epitomizes the Fifties and an age of innocence
that was drawing to a close at the end of 1963.
The rough and rowdy "Louie Louie" helped
usher in the tumultuous Sixties.
the first week of November. For those of us who
lived north of the Mason-Dixon, the record
took us back to those warm, carefree days
that special someone.
on the chart at #14.
to the slaying of the president, the soothing sounds
of terns and tides drowned out by the relentless,
maddening beat of muffled drums
across the Potomac.
Enter "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen, one of the
greatest and best known rock 'n' roll records of
all time. Driving sales and forever cloaking the
recording in legend and lore were the song's
allegedly dirty lyrics. No one was ever able
to prove the obscenity theory because the
vocal track is buried beneath a dense layer
of crashing cymbals, drums, guitars and
organ, rendering most of the words
unintelligible. As a result of the murky
mix, the Pacific Northwest band was
able to deny that its interpretation of
a song originally recorded in the 50s
by R&B singer Richard Berry
believe in. They therefore remained convinced
that "Louie Louie" contained naughty lyrics.
My best friend and I were among the die hard
disciples. We played the record over and over,
listening for clues, brainstorming for hours trying
to break the code, decipher the message and
identify every delightfully filthy word that was
embedded in the song. We played the 45 at
different speeds. We even played it backward
and when we did I was sure I heard someone
utter the words "The walrus was Paul."
"What could that mean?" I wondered.
actual lyrics to "Louie Louie" are as
safe as momma’s milk. (Shucks!)
pop music and in the process jolting grief stricken
Americans out of their depression following the
assassination. As I remember it, "Louie Louie"
provided us with a much needed distraction
even before the Beatles arrived.
in January when the Beatles dropped the bomb with
“I Want To Hold Your Hand.” That’s why I say
“Louie Louie” deserves to be recognized as the
first major musical stimulus to help our nation
recover from those tragic events in Dallas.
much the same as 9-11
is remembered today by Generation Y millennials. The world we knew - the world we thought we knew - was changed forever and the future was fraught with uncertainty and apprehension. Today, as we mark this grim anniversary, I have vivid flashbacks of my mother lying on the sofa in front of the television all that weekend crying her heart out.
Intelligent, quick witted and able to inspire millions
around the world with his vision, his youthful
vigor, confident manner and winning smile,
John Kennedy was the greatest president
I have known in my lifetime. 50 years