Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Song Remains Profane

Fittingly it's 45 years ago this Friday that an obscure group from Portland, Oregon released a single that changed the way drunken frat boys would mangle lyrics forever--yes, the version of "Louie Louie" we know best. But maybe more than the lyrics, which are about a sailor but far from salacious, the Kingsmen gave us the classic dum-dum, dum-dum-dum riff that turned out to be pretty smart (and the heart of a gazillion other rock songs, from "Wild Thing" to Alex Chilton's "No Sex," in which he cleverly does make the song obscene with its AID-era chorus of "come on baby, fuck me and die" refrain). Still, parents managed to get worked into a lather by that rock n roll thing and soon the FBI investigated. Their crack team discovered the lyrics were co-written by Richard Jewell and Bruce Ivins. The various obscene versions of the tune were passed about schoolrooms and the song was even banned in Indiana, but it turns out the lyrics they confiscated from a school there were penned by a young Dan Quayle, and merely spelled atrociously. There are all kinds of obscenity, after all.



Anonymous Bryan said...

Ahem, ahem, ahem...

I did wait a few days before shamelessly plugging myself.

That kind of came out dirty. Oops! So did that.

5:44 PM  

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