The Kingsmen

Performing Thursday, January 30, 2020

Few songs have endured as party classics like “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen.

Now, the 1960s garage rock band from Portland, Oregon, brings their show to the Surf Ballroom for the 2020 Winter Dance Party.

There’s no mistaking the opening strains or driving rhythm of “Louie Louie,” the 1963 recording that held the No. 2 spot on Billboard charts for six weeks.

In total, the Kingsmen charted 11 single releases from 1963 to 1968 and five consecutive albums from 1963 to 1966.

In 1959, Lynn Easton invited Jack Ely to play with him at a Portland Hotel gig, with Ely singing and playing guitar and Easton on the drum kit. The two teenagers grew up together, as their parents were close friends. Easton and Ely performed at yacht club parties, and soon added Mike Mitchell on guitar and Bob Nordby on bass to round out the band. They called themselves The Kingsmen, taking the name from a recently disbanded group.

The Kingsmen’s 1964 follow up to “Louie Louie” was a party version of “Money (That’s What I Want)” and “Little Latin Lupe Lu.”

Members of the band are:

  • Mike Mitchell – vocals, guitar (1959–present)
  • Dick Peterson – drums (1963–present)
  • Steve Peterson – keyboards (1988–present)
  • Kim Nicklaus – keyboards (1982–1984, 2000–present)
  • Todd McPherson – bass (1992–present)
  • Dennis Mitchell – guitar (2006–present)