Louie Louie by Richard Berry, and the Kingsmen | BBC News


A piece about the origins of Louie Louie and the FBI’s investigation for the BBC News Magazine.

The Kingsmen noticed that their audiences now included middle-aged men in suits and shades and were soon questioned by the Feds, apparently being told: “You know we can put you so far away that your family will never see you again.”
They insisted that Louie Louie was innocent, but as ardently as they’d sought reds under the bed, and over the course of two-and-a-half years, the G-Men contrived a series of eye-wateringly unpalatable images and practices from Ely’s mumbles.

I am indebted to Alec Palao’s notes for the ace Ace Records Louie compilation Love That Louie: The Louie Louie Files, Dave Marsh’s Louie Louie: The History and Mythology of the World’s Most Famous Rock ‘n Roll Song; Including the Full Details of Its Torture and Persecution at the Hands of the Kingsmen, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and a Cast of Millions; and Introducing for the First Time Anywhere, the Actual Dirty Lyrics and the Radio 2 documentary Louie and the G-Men.

Also of interest:

• Kurt Cobain’s journal reference to ‘the famous musical knowledge of the louie louie chords’

• FBI files: Louie Louie (The Song)

• ‘a small sample of [Robert Lindahl’s] side of the story

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