With a history most would die for, Lowell George certainly has a lot to answer for. With both Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page at one time or another citing Little Feat as one of the most influential bands of our time, you can hardly turn away and just dismiss the legacy as a flash in the pan.
Rock And Roll Doctor attempts to descend into the genius that ran the show, throwing a spotlight on his entire career - from his early days with The Factory right up to and including his work with the maddest genius/bastard - delete as applicable - of them all, Frank Zappa.
I knew little about Lowell George, but for a passing interest because Jimmy Page said you should . . . and while Page may have owned Aleister Crowley's Boleskine House, George grew up living next door to Errol Flynn. I'm not sure which is the cooler of the two. Maybe where you live has some bearing on your ability to play guitar.
Little Feat's recording history is laid bare to the world, and what a history! It's sad to think that bands just aren't allowed to work this way anymore, catering to the industry rather than their own identity. Point of reference: Just take a look at Ginger and the Wildhearts who's refusal to be owned has left them on the industry shelf many times. This refusal to comply to the whims of marketing is considered maverick now, but back then it was commonplace. The sheer volume of talent breaking through - including Lowell George and Little Feat - made the generation what it is today. That kind of good shit just doesn't happen anymore.
Overall, Rock And Roll Doctor is a solid book that delves into the band and their influence in quite some detail, but doesn't sink its teeth far enough into the man to get the picture we really deserve. With the current wave of excellent celebrity biographies and autobiographies around, we're all getting used to some serious 'delving' on the shelves. Fans though will doubtless be satisfied.
:: Sion Smith