Friday, April 13, 2012

A Tribute to Lowell George

Lowell George passed more than 30 years ago, but in his brief 34 year tenure on this mortal coil, he left behind a legacy that is as fresh as when he committed his particular vision to vinyl back in the 70’s.
What a life! He appeared on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour at the age of 6, and by the time he was in his teens, he had mastered the flute, harmonica, saxophone, sitar and most importantly, the guitar.
He then started a band called the Factory in the 60’s which included future Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward (who recently passed) as well as a fella named Fred Martin who co-wrote later Little Feat classics such as ‘Dixie Chicken’ & ‘Rock’n’Roll Doctor’. During this period, his band also appeared on such classic TV sitcoms as F-Troop (as the Bed Bugs) & Gomer Pyle, was a member of the Standells & the Mothers of Invention as well.
Little Feat came next, releasing 7 unique LPs of hardly conventional, but an always intriguing mix of southern-fried blues, r&b, country and rock’n’roll. In addition to fronting Little Feat, Mr. George also found time to play on other folks releases as disparate as John Cale, Harry Nilsson & the Meters, as well as produce not only for his own band, but the Grateful Dead & Valerie Carter too.
I was lucky enough to see Lowell & Little Feat (or Seat; see ticket stub) in their prime, once on a grossly under-promoted tour with label-mates Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band (again see stub) in 1972, the other time on a visit to Boston at an ill-advised ‘dance’ concert at the old Garden with Traffic & Lindisfarne on 9/13/1974, making the mistake of perusing said experience from the open-seated floor dodging beer bottles raining down from the loge and upper deck seats.
The remaining members of Little feat still tour to this day, and yes, they’re good, but without Lowell Goerge, let’s face it, it…just…isn’t…the same! Tune in throughout the day Friday for what would have been Lowell’s 67th here on WUMB for Little Feat music throughout the day, as well as H61 Saturday morning, 8A – 12P…on WUMB!

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