Monday, January 6, 2014

The Tale of the No-Hit Wonders

Willin’ - the Story of Little Feat – Ben Fong-Torres (DaCapo Press)

For most bands to be recognized as having an influence on a wide and diverse scale most bands would have to have racked up an armload of certifiable hit records and sold a boatload of albums to have the necessary reach.

The simple fact that they were comprised of former members of Frank Zappa’s backing band, the Mother’s of Invention, may have been enough to give the band Little Feat the cache they would need to be influential, but at the end of the day they could be one of the few band’s that could wear the tag “no-hit wonders.”

Now, longtime Rolling Stone Magazine editor/contributor Ben Fong-Torres as taken on the overdue task to attempt to explain the phenomenon that is Little Feat; a band who’s artistic reach certainly exceeds it’s commercial success. In Willin’ - the Story of Little Feat, the all-to-familiar tale, an oddly typical rock bio, features many of the usual suspects that that negatively impact so many bands; the drugs, the romantic machinations, the in-fighting and of course the musical differences.

The wide breadth of musical styles the Little Feat incorporated into its sound, ranging from; rock to blues to R&B and jazz with dash of funk and country combined and delivered with a unique skill level can easily explain the impact the band had on it’s casual and fellow musician fans.

Fong-Torres does a nice job of unearthing some early childhood tidbits from frontman Lowell George’s family that offer insight into unique dynamic that was part and parcel of the band’s career.

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