Sunday, October 6, 2013

How Little Feat Saved My Life

Before I start, I like to express my deepest gratitude to T Harv Eker, Peak Potentials, Adam Markel, The Indispensable Karma Krew,The Core Team and those who attended World's Greatest Marketing Seminars.
and most importantly to myself, Charles Prince, Jr who has reconnected to his passion.

So what is it that I am writing about?Anyone who knows will eventually come to the realization that I love music, all types.. well I do have draw the line in sands when it comes to hip hop/rap, but all types, styles and genres, but if pressed against the wall it comes the music of the  60's 70's and 80's for I believe as a listener and a reader that that was the years when music really hit it's peak and the creativity was flowing.

Each week I will go through my, well just how do you describe my collection? A collection? Archive? The death trap when the Big One Earthquake strikes and my only way out is now vanquished?  I will go through and pick out why this still matters to me and why it still has a effect on me.

For me, music has this gravity pull for the better, better that can happen in a day to better that can happen later in ones life but the seed has been planted, it's going to grow,it's been there when one had a hard day and  the only way was to turn it up and let it wash over you, it's the feelings incarnate, in some around about way music without knowing who you are or what you are can touch that soul of you and can reflect how you feel and how you want to feel. I love music.

And so let the blogging begin

                                              How Little Feat Saved My Life
                                       Dedicated to Lowell George and Richie Hayward and The Members Of Little Feat.

The year was 1978 and life for me was good, I was working at my dream job ever since I was a kid and that was working at Disneyland, I worked at Coke Corner, that fast food place on the left side at the end of Main Street, I was there for a few more weeks before I moved, mostly due to working there full time,to the restaurant Plaza Inn, where in a course of a month I met the Mount Rushmore of friends who are still that .
But not all was so peaceful in 1978 for there was a cloud, like to clouds that formed in the movie,"Close Encounters Of The Third Kind", ominous, sinister, menacing and was stabbing nearly the heart of music at the time, rock and that was DISCO.

"Saturday Night Fever" came out in the winter of 1977 and by 1978 disco was making a run to overtake rock as the most influential force, the soundtrack to the movie was number one, there was a new show on television that was all about disco, how can anyone remember, :Disco Fever" to to mention that songs being re mixed to include the disco version, I tell you for someone who loved rock this was the moment to stand up and say no to disco

Music has been that force, it can help from one from rethinking from taking to one's life, to saying words that can not be expressed and it has been in many cases saving one's life and that happened to me on a March night.

I was out with a friend who worked at Coke Corner and after a movie, we decided to go to Music Plus, a record store that was second to the mammoth Tower Records, The Plus was good for it was everywhere,as to Tower which was located in only key locations,The Plus was everywhere and the prices were really good.

So we are in Music Plus and for the life of me I was actually looking at the sound to "Saturday Night Fever", for the life of me I don't know, but I do know that within a few minutes I was to say goodbye to the Bee Gees, KC and The Sunshine Band, Tavares and  David Shire who turned the classical piece, "Night On Bald Mountain" into a disco tune. As I was walking and looking,still holding the tape in my hands, I saw an album cover.
The cover had a feminine looking tomato sitting in a hammock in a garden with a idol in the background, I am somewhat drawn to the unusual and this was something I never seen before, looking at the title I saw it was by the group Little Feat, the title was called " Waiting For Columbus", I have heard of Little Feat but didn't really hear Little Feat, I was too busy with my music selection at the time and wow it's a live album, okay I am getting interested and starting reading the back and seeing all the songs, more songs than what SNF had and it was the same price,well this does look better and while my friend was getting what he wanted, I got Little Feat "Waiting For Columbus".

As we drove off to what ever was the next adventure, my life was about to take a huge right turn, it was for the better.

The night ended for my friend and it was my time to get home, so I open the wrapping and slipped the cassette tape in.

The start is a voice calling "roll the tape roll the tape" followed by the sound of an audience getting ready for the band to come on, what follows is a group sing along called "Join The Band" like the band is getting ready to play,so far so good and I can actually hear the vocals as to the Bee Gees in that chipmunk on helium vocals.
Little Feat launches into the first song called, "Fat Man In A Bathtub" and here is where magic happens, at the start you hear a cowbell, followed by a drumming unlike I never heard before, it was like, and much hearing of music later, syncopated drumming , one hand doing a much more rhyming that other hand,while the other is laying out a beat, what the hell is this? So what does a music lover do, rewind the tape and start all over and whatever level I heard just turn it up just a notch, the same effect knocked me out,
The song itself is a straight rock and boogie number, at the bridge,again we hear that syncopated drumming style along with a synthesizer line, like two dancers locked into each other's step and the effect is magic, that is all what I can say it was magic, with Lowell George, who was the and I really don't get into the leader of the band, but if so, he is, as he plays a great slide guitar that moves from a slow growl to a high pitch whine and one can feel the audience roaring it's  approval at his and the band playing
What follows is possible, and later getting into Little Feat is there biggest hit, biggest hit by the way of Linda Ronstadt who made the song, "All That You Dream" her own.
Then comes the second hit for the Feat, with a piano barrel roll on the piano, Little Feat plays, "Oh Atlanta" by now one can hear the style of Little Feat, a New Orleans style- jazz/funk/dixieland/rock, that southern rock, boogie feel like the Allman Brothers Band.
As each song was being heard, I could hear my brain cells giving thanks to hearing something that organic, fresh and alive, a breathing pulse as to the strict format of the disco beat.
"Dixie Chicken" now this one just cooks, with a piano style that of Fats Waller, we are taken to the bright lights of Memphis and the Commodore Hotel where a man meets a southern bells who charms him with her style and promises to be "Dixie chicken to (his) Tennessee lamb and the promise of walking in dixieland", by this time, I really didn't care how deep is your love, as Saturday Night Fever was now giving up the ghost, but what makes this just swing is that just a few minutes into the song, the keyboard player, Bill Payne comes with this piano roll, a off the cuff improvisation that sounds like being in a bar room with Hoagy Carmichael and just listening to some great New Orleans style of piano playing, like walking down Bourbon Street at sunset with a few hurricanes under your belt and just soaking up the atmosphere when just at the moment you come across a jazz hall and right there- right there is a dixieland land band playing something nice, which is actually the horn section of Tower Of Power who came along on those special night to make this album one of the best live albums there is.
Ah but back to the story, the poor fellow plunks his money down doesn't remember anything just the good times with this southern temptress, he doesn't remember all the things as he recants a year she slipped away to some guitar play who can surely play, as Feat plays what I can only say is a auditory hangover music, he finds himself back in Memphis and that hotel and at the bar he ask the bartender if he knows this woman, he doesn't but he starts to sing a song and sees the entire bar patrons start sing that song, "If You Be My Dixie Chicken/ I'll Be Your Tennessee Lamb/ And together we can walk down  deep in dixieland/, it's one of those sing along that makes this album a great investment.
Songs like Tripe Face Boogie and Rocket In My Pocket follows, with that incredible, okay Charles where the hell where were you when this was out, a easy feel boogie/blues feel to it.

Ah the next song and every time I listen to it, I am saying this has to be, needs to be the title of my autobiography, "Time Loves A Hero", a song about anyone really, if he/she is real he is sent from heaven if he ain;t he was a mouthpiece from hell. Caveat the person who was listening to this was 23 in 1978 and had a mouth, oh gods what a mouth. Mercifully that changed.

The rest of the album was a blessing, that's all I can say, with the Tower Of Power horn section kicking in during  "Spanish Moon" adding that extra spice of aliveness to it to the five song encores that finished up the tape.

By the time I finally listened to the whole tape, it took about a week, with all the rewinds and playback,I was shown that rock was quite ready to hand off to disco, this album just cooks.

One year later and Lowell George the driving force behind Little Feat passed away at 37, too much food and too much drugs just stopped his incredible gifted heart, I played this tape in my tribute to him and how this album is right up there as one of the best live albums of all time.

So why? It's a live album and not a live album, now this is me, I am not a guru, just a witness, as someone said it's my experience, three years earlier another group called Kiss came out with a live album, you can hear and quite effectively the screams of the fans as well,l as Paul Stanley doing banter, there is nothing wrong with that it's that in some cases groups are just looking to play and us, the audience, listen, we know why we came and why we are here, but the majority is to let he music, as Aerosmith said later. do the talking.

It's a great snapshot of the band who a year later was stop by George's death and also was not happy with the way Feat was heading,, a bit more jamming,

In 2002, Warner Brothers who came out with the two album set, released Little Feat "Waiting For Columbus" as a deluxe edition, with more songs that was recorded but could not, after all it was on an album and there was so much time.

It's now regard as one of the best live albums, it breathes, it moves, it swings, like a fine New Orleans gumbo just gives you a bit of country mixed, toss in some horns, with some Orleans funk, to those songs that is perfect for sing along and who cares if your voice isn't perfect-hello auto-tune!! There is a openness to the songs that isn't okay this is our number one hit and we have to play it perfectly, an improve feeling to each song and in doing so was laying tracks that came in 1982 when I got on the bus and that's how it began, sorry that is for another blog.
Waiting has this bounce to it that after what 35 years it stills has that feel on that March night when I really made that turn into the unknown that became known and became love.

Well that's it first blog and I'm feeling good about it. I am looking forward to what ever divine force guides me that next album, I know CD but after all those years it's still an album.

Any comments, thoughts, encouragements are welcome.

Thanks it was a blast writing this.

Charles Prince Jr