relating to physical, especially sexual, needs and activities.
“Divine little girl waiting for me..she gets her thrills on top of me”
As the nuns at the sock hops purportedly were clapping and smiling as the jukebox played the Kingsmen’s version of Richard Berry’s reggae classic converted to garage rock, “Dominique” by the Singing Nun allegedly kept Jack Ely’s voice from hitting the #1 spot on Billboard. Or did Billboard buy in to the “dirty lyrics” rumor(s) and keep the Louie Louie out of the top of the charts?
With the passing of lead vocalist Jack Ely on April 28, 2015 at 71 years of age, reportedly a Christian Scientist, one of the great voices in rock has passed on. 52 years earlier, at the age of 19, the singer put one of the most lecherous sounding set of vibrations onto the grooves of 45 RPM records which would sell…and sell…and sell.
What amazes me about all the controversy is how people listening to the words didn’t listen to the feel of the Louie Louie. It is absolutely lustful when Jack Ely – after the delicious guitar solo – takes “I see Jamaican moon above, it won’t be long before I see my love” and makes it sound like “I stick…I stick my finger right through her hole, I won’t be long .xxxxx….I take her in my arms again, I tell her I’ll never lay her again.”
I mean just listen to the way the guy says “Oh, no” so…teenager-in-lust, it is absolutely lustful! So while the FBI was trying to discern the lyrics, no one picked up on the ad libs and the way Ely sung Louie Louie, like a bunch of jocks talking trash in the locker room. “A fine little girl be waiting for me, I catch the ship across the sea” or “She gets her thrills on top of me.”
Even the graphic nature of the rumored “suggestive lyrics” aren’t suggestive poetry, they are pure raunch. Think about it, nowhere is there a rumor of a naughty word here or there, what is purported is straight out porno! “Every night at ten I lay her again, I fuck that girl all kinds of ways” or “Three nights and days I sail the seas, I think of that girl oh constantly.”
“Oh, baby, we gotta go” is said in such a perverted way setting up the “every night at ten I lay her again” that the intent is there, your Honor, the intent is there.
The “oh no” and the “nah nah nah nah” are so lustful that, when coupled with the ad libs, intent just drips from the recording alleged to be overflowing with pure filth!
THE AD LIBS
…prior to “every night at ten” or “three nights and days” – however you want to hear it, there’s a voice that yells “whore” or “fuck” – why is the voice there at all? You don’t hear that little quip in any of the covers by Paul Revere & The Raiders or The Wailers…only on the Kingsmen’s version. And if you check Songfacts it notes the well-known fact that the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders recorded the song in the exact same studio either the same week or the same day. So where you hear Raider singer Mark Lindsay’s voice perfectly clear, why didn’t the engineer and/or producer (if a producer was on the scene at all) for the Kingsmen get the vocal to be as clear as Lindsay’s? Listen to the way Ely sings “think” of a girl and “constantly.” One never sings “think” with the hard inflection given to it here, it absolutely sounds like “fuck” and “constantly” sounds more like “all kinds of ways.” “Every night at ten I lay her again, I fuck that girl (or I fuck all the girls) all kinds of ways.” Pure descriptive not-your-ordinary swear words, these are inventively graphic and perfect for Animal House, so perfect that the movie gave the song new life, and the song promoted the movie.
Next ad-lib is after the guitar solo. It’s said to be an error, that Ely was coming in too early with “I see” for “I see Jamaica moon above” but if he was setting up the lustful version…”I stick…I stick my finger…” …and it sure sounds like he’s singing finger. But here’s the real hammer on all this, the final ad lib is in no other “Louie Louie” when Jack Ely sings “Get that broad out of here…Let’s go.”
“Louie Louie” is the bartender composer Richard Berry is talking to as he wishes he could be with his girl. “I see Jamaican moon above, it won’t be long before I see me love, I take her in my arms again, I tell her I’ll never leave her again.” Jack Ely is singing to a Louise…Louie Louie, oh w…oh …”and I lay her again” is just so…so…obvious. You don’t sing “leave her again” in such a lurid and lecherous way! Intent, your Honor, intent!
On the ship I dream she’s there
I smell the rose…in her hair
“ON that (I) drip my cream cream there, I feel my bone right in her hair.”
Whether you are a believer or not, the lustful vocal of Jack Ely, the tone, and the perv lyrics perceived by millions of people around the world, including elected officials and the FBI itself, just one great rock and roll vibration. There are too many words that could be this or that, too much vocal inflection on words that would never get that inflection ordinarily, and ad libs like “get that broad out of here” which appear to be the key.
Or maybe it’s mass hysteria and we’re all delusional. Any way you look at it, the drums, the guitar, the voice, the intangible that is the moment captured in that recording studio made a lot of people happy for more than 50 years.
Rest in peace, Jack Ely. You hit a grand slam.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.