Walkin' and A-Steppin' in the Fire

King Louie One Man Band Walkin' and A-Steppin' in the Fire 45 (Theraputic, 2000)

There are three great American cities and one of them is gone. While San Francisco and New York are still vibrant, New Orleans is fit for only gators, snakes, and vermin. Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, a neglected national infrastructure, and a tax starved flood control system the great city of New Orleans sits under ten feet of water. As far as I am concerned, you might as well wiped out Paris, Rome, Cairo, Bombay or Tokyo. New Orleans was that unique and that important of a city. It was where African slaves first started to break their chains. It is where political corruption was made a fine art. And it was where American music was born. (Excuse me while I shift between present and past tense: I am having a difficult time figuring out whether New Orleans is alive or not.)

There are so many names associated with New Orleans: Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, The Meters, Allan Toussaint, Eddie Bo, Professor Longhair, Clifton Chenier, Dr. John, Alex Chilton, Johnny Thunders... People who lived and died and made great music there. People who made a city that should not have worked, one where mansions sat besides shacks which sat beside cemeteries which sat beside grocery stores which sat besides office buildings. People who walked and talked, ate and drank New Orleans style. There was no city on earth like New Orleans. And was starting to think that there will never be one again until I read what is below.

I snatched what follows from the Goner Records message board. Goner is a record store, mail order and music label and pretty much is THE institution of real and raw Southern punk rock and roll. King Louie is who wrote what is below. King Louie is a New Orleans fixture, having long been part of that city's punk rock and roll scene. When you read Louie's words note that the humor, the grit, and the take as it comes attitude is not just him. It is New Orleans and if that town is to be what it was, the hope lies in the King Louies out there.

King Louie writes:

Louie...here...rebecca and i were just rescued by chainsaw from pearl river MS. (where the storm eye actually hit)...we swam through the swamp with a pit bull in tow. for nearly twenty minutes ...the water flooded our cabbin in 45 second we were swimmig through a flood...we were rescued bu boat from the TOP of a barn!!! spent 30 hours in the swamp with no electricity and were hearing reports of 8 dead people just up the road from us...this is unemaginable that we survived...we were driven hours in the black night to baton rouge...my mom is ok and the hardware store has no roof and is fucked...i'm worried my dad is all alone in there and i don't want him to be harmed by desperate neighbors for propain and lamp oil (all of which were sold out of days ago...we were looking out the window when the eye hit and the forest trees were wiggling like when you shake apencile by the eraser...there is a church on top of my car in the middle of HWY 604...got to go for now...find panzer and jherri macgillicudy for me!!! louieand rebecca...

While I love most of what King Louie has done musically, my favorite is his One Man Band.

FUCK YEAH. to louie, the insanity, the post, all of it.
my heart goes out to those folks, but I honestly believe Chicago is a far superior city to San Franciso. Sorry, I've been here for eight years now, and it's really not nearly as great.
Very well said. I just put up Red Cross links at my blog and web zine.
cool post. I'm a new orleans native. I'm evacuated from the hurricane on Sunday night. I stayed in some small town Texas for a few days. And next week I will be going to stay in Austin until New Orleans is fixed.
I'm also a n.o.la. native; living in Chi for 2 1/2 years now, and I can tell you...New Orleans is gone. Just glad my mom and my friends made it.
King Louie...known him since he was 17, played with him, and just knew he was gonna make it...his 9 lives are up now, though!
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