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June 24, 2020


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That was the post-classic Raiders lineup. Drake Levin, Fang Volk, and Smitty are all gone.

A little Pacific Northwest music history friends:

Jack Ely and the Kingsmen featured the voice from the record, but none of the musicians. Jack Ely was kicked out of the Kingsmen shortly after Louie, Louie was recorded. That's because Lynn Easton's mother had surreptitiously trademarked the band name.

Here's a picture by Gino Rossi of the Kingsmen who recorded Louie, Louie.

Lynn Easton had been the drummer when the record was made (It's Easton who can be heard shouting f--k in the background after he dropped his drumstick*) but his mother wanted him out front. She canned Ely, hired a new drummer, and moved Lynn out front as the band's singer.

Ely countered by forming Jack Ely and the Kingsmen. It didn't last long though because Lynn Easton's mother filed a cease and desist. Ely changed the name of his band to the Courtmen and toured with them always making it clear that he was the lead singer on the recording of Louie, Louie. The settlement did give Ely credit as the lead singer on future pressings of Louie, Louie.

*It's quite audible on this YouTube video.

This is the lyrics but the person who posted it apparently thought the epithet was being uttered by the lead singer. It's at :57 if you don't want to listen to the whole son

Where was Smitty, Fang and Drake?

Cindy, he said they had already left. As for the song, Ive never liked it, and every cheap bar band seemed to have worshipped it, back when I was tending bar, and enjoying them. Hate the song now.

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