Little Feat were headed for the very top of the music business, until Lowell George (white cowboy hat in the above video) left the band over musical differences and died shortly thereafter. Rock and roll came to be as a marriage of white country and black rhythm and blues. Little Feat, as an integrated band in a time when that was rare, had the people to bring that musical marriage to fruition. Lowell George wrote, in their song Rock and Roll Doctor, “If you like country with a boogie beat, he’s the man to meet.”
The above video of Fat Man in the Bathtub is from the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands in 1976. It appears their entire set from that show is available on YouTube (as individual videos), although I haven’t found a setlist. This appears to have been their opening number. The song shows off their interest in the seamier side of life. The first verse:
Spot Check Billy got down on his hands and knees, he said “Hey mama hey, let me check your oil alright?” and she said “No, no, honey not tonight – you come back Monday, you come back Tuesday, and then I might.”
Lowell George was an awesome slide guitar player. This video of Tripe Face Boogie shows that off (although the picture is terrible):
Little Feat made one of the best live albums ever, Waiting for Columbus. They were joined for the show by the legendary Tower of Power horn section, who integrated well with the band. The following performance of Spanish Moon from the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1977 shows what they sounded like:
As I write this (December 2011), the band is still going strong. Of the six band members on stage for the 1976 Fat Man video shown above, Lowell George died in 1979, drummer Richie Hayward died in 2010, but the other four members are still there. Check out the band’s website to see their current touring schedule and what else they are up to.