rhythm and a rock and roll king”. That pretty much sums up the guy who wrote the song “Rock and Roll Doctor.” Who might that be. If you don’t know who the rock and roll doctor is, you should be ashamed. He’s certainly not someone who got an online phd degree…”Little Feat” performed the song, written by Lowell George. Original members included Bill Payne, Richard Hayward, Kenny Gradney, Sam Clayton, Paul BarrĂ©re, Fred Tackett. Who by the way are still in the band except for Lowell George who died in 1979.

Little Feat were and continue to be a versatile band, bringing together variations of blues, R&B, country, and rock & roll. The band members were remarkably gifted technically and their polished performances fit in with the cool sounds coming out of southern California during the ’70s. However, Little Feat had a bizarre sensibility, as evidenced by George‘s idiosyncratic songwriting, which helped the band develop a cult following among critics and musicians. Though the band earned some success on album-oriented radio, the group was derailed after George‘s death in 1979. Little Feat re-formed in the late ’80s, and they were playing as well as ever, continuing the strange sensibility that made them cult favorites. Their albums and tours were wildly successful and continued to draw the crowds of people that made them a cult band.

Lowell George played with Frank Zappa and The Mothers for a while. Zappa fired him, said he had to much talent to play in a band, that he should lead his own band. And George also played a Fender Stratocaster. As does Paul Barrere to this day.

Little Feat performed regularly in Washington DC, in the ’70’s, where I was born in the ’50’s. I saw them live several times before I met my future wife, and we saw them many more times, live, of course. We have seen little Feat perform at the Carefree Theater in West Palm Beach, Fl. a few years ago. They filled the house and then brought it down, like going back to the ’70’s again. The bulk of the crowd were baby boomers, although it was nice to see younger folks who were hip and wanted to see an icon band play. We were not disappointed,

I had the privilege of being at George Washington University at Lisner Auditorium, where they recorded “Waiting for Columbus”, one of the first live albums made. Realistically, I don’t have the vocabulary to say something witty or fancy about them. All I can say is that we had more fun at Little Feat concerts than we should have had, and they always kept the crowd involved. I remember at one concert, somebody threw something on the stage, and Lowell George said. “that’s certainly better than a beer bottle”! Wonder what it was?

We don’t have any degrees in beebop at Guitar Players Center, but we know that Lowell George and Little Feat did. I know there are a bunch of Little Feat fanatics out there, anyone have a story about them or a concert experience? Please Comment and Share It.

5 Responses to “two degrees in beebop, a PHD in swing, he’s a master of

  1. Cool music history! Love it!

  2. Little Feat sure have some big shoes to fill!

  3. Aww Yeah, We love Little Feat and their funky beat!

  4. That’s one band that has fallen off my radar.. thanks for the reminder. Dixie Chicken, it’s amazing how we get tuned into one genre and forget there are so many other out there.. thanks Danny!

    Great History Here!

  5. Pingback: Guitar Style Reviews » Blog Archive » World Class Guitar Player Steve Lukather is 51 Today

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