Willin': The Story of Little Feat

Willin': The Story of Little Feat

Ben Fong-Torres / Jan 25, 2020

Willin The Story of Little Feat The saga of the legendary Los Angeles band Little Feat is one of rock n roll s great stories Formed in by ex members of Frank Zappa s Mothers of Invention Little Feat created groove heavy music

  • Title: Willin': The Story of Little Feat
  • Author: Ben Fong-Torres
  • ISBN: 9780306821318
  • Page: 161
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The saga of the legendary Los Angeles band Little Feat is one of rock n roll s great stories Formed in 1969 by ex members of Frank Zappa s Mothers of Invention, Little Feat created groove heavy music that was an irresistible mix of rock, blues, RB, country, jazz, soul, and funk.Fronted by the charismatic but doomed vocalist and brilliant slide guitarist Lowell GeorThe saga of the legendary Los Angeles band Little Feat is one of rock n roll s great stories Formed in 1969 by ex members of Frank Zappa s Mothers of Invention, Little Feat created groove heavy music that was an irresistible mix of rock, blues, RB, country, jazz, soul, and funk.Fronted by the charismatic but doomed vocalist and brilliant slide guitarist Lowell George, the band recorded such classic studio albums as Sailin Shoes and Dixie Chicken, as well as Waiting for Columbus, which many consider to be one of the best live albums of all time.Acclaimed journalist Ben Fong Torres working with Little Feat s surviving members, their friends, and associates wrote Willin based on hours of brand new interviews with the key players The result The first definitive biography of this beloved rock n roll institution.

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      Published :2019-09-11T03:00:15+00:00

    About "Ben Fong-Torres"

      • Ben Fong-Torres

        Benjamin Fong Torres F ng Zh nh o is an American rock journalist, author, and broadcaster best known for his association with Rolling Stone magazine through 1981 and the San Francisco Chronicle from around 1982.Due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, Fong Torres father, Ricardo Fong Torres born Fong Kwok Seung , changed his surname to Torres and posed as a Filipino citizen in order to emigrate to the United States His family later adopted the hyphenated surname, Fong Torres He is the brother of Shirley Fong Torres.He was portrayed in the 2000 film Almost Famous by actor Terry Chen The fictional version of Fong Torres was character William Miller s editor at Rolling Stone.In real life, Fong Torres was a writer and senior editor of Rolling Stone from almost the magazine s inception He conducted interviews for Rolling Stone of entertainment figures including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, comedian Steve Martin and Linda Ronstadt s first cover story in 1975 A Fong Torres interview with Ray Charles was awarded the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974.Fong Torres was also a rock DJ for San Francisco radio station KSAN FM in the 1970s On television, he is the Emmy Award winning co anchor of the Chinese New Year Parade broadcast on KTVU Fox in San Francisco In recent years, he has published Hickory Wind, a biography of Gram Parsons The Rice Room, a memoir The Hits Just Keep on Coming, a history of Top 40 radio, and two compilations of past articles, Not Fade Away and Becoming Almost Famous published in May 2006 His book with The Doors The Doors By The Doors was published by Hyperion in November 2006 Since July 2005, he has written the bi weekly column Radio Waves in the San Francisco Chronicle s Sunday Datebook He is also a contributing editor to Parade magazine, and the music editor for TONEAudio, a web based audio publication He is now the host of Backstage which is aired from 7 9 am and 7 9 pm on San Francisco s KFRC FM.


    1. In “Willin’: The Story Of Little Feat” Ben Fong-Torres does a fine job of chronicling the equally brilliant band Little Feat over 40+ year existence, truly a feat for any band. The story naturally is built around the rise and decline of the band’s founder guitarist extraordinaire Lowell George who to this day who never received the notoriety he deserved during his brief 34 year life and except for the legion of Feat fans still remains relatively obscure among the other musicians that cam [...]

    2. I am a "Feat Head" as it turns out. Other than Elvis Costello, I have more Little Feat recordings than any other one artist or group in my eclectic collection, and yes - why aren't they in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? as Ben Fong-Torres wonders. As grateful as I was to get some information on this decades-long, brilliant band, this has to be one of the worst written bios I've ever read. I did get a uncorrected proof copy, but it needed about 10 years of editing. Fong-Torres is a respected jou [...]

    3. Willin': The Story of Little Feat Ben Fong-Torres 298 pages ISBN: 0306821311 Da Capo Press 2013Musically speaking, Southern California in the late-1960s, early- 1970s was the musical post-hippie equivalent of impressionist Paris in the late nineteenth century. So dense was the musical talent in the Los Angeles area, that reading any history of it would have you believe there was a Frank Zappa or the Eagles on every corner across the San Fernando Valley. But the scene was way bigger than that. Fo [...]

    4. Good informative book about a life extinguished by bad habits and thwarted vision. This makes a good companion to Rock and Roll Doctor.There are bands too hip for the room, but band leaders too hip for their band? If excess is weighed against the longevity of the art it creates then we'll be reading about L George for a long time to come.Lowell G. is not Little Feat the way John Lennon is not the Beatles save the fact that George was musically more prepared than M. Lennon.But in the end both liv [...]

    5. A very readable and enjoyable overview of Little Feat which helped to create a solid narrative for me of their history.A heavy focus on their leader Lowell George but also covering the reunion years too.Hard to think there'll be many other similar books so this will probably stand as the definitive biography of one of America's finest bands.

    6. I never realized how much Little Feat influenced my musical tastes until I read this book. Little Feat incorporated a wide range of influences in rock and roll including folk, reggae, funk, rhythm & blues and California grooves to create some of the most enduring music in American history.The beginning of the book is not promising. It almost falls into to the trap of name-dropping for name-dropping's sake. Thankfully it pulls out of the tailspin to provide a nice overview of the history of t [...]

    7. Fong-Torres is a journalistic, not a cultural historian. With that in mind, he does fine: he's written a blow by blow march through the story of Little Feat from Lowell George's early life in the Hollywood hills to the current incarnation of the band led by Bill Payne and Paul Barrere. What deeper reflection the book includes is generally in the form of directly reported interviews will the participants. This relative lack of editorializing is often refreshing but sometimes frustrating because t [...]

    8. I am being generous, only because I did learn some things about Little Feat. The prose, however, is like an extended length Rolling Stone magazine article. It is also very much dumbed down, apparently aimed at an audience of dullards with only the musical knowledge to differentiate Aretha Franklin from Benjamin Franklin. For example, every time someone is mentioned as an A&R man, it has to be explained that this is a “talent agent”. There is only superficial analysis of the actual music, [...]

    9. As a longtime featfan there wasn't too much I hadn't already read that was in this book. I did like the small snippets from other musicians band members and Lowell George's family. If this can introduce any more people to the feat and their music this book is worthwhile. I must say that Linda ronstadt gave more personal accounts and better information for this book than she did for her own. More people should discover the little feat music. Much of it is timeless and I guess the rock n roll hall [...]

    10. This was a very disappointing book about a great band. Fong Torres is a good writer and reporter of R&R history. He certainly gets all his who, what, when, where and whys in. Unfortunately the book is about as tedious and dry a read as a PhD dissertation on molecular biology. Group founder Lowell George dies around p170 and I wonder why I even bother with the remaining 100 pages. And the professional reviewers gave it a thumbs up. Makes me wonder about "professionals" versus the rest of us.

    11. Willin': The Story of Little Feat by Ben Fong Torres (Da Capo Press 2013) (780.92). It's about time Ben Fong Torres got around to writing about my second favorite band. No other band can wrap a rhyme around a second line like Little Feat with Lowell George. The band, ever since Lowell's death, has been a pale imitation at best. My rating: 7/10, finished 5/23/14.

    12. A decent, informative look at the history of a band probably more influential than successful. Nevertheless, I have always been a fan of theirs since I heard the album Waiting For Columbus in college. I like Chet Flippo's writing style better in musical biographies but Fong-Torres is not bad. I would recommend this book to all fans of Little Feat.

    13. The first 20% was a whirlwind of names that made my head spin. But I liked it a lot after that. A ton of interviews in the book, so it felt well researched. A lot of good info about Feat's early albums (even details about the album covers) and songs, which I really wanted to know about.

    14. A favorite topic and not badly written, as far as sentence construction and so forth, but sloppy inadequate research, fact-checking, and that kind of thing. Unless you are a die hard fan, don't bother.

    15. This book got me going on a Little Feat kick and an exploration of the life and times of Lowell George. Am currently listening to his daughter, Inara's music and am glad his good genes have been passed on to her.

    16. Excellent bio of a unique band. So many memories of listening to their albums in the '70s. Ben Fong-Torres can be proud.

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