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.
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.
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.
Iggy covered it for his 1993 album American Caesar adding the clanging piano from I Wanna Be Your Dog.
Coincidentally, yesterday was Iggy's birthday, 74 years young. Happy birthday Mr Pop and RIP Mike Mitchell.