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Thursday, 22 April 2021

Three Nights And Days I Sail The Sea

Mike Mitchell, the last surviving member of The Kingsmen, has died aged 77. He was a mainstay in the band from 1959. The Kingsmen, from Portland, Oregon, released their version of Richard Berry's Louie Louie in 1963 and in the process laid down one of the cornerstones of garage rock- three chord riff, primitive beat, the whole group crowded round one single microphone, muffled vocals about a sailor trying to get home to his girl and Mitchell's guitar solo. I'm sure Mike Mitchell achieved many, many things in his life other than just being the man who played the guitar solo on Louie Louie but if it were the only one, it's not too bad a thing to have as an epitaph. 

Louie Louie

If you've been in a band you've probably done a cover of Louie Louie or a song very similar to it. The Beach Boys, The Troggs, Jan and Dean, Motorhead, Toots and The Maytals, The Flamin' Groovies and The Sonics all covered it.

Paul Revere And The Raiders did too, also in 1963, intro riff played on sax.

Louie Louie

In 1981 US hardcore band Black Flag, with new vocalist Dez Cadena making his debut at the mic improvising the lyrics while the rest of the group, guitars like a wall of sludge, pummel the song into submission in one minute twenty seconds. 

Louie Louie

Iggy covered it for his 1993 album American Caesar adding the clanging piano from I Wanna Be Your Dog. 

Louie Louie

Coincidentally, yesterday was Iggy's birthday, 74 years young. Happy birthday Mr Pop and RIP Mike Mitchell. 


Martin said...

It's only when you hear the Kingsmen version that you realise how similar the Kinks cover of this is (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PVoVRUrxVY), Ray Davies even seeming to adopt vocal inflections to sound like Jack Ely.

Brian said...

In my youth, I used to like to put Louie Louie and 96 Tears back to back on mix tapes. Later, 96 Tears was replaced with Tally Ho by the Clean. Give 'em a listen when you have some time. They work very well together.

drew said...

My favourite version is the Motorhead, takes me back to being a kid, a single I treasure although the cover has seen better days, probably a vg the record its self has stood up to the rigours of time and some dodgy record players and needles down the years

Rol said...

I'm pretty sure you'll have heard this before, but I can't resist linking to it anyway...


Swiss Adam said...

New to me Rol, I think. Thank you.