Amoeblog

Remembering Lowell George

Posted by Whitmore, June 29, 2009 12:14pm | Post a Comment

Lowell George
was the Hollywood born son of a famous chinchilla-raising furrier for Tinseltown aristocracy. His dad’s friends included the likes of Wallace Beery and W.C. Fields; matinee idol Errol Flynn lived next door. No wonder George grew up with a somewhat skewed perspective of things, eventually becoming a truly absurd, slightly eccentric slide guitarist extraordinaire. His often surreal songs defined the sound of his band Little Feat, convincing more than a few fans that they came directly from New Orleans, bringing home that convoluted and slippery vibe. Bonnie Raitt once referred to Lowell as the "Thelonious Monk of Rock & Roll."
 
In his early twenties George played in a several Hollywood based bands like the Brotherhood of Man, and a late faltering version of the Standells. Eventually he wound up with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, where George was soon fired. He formed Little Feat soon afterwards with the original line-up consisting of Mothers bassist Roy Estrada alongside pianist Bill Payne, with whom George had briefly played with in the Brotherhood of Man and drummer Richie Hayward from George's previous band, The Factory. According to legend, the name of the band came from a remark made by Mothers' drummer Jimmy Carl Black about Lowell's "little feet." The spelling of "feat" was an homage to The Beatles.lowell george thanks i'll eat it here
 
Thirty years ago today, June 29, 1979, Lowell Gorge died of a massive heart attack.
 
Two weeks earlier in June, 1979, George began touring in support of his first, and only, solo album, Thanks, I'll Eat it Here. The night before he died, George played before a packed Lissner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University in Washington D.C. George's final encore was a solo acoustic version of "Twenty Million Things (to do)."
 
That Thursday night, after returning to his hotel room at the Twin Bridges Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, George complained of chest pains. Around 10am the next morning George was having problems breathing; his wife, Elizabeth, called road manager Gene Bano, though once Bano arrived George felt better. They suggested George rest while Elizabeth and Bano went to breakfast. She returned with her two children later that morning to find George unconscious on the bed.
 
Arlington County Rescue Squad's No. 75 arrived and tried to administer cardiac respiration but to no avail. Later it was determined George had probably been dead for about 45 minutes, if not a couple of hours.
 
It’s often been presumed that George died of a drug overdose; the circumstances behind his death are riddled with inconsistencies. There’s no clear account of what George did after the show. One hotel official said that some members of the band were up all night partying. But a waiter who brought food up to George's room said nothing out of the ordinary took place. Reportedly no drinks were even ordered.
 
Although George was a long time drug user, no evidence of drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene, though they could have been removed before Police or Rescue Squad personnel arrived. A hotel employee who was supposedly the first person other than Mrs. George and Bano to enter the room said that he saw a large, mostly empty, phial of white powder. He also said that there were about four or five containers of prescription drugs out in the open but they were gone once the police arrived.
 
George was officially pronounced dead on arrival at Arlington Park Hospital at 1:10 p.m. Friday afternoon. A post mortem report showed that he died of heart failure.
 
When he died at the age of thirty-four George had already ballooned into Elvis-sized proportions, probably weighing in close to 300 lbs. George's fondness for junk food, hard liquor and an appetite for drugs, especially cocaine-and-heroin "speedballs," finally caught up with him.
 
Lowell George's body was cremated in Washington D.C. on August 2. His ashes were flown back to LA where they were scattered in the Pacific Ocean from his fishing boat.


L.A. Covered

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, February 20, 2009 01:35pm | Post a Comment
Dory Previn Mary C. Brown & the Hollywood Sign LP back coverB.B. King L.A. Midnight LP coverDory Previn Mary C. Brown & the Hollywood Sign LP cover
Andre Previn Hollywood at Midnight Lp coverSilver, Platinum & Gold Hollywood Lp coverBob Welch man overboard lp cover
Nice shot of the Rainbow above on the Silver, Platinum & Gold Lp. Below David Ruffin is rushing down Vine St. just North of Molly's Burgers. He's actually headed right to the strip of Hollywood Blvd. pictured on the Racer X back cover, which is the image to his right. Maybe he's running up for a quick peek inside the Cave strip joint, but most likely he had a transaction pending up on Yucca.
Racer X second heat lp coverDavid Ruffin in my stride lp coverRacer X second heat lp back cover
David Remsing lonely street lp covergeorge jones frozen in time lp coverRandy Newman little criminals lp cover
The "Lonely Street" that David Remsing is standing on? That would once again be the blvd. of broken dreams, in the same vicinity as the Racer X cover. The George Jones pictured above is contemplating a burrito @ Dos Burritos, which was directly west of the Pantages. It's now on the opposite side of the street about a block down. He's actually standing in front of the famous Frolic Room sign. I believe Randy Newman is on a downtown LA overpass...
freddy cannon action! lp covercrusaders street life lp coverjohnny rivers whiskyagogo lp cover
george jones frozen in time lp back coverwasp i wanna be somebody 12" cover
Aah, two classic Sunset Strip covers, picturing the Whisky a Go Go in its prime along with a nice shot PJ's on the Freddy Cannon cover. The Crusaders take a stroll down Rodeo drive. The next row returns us to the dirty blvd -- not somewhere that I would crawl & writhe around on, but then again I'm not in WASP. To the left of Blackie we have the back of that George Jones record, with a full view of said sign.  I'm sure that there was once frolic to be had at the Frolic Room, but the last time I walked in, there were 3 losers and a jukebox blaring Pearl Jam. Instead of rockin out to "Evenflow," I frolicked on down to Musso & Frank. Musso & Frank is Hollywood's oldest resturant, and their sign can be seen in the background on the LP to right of the WASP record.
george wright live-in concert lp coverlas lineas blancas lp cover jerry grey orchestra lp cover
history of latino rock lp coverthe muffs really really happy lp coverbest of thee midnighters lp cover
Some classic theatre shots. The Rialto is still standing in South Pasadena, but is in pretty rough shape.  Of course you have Graumans Chinese Theater in the center and then the Palladium, which has been renovated to look very much like it did on this Jerry Gray LP. A couple of eastside shots, including a nice pic of the Paramount Ballroom, surround the Muffs. You'll have to stop by the buy counter and ask Ronnie where they're at in the photo; he told me once but I've forgotten. I think it's in the Wilshire area, but I might be off on that one. Below we have a shot of the old Capitol Records Melrose Ave studio.  The shoes I'm currently wearing came from the Supply Seargeant, pictured in the surreal take on Hollywood Blvd. that adornes the Little Feat record below. And finally, back to the Pantages, which was photographed and then painted over for this Mancini record. 
session at midnight lp coverlittle feat the last record album lp coverhenry mancini academy award songs lp cover