PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The most famous — and infamous — song ever recorded in Portland will be celebrated on its 60th anniversary with a live 24-hour “Louie Louie” marathon on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7.
It will open and close at 6 p.m. on both days with performances by the current version of The Kingsmen — the local band that released the best-selling version in 1963, whose popularity was fueled by an FBI investigation into allegations of “dirty lyrics.”
Drummer Dick Peterson, the longest-serving member of the group, swears — er, insists — it was all a misunderstanding, the result of kids singing reggae-inspired lyrics while trying to play louder than each other in a poorly equipped studio.
“’Louie, Louie, me gotta go’ sounded like anything,'” Peterson told the Portland Tribune from his home in Portland, the city where he has lived since 1960.
Peterson was a Grant High School student when he joined the band in 1963 after their original drummer was drafted, just before the song started climbing the charts. He joined after learning the members were earning $20 to $30 a weekend, a “fortune” in days when everyone could fill their cars with gas for $4.
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