Louie Louie: The History and Mythology of the World's Most Famous Rock 'n' Roll Song ...

Dave Marsh, Author
Dave Marsh, Author Hyperion Books $19.45 (245p) ISBN 978-1-56282-865-3
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7868-8028-7
Open Ebook - 265 pages - 978-0-472-02523-7
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-0-472-03023-1
Open Ebook - 265 pages - 978-1-282-69570-2
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In a vigorous discourse combining shrewd criticism and a conversational tone, Marsh ( Glory Days ) traces the evolution of one durable song from '50s cha-cha to '90s frat anthem. ``Louie, Louie,'' in his estimation, is an archetype whose infectious ``duh duh duh, duh duh'' chorus bewitches teenage garage bands and major-label rockers alike. Inspired by a riff from Rene Touzet's ``El Loco Cha Cha,'' ``Louie'' was written in 1956 by Richard Berry, who imagined a Jamaican sailor telling Louie, a bartender, that he's leaving to meet his girl (``Louie, Louie/Me gotta go''). ``Louie'' later achieved a cult following in the Pacific Northwest, and in 1963 a version by the Kingsmen became a national hit. Its slurred, indecipherable lyrics (the singer wore braces at the time) led to individual interpetations and an FBI obscenity investigation. Marsh closes the book on ``Louie''--for now, anyway--with a lengthy discography listing ``Louie'' performers from Ike and Tina Turner to Frank Zappa to grunge band Nirvana. Crammed with trivia and wit, this text convincingly argues in mock-profound terms its thesis that ``Louie'' is a melodic phenomenon far bigger than the mere mortals who perform it. (Aug.)
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