Little Feat - S&D, C/D

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can't imagine ILM caring much either way, and i'm not really sure myself what i think of them - for me it's all wrapped in memories of my dad, hearing the same faded cassettes in the back of his car over and over growing up. so there are songs i know in and out, but have no idea what the titles are or what albums they're on, although i've started to research that in recent years. some of it is, when i listen w/out too much bias or sentiment, nothing special, but there are for sure some really nice tunes and moments here and there. again, i'm at a loss for a lot of info or titles, but for now I'll single out "Easy To Slip" and "Teenage Nervous Breakdown".

so this weekend i'm dogsitting for dad, and out of boredom have been rifling through the dusty CD racks and decided to make a mission of unearthing some of these Little Feat memories. so far, though, i haven't located much from the prime Lowell George era, and what i have hasn't really activated my pleasure or nostalgia neurons much.

Al (sitcom), Sunday, 17 November 2002 06:36 (nineteen years ago) link

there's a two year old issue of uncut next to my toilet, and every time i go in the bathroom i invariably flip through it and EVERY TIME i flip through it i open to the page on little feat. (it's the "these are famous people that were are KEERAZY-like and did drugs or offed themselves or pissed themselves silly in da nuthouse ya heard" issue.) un-fucking-canny.

jess (dubplatestyle), Sunday, 17 November 2002 06:41 (nineteen years ago) link

i don't listen to them much anymore, but i do like little feat. my favorite songs are juliette and skin it back

ron (ron), Sunday, 17 November 2002 06:55 (nineteen years ago) link

I am not familiar with Little Feat, but I love love love the Golden Palominos' cover of "I've Been the One" (with Syd Straw singing her heart out). Anyone who can write a song that good is probably worth checking out. So, what says ILM?

Ernest P. (ernestp), Sunday, 17 November 2002 14:51 (nineteen years ago) link

The weirdest thing is that I can't get past Lowell George's voice. They're (he's) supposed to be the authentic stuff, right? But LG sounds to me like he's straining all the time. Every time I've tried an LF album I just think "These songs should be sung by Paul Westerberg or Lou Gramm or somebody"

dave q, Sunday, 17 November 2002 15:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic for a little while.

Search Waiting For Columbus double LP live set.

dek1, Sunday, 17 November 2002 23:19 (nineteen years ago) link

VERY Classic.

Search: "Rock and Roll Doctor", "Oh Atlanta", "Dixie Chicken", "Hate to Lose Your Loving", "Voices on the Wind".

Joe (Joe), Monday, 18 November 2002 02:50 (nineteen years ago) link

Rock and Roll Doctor is all the evidence you need. Absolute classic.

Roger Fascist (Roger Fascist), Monday, 18 November 2002 09:47 (nineteen years ago) link

Just heard their version of Willin' on an old tape comp this morning - thats classic - Not quite so sure about the rest of their ouvre.

tigerclawskank, Monday, 18 November 2002 11:57 (nineteen years ago) link

"can't imagine ILM caring much either way"

Care very much. I'd search the first 3 albums (Little Feat, Sailin' Shoes, Dixie Chicken) and Lowell George's solo album.

Can't really see the point of the post-Lowell George stuff, but I'm sure it's alright.

James Ball (James Ball), Monday, 18 November 2002 14:45 (nineteen years ago) link

The Little Feat album I really like is their first record. The songs are shorter and much more bouncy than the later laid back funk sound. "Strawberry Flats" and "Truck Stop Girl" are great songs, but the whole record is almost as good.

earlnash, Tuesday, 19 November 2002 03:40 (nineteen years ago) link

two years pass...
i like their ballads

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:04 (sixteen years ago) link

download live shows from Furthur, the quality is amazing-- classic!

Unfortunate Prankster (Unfortunate Prankster), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:14 (sixteen years ago) link

I hate "Dixie Chicken" so much that my ears vomit when I hear it.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:21 (sixteen years ago) link


Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:28 (sixteen years ago) link

Sailing Shoes, the second album, is my favorite. That's the one with "Easy To Slip", "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" and the second, twangier version of "Willin'".

brianiac (briania), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:39 (sixteen years ago) link

al i had no idea you loved little feat so much! i dig em so so so much.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:40 (sixteen years ago) link

i like the byrds' version of 'truck stop girl' too

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:40 (sixteen years ago) link

Little Feat gets hit with the ILM kiss-of-death not once, but twice: first for being unabashedly Dadrock, and second for employing 'competent' musicians.

Still, classic. Search the first three albums and destroy anything without Lowell George.

Keith C (kcraw916), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:46 (sixteen years ago) link

I've seen intimations elsewhere about what party animals these guys were -- presumably this had something to do with LG dropping from a heart attack at like 30. If anybody's read that Uncut piece, or knows other dissolute details, please share!

brianiac (briania), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:48 (sixteen years ago) link

S--"Sailin' Shoes," esp. "Easy to Slip." Also, "Old Folks Boogie" and "Rocket in My Pocket" and "Time Loves a Hero." "Long Distance Love" and there's another one on "Last Record Album" I like OK. Never could stand "Dixie Chicken" or "Feats Don't Fail Me." I think Lowell George's solo album had one good song on it, "20 Million Things to Do." Other than that, D--I'll keep on listening to the Meters or Lee Dorsey or the Band, thanks, and their post-LG stuff is of course awful.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 6 May 2005 18:25 (sixteen years ago) link

after years of never finding the first album, i came across two copies in texas. it's doubtful i'll like it better than sailin' shoes though. i am really obsessed with SS though, and just from the lyrics, they sound fried, freaked out, sweating bullets in a hotel room somewheres. i also like yancey's comment that they're precursors to the Sundance Channel.

Beta (abeta), Friday, 6 May 2005 18:52 (sixteen years ago) link

(sorry if i butchered the insight, yancers.)

Beta (abeta), Friday, 6 May 2005 18:53 (sixteen years ago) link

The version of "Willin'" on the first record bothers me. It's like a bonus-track demo that some how preceded the "real" version.

Keith C (kcraw916), Friday, 6 May 2005 19:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Johnny Darrell does a nice tossed-off version of "Willin' " on the people-associated-with-the-Byrds comp "Byrd Parts 2." As well as a nice tossed-off version of "Mae Jean Goes to Hollywood."

The thing is, I really like the way Lowell George played slide, I like his sound. That live album "Waiting for Columbus" has its moments, and I sure admire the *way* they play on "The Last Record Album." I just remembered the other one I like on that one, "All That You Dream." Really nice. And I dig Bill Payne's piano style too, but it seemed to harden into mannerism real quick. This thread has inspired me to dig out "Sailin' Shoes," and I'd forgotten how good it really is, and I sorta like that first album too, Andy.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 6 May 2005 19:16 (sixteen years ago) link

While we're on it, shout out to Neon Park for those album covers. Which one's the best?

brianiac (briania), Friday, 6 May 2005 19:21 (sixteen years ago) link

i'd rank the first few: little feat -> sailin' shoes -> last record album -> dixie chicken. though they're all on a pretty even playing field.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Friday, 6 May 2005 19:30 (sixteen years ago) link

haha, pre-revive I totally forgot both that this thread exists and that I started it. I got Dixie Chicken on vinyl a while back, don't listen to it nearly enough.

Al (sitcom), Friday, 6 May 2005 20:50 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm pretty sure the first concert I ever saw was Little Feat, although it was of course in the late 80's or early 90's with very little of the original lineup.

Al (sitcom), Friday, 6 May 2005 20:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Nobody's singled out their Stairway To Heaven yet, Fat Man in the Bathtub

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Friday, 6 May 2005 21:54 (sixteen years ago) link

Vastly, vastly underrated among cognoscenti, and especially among the alt-country fanatics of the mid-90s, who should have been listening to this stuff instead of half the crap they rated (I was one of them).

southern lights, Friday, 6 May 2005 22:58 (sixteen years ago) link

little feat were my first concert, too, al! though for me it was 82 or so.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Friday, 6 May 2005 23:17 (sixteen years ago) link

I love Waiting For Columbus. I actually listen to it more than the studio stuff. I've said it before and i'll say it again: all the 90's live stuff I have heard on radio and elsewhere kicks major ass. My dad played me a cd of some concert from 5 years back or so and the stretched-out blues/jazz/rockness of it sounded heavenly to me. But dad-rock, yeah, i guess so! in fact, I stole my copy of Waiting For Columbus from my dad some 20 years ago!

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 7 May 2005 00:09 (sixteen years ago) link

Never heard them, to my knowledge, but they play on Akiko Yano's first couple of albums, so they're cool with me.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Saturday, 7 May 2005 00:13 (sixteen years ago) link

and George & Payne (and others?) played on Paris 1919.

brianiac (briania), Saturday, 7 May 2005 03:44 (sixteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
Weed, whites, and wine.

def zep (calstars), Monday, 30 January 2006 14:52 (fifteen years ago) link

Best song? Brides of Jesus. Aside from that first album, I've never heard anything that really captivated me. But, if only for that one song alone, the released a stone cold classic.

js (honestengine), Monday, 30 January 2006 17:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Best Show Ever!:

Little Feat Fuckin' Rocked Tonight!!!!

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 30 January 2006 17:38 (fifteen years ago) link

"I've been the One" (whether by GP or LF) brings a tear to my eye Every Fuckin Time. Maybe I am the living embodiment of Dadrock. I dunno. The first Feat album is still a regular play for me--and I don't listen to too much rawk.

J Arthur Rank (Quin Tillian), Monday, 30 January 2006 21:27 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass...
Saw them in 77 in OZ. Lowel was the best, voice and guitar work.
Waiting for Columbus best live album ever. Acquired taste but once you get it thats it. So put on those Sailin Shoes.......

Burkey, Tuesday, 2 May 2006 10:33 (fifteen years ago) link

I actually like Feats Don't Fail Me Now best. "Rock & Roll Doctor" is one of the greatest single tracks ever, by anyone. And I really like "Oh Atlanta" and "Cold Cold Cold / Tripe Face Boogie", as well as the title song. Close call with the sing-along tracks on Dixie Chicken, though. Why didn't anyone mention what a great song "Roll 'Em Easy" is? "Dixie Chicken", too.

On the other hand, all Lowell George-era records are not created equal. Time Loves A Hero craps out as far as I'm concerned.

The thing that makes me really appreciate LF, besides the pure chops aspect and George's songwriting and slide-guitar wit, is the weird fiction-making that they were engaged it. They shared it with The Band, and Credence Clearwater Revival, and The Grateful Dead (version 1970), and, to some extent, Dr. John (when he was The Nightripper): There was this imagination and invention of an American musical tradition to which they were the natural successors, but which never actually existed. In LF's case, something like a Disney version of New Orleans, in which Robert Johnson come down from the Delta sat in with Professor Longhair. It was a cousin to Shangri-La or Macondo, a magical source of all stories.

Contemporary Americana by and large doesn't do that (although Uncle Tupelo to some extent did). I miss the ambition, and I miss the fun it created.

Vornado, Tuesday, 2 May 2006 16:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Vornado, great post! I am a new convert to Little Feat via the debut. It is just fuckin' amazing, and yes, they are totally creating this myth. "Willin'" is a perfect example of creating these imagined roots connecting the old bluesy troubador thing with modern truck driving. When I first heard Little Feat, I said to myself, "This is the band all modern roots rockers want to be but are not."

QuantumNoise (Justin Farrar), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 16:18 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm also quite new to Little Feat, but being a major fan of The Band I've been rounding up as much LF as I can. So far I've loved pretty much everything I've heard.

shorty (shorty), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 16:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Little Feat makes me want to be a truck driver.

Keith C (lync0), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 17:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Little Feat makes me want to be a truck driver.

Totally. It sounds silly, but I want to drink wine, do speed, smoke weed, and cruise around the high plains of Colorado when I'm listening to Little Feat.

QuantumNoise (Justin Farrar), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 17:54 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass...
This is a very high quality live set (and free!).

It was recorded for a radio station in Hempstead, NY, in Sept. 1974, and these MP3s were mastered from the only surviving pre-FM tape of the performance, which was salvaged from the radio station archives in 1978. This had been previously released as bootleg vinyl under the title "Electrif Lycanthrope".

There's lots of other live Little Feat on that site too, which I haven't listened to. I burned this one onto a CD-R and listened to it in the car this morning. It put a smile on my face.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 30 August 2006 16:31 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

The thing that makes me really appreciate LF, besides the pure chops aspect and George's songwriting and slide-guitar wit, is the weird fiction-making that they were engaged it. They shared it with The Band, and Credence Clearwater Revival, and The Grateful Dead (version 1970), and, to some extent, Dr. John (when he was The Nightripper): There was this imagination and invention of an American musical tradition to which they were the natural successors, but which never actually existed. In LF's case, something like a Disney version of New Orleans, in which Robert Johnson come down from the Delta sat in with Professor Longhair. It was a cousin to Shangri-La or Macondo, a magical source of all stories.

That's so right.
Listening to Feats Don't Fail me Now and wondering why Richie Hayward doesn't get the props he deserves. LF were the house band at a hotel where all American music worth the name came to stay - only the Band beat them on this one.

sonofstan, Thursday, 13 September 2007 10:05 (fourteen years ago) link

ten months pass...

I just downloaded the live concert from up thread, and ohh-boy, is it good... They sound like the Band, if they'd been from New Orleans instead of Canada via Arkansas. Calling this dad rock is misleading. Maybe I could buy it if your dad liked going on month long speed, weed, and wine benders. Funky, weird and filthy.

leavethecapital, Saturday, 26 July 2008 00:54 (thirteen years ago) link

aww, this is probably one of the first threads I ever started. Sailin' Shoes is so awesome. I wonder if a Little Feat albums poll would generate much in the way of votes/conversation (and if so, if I should include Waiting For Columbus or limit it to studio LPs).

some dude, Saturday, 26 July 2008 01:03 (thirteen years ago) link

Yeah, that live set totally rules, been enjoying it ever since I found it here.

Mark Rich@rdson, Saturday, 26 July 2008 01:09 (thirteen years ago) link

recommend an LP?

calstars, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 02:01 (two years ago) link

Omnivore's been reissuing a bunch of theirs, also a few recent sets (Terry Adams with an all-this-century line-up, I think) The best reissue I've heard is their s/t debut, from 1969, smokin' Louisville backyards and other spaces. Don't know how many of these have been reissued by now, but I liked several of their 70s, At Yankee Stadium, Kick Me Hard, Grooves in Orbit, and Tapdancin' Bats---oh yeah, All Hopped Up has been reissued, but seemed too or wrongly gimmicky at times; they could be that way (ditto the current crew)
And if you really want to take the plunge, Omnivore's High Noon - A 50-Year Retrospective is pretty refreshing, for the most part---as it damn well better be, with 5 CDs.

dow, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 02:20 (two years ago) link

I was just listening to Workshop, which is what inspired me to post. I've got it was part of a vinyl two-fer with their prior effort Scraps, which might be a good place to start (Sundazed did individual LP reissues). At Yankee Stadium has them starting to get New Wave-y in a way the Feat never lived to reach, but it's the consensus pick and very much worth your time.

I should point out that where the two bands most overlap is in their wacky sense of humor. NRBQ used the Beatles as a jumping-off point the same way the Feat used the Stones.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 8 October 2019 03:11 (two years ago) link

And while I'm here, let's look at Commander Cody. Your best bets there are their first two: Lost In The Ozone and Hot Licks, Cold Steel and Trucker's Favorites. The two original lives albums are good stuff. Tales From The Ozone is the fine last gasp of the original band. They covered "Willin'" on the self-titled album before that. It's really Country.

Once again the overlap is mainly in the sense of humor. Their style isn't that far removed for the first couple of Feat LPs.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 8 October 2019 03:21 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

RIP Paul Barerre

It is with great sorrow that Little Feat must announce the passing of our brother guitarist, Paul Barrere, this morning at UCLA Hospital. We ask for your kindest thoughts and best wishes to go out especially to his widow Pam and children Gabriel, Genevieve, and Gillian, and to all the fans who were his extended family.

Paul auditioned for Little Feat as a bassist when it was first being put together—in his words, “as a bassist I make an excellent guitarist”—and three years later joined the band in his proper role on guitar. Forty-seven years later, he was forced to miss the current tour, which will end tomorrow, due to side effects from his ongoing treatment for liver disease.

He promised to follow his doctor’s orders, get back in shape, and rock on the beach at the band’s annual gathering in Jamaica in January 2020. “Until then,” he wrote, “keep your sailin’ shoes close by…if I have my way, you’re going to need them!”

As the song he sang so many times put it, he was always “Willin’,” but it was not meant to be. Paul, sail on to the next place in your journey with our abiding love for a life always dedicated to the muse and the music. We are grateful for the time we have shared.

Yours in music,

Little Feat: Bill Payne, Sam Clayton, Fred Tackett, Kenny Gradney, and Gabe Ford.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 27 October 2019 01:53 (two years ago) link

Well I’m waiting for something to take place
Something to take me away from this place
From city to city, town to town
Running round in the shoes of a clown
I’m that desperate no good desperado

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Sunday, 27 October 2019 02:11 (two years ago) link

"Walkin' All Night", "Skin It Back", "Old Folks Boogie", "Down On The Farm", "Over The Edge", "Let It Roll", "Texas Twister", "Rad Gumbo"--All Great Songs.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 27 October 2019 06:27 (two years ago) link

So it seems. That the world keeps on turning but so what

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Sunday, 27 October 2019 18:35 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

When in doubt , play the feat

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 23:51 (two years ago) link

I queued up the Ultrasonic Studios 1973 set about an hour ago. Damn, they were special.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 14 November 2019 00:09 (two years ago) link

Ultrasonic is nice, no complaints here

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Thursday, 14 November 2019 00:34 (two years ago) link

There was a woman in Georgia

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Thursday, 14 November 2019 00:36 (two years ago) link

Skin it back is a backup and damn if it’s better than it’s replacing

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Thursday, 14 November 2019 00:43 (two years ago) link

Don't forget "Oh Atlanta"!

How nuts is it that Feats Don't...kicks off with a defining masterpiece from each of the three songwriters?

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 14 November 2019 01:12 (two years ago) link

I queued up the Ultrasonic Studios 1973 set about an hour ago. Damn, they were special.

The best. Great sound. A+ studio banter. What a vibe!

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Thursday, 14 November 2019 01:14 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

Shared by the band via Allan Jones on FB today:

Block Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

# 1 Little Feat

There were some stories that didn’t make the published version of Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down that I’ve been wondering what to do with. Thought I might post a few of them during the current quarantine. It’s something to do that isn’t a fucking jigsaw, anyway.

London, June 1976
Little Feat are due back in London to re-join The Who Put The Boot In tour, after two weeks in Europe during a break between the opening date of The Who tour at Charlton football ground and tomorrow's show in Swansea.
I'm supposed to meet them at 10.30 on a Friday morning at the Montcalm, the swanky hotel in Mable Arch much-favoured in those days by anyone signed to Warner Bros. There's no sign of them when I get there, although they were meant to be catching an early flight from Amsterdam. Eventually, someone from Warners turns up with the news that Little Feat are as we speak being held at Heathrow. The band are in custody and their impounded equipment’s being searched for drugs, flight cases and amps and the like being stripped, much like the group themselves, and thoroughly frisked. He has no idea how long they'll be held, but says if I want to wait, he'll book me a room. There's a well-stocked mini bar and food on room service if I want it.

I could, of course, go back to the Melody Maker office, where work is waiting for me. Alternatively, I could, you know, stay here and have a few drinks, some nibbles and maybe a nap. So I decide to stay and wait, trying not to take undue advantage of the record company's generosity, an intention that fails miserably, the stock of the mini bar much diminished by mid-afternoon, Little Feat still at that point being grilled at the airport.

It's early evening when they finally show up, in remarkably good humour and full of apologies for the long wait I've endured with what I hope seems to them impressive professional stoicism. Anyway, I'm here to interview them individually for a regular Melody Maker feature called Band Breakdown. To which end, they troop one by one into my room. Bassist Ken Gradney's first, followed by percussionist Sam Clayton, both veterans of Delany & Bonnie. Next up is keyboardist Bill Payne, who formed little Feat in 1970 with guitarist Lowell George and drummer Richie Heyward, their ambition, as he puts it, to sound like "a tougher version of The Band". Bill's very funny about Little Feat's early days, playing occasional gigs at strip clubs and generally so poor he ended up sleeping on the beach.

The poverty that's dogged the band ever since is something that subsequently preoccupies somewhat surly guitarist Paul Barrere, who joined them in 1972. He'd been working up to that point as a waiter - "make that a servant" - at a musicians' hang-out called The Black Rabbit Inn while playing part-time with a group called Led Enema. "For the next year and a half," he says curtly, "I made less money with Little Feat than I did as an out-of-work musician and waiter."

I don't really hit it off with Barerre who in a simmering hint of escalating tensions to come grumpily spends most of the interview complaining that Lowell gets too much credit for the band's music, which the moody Barerre clearly resents. I get on like a dream, though, with flamboyantly moustachioed Richie Heyward, who's sharp, funny and has great drugs. "We sent everything ahead of us," he says, explaining why nothing came of the airport bust. "It was all waiting for us when we arrived. Have some more,” he says, busy cutting up lines as long as a baby’s arm.

He starts off by telling me about The Factory, the band he played in with Lowell before Little Feat. "It was electric miasma music," he says. "We had a song called 'Car Crash', which was an instrumental that sounded like every violated water buffalo in the world plugged into a Marshall amp."
He then remembers The Fraternity Of Man, whose line-up also included Lowell. "I spent most of my time bailing them out of jail, where they were paying for their enjoyment of nefarious pharmaceutical pursuits and behaviour sub-standard to the ethic of The Daughters Of The American Revolution. The music was revolutionary. An incitement to riot. Anti-police state and pro-pharmacology. Inane, really."

Not long after The Fraternity Of Man split, Richie formed Little Feat with Lowell, who'd just left Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention, Bill Payne and former Mothers' bassist Roy Estrada, who eventually quit to join Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. "Beefheart offered Roy 350 dollars a month," Richie recalls. "Which was exactly 350 dollars a month more than Little Feat, collectively, were earning. Man, we were poor."

We suddenly realise we've been jabbering wide-eyed for hours and I still need to speak to Lowell. We go to his room, knock on the door. There's no reply. Richie suggests I meet the band the next day in Swansea, where I can interview Lowell. So the next day I spend a lot of time in Little Feat's trailer, drinking beer, smoking this and snorting that. I have a grand time, thanks for asking. But I still don't manage to get Lowell in front of a tape recorder. It's agreed with someone that I'll meet with Lowell at the sound-check for Little Feat's show on Monday at the Hammersmith Odeon, which is a gas. But Lowell disappears as soon as the sound-check's done. I don’t see him again before the gig, which turns out to be mind-blowing. There's an after-show party for the band, though, at the Zanzibar, a swish cocktail bar in Covent Garden, at which Lowell is finally cornered. We find a table and against much background rowdiness from the partying mob have to shout to make ourselves heard to each other. Lowell’s constantly distracted by a stream of well-wishers and other people he doesn't know, some of them offering him this, others that. A pretty waitress who catches Lowell's eye brings us round after round of exotic drinks, which we knock back like sailors on shore leave.

Lowell's already kind of what you might call out of it, although not as far gone as he looks like he might get. Whatever, for the next 45 minutes, he's great company. There are colourful anecdotes about his time with Zappa, The Factory, Sky Saxon and The Seeds, The Standells, The Fraternity Of Man, Stephen Stills, Peter Tork, Jimi Hendrix and, of course, Little Feat.

"We're like a Jackson Pollock painting," he says. "You know the way a Pollock painting is never really 'finished'? Pollock painted until he came to the edge of the canvas, that's when he had to stop. He then had a painting. When we're recording, we have a deadline to finish by, usually imposed by the record company. When we hit that deadline, we stop recording. It's the edge of our canvas. That's when we have a new album."

Around now, he's finaly dragged away into the seething crowd and the flashing lights, the pulsing maw of the teeming Zanzibar.

The next time I see him, it's June 1979 and I'm in New York with The Damned. The horrid little miscreants have just played a show at Hurrah's that ended with the band at war with the crowd who seemed only to be there to jeer them for not being The Sex Pistols. "You want anarchy?" Rat Scabies had shouted, a drum stick stuck up one nostril, spraying muck from the other at the audience. "You're fucking well going to get it." Captain Sensible, stripped down to his underpants, had by now swapped places with Rat and was banging on Rat’s drums. Rat played the riff from "Whole Lotta Love" on the Captain's guitar, which was probably last in tune when he bought it. Dave Vanian then reappeared, as if out of nowhere, like he'd just dropped down from the rafters. At which point they'd played "Pretty Vacant", someone rushing the stage to wrestle with Rat, who smashed him over the head with what was left of his drum kit, most of which Sensible had already thrown into the crowd, followed by an amplifier that shattered one of the club's wall-to-ceiling mirrors. A rather lively evening, all told.

Hours later, the Captain and I are in a lift at the Gramercy Park Hotel, where the band are staying. Sensible is by now wearing a fluorescent pink rabbit suit compete with ears and both of us are screeching with laughter at something or other. The lift stops at the second floor. The doors open. I look up, still shrieking with laughter, and there's Lowell George, in town for the start of his first solo tour after leaving Little Feat. Lowell steps into the lift, looks disbelievingly at Sensible in his fluorescent pink rabbit suit complete with ears. Before I have a chance to say anything to him, he backs out of the lift, looking baffled, possibly worried that he's having some kind of alarming psychedelic episode, all that acid coming back to terrify him.
Two days later, Lowell dies of a heart attack in Washington, another good man gone. As he boogies up to the Pearly Gates, I hope the last thing he remembers from a previous life isn't a man dressed as a rabbit, swearing his head off in a lift in New York at five in the morning.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 26 March 2020 16:15 (one year ago) link

Led Enema lol

calstars, Thursday, 26 March 2020 17:49 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

Live Ultrasonic 1973 so good !

calstars, Sunday, 11 October 2020 23:36 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

First contact:
"Hamburger Midnight" b/w "Strawberry Flats"
Little Feat (Warner Brothers 7431)

This is the masterpiece. This is perhaps the best record I've heard in several months. As usual, Warner's has picked the wrong side as the A-side. "Hamburger Midnight" is indeed a fine song, reminiscent of Johnny Winter, crackling and sizzling through two minutes packed with incredible energy. Yet it pales against "Strawberry Flats," which must be one of thr definitive statements of "where youth is at today." Dig these {partial) lyrics:

Ripped off and run outta town/Got my git-tar burned/When I was clownin'/Haven't slept in a bed for a week/And my shoes feel like part of my feet/ Let me come down/Where I won't be burden to no-one/Let me around/Give me a hole to recline in...
Knocked on my friend's door in Mooody, Texas/Asked if he had a place for me/His hair was cut off and he was wearin' a suit/ He said,/
"Not in my house! Not in my house!"
/It seemed like part of a con-spir-a-cy.

The singer is "six hours out on Strawberry Flats" and trying to get past the school bus Texas roadblock where they're "stoppin' everybody who looks too weird." The music sounds like the Band taken one step further. and it is difficult to believe that they generate so much excitement in two minutes and 21 seconds. This anthem of the Age of Paranoia deserves to be in your collection and on every radio station in the country, although I realize as I write that it is wishful thinking. The group Little Feat seems to have ex-Mother Roy Estrada, a guy named George, and another guy named Payne in it. Warner Brothers says that they have an album coming. but they're not too sure when. Watch for it, and if you don't believe me, invest 77¢ or whatever in the single.
---Ed Ward 11-26-70
from The Rolling Stone Record Review(Pocket Book edition, August 1971)

The sub

dow, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 22:03 (ten months ago) link

He didn't yet recognize "a guy named George" as another Mother. wiki sez:
Formative years

Lowell George met Bill Payne when George was a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Payne had auditioned for the Mothers, but had not joined. They formed Little Feat along with former Mothers' bassist Roy Estrada and drummer Richie Hayward from George's previous band, The Factory. Hayward had also been a member of the Fraternity of Man whose claim to fame was the inclusion of their "Don't Bogart That Joint" on the million-selling Easy Rider film soundtrack. The name of the band came from a comment made by Mothers' drummer Jimmy Carl Black about Lowell's "little feet". The spelling of "feat" was an homage to the Beatles.

There are three stories about the genesis of Little Feat. One has it that George showed Zappa his song "Willin'," and that Zappa fired him from the Mothers of Invention, because he felt that George was too talented to merely be a member of his band, and told him he ought to go away and form his own band. The second version has Zappa firing him for playing a 15-minute guitar solo with his amplifier off. The third version says that Zappa fired him because "Willin'" contains drug references ("weed, whites and wine"). George often introduced the song as the reason he was asked to leave the band. On October 18, 1975 at the Auditorium Theater in Rochester New York while introducing the song, George commented that he was asked to leave the band for "writing a song about dope".[3]
The band in 1975

In any version, Zappa was instrumental in getting George and his new band a contract with Warner Bros. Records. The eponymous first album delivered to Warner Bros. was recorded mostly in August and September 1970, and was released in January 1971. When it came time to record "Willin'," George had hurt his hand in an accident with a model airplane, so Ry Cooder sat in and played the song's slide part.

dow, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 22:09 (ten months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I can hear barrere on the composition of “feats don’t fail” it’s cool that LG sings it though

calstars, Sunday, 21 March 2021 19:27 (nine months ago) link

four weeks pass...

Shared by the band on FB today: their 1972 cameo on The FBI (possibly some of the only footage of the original Feat)

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 18 April 2021 01:04 (nine months ago) link

Is it just me or does the early stuff have a real stones vibe to it? LG’s voice too and the way he strains the notes could almost be a stand in for mick

calstars, Sunday, 18 April 2021 01:43 (nine months ago) link

I seem to recall somewhere that the original concept behind the group was Rolling Stones + The Band, which is most obvious on the debut.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 18 April 2021 02:07 (nine months ago) link

five months pass...

calstars, Thursday, 30 September 2021 21:58 (three months ago) link

“Closest thing to Dylan” ?

calstars, Thursday, 30 September 2021 21:59 (three months ago) link

this amazing bootleg is finally coming out officially for record store day:

tylerw, Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:00 (three months ago) link


EZ Snappin, Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:23 (three months ago) link

That looks fantastic and I really hope it gets a wider release later because those 5000 copies aren't going to go far.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:24 (three months ago) link

Yeah, but it's gonna list for $75 or something...

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:30 (three months ago) link

Probably true. In a perfect world it'd also get an affordable CD release in a few months time.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:32 (three months ago) link

I heard you the biggest HOO
The biggest truck in town

calstars, Sunday, 3 October 2021 02:12 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Is every song on the first Little Feat album about long-haul truckers?

J. Sam, Thursday, 21 October 2021 21:03 (two months ago) link

"Brides of Jesus" = Jesus Was A Truck-Drivin' Messiah

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 21 October 2021 21:06 (two months ago) link

Companion Piece:

They would later cover "Willin'"

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 21 October 2021 21:08 (two months ago) link

In other news, the current lineup of Little Feat will be doing a 45th Anniversary tour doing Waiting For Columbus front-to-back next year.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 21 October 2021 22:07 (two months ago) link

They would later cover "Willin'" Yeah, but I think Ronstadt's version is better. They certainly had their moments though. They should: they spent the 60s entertaining Ann Arbor, then, having run out of financial opportunities for professional students etc., they jumped to Berkeley, became student bar faves there, and then opening act for the Dead---especially popular because they didn't jam, I've read---and maybe encourage the Dead to play more country etc. They mixed that with rockabilly, western swing, other compatibles (incl. originals, like the one about being down to seeds and stems again. Also known for attracting a mix of hippies, old trad country fans, younger suits (so also suitable for that era of Austin, Armadillo World Headquarters and so on).
I tend to prefer some of the covers, like their Greatest Hit, "Hot Rod Lincoln," also "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! That Cigarette." Liked most of the first two LPs, 1971's Lost In The Ozone and the next year's Hot Licks, Cold Steel and Trucker's Favorites, also some of the live album. Not so muchthe '75 s/t, which was supposed to be their major move, the punchline of an amazing book, Star-Making Machinery: Inside the Business of Rock and Roll, by the late great Geoffrey Stokes, from a lost world of music, money, dreams, and delusions---familiar elements, but mixing a strange brew, man.

dow, Thursday, 21 October 2021 23:49 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Yeahhh…now I have this one and Columbus 😎

calstars, Sunday, 7 November 2021 18:09 (two months ago) link

Analog willin

calstars, Sunday, 7 November 2021 19:09 (two months ago) link

In a perfect world it'd also get an affordable CD release in a few months time.

― a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, September 30, 2021 5:32 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

Since this world is far from perfect, there's going to be a more limited edition CD version of the RSD Electrif Lycanthrope.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 7 November 2021 19:22 (two months ago) link

calstars, Sunday, 7 November 2021 19:58 (two months ago) link

Roll right through the night

ncxkd, Sunday, 14 November 2021 23:32 (two months ago) link

I said roll

calstars, Monday, 15 November 2021 02:15 (two months ago) link

That RSD CD is already going for sick $$$ on eBay.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 27 November 2021 23:16 (one month ago) link

Let’s crowd source that shit

calstars, Saturday, 27 November 2021 23:19 (one month ago) link

there's one on discogs for a somewhat reasonable price.

please don't refer to me as (Austin), Saturday, 27 November 2021 23:35 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Lucked out and was able to grab an Electrif Lycanthrope CD for list (plus shipping + tax) on eBay right before Xmas. Just digging in now and HOLY SHIT what a good job Rhino did on this. Sounds like you're right there in the audience. Sucks that if this were 5-10 years ago it would have been a regular release instead of this RSD bullshit.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 1 January 2022 00:28 (two weeks ago) link

Very nice !

calstars, Saturday, 1 January 2022 01:01 (two weeks ago) link

The Electrif Lycanthrope remaster is now up on streaming services.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 14 January 2022 19:49 (six days ago) link


calstars, Friday, 14 January 2022 20:14 (six days ago) link

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