The Kingsmen – Louie Louie

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An evening pause: Normally I don’t post videos with no visuals, but for this I will make an exception. It is probably the first time anyone has ever done the hard work necessary to translate the mumblings of the singer to find out the lyrics of this pop tune. Before now, who knew?

Hat tip Phil Berardelli.


  • Garry

    What a fiasco was the whole effort to decipher the lyrics. This link gives a good summary of what happened

    In a nutshell, the band recorded the song in a single take, with the singer yelling into a microphone placed on the ceiling. The FBI took 2 years to investigate allegations of obscenity, and never interviewed the singer. It was a cover song, and the original lyrics were available.

    A head-shaking case of government overreach and incompetence.

  • Phil Berardelli

    Good comment. Our tax dollars at work.

  • Wayne

    Hey folks, interesting factoids I received from a friend in Portland, on the whole Louie Louie ‘thang, after I had forwarded him Garry’s link:
    “The Experience Music Project in Seattle – basically Paul Allen’s memorabilia collection – has an exhibit on the Kingsmen and the investigation, etc.
    EMP features mostly Pacific NW bands (Heart, Paul Revere, and so on) – along with a lot of other cool rock & pop music interactive stuff. He has Hendrix’s childhood living room recreated, with many ‘original’ items including a copy of an old Science Fiction story having the term ‘purple haze’ which came first, before the “underground experimental medication”* – it was named after the song, not the opposite.
    One of the Kingsmen (don’t recall which) owned the bar down on the corner from where I used to live** – kind of a dive, but cold beer at a reasonable price.
    In any event, I had always thought the dirty-lyric implied, was a play on “Jamaica”, as in “You make her” which was slang at the time for coitus.”

    *d-lysergic acid diethylamide-25.
    ** NW Portland, Or.

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