In the Studio 30 Years Ago: Little Feat- Waiting for Columbus- Bill Payne, Paul Barrere

For the sixteenth edition of In the Studio on October 10, 1988  Little Feat lifers Bill Payne and Paul Barrere sat down with me to talk. Or maybe they should have been lying down on a couch. “I loved him, and I hated him,” says a visibly emotional Barrere in this intense conversation which inevitably begins and ends with the subject of the enigmatic musical genius Lowell George. “Man, this interview was like a therapy session,” Bill Payne says looking me straight in the eye.

Two significant anniversaries  of personal favorite “desert island discs”occur this year, the eclectic Dixie Chicken ‘s 45th and the live double album from 1978, Waiting for Columbus,   looking at its fortieth anniversary, both by national treasure Little Feat. If only musicians and music writers voted for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then Little Feat would have been inducted twenty-five years ago on the first ballot. Encompassing every form of indigenous American music since its inception to this day, Little Feat was formed by the late enigmatic slide guitarist/ singer/ songwriter Lowell George and the ace keyboard player Bill Payne with Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention bass player Roy Estrada, fellow Hollywood High singer/guitarist Paul Barrere, seemingly eight limbed drummer the late Richie Hayward, with Kenny Gradney, Sam Clayton, Fred Tackett, and much later Craig Fuller to follow.

Little Feat’s Warner Bros years fit neatly from the dawn of the Seventies to the close of the Eighties, and every  full album is included in the Rad Gumbo  brick, including Sailin’ Shoes,  Dixie Chicken,  Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,  The Last Record Album,   Time Loves a Hero,  the essential double live best of Waiting for Columbus,  the strong 1988 comeback Let It Roll,  even a rarities disc from  Hotcakes and Out Takes.

Songs include “Easy to Slip”,“Sailin Shoes”, “Fat Man in the Bath Tub”,”Willin’ “,”Dixie Chicken”, “Oh Atlanta”, “Spanish Moon”,”All That You Dream” . This is a no-holds-barred insider’s look at the talented but troubled Little Feat co-founder Lowell George and his complicated relationships within the band prior to his death from a drug-induced heart attack in 1979. This show is dedicated to the memory of George, plus band co-founder/drummer Richie Hayward.”Keep on playin’ that tambourine…”. – Redbeard