003


also, no one seemed to mention "Wild Thing" is the same three chords and just the slightest variation on the riff.
basically the first two songs played by any garage band. (at least, any garage band i was ever a part of, which was two)
posted by rswst8 at 11:11 AM on October 5, 2003


Probably no one mentioned it because it's so darned obvious. ;)
posted by litlnemo at 2:46 PM on October 5, 2003


I remember my friend and I hearing that it was "x-rated" and sitting in his room playing it... hell, we must have worn the grooves out of it, trying to figure out what he was saying - I definitely remember one of us coming up with the line "I saw my bone flying into hair", which to this day is how I still hear it.

You can't hear the lyrics properly unless you're playing the 45 on a piece-of-crap record player with a worn out needle.
posted by groundhog at 6:00 PM on October 5, 2003


My favorite cover of Louie Louie was Black Flag's. Kick ass.

That, or The Stoodges version on Metalic K.O. (wherein Iggy introduces the song with the rhetorical question, "Should we stick to our porgram set and play real slick, or should we just do a 45-minute version of 'Louie Louie'?")

Oh, and he changes the words a little.
posted by Ayn Marx at 6:08 PM on October 5, 2003


Best version: The Sonics' version, which was punk 12 years before punk.
posted by litlnemo at 3:51 PM on October 6, 2003


Oddest version: Julie London
posted by jonp72 at 8:23 PM on October 6, 2003


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