Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Louie Louie Kaphooie!

Jack Ely, the lead singer of The Kingsmen, most well-known for their 1963 seminal hit, Louie Louie, sadly passed away on the 27th of April. RIP.

In case you didn't know (like, by not having read E@L's FB post, or the link above to the Wikipedia page) this song was investigated by no other just arbiter of morality, niceness, appropriateness, and generally good social behaviour than the FBI, for being a menace to society!

"This land of ours [USA?] is headed for an extreme state of degradation what with this record, the biggest hit movies and the sex and violence on T.V." said a concerned father in a letter to the Attorney General, no less. Gee willikers, you don't hear that exact complaint almost word for word anymore, do you? Right...?

The FBI file is most entertaining. E@L wonders what importance there could possibly be in the redacted sections.

*The Controversy*

Listen to this song while you read the "explicit lyrics" dear old dad found buried in there.

E@L is certain that you too are outraged!


Now listen to again again while you read the actual lyrics...

Oh. Pretty tame really, but Jack Ely, man, what a brilliant performance he slurs out. It really does sound like he should be singing bawdy, subversive lyrics! E@L reckons he's been smokin' serious amounts of those Jamaican tea leaves prior to the recording session... E@L wishes he had been there! Except he would have been 6yo at the time, andy don't smoke.


OK, great, but apart from being famous for Ely's obviously almost unintelligble singing, the song has had quite a seminal role in what became what we know as rock music, influencing strongly The Kinks' You Really Got Me, which in E@L's opinion is the first truly modern rock song.

Brilliant. Especially the flag-waving at the end!


Louie Louie has been in a squidillion movies and TV shows (see the Wikipedia link, above).

For an example, making the most of the incompehensible lyrics with their drunken slurring, John Belushi at al have a great go at it in National Lampoon's Animal House... (set in 1962, although The Kingmen's version that's playing on the juke-box wasn't released until 1963).



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