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LOWELL GEORGE

FEATS FIRST - THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF LOWELL GEORGE (DVD)

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Pride (PGDVD179)

A 131 minute documentary on the life and music of legendary Little Feat frontman

If you share my view of Little Feat as essentially a vehicle for the unique talents and genius of Lowell George, then a documentary film focussed on the man himself, rather than a wider study of the band, makes perfect sense. While accepting that the rest of the band were all talented and highly capable musicians, the magic and charm that made Little Feat special, to my mind, came totally  from Lowell.

This may or not be fair, but this is how I and many others feel. And because of this, I sure was looking forward to seeing this DVD, a 131 minute presentation of the rise and unfortunate fall of the great man.

Based around a series of interviews with friends, fellow musicians, producers and music writers, complemented by archive footage and photographs, this charts the rise of Lowell from his unusual Hollywood childhood, through early bands like the Factory, The Standells and his brief flirtation with Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention, to the formation of Little Feat and their recording and touring career.

Intriguing, informative and enjoyable throughout, the story does of course end badly with the band falling out and his premature passing in 1979 due to an excessive rock and roll lifestyle. .

At the end of the film, I felt better informed and even more in awe of the man and his music than before it started. Ultimately, it made me want to get the albums back out and play them all again, surely a true measure of success of the presentation.

If there is a weakness of the film, it would have been nice for there to have been more previously unseen live performance footage or Lowell in interviews. But maybe it just doesn’t exist or licensing issues prevented it from being included. And, despite what I said earlier about Little Feat members, their absence from participating among the interviewees is pretty noticeable and a little regrettable.

But this is just nit-picking, If you are at all interested in Lowell George, Little Feat or just good rocking music, this DVD is thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.

Review Date: April 2015

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