Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fat Man in the Bathtub

 I'm not sure it was possible for Little Feat to amaze me any more than they already do. Their flawless musicianship and their seamless melding of so many different musical styles all at once made them, at their peak, one of the most unique and brilliant bands of the 1970s.

But I was wrong. They can still stun me. Even in a clip that's nearly 40 years old. Or more to the point, late frontman and singer/songwriter/slide guitar savant Lowell George can still stun me. Even 35 years after he died.

And he does. Right here. Right around the one-minute mark of an awesome live performance of one of their greatest songs on The Old Grey Whistle Test, way back in 1975.

As you see, Lowell had been using a drumstick to hit the cowbell at the song's opening, in staggering syncopated time with percussionist Sam Clayton and drummer Richie Hayward (who deserves a post all of his own for his mesmerizing ability and signature technique). I had never noticed before that he doesn't put the drumstick down as he starts singing.

Nor does he put it down when he performs his first slide guitar solo, right around that 1:00 mark.

Again. He performs that little slide solo perfectly. While holding a drumstick in his right hand.

He eventually puts it down for his second solo during the second verse. But I

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