The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Little Feat

1-17-08Little Feat

Further to my musings of yesterday (about The Band), of a mis-spent youth of the early 70’s…today I will write about Little Feat.

I heard of them on a Warner Brothers sampler LP. Roy Estrada of The Mothers of Invention was their bass player, at least on their debut album. I was too young to see a band like Little Feat play in a bar (I wasn’t 21 until 1979!), I do not remember them being on TV or even (really) hearing them on the FM radio. None of my young adult record friends had any Little Feat records. We were all busy buying records by Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia.

I started working in a hippie record store in the summer of 1976. We likely stocked all available Little Feat albums – despite the fact that I knew some were sold, I never saw anybody buy one. They seemed to me to be part of a music scene that was not intended for me. I remember Lowell George croaking while his shows at The Roxy were still up on their marquee. I remember all the great Neon Park cover art Little Feat used (the cover of Mr. Park’s art book is posted with this blog).

I first perked up at Little Feat’s presence on Earth via an LP by Haruomi Hosono, “The Bellwood Tapes”; so it took me until ’80 or so to ever actually hear Little Feat. Indeed, the living members of L.F. play a song on the ‘07 “Tribute To Haruomi Hosono” 2CD set.

Two more additions to the mental rolodex of Little Feat: I remember a guy from Italy visited my house towards the end of the 80’s. Mostly we ‘talked’ about Italian progressive rock bands of the 70’s. I think the TV was on, and an old ‘video reel’ I was playing had a Little Feat song – the guy sat up, took notice and clearly stated: “Dixie Chicken!”. Apart from that, he spoke no English at all, he only spoke Italian.

In 2001, I met a guy in Japan that offered us a car ride through Tokyo. I was dazzled by the ‘global positioning’ unit he had; it showed all the alleyways, told him where parking was etc. In the amount of time it took him to drive from Daikanyama to Hiroo, he had a Little Feat CD playing. “Who is this?”, I innocently asked. “Oh, I thought you would’ve known that! It’s Little Feat!”.

So, add Little Feat to the list of bands that the Ron Kane Files are fairly ignorant of. Can’t think of a scenario where I would need any L.F. music for any project I would work on. I do not have any L.F. LP’s or CD’s – just songs on sampler LP’s. I have pictures of their LP cover art in the Neon Park art book that I have. File under: “Bands Ron does not really do”.

How is it that there’s a 70’s band that’s completely out of my scope, when I can easily listen to and enjoy a 60’s band, such as Country Joe & The Fish – another group that I never saw, and was ‘too young’ for. I can’t really summon up any dis-taste for L.F., but…I continue living in my 50th year, and do not regret that the Little Feat message got delivered elsewhere.


Blogger Brian Ware said...

I'm on the exact same page as you with Little Feat. I'm the right age and was certainly paying attention to a diverse selection of mainstream American rock in the 70s, but they totally slipped under my radar as well. I've always seen them listed as influential to various artists, and yes, I've heard "Dixie Chicken" a time or two. Not that they sounded bad... they just didn't sound in any way interesting to me.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Yeah, Brian - one never can "do" everything, eh?

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Three for three. Little Feat is in the vein of funky southernesque music of the 70s, but you know what? Gimme Jerry Reed instead! Or better yet, Tony Joe White. Now that's f u n k y! I never had time for Lowell George/Little Feat and they are from the same vein of hippie rock which has NEVER done anything for me. As a child in my formative ears in LA [6-8] I grew up finding actual hippies distasteful. Any music that has strong appeal to them [Grateful Dead, Little Feat, The Band] is aesthetic anathema to me. I have no problems with ANY of the genres of rock/pop music from 55-66 - I really am capable of liking it all, but once widespread drug use began to affect the music [1965 onward] then it's hunt & peck time for my musical satisfaction. The more intrinsic drug use is to a genre of music, the less I like it.

6:17 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Don't worry, Jim-san. We're not going to discuss the Dead. NEVER did them. NEVER.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Brian Ware said...

Thank you thank you sweet Jesus...

I can't even begin to comprehend the appeal of the Dead.

Nuff said... we're done... end of discussion...

10:48 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Amen. They will never darken our virtual streetcorner again, I promise! As Mort Sahl would say, "Anyway...onwards!".

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Ron: Have you seen the inspiration for "Weasels Ripped My Flesh?" It's almost more incredible than Neon Park's classic cover for FZ.

9:00 AM  

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