LittLe Feat’s Big Feat
At first glance, on the cover of Lowell George’s only solo album, Thanks I’ll Eat It Here, you see a portrait of George, lead singer, guitarist and frontman of Little Feat, clad in what appears to be a bathrobe posing against the backdrop of a garden. Clean-shaven and beatific, he stares out at you from the 1979 album’s cover – a creation of the artist Neon Park (aka Martin Muller). But look closely at what’s happening behind George and you’ll see a surreal combination of a trio – Marlene Dietrich, Bob Dylan and Fidel Castro – sprawled on the grass. Dylan has one arm around Dietrich’s waist and Castro, in full olive regalia and cigar, seems to be saying something with his finger pointed at them. Look more closely and you’ll spot a picnic basket with victuals spilling out. Peer a bit more and you’ll see a copy of Howl and Other Poems, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s iconic book, open as if someone had laid it down while reading it.
I noticed the trippy cover (Park was inspired by an Édouard Manet painting) only after I found a copy in a used-record shop on Massachusetts Avenue on a recent work-related visit to Boston. Needless to say, I grabbed it (as I did a few more rarities!). Little Feat fans will know that Park has done the art work for nearly all of the band’s albums and his style – bold, colourful pop art that is laden with a sense of humour – is distinctive. Remember Frank Zappa’s Weasels Ripped My Flesh? That was also Park. Sadly, George died barely ten days after Thanks I’ll Eat It Here came out. He was only 34. As early adherents of Little Feat, a Los Angeles band whose sound
One last treat for fans of the man who gave us Dixie Chicken