Little Feat: Pre-Columbian Live Vol. 2 (1975 bootleg highlights)

Volume 2 of “Pre-Columbian Live” complements the first volume with a big slice of the best overall 1975-1976 Little Feat concert recording (Halloween ’75), plus an additional LP’s worth of 1975 rarities and bonus items. 

First volume here.

Together, these two collections offer what I think are the most essential 3.5 hours of unreleased 1975-1976 Little Feat, based on the recordings housed on, all of which are freely downloadable. Each of the five discs of this combined collection conforms to the time-span of a traditional vinyl LP. The mix is a download code for a Record Store Day vinyl box that doesn’t exist yet. 

The full Halloween ’75 show is certainly worth your time ( stream/download). It’s as close as you can get to a single-show “Waiting for Columbus”-style experience with a 1975-1976 show, on your big speakers or best headphones. I trimmed off six songs and smoothed out the gaps resulting from my deletions, made mostly for mix/sonics/tape defect reasons. All the compositions I omitted from this show appear in hotter/higher-fi form on the Volume 1 mix. 

The “bonus disc” contains some wonderful 1975 stuff, plucked from lower-fidelity tapes. A January soundcheck in Amsterdam provides a ghostly “Truck Stop Girl” and two unique, improvised grooves. An October show in Venice, CA included exceptionally rare (recorded) performances of “Roll Um Easy” and “Mercenary Territory.” And finally, a December show in Tulsa, OK offers a “Cold, Cold, Cold > Dixie Chicken > Tripe Face Boogie” medley that’s exciting and longish, with some pleasant audience tape vibes.  (I did some gentle EQ-ing on all these tracks.)

Near as I can tell, after “Truck Stop Girl,” Lowell George intones, “Bigger than life. Protean. And 580,000 units of pectin.” What a fantastic gloss of the song’s tale of gallant integrity and a heart so broken that it makes the protagonist forget that he’s got a truckload of fruit that’s shifting all around, and which will soon kill him.

2-hour mp3 mix zipped up here

LPs 1-2: Halloween ’75, Boston (80 minutes)

  • Intro > Two Trains
  • Fat Man in the Bathtub
  • Walkin’ All Night
  • A Apolitical Blues
  • On the Way Down
  • Day or Night
  • All That You Dream
  • Romance Dance
  • Long Distance Love
  • Cold, Cold, Cold >
  • Dixie Chicken >
  • Tripe Face Boogie > Bag of Reds > Tripe Face Boogie
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown
  • Sailin’ Shoes
  • Spanish Moon

LP 3: Rare & Bonus ’75 (37 minutes)

Amsterdam Soundcheck (1/30/75)

  • Truck Stop Girl Approximately
  • Groove 2
  • Groove 1

Venice, CA (10/10/75)

  • Mercenary Territory
  • Roll Um Easy

Tulsa, OK (12/4/75)

  • Cold, Cold, Cold >
  • Dixie Chicken >
  • Tripe Face Boogie

You'll find all the Save Your Face Little Feat mixes here.

Little Feat: 1973 Bootleg Box

This virtual Little Feat box consists of two curated mixes and one complete performance. I reviewed every ’73 Feat tape on, and this is how I decided to compress them for my own perpetual listening pleasure. It includes at least one version of every composition captured on the year’s (available) tapes, except “Oh, Atlanta!” and "Rock & Roll Doctor." None of the options really sold those songs.

The sextet version of Feat debuted in January 1972, but no tapes from the year circulate. That’s a shame, since it would be amazing to track that band finding its groove, adapting early songs to the new player-palette, etc.  In any case, by 1973 they were fantastic, and regular radio broadcasts, augmented by intrepid audience tapers, ensured that many shows would be captured for posterity. 

3-hour mp3 mix zipped up here, comprising the following three discs.

Live ’73: Ultrasonic (4/10/73 complete)

The most famous Feat bootleg is the 1974 Ultrasonic Studios session. This 1973 session at the same location isn’t far behind – a live radio promo for the studio album, “Dixie Chicken, which was released three months before this performance. If you already have this, but you haven't upgraded your file in a few years, this might be a better master. I converted directly from FLAC. 

59 minutes:

  • A  Apolitical Blues
  • Got No Shadow
  • Willin’
  • On Your Way Down
  • Walking All Night
  • Band intro & Lowell George chat
  • Two Trains
  • Fat Man in the Bathtub
  • Sailin’ Shoes
  • Cold, Cold, Cold > 
  • Dixie Chicken > 
  • Tripe Face Boogie
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown

Live ’73: Oddities

1973 Little Feat set lists contained mostly the same songs, but a healthy number of outliers were captured on tape. Here they are, and they are a hoot. “Spanish Moon > Skin it Back” is on this mix because it needed to be somewhere in this collection, and “Spanish Moon” is actually very rare on the 1973 tapes.

70 minutes:

  • China White (11/2/73 Sugar Hill Studios)
  • Bag of Reds (9/17/73 Atlanta) 
  • Ass for Days (7/21/73 Denver)
  • Chevy 39 (3/20/73 Santa Monica)
  • Airplane (4/1/73 Boston)
  • Eldorado Slim (3/20/73 Santa Monica) 
  • Day at the Dog Races (11/2/73 Houston)
  • High Roller (11/2/73 Houston)
  • Someone’s Leaving Tonight (11/2/73 Sugar Hill Studios)
  • Spanish Moon > Skin It Back (3/20/73 Santa Monica)
  • China White (w/Bonnie Raitt, 4/1/73 Boston) 
  • Ass for Days (4/1/73 Boston)

Live ’73: Oldies

This mix collects performances of songs that appeared on the band’s first two albums, plus “The Fan,” which goes back to 1970. Most of these songs fell out of the band’s repertoire by 1974, with only “A Apolitical Blues,” “Sailin’ Shoes,” “Willin’” and “Teenage Nervous Breakdown” making it to 1975 and beyond, during the George years.

It is fascinating to hear these songs transformed by the sextet’s approach, and I had to fight myself not to include every recording of “Hamburger Midnight.” Even the shittiest bootleg can’t break that song. I decided not to include “Cold, Cold, Cold” and “Tripe Face Boogie” on this oldies disc, because there are lots of great 1973 versions of those, and the Ultrasonic recording of them is plenty good enough for this boxed set.

49 minutes:

  • Hamburger Midnight (7/21/73 Denver)
  • Snakes on Everything (7/21/73 Denver)
  • Texas Rose Cafe (7/19/73 Denver)
  • Got No Shadow (7/19/73 Denver)
  • A Apolitical Blues (7/19/73 Denver)
  • Cat Fever (7/19/73 Denver)
  • The Fan (7/19/73 Denver)
  • Sailin’ Shoes (w/Bonnie Raitt, 4/1/73 Boston)
  • Willin’ (4/1/73 Boston)
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown (4/1/73 Boston)
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown (w/sax 4/15/73 NYC - Max’s Kansas City)

You might look at the above track sources, or listen to this mix, and conclude that the 7/19/73 tape must be a classic. It isn’t for me. Its immaculate crispness works great for these early songs, but when it comes to the thicker grooves/major new tunes of the era, the sound does not gel for me. I do not groove. 

If these mixes please you, you'll probably want to see all our Little Feat posts. 

Little Feat: Pre-Columbian Live (1975-1976 bootleg highlights)

This post offers a double-LP-sized live Little Feat album covering May 1975 to May 1976, drawn from four good soundboard bootlegs. 

Post-1974, George-era Little Feat needs a little more advocacy and canon-building. The final few studio albums with Lowell George were overcooked, and only the fabulous, live “Waiting for Columbus” (1977) plants a decisive post-1974 flag for the era. 

Even the band’s latter-day live archive releases (“Hot Tomatos” and “Ripe Tomatos” [sic]) hardly broach 1975-1976 live material.

So, here’s a concise bootleg-bridge collection to slot between the 1974 Ultrasonic Studios recordings and the 1977 Tower of Power Horns live moment of “Waiting for Columbus.”

Overlapping setlists made it fairly easy to reduce these sources to an album of performances that offer contrasts with the familiar recordings or are simply very exciting. There are several great 2-and-3-song sequences with perfect segues by the band. Compared to the familiar recordings, there are also some notably long versions – a seven-minute “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,” and an eight-minute “Day or Night.” Lots of charming moments, too. 

100-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

LP 1 (1975):

Atlanta (5/23/75)

  • Oh, Atlanta!
  • On Your Way Down
  • Juliette >
  • Lafayette Railroad >
  • Day Or Night
  • Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

Rochester (10/18/75)

  • Down Below the Borderline
  • Romance Dance
  • Willin’

LP2 (1976):

San Francisco (2/14/76)

  • Skin It Back
  • One Love Stand >
  • Rock & Roll Doctor
  • Cold, Cold, Cold >
  • Dixie Chicken > 
  • Tripe Face Boogie
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown

London (5/3/76)

  • On Your Way Down
  • All That You Dream 

Artwork: Neon Park, “Jesus and the Three Pigs” (ink, 1976)

No audio edits except proper tracking divisions where the band executed a segue, track start/end-points, and some volume EQ.

This is our second Little Feat proposition. The first one is here. 

Little Feat: Surprise! (1969-1975)

Here’s an imaginary, early-1970s, soul-jazz-funk studio album by Little Feat. It does not include anything from the seven Lowell George-era studio albums. 

This mix is a customized shoe for some fascinating extra Feat toes. It shuffles together selections from the band’s recordings with jazz drummer Chico Hamilton (1973), with Lowell George sound-alike singer Robert Palmer (1975), and from officially-released studio outtakes compilations (1972-1975, with two 1969 outliers). 

Nearly all the material is contemporary with the band’s third and fourth albums, “Dixie Chicken” and “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,” the first to feature the band’s classic second lineup: Lowell George, Bill Payne, Richie Hayward, Paul Barrere, Kenny Gradney, and Sam Clayton. The famous bootleg Ultrasonic Studios session is from this same period (September 1974).

While every player isn’t on every song (see notes below the track list), this mix documents that group during its flood years, when riffs and grooves seemed to spill out of them, and they were a very sensible studio band choice. 

By giving the Hamilton and Palmer tracks a better setting – by culling and combining them with each other and with a handful of kindred outtakes – this mix tries to supply a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and a coherent album that isn’t much like any of the band’s official ones. 

One-hour mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Spanish Moon (1973 single version)
  • I Can Hear the Grass Grow (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Here with You Tonight (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • Conquistadores (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • All That You Dream (1974 outtake)
  • Gengis (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Work to Make It Work (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • Eldorado Slim (1972 outtake)
  • Stu (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Juliet (1969 outtake)
  • Fine Time (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • High Roller (1975 outtake)
  • Stacy (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Jazz Thing in 10 (1969 outtake)
  • River Boat (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • Trouble (1975 w/Robert Palmer)

Chico Hamilton’s “The Master” (1973) features all the second formation members of Little Feat except Richie Hayward (who is replaced by Hamilton on drums), with additional organ by Jerry Aiello and Stu Gardner, and more congas by Simon Nava. The limitation of the album is that it’s mostly just riffs and small jams, and almost sounds like “sessions for,” rather than a true album, clocking in at a meagre 35 minutes. I’ve included all but three tracks, which happen to be the album’s first three tracks!? More information here.

Robert Palmer’s “Pressure Drop” (1975) features all the second formation members of Little Feat, but also includes enough additional musicians to make it unclear exactly who is playing on each track. Those that overlap Feat instruments include James Jamerson on bass, Ed Greene on drums/percussion, and Jean Roussel and Gordon DeWitty on clavinet, organ, and/or other keyboards. I have included five of eleven tracks; the others are hopelessly cheesy and un-Feat-like. More information here.

Little Feat have done a great job of releasing non-album material from the George years, on “Hoy Hoy,” and “Hot Cakes and Outtakes,” plus two double-disc live archive albums, “Hot” and “Ripe Tomatos” [sic]. Nonetheless, there’s no way to stack all or most of the studio outtakes into anything that feels like more than a warehouse of outtakes, demos, early versions, etc. Pulling some of them out and threading them into the Hamilton and Palmer material seemed to bring them into focus as meaningful Feat moments.