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Louie Louie

Taken from this page:
Under the auspices of “ITOM”, a federal law prohibiting Interstate Transportation of Obscene Material, “Louie Louie” was investigated by the FBI to determine whether the song was actually obscene. Spurred on by naughty notes from teenagers that claimed to know the “actual lyrics”, concerned parents contacted government authorities to see what could be done to restrict distribution of this controversial rock song.

In the mid 1960s, many people considered this subject a very serious matter. Rock and roll was considered a subversive movement, and governor Matthew Welsh of Indiana actually used his powers to restrict airplay of this song. Of course, all of this controversy helped spur more record sales, as teenagers rushed to the record store to buy the record that shocked, or at least confused their parents. It was no accident that the extra notoriety contributed to the popularity of “Louie Louie” as one of the greatest party songs of all time.

The FBI investigation of the song, which took over two years, uncovered very little relevant information. Despite a lengthy investigative process that included repeating listenings of the song at different speeds, and interviews with author Richard Berry and members of Kingsmen, the study could find no evidence of obscenity. In fact, the bureau came up with the conclusion that the song was “unintelligible at any speed”.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
I should like to see a return of the suffocating post-war moral atmosphere. I reckon I'd be well placed to get a job listening to records and transcribing the lyrics.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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