LITTLE FEAT feat LOWELL GEORGE – ” Willin “

Posted: January 20, 2015 in MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Little Feat performing “Willin'” probably their best known song. Written by and sung here by the hugely talented and sadly missed Lowell George Live in 1977 from the Rockpalast video recorded in Germany. What an amazing band collectively they were then….such sensitivity for each others playing.

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”

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. Lowell’s accident is referenced on the cover art of the band’s 1998 album Under the Radar. “Willin'” would be re-recorded with George playing slide for Little Feat’s second album Sailin’ Shoes, which was also the first Little Feat album to include cover art by Neon Park, who had painted the cover for Zappa’s Weasels Ripped My Flesh.

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