R.I.P. Mike Mitchell, the Kingsmen Guitarist on "Louie Louie"
He "peacefully passed away" at age 77
Published Apr 19, 2021Mike Mitchell, the guitarist of the Kingsmen who played on "Louie Louie," has died. He was 77.
The Kingsmen's drummer Dick Peterson confirmed the news with Rolling Stone, saying that Mitchell had "peacefully passed away" on Friday (April 16), which was also Mitchell's birthday. No cause of death has been given. Peterson called Mitchell "the kindest and most generous man on the planet."
Mitchell was a founding member of the Kingsmen, who formed in the late '50s and scored their signature hit in 1963 with a cover of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie."
The group never broke up, and Mitchell remained a vocalist and guitarist. The band have continued to tour in recent years, and Mitchell was their last remaining original member.
Jack Ely, the vocalist on "Louie Louie," died in 2015.