Louie Louie was one of three songs – along with ‘Hang On Sloopy’ and ‘Gloria’ - that Peel later claimed promoters in Oklahoma in the mid-60s would ask whether a band could play; if the answer was positive, they would get the gig. Other fondly recalled memories of his days as a part-time band manager while a presenter at KOMA radio station included road trips with groups such as Jay Walker & The Pedestrians for gigs on Indian reservations.
The three-chord simplicity of the Kingsmen garage rock classic made ‘Louie Louie’ an enduring favourite with successive generations of aspiring bands, including many played by Peel. Cover versions given airtime by the DJ included readings by Motorhead and German nose-flute outfit Original Oberkreuzberger Nasenflötenorchester: Der Grindchor.
In 1999, the DJ included the Kingsmen worldwide hit in his four choices for the 1964 Peelenium. Three years later, he played the lesser-known original version of the song by its writer, rhythm and blues artist Richard Berry, from the Ace Records themed collection ‘Love That Louie: The Louie Louie Files.'
(The list below of known plays of the song by Peel is chronological by artist, by first known play or mention of version, and compiled only from the database of this site. Please add more information if known.)
- Mothers of Invention
- 20 July 1969: 'The Mothers Play Louie Louie At The Royal Albert Hall In London'
- Toots & The Maytals
- 21 August 1978: (JP relates how when he managed bands in Oklahoma the promoters asked if they could perform Hang On Sloopy, Gloria and Louie Louie, if yes then they got the gig)
- 22 August 1978
- 08 September 1978 (Paul Gambaccini)
- 19 September 1978
- 29 September 1978
- 39 Clocks
- 10 October 1982 (BFBS): 'Psychotic Louie Louie'
- 07 January 1985: (JP: "I've lived a very colourful life, you know, me. One of these days I shall write it all down, if I live long enough." Peel recalls he would get asked by promoters in South Oklahoma, mostly for Indian reservations, whether a band did "Louie Louie", "Hang On Sloopy" and "Gloria". If the answer was yes to all three, they would book the band. Says most of the time he worked in America, you couldn’t really do a programme without playing Louie.)
- 27 October 1999 (Peelenium 1964)
- John The Postman
- 23 February 2000: (Peel went for a walk in the West End earlier and seems a bit depressed by the number of homeless, etc. Also unsuccessful in search for The Fall Live 1977 - is keen to hear the band’s version of ‘Louie, Louie’.)
- Richard Berry
- Original Oberkreuzberger Nasenflötenorchester Der Grindchor
- ↑ Perhaps surprisingly, available show tracklistings suggest Peel never played his favourite band's version of 'Louie Louie', although he did give airtime to a recording of the song by Fall associate John The Postman.