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Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979

GLoux 21 Nov 05 - 07:40 PM
Bobert 21 Nov 05 - 07:57 PM
GUEST 21 Nov 05 - 08:12 PM
Lonesome EJ 21 Nov 05 - 08:26 PM
dwditty 21 Nov 05 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 21 Nov 05 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 22 Nov 05 - 07:59 AM
Janie 22 Nov 05 - 08:26 AM
mandotim 22 Nov 05 - 12:16 PM
dwditty 22 Nov 05 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,Dan Coffey 26 Jul 08 - 03:42 AM
SonnyWalkman 26 Jul 08 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,Another Feat fan... 26 Jul 08 - 04:20 AM
Barbara Shaw 26 Jul 08 - 08:48 AM
fat B****rd 26 Jul 08 - 10:36 AM
bankley 26 Jul 08 - 11:07 AM
michaelr 26 Jul 08 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Dani 27 Jul 08 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Onomatapoetry 28 Oct 08 - 10:47 PM
Mooh 29 Oct 08 - 07:49 AM
Lonesome EJ 29 Oct 08 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Dani 30 Oct 08 - 08:07 AM
Will Fly 30 Oct 08 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,14fret 30 Oct 08 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 30 Oct 08 - 08:59 AM
GLoux 30 Oct 08 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Working Radish 30 Oct 08 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Dani 30 Oct 08 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Lynn(e) 16 Dec 08 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,Guest 16 Dec 08 - 05:43 PM
Stringsinger 17 Dec 08 - 02:30 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Dec 08 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Bruce Brooker 13 Jan 09 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Johnyale 16 Mar 09 - 01:14 AM
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Subject: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GLoux
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 07:40 PM

I think Lowell George was one of the most inventive song-writers, singers, and guitar players that I've ever heard. (He was the front guy for Little Feat.) He was purely unencumbered by what was done before. He even worked with Frank Zappa for a short while. Recently, someone mentioned they HATED a song that he wrote (Dixie Chicken.) Sure, most of his stuff is rock, but he recorded some stuff with just an acoustic guitar and his voice that just blows me away, 25-30 years later. For example, listen to Apolitical Blues. My sons gave me a Little Feat CD for Fathers Day last year.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

I'm brought to ask this because, I was just blown away by a bio on a phenomenal bluegrass guitarist, Mark Cosgrove, that he admits Lowell George is a big influence on his playing. His guitar playing is as unique as his song writing, as far as I'm concerned, so I thought this possibly might be an interesting Mudcat thread...

[even tho I'm really focused on traditional American folk stuff...]

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 07:57 PM

Lowell George was a friggin' genious, Greg....

There weren't no one else producing music that had that delicious mix of rock, jazz, folk and blues...

Everything that he and Little Feat did was so over-the-top innovative... They were always lookin' fir one more trick to add to theie allready well developed and mature sound...

Hey, the rest of the band has kept together a unique sound but not the same since Lowell' untimely death...

Craig Fuller, as good a vocalist as he was in PPL, never came close to the real deal...

BObert


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 08:12 PM

ditto all the accolades for George ...the work he did with Little Feat deserves a place in music history.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 08:26 PM

"you were a sweet girl
when you were a cheerleader
But I think you're
Much better now"

Only Lowell could have penned those immortal words. Lowell was one of the finest songwriters and singers on the scene in the 70s and was the answer to the question "how can I get really funky and still keep my distance from the disco scene?" Witness the riff on Skin It Back. Nasty funky. Down Below the Borderline? Super stealthy under-funk. Fat Man in the Bath Tub? You just know Lowell wrote that one while contemplating his own navel.

I can still see him with the tangled beard, floppy cap and coveralls, the Anti-Rock Star, kicking off his ballet shoes while the band chugged along on Oh Atlanta! He could break my heart singing Long Distance Love or crack me up singing "tripe face boogie, gonna boogie my scruples away!"

Like so many others I truly admired in music, he's gone. Lowell had no insulation between himself and his audience, and what he gave you was all he had, and it came from the heart, and when you give it all sometimes there ain't enough left for yourself to get you through.

You know her toes, they were so pretty
and her lies so sweet
I wonder do she know
Do she know she hurt me so

It ain't Shakespeare, but it sure as hell is real.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: dwditty
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 09:03 PM

Someone once told me Lowell George dies of old age - at age 24.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 10:41 PM

I saw the Feat with Lowell at least 3 times that I can remember. His southern rock/funk was unique and he was quite the slide player.

I perform to this day and give credit to him everytime for one of the greatest country songs of all time. The song which I have heard referred to as the trucker's national anthem(sorry, Red Sovine)Willin'.

..................and if you give me, weed, whites, and wine.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 07:59 AM

I saw him with Little Feat in around 1973. I was front and center at the Boston Garden (it was "festival seating," which meant there were no seats on the floor), so I got to watch him closely, which was a treat for a fifteen-year-old guitar slinger. He was a great player, and a great songwriter. I'll confess that sometimes the "Little Feat gumbo" got a little too thick for my tastes, but nobody could put it together like those guys did while Lowell George was at the helm.

Strange concert; Little Feat followed by Traffic, in a huge arena with open seating, etc. They used to put together all sorts of crazy double-bills in those days. Little Feat handled the venue well; Traffic would have been more effective in a smaller hall.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: Janie
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for this thread. Lowell George was absolutely terrific. Martin, I agree. "Willin'" and especially the way he sang it, is a great song.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: mandotim
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 12:16 PM

'And you show me a sign...'
Thanks for reminding me of that one Martin. I always loved Lowell George, from the first time I heard him. His voice was so good; remember 'Roll Um Easy'? Some great slide on there. Not flash, but so tasteful.
Tim from Bit on the Side


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: dwditty
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 03:21 PM

There is a radio broadcast floating around on the web...circa 1971...Bonnie Raitt, Lowell George, John Hammond, and Freebo. I am pretty sure it was a Long Island station. In keeping with the times, they all semmed pretty high...but, oh, the music. I especially remember Can't Find My Way Home.

dw


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Dan Coffey
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 03:42 AM

Worked the Jazz Workshop and Pall's Mall in Boston in the early mid-seventies; Feat rolled in and played seven shows - two on Saturday. I'd come over from Ireland for the summer - what a great job to have had. Saw that Traffic show too, that summer in Boston - Feat blew the roof off opening for them. Lowell George was THE master - the playing suberb, inventive, cool. (Skin It Back, by the way was Paul Barrere's - Spanish Moon was the same vibe with Lowell's dark humour.) But all of it was George's mood. Saw that show in London with TOP horns - was it at the Old Vic? - fantastic. The songs have endured - and not just because today's output is so wretched. The guitar playing was humbling - and so simple. And when he played fast - with slide - it was something to see and hear. I was listening to Buddy Miller recently and really wished he'd some of LG's ability to laugh. Sailin' Shoes, Fat Man, a-Political, Strawberry Flats: those first three records were milestones; has anyone else come close? Costello, maybe, betimes - but he lacks George's generous humility. And not in the Hall of Fame yet - criminal - let's start a petition...


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: SonnyWalkman
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 03:54 AM

Bonnie Raitt is quoted as saying "Lowell George was the best singer, songwriter and guitar player I have ever heard, hands down, in my life" - high praise from someone who's pretty good herself.

His solo album is a much ignored gem, anyone who can get the words 'mysterious wisterias' into a song is a hero in my book.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Another Feat fan...
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 04:20 AM

..who's looked in vain for anything to match the rock'n'roll doctor's quality since..sensitive, intelligent, heartfelt, mature music with irresistable & DIFFERENT rhythms...I can happily listen to JJ Cale, or Beefheart , but nothing fills the void that Lowell's loss created


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 08:48 AM

Lowell George and Little Feat saved me from the wasteland of disco in the 70's. I was totally smitten the first time I heard them.

If you liked him, try listening to the new band the Steeldrivers out of Nashville. Chris Stapleton is the lead singer who sounds sort of like a cross between Lowell George, Ray Charles, David Clayton Thomas, and he writes and sings lead on some amazing songs. Just saw them at the Grey Fox festival in NY and they will be at the Podunk festival in CT next weekend. Great band.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: fat B****rd
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 10:36 AM

I'm so glad I saw Little Feat at Newcastle (UK) in 1979. To see them at their (IMO) best, check out Youtube. Rock'n'roll Doctor from The Old Grey Whistle Test (Apparently at 9.30 in the morning !)
LG was magnificent.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: bankley
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 11:07 AM

"put on your sailin' shoes".... and watch out for "too much whiskey and bad cocaine"


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 11:37 AM

I worked as a stage hand for a German concert promoter in the 70s. Got to see some wild shows - Lynyrd Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker Band, the loudest concert I ever witnessed; ran a follower spotlight for Donovan; asked Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull what kind of acoustic guitar he played and was told "it's a Malcolm".

But the best show ever was a Warner Brothers package tour featuring Graham Central Station, Little Feat and the Doobie Brothers. Gawd, what a night... what I can remember, I'll never forget.

Was Lowell really only 24 when he died? I came to the US (L.A.) two weeks before the tribute concert at the Hollywood Bowl (August 79), but my stick-in-the-mud buddy didn't want to hang around for it.. oh well.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 07:36 AM

Nothin' to add but praise. I was a little too young to have seen him live, but from the first time I heard, I fell for everything on "Thanks I'll Eat It Here". Years later saw them without him, and it was like.... a bad handshake? Nice enough, but SO not what it coulda-shoulda been.

STILL some of the best music on the planet, if overplayed. It's what we've got, so I'll keep playing it and singing it.

I like to think he and Stevie Ray are tight and I'll hear them together someday : )

There's a man I know who plays music at nursing homes, first time I heard him play was at the Alzheimer's place where I was consulting for a while. In the middle of his trad set, he does a banjo arrangement of Dixie Chicken that is so infectious, he caught me singing in the kitchen. He sent someone to get me to sing with him, and it became a tradition. Those folks LOVE that song. Don't know if they think it's trad, but they LOVE it! The punchline is always a new joke for them : )

Hey, how 'bout a "Mixed Bag Obituary/Memorial Workshop" at the Getaway? A few words and 2 tunes per great dead musician...

Dani


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Onomatapoetry
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 10:47 PM

Lowell is where "The Bar" has been set. Despite the intervening 29 years, 3 months, 29 days (as of his writing), NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE has come anywhere close to matching his oeuvre. As one poster above noted, "Bonnie Raitt is quoted as saying 'Lowell George was the best singer, songwriter and guitar player I have ever heard, hands down, in my life'...." To this day she maintains that contention - for the best reason possible - he was THE MAN. Just listen to all the available live material associated with his tenure in the band which, thankfully, has been posted on various sites around the Internet. Unlike Waiting For Columbus, these live recordings remain "unsweetened". They capture the sound of the band in a room the way the various audience members heard them. Those six guys playing together on a good "day or night" during the mid 1970's, was pretty definitively as absolutely good as it gets. Don't take my word for it. Make the discovery yourself.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: Mooh
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 07:49 AM

There have been some other threads on some other forums about Lowell George recently and all sorts of fans have come out of the woodwork who are normally quiet on forums. Such is/was his appeal.

I listen to Little Feat still, and recently saw the 1976 Pinkpop video courtesy of a friend...and thank goodness for YouTube!

Dixie Chicken is stll one of my favourite songs, along with Willin'.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 05:43 PM

Slide or not, this is one of my favorite Lowell songs and a fun tune to pick on the acoustic.

Rock n' Roll Doctor                               Lowell George

There was a (A) woman in Georgia didn't (G)feel just right
She had (D)fever all day and (G)chills at (A)night G-A
Now things got worse, yes a (G)serious bind
At (D)times like this it takes a (G)man with such style I can(C)not often (A) find
A (G)doctor of the heart and a (D)doctor of the (A) mind

If (D) you like country with a boogie beat he's the (G)man to (A)meet
If(D) you like the sound of shufflin' feet he (G)can't be (A)beat
If (D)you wanna feel real nice, just (E)ask the Rock and Roll (G)doctor's ad(A)vice G-A

It's (A)just a country town but (D) patients (A)come
From Mobile to Moline from (D)miles a(A)round
(D)Nagodoches to (G)New Or(A)leans
In(D) beat-up old cars or in(G) limou(A)sines
To meet the (D)doctor of so(G)ul, he's got his (D)very own (A)thing

(A)Two degrees in be-bop, a PHD in swing
He's the master of rhythm he's a (G)rock and roll (D)king (A)yeah

If (D)you like country with a boogie beat he's the (G)man to (A)meet (he's the man to meet)
If (D)you like the sound of shufflin' feet he (G)can't be (A)beat (I say he can't be beat) G-A
If(A) you... If you wanna
If (G)you (D)wanna feel real(A) nice, just (G)ask the (D)Rock and Roll doctor's ad(A)vice
D//// //// G-A


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 08:07 AM

.... sigh... now I'm lost on youtube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5nRlYZOAmc

Then the Tripe Face Boogie!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 08:18 AM

Dixie Chicken and Willin' were among the regular songs in the blues'n boogie band I played in until recently. When we got the feeling just right, they knocked the socks off the audience every time. LG was indeed The Man - and Paul Barrere's piano playing was something else as well...


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,14fret
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 08:51 AM

All of the above? Right on the money! And then some.
I still listen to both incarnations and never tire, although I tend to agree that Lowell has the edge.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 08:59 AM

Lowell George & Little Feat had lots of friends...Rest in Peace...BR


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GLoux
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 09:41 AM

>> LG was indeed The Man - and Paul Barrere's piano playing was something else as well... <<

Bill Payne played piano for Little Feat. Paul played guitar. And they're still playing...


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 09:43 AM

His solo album is a much ignored gem, anyone who can get the words 'mysterious wisterias' into a song is a hero in my book.

The album's a bit patchy, but that song (Twenty Million Things To Do) is an absolute classic - it's worth seeking out the album for that alone. I can't see the name Lowell George without thinking
If it's fix a fence, fender dents...

(Incidentally, for anyone who doesn't know it, it's not a comic song. One of the saddest songs I know, actually.)


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 10:16 AM

One favorite:

"The music was hot... but my baby... was not."

Dani


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Subject: RE: Songwriter Lowell George -1979
From: GUEST,Lynn(e)
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 04:45 PM

Logging on to this site just to clarify that yes, Lowell was young when he died, but he was THIRTY-FOUR in 1979. April 13, 1945 to June 29, 1979. RIP Lowell. He was a very influential friend to me - lucky me! - from 1966 til 1978 which is the last time I saw him. He died ten days before his scheduled solo San Francisco show... I had tickets.

Little Feat are still going strong and worthy of your attention...
The Original Feat Fanatic aka Lynn(e)


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:43 PM

Yes, I (and, so it seeems, quite a few others) know exactly what you are talking about.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted. The name Guest,guest is already taken.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 02:30 PM

I taught Lowell George in Hollywood at Barney Kessel's music store on Vine Street.
He was studying with Ravi Shankar at the time as well.

He was an avid student, eager to learn and very intelligent. I have forgotten what he
studied with me but I think it was music theory.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 02:16 PM

You really need to write a book, Frank!


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Bruce Brooker
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:47 PM

Lowell George. May your funky soul rest in peace.
1978, Buffalo NY. Sheas Theatre. Little Feat with The Fuller/Caz Band opening.

We were wandering around before the show, just hangin out...my girfriend Nancy, (who was at that time the manager of The Belle Starr, one of the best clubs in the world, ever) spied a friend who worked for Warner Bros, a man named Dennis Oconnor. She inquired if we could go someplace kinda private to ah...prepare for the show.

Dennis said "sure, follow me". He then whipped out two backstage passes and slapped 'em on our chests.

So we entered the winding warrens of the backstage areas of the theatre,(lookin for a flat surface) finaly emerging into the green room.
Lo and behold, there was the whole band warmin up for the show!
First thing I did was to light a few of those nice Hawaiian cigarettes I had and pass 'em around.
I remember handing one to Lowell, he simply smiled and said "thanks man".

I'll never forget sharing just a few light moments with my all time favourite songwiter/slide player. A moment frozen in time.

The band loosened up and headed for the stage...left us standin there gapping.
We could hear them upstairs rippin into their opening song (Day At The Dog Races) so we hauled ass up to our seats...12th row, front and centre.

As per usual at a Little Feat concert, the whole audience was in on it, mouthin every ward with beatific smiles.

One of the best shows I have ever seen, and I've seen a lot of shows.
(I had seen LF with Lowell probably a dozen times...they loved playin Buffalo, they still do. Nothin on earth like gettin Buffaloed in Buffalo)

This was November '78. Sadly, very sadly, Lowell left us the following June, just 6 months later.

This year, June 29 2009 will mark 30 years since his death. Let's remember him with humour, kindness, respect for each other, and hope. He brought us so much joy.

Lowell...aww man, we hardly knew ya.


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Subject: RE: Overdue OBIT: Songwriter Lowell George-1979
From: GUEST,Johnyale
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 01:14 AM

Yup, you've all been so eloquent and spot on. Lowell was the greatest. Where would he have taken his music if he had survived?

Along these lines, I was hoping someone could confirm a LF memory that doesn't show up anywhere on the web or on any of the "official" LF show data. Its driving me crazy. I went to some of the key DC shows in 1977-1978 and even saw the Boston Garden show in Aug 1974 (where they made Traffic look like a lounge band). But the most fun was a show in late 77 or early 78 at Towson State in Maryland- a huge cafeteria show with maybe 2500 people. All the folding chairs got pushed out of the way and everyone danced for two hours- LF in fine form. Tremendous!!

Yet I can find nothing on this concert anywhere. Did it happen? I had my fun in the late 70s but not so much that I would concoct an entire concert....

I would love to hear from someone who can confirm this show. I'll check back occasionally to see if anyone can put my mind to rest. Thanks in advance.


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