Little Feat announced their By Request Tour earlier this week which will see the renowned band perform up and down the East Coast this fall and into Winter 2022. In honor of Little Feat’s return to the road, JamBase takes a look at one of the band’s classic performances on the U.K. live music program The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975 for this edition of Sunday Cinema.
Little Feat has always been something of a band’s band full of musician’s musicians. Growing from the hotbed of talent that was the Frank Zappa tree, frontman Lowell George met keyboardist Bill Payne when Payne tried out for The Mothers Of Invention while George was a member in the late 1960s. Little Feat would go on to forge an eclectic signature sound that is unmatched but often imitated, making them one of the most influential bands in rock.
A number of high profile artists have pointed to Little Feat as a favorite band. Elton John has touted Bill Payne’s keyboard playing while Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said that Little Feat was his favorite American band. Page’s Zep bandmate Robert Plant also mentioned Little Feat in an interview:
“When I first started singing, I had a choice of singing music that I could really bring from my soul and my body to express myself. Or singing a lot of mush,” Plant said. “And it seems that the charts in England have always had quite a load of mush in them. Maybe the time will come when Little Feat and people like that come into the charts and refresh them a little bit.”
The Old Grey Whistle Test host Bob Harris played that interview clip just ahead of Little Feat’s appearance on the program in 1975. The performance features the classic lineup of the band with guitarist/vocalist Lowell George, keyboardist Bill Payne, guitarist Paul Barerre, drummer Richie Hayward, percussionist Sam Clayton and bassist Kenny Gradney. Little Feat delivered two songs from two of their classic albums, “Rock And Roll Doctor” from 1974’s Feats Don’t Fail Me Now and “Fat Man In The Bathtub” from 1973’s Dixie Chicken.
To celebrate Little Feat’s return to the road this fall, watch the highly influential band perform on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975 below via the JamBase Live Video Archive: