Inspired by the intro of El Loco Cha Cha, literally a crazy cha cha cha by Filippino brothers Bobby & Barry Rillera and their group The Rhythm Rockers. Richard Berry actually sang with Ricky Rillera & The Rhythm Rockers. El Loco Cha Cha was cut by Cuban Perez Prado look-alike René Touzet for his lp From Broadway To Havana (GNP 22), reissued on the Crescendo cd The Best Of René Touzet. Not Touzet, but Rosendo Ruiz Jr. is credited as composer here. That's another Cuban, who wrote and recorded it earlier on as Amarren El Loco, but minus this particular riff. Many Louie Louie versions feature that dominant latin sound rather than garage rock. Furthermore, Richard Berry admits lyrical influence from One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (see there), Havana Moon by Chuck Berry ('56) and Run Joe by Louis Jordan ('46), while rhythm and lingo were influenced by Nat King Cole's Calypso Blues ('49).
Rockin' Robin Roberts & The Wailers [group from Seattle; oldest garage rock version]
Kingsmen [another Pacific Northwest group; n°2 US; pole position was held by a nun (Soeur Sourire)]
Joske Harry's & The King Creoles [in Dutch; lyrics by Nelly Byl]
Billy Childish & The Blackhands [as Louis Riel]
Walter Grootaers [in Dutch]
Iggy Pop [with political lyrics]
Demi Moore [lounge version in film Bobby; copying Julie London]
Along with Summertime, Rock Around The Clock, The House Of The Rising Sun and Yesterday one of the only songs that generated a whole book. Covering this rock 'n roll classic became a sport. The list is endless and exotic. Rhino Records released multiple Best Of Louie Louie compilations, but don't rely on them for the original: their Richard Berry version is not the real thing. The original, once the B-side of You Are My Sunshine, was reissued on Born Bad #4. Ace released a Louie Louie Files cd featuring El Loco Cha Cha. Berry who sold his copyright in '58-'59 to finance a wedding, missed out on the Kingsmen cover revenues completely. That first Best Of Louie Louie on Rhino was part of a campaign to regain his full copyright, finalized in '92.