FBI Couldn’t Decipher Lyrics to ‘Louie, Louie’

Archived file shows that agency admits song wasn't obscene

April 25, 2016 5:49 am
The Kingsmen
The Kingsmen onstage circa 1964 (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The Kingsmen’s version of “Louie Louie” led to some controversy in 1964. Given the difficulty to discern its lyrics, some listeners suspected them to be vulgar. The FBI opened an investigation between February and May 1964, and as is noted on page 23 of their official document—dated April 17, 1964—the agency discovered no evidence of obscenity. Ironically, it was later revealed that the band’s drummer yells the F-word at the 0:55 mark. Listen for yourself below.


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