Did ‘Louie Louie’ drummer yell ‘F * ck’ during the recording?

On November 6, a popular TikTok video claimed that The Kingsmen’s drummer Lynn Easton, “Fuck!” during the band’s classic recording of “Louie Louie”.


#stitch with @ 1minutecritic This song has such a story! #fyp #song #funny #mistake #storytime #band #haha #share #hilarious #omg #foryou #truestory

♬ Monkeys Turning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod

Before The Kingsmen recorded the song in 1963, it was written and premiered by Richard Berry, according to The Indianapolis Star. Berry composed it in 1955 and released it in 1957 under the band name Richard Berry and The Pharaohs. (He had no relationship with Chuck Berry.)

Dave Marsh’s 1993 book

For our research, we turned to the 1993 book by author Dave Marsh. It had the rather long title: “The story and mythology of the most famous rock ‘n roll song in the world; Including full details of his torture and persecution by the Kingsmen, J. Edgar Hoovers FBI, and cast of millions; and for the first time present the actual dirty texts everywhere. “

According to page 97 of the book, it is true that drummer Lynn Easton yelled “Fuck!” during what is generally considered to be the definitive take-up of “Louie Louie”. While this particular word is difficult for listeners to understand, we found that Marsh’s book was well researched. He even interviewed Jack Ely, the singer and guitarist who churned out the lyrics for the hit song.

‘F * ck!’

The moment in question can be heard at the 0:54 mark in the song in this YouTube video.

According to Marsh’s book, The Kingsmen recorded the song on the “primitive” Northwest Recorders in Portland, Oregon. The band arrived at the studio on Saturday, April 6, 1963 at 10:00 a.m.

Several challenges led to the recording of “Louie Louie,” which the world is most familiar with today.

Marsh first published that Ely “had to stand on tiptoe” because the microphones were “suspended from a large boom stand.” It didn’t help that he had braces on either, and it might not have been common for a rock ‘n’ roll band to get up this early in the morning, as Marsh noted. In addition, there were even rumors that the band had recently held a “marathon” music session at a teenage club that may have weighed on Ely’s voice.

In Marsh’s book, he published details of the moment Easton shouted, “Fuck!” while “Louie Louie”:

After making his adjustments, [Robert] Lindahl retired to the engineering booth, where he sat with Ken Chase, who was watching through the large soundproof window. Easton hit the downbeat and crashed about a third of the first verse when Chase’s voice suddenly screeched through the intercom: “Wait! Wait a minute! I have to change a few things here. ”The band stood idly, jingling and hammering, while the“ producer ”and the engineer fiddled with buttons and knobs.

A few minutes later, Chase called, “Okay, let’s just do a pass just so I can adjust the levels.” Easton counted off the song and stepped back into “duh duh duh, duh duh”. Ely shouted into the microphone as hard as he could. The band was nervous; this may have been a rinky-dink setup, but it was her shot. Ely yawned like Donald Duck in anger, “Okay, let’s give it up!” The nerves of the others also showed: Shortly before the singing started again, Lynn Easton beat up his sticks and cursed: “Fuck!” Although Lynn was not at the microphone, he said it loud enough to easily hear it on the tape. and he never quite recovered from the beat, stuttering and stumbling during the rest of the recording. When they got to the guitar break, Mike Mitchell fumbled through the Rich Dangel-inspired solo like he had never heard of the song. When Jack yelled his last “Let’s go!” they sounded relieved to be finished. Now they were waiting for Chase to request the first real take.

Instead, his voice came over the intercom: “Okay! That was great. What do you want to put on the back? “

The version the band thought was a rehearsal eventually became the recording that has been heard around the world for decades.

‘Sonic Boom!’

In Peter Blecha’s 2009 book Sonic Boom !: The History of Northwest Rock, from Louie, Louie to Smells Like Teen Spirit, he wrote that Eastman “allegedly dropped a drumstick during the second chorus” and prompted him to “Fuck! ”While“ Louie Louie ”. This was somewhat different from Marsh’s report of Easton “clapping his sticks”. He also referred to the studio as Northwestern, Inc., not Northwest Recorders. We couldn’t find the studio’s official name.

On page 137 of Blecha’s book, he mentioned that the Raiders, also known as Paul Revere & the Raiders, performed at the Vancouver, Washington Trapadero Teen Club on March 30, 1963. It’s unclear if The Kingsmen also performed at the club the night before they were recorded on April 6, or if the bands were confused when the audience recounted the story of Eastman’s expletive language.

In summary, it is unclear what exactly happened to Easton’s sticks when he was pounding the drum, which made him say, “Fuck!” during “Louie Louie”. What is clear, however, is that two books on the song’s history both mention that the profanity happened during the 1963 recording of The Kingsmen, whether or not listeners can understand the word.

We previously covered the completely separate saga regarding the controversy and the FBI investigation that followed over the lyrics of the song after it became popular.


Blecha, Peter. “Sonic Boom: The Story of Northwest Rock, from Louie Louie to Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Hal Leonard Corporation, 2009.

March, Dave. Louie Louie: The History and Mythology of the Most Famous Rock ‘n Roll Song in the World; Including full details of his torture and persecution by the Kingsmen, J. Edgar Hoovers FBI, and cast of millions; and introduction for the first time everywhere, The. University of Michigan Press, 2010.

Nast, Conde. “Is that the dirtiest song of the sixties?” The New Yorker, May 6, 2015, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/jack-ely-louie-louie-the-dirtiest-song-of -the-sixties.

“Richard Berry (the man who wrote LOUIE LOUIE)” “The Louie Report. https://www.louielouie.net/blog/?page_id=2667.

“Back then, Indiana Teens whistled dirty ‘Louie Louie’ texts and the FBI got involved.” IndyStar, https://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2019/01/02/kingsmen-louie-louie-richard-berry -song-lyrics-dirty-version-fbi-investigation-indiana-teens / 2240339002 /.

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