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April 29, 2015


Louie Louie singer Jack Ely dies aged 71

(Thanks to maddux, Jeff Meyerson, Allen at Division and The Amazing Steve, who says "Now we'll *never* know what the words were.")

Here's a column I wrote about Louie Louie, which remains one of my all-time favorite songs.


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It was the song we couldn't play at our house dances. Garage dances actually but the adults knew it spoke of forbidden things.

My all-time favorite part of the story was the FBI investigation and The law enforcement agents concluded, in a lengthy investigative report, that the song was "unintelligible at any speed".

That says it all.


I love that column, Dave. Thanks for reprinting it.

I didn't understand the obituary.

"unintelligible at any speed" should be the motto of the Rock Bottom Remainders. :)

I really liked that column too, Dave. Thanks for posting that link.

"And now, we'd like to play a tune you all know. Because we just played it two minutes ago. One, two, three...♫


- listening to cousin brucie & all those unintelligible lyrics . . .

good times, dave

Louie Louie & Midnight Hour
My two favorites.

I nev... er could...make out the words.
I think... blah blah... blah blah the birds.

If you play it backwards, Paul is dead.

I always liked how he came in too early after the instrumental break, and then just started over. They didn't even bother to do another take.

When did Dave start writing?

Great column. Great song. Great days.

I do believe I witnessed the RBR doing it in Boston. Classic.

Our son William began playing trombone in the school board jazz band when he was in Gr.6, and 'Louie Louie' was the first piece he ever played in front of an audience. The piece popped-up in almost every concert he performed over the next six years and there were times when we thought if we heard it practiced/played one more time we'd poke our eyes out with a fork. Now it brings back VERY fond memories of countless hours on the road listening to a minivan-full of teenage lads discussing life.

The cover by the Rice Univ. Marching Owl Band ("The Mob"):


Someone suggested these lyrics:

I think it's we gotta go rather than me gotta go, at least for part of it.

When I took world history during the late Reagan administration, we had a multiple choice quiz that included the question:

What was the nickname of Louis XIV of France?
a. Louis Louis b. the Sun King c. and d. I forget the other wrong answers

I believe I heard the Kingsmen in SoCal in the 60s...but, you know "...if you remember the 60s you weren't there..."

Another 'band' we heard often back then often played the classic (lol) "Tequila" only they subsititued "Sex" for "Tequila". That band might have been Dick Dale and the Deltones (but...see my earlier comment about the 60s).

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