Flashback on Stupid: FBI Spent Years ‘Researching’ the Lyrics to ‘Louie, Louie’ Before Realizing the Copyright Office Must Have Them [+video]

download (10)Last week, as you may or may not have heard, a guy named Jack Ely passed away at the age of 71. The name may not be that familiar, but the voice almost certainly is. Jack Ely was — fairly briefly — the lead singer of the Kingsmen, and happened to do a cover song in a single take under poor conditions, that created one of the most memorable songs in rock and roll history, also known as Louie Louie:

You know the song. You also know the lyrics are completely indecipherable. However, with Ely’s death, there’s been renewed attention to the fact that the FBI spent nearly two years investigating the song. It is just as ridiculous as it sounds, but the FBI has released the file on its investigation and it’s a rather hilarious read. It turns out it wasn’t just the FBI, but involved the FCC and the Post Office:


Apparently, the government was being inundated with claims from people (some of which you can see in the file) insisting that they had heard the indecipherable lyrics were actually “obscene.” If you want to see the supposedly “obscene” interpretation of the lyrics, there’s one set on page 14 [pdf] of the document, though I warn you, even the falsely heard “obscene” lyrics are not particularly obscene by today’s standards (and I’m at a loss as to how they’re that obscene by the standards of 1963, frankly). On page 22, there’s another, mostly different set of falsely heard “obscene” lyrics that at least includes the word “f***.” On page 35, yet another version with both “f***” and “b****.”

Photo Credit: Tech Dirt

Photo Credit: Tech Dirt

(Read more from “FBI Spent Years ‘Researching’ the Lyrics to ‘Louie, Louie’ Before Realizing the Copyright Office Must Have Them” HERE)

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