Louie Louie

Bill Benzon (bbenzon@mindspring.com)
Sun, 22 Jun 1997 15:01:58 -0500

Message-Id: <199706221858.OAA04402@brickbat8.mindspring.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 1997 15:01:58 -0500
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
From: bbenzon@mindspring.com (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Louie Louie

Dave Gross's Blue Tatoo page reminded me of a book by the rock critic Dave
Marsh. The book is _Louie Louie_ and its subtitle proclaims it to be "The
History and Mythology of the World's Most Famous Rock 'n' Roll Song;
Including the Full Details of Its Torture and Persecution at the Hands of
the Kingsmen, J. Edgar Hoover's F.B.I., and a Cast of Millions; and
Introducing, for the First Time Anywhere, the Actual Dirty Lyrics." And the
book delivers on that subtitle, all without the help of any formal training
in memetics (or any other academic discipline for that matter). "Louie
Louie" would seem to qualify as a meme and this book gives a good and
entertaining history of the song. But it's not at all clear to me that
memetics has anything to add to what Marsh has said. To the extent that
memetics, in practice, works out to be the analysis of verbally encoded
beliefs, it would have trouble dealing with the most famous version of the
song, where the lyrics are unintelligible. The song's appeal seems to have
more to do with rhythm and delivery style than with belief systems.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A bbenzon@mindspring.com
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA http://www.newsavanna.com/wlb/

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