lowell george

(April, 13th, 1945 - June, 29th, 1979)

Lowell George first encountered Frank Zappa, as youngsters, when they appeared on the Al Jarvis Talent Show on KLAC-TV - George performing on harmonica in a duo with his brother and Zappa giving a puppet performance. Neither won.

In the mid 1960's George joined The Factory along with school friend Martin Kibbee. In 1966/1967, they made some demos with Zappa as producer. While the other members of The Factory evolved into Fraternity Of Man George joined The Standells as lead vocalist. The Standells had enjoyed some success during 1966 and 1967; appearing in, and providing the theme song for the film Riot On Sunset Strip, but by now were waning and George only stayed with them for a couple of months. 

He then joined up with Fraternity Of Man, who now had Elliot Ingber on guitar, and contributed to their second album produced by Tom Wilson. 

November 1968, George was hired by Zappa to replace Ray Collins. He recorded and toured with Zappa and The Mothers until May 1969.



  gto's: permanent damage (1)
    (1969, lp, usa, bizarre 73397 - straight sts 1059) - produced by frank zappa / feat.ian underwood, don preston, roy estrada, jc black, frank zappa
  michele: saturn rings
    (1969, lp, usa, ??) - feat. elliot ingber & lowell george


frank zappa: hot rats
   (1969, lp, usa, bizarre)


the mothers of invention: burnt weeny sandwich
   (1970, lp, usa, bizarre)

  ivan ulz: ivan the ice cream man
    (1970, lp, ??, ??) - feat. lowell george


the mothers of invention: weasels ripped my flesh
   (1970, lp, usa, bizarre)

1 little feat: little feat
    (1971, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george, roy estrada, ry cooder, elliot ingber
  nolan: no apologies
    (1971, lp, usa, lizard) - feat. jimmy carl black, roy estrada, lowell george

  nolan: nolan
    (1972, lp, usa, abc records) - feat. jimmy carl black, roy estrada, lowell george
nolan_lp.jpg (14934 bytes)

barbara keith: barbara keith
    (1972, lp, usa, reprise) - feat. lowell george

  barbara keith: barbara keith
    (1972, lp, usa, warner bros.) - feat. lowell george
2 little feat: sailin' shoes
    (1972, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george, roy estrada
  harry nilsson: son of schmilsson
    (1972, lp, usa, ??) - feat. lowell george

van dyke parks: discover america
    (1972, lp, usa, ??) - feat. lowell george

  carly simon: no secrets
    (1972, lp, usa, ??) - feat. lowell george
  kathy dalton: amazing
    (1973, lp, usa, ??) - feat. lowell george
  linda lewis: fathoms deep
    (1973, lp, usa, ??) - feat. lowell george
  john cale: paris 1919
    (1973, lp, usa, ??) - feat. lowell george
3 little feat: dixie chicken
    (1973, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george

bonnie raitt: takin' my time
    (1973, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george

  barbara keith: barbara keith
    (1973, lp, usa, reprise) - feat. max bennett, lowell george, jim gordon, sneaky pete kleinow
  martin & finley: dazzle 'em with footwork
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  john sebastian: tarzana kid
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  mike auldridge: dobro
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  chico hamilton: the master
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george

howdy moon: howdy moon
    (1974, lp, spain, ariola) - feat.lowell george

howdy_moon_lp.jpg (18489 bytes)
  etta james: come a little closer
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
4 little feat: feats don't fail me now
    (1974, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george  

maria muldaur: waitress in a donut shop
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george

  bill wyman: monkey grip
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  the meters: rejuvenation
    (1974, lp, usa, reprise) - feat. lowell george
  linda lewis: not a little girl anymore
    (1975, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
5 little feat: the last record album
    (1975, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george  

linda ronstadt: prisoner in disguise
    (1975, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george

  james taylor: gorilla
    (1975, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george  
  kate mcgarrigle & anna mcgarrigle: s/t
    (1975, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  jackson browne: pretender
    (1976, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  robert palmer: pressure drop
    (1976, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  carly simon: another passenger 
    (1976, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  john david souther: black rose
    (1976, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  jimmy webb: el mirage
    (1977, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  herb pedersen: sandman
    (1977, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  cheryl dilcher: blue sailor
    (1977, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
6 little feat: time loves a hero
    (1977, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george  

valerie carter: just a stone's throw away
    (1977, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george

  yvonne elliman: night flight
    (1978, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  john hall: john hall
    (1978, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  randy richards: randy richards
    (1978, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  grateful dead: shakedown street  
    (1978, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george as producer
  little feat: waiting for columbus
    (1978, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george, incl.'don't bogart that joint' (e.ingber, l.wagner)
  little feat: down on the farm
    (1978, lp, usa,
warner bros. records) - feat.lowell george
  mick taylor: mick taylor
    (1979, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george
  lowell george: thanks i'll eat it here
    (1979, lp, usa, ??)
  little feat: hoy-hoy !
    (1981, lp, usa, ??) - feat.lowell george, elliot ingber, roy estrada, ry cooder 
51 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.1
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)

  john starling: long time gone
    (1990, cd, ??, ??) - feat. lowell george
  steppenwolf: born to be wild: a retrospective
    (1991, cd, ??, ??) - feat. lowell george


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.4
   (1991, 2cd, usa, ryko)  
  zappa / mothers: our man in nirvana
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71022)


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.5
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  lowell george & the factory: lightning-rod man
    (1993, cd, fr, edsel records) - feat.frank zappa, elliot ingber, roy estrada, ian underwood
  john cale: seducing down the door
    (1994, cd, ??, ??) - feat. lowell george


frank zappa: mystery disc
   (1998, cd, usa, ryko)

  little feat: hotcakes & outtakes: 30 years of little feat
    (2000, cd, ??, ??)
  little feat: late night truck stop
    (2001, 2lp, usa, fruit tree) - feat.lowell george
  little feat: raw tomatos volume one
    (2002, 2cd, usa, hot tomato records) - feat.lowell george & roy estrada
  little feat: ripe tomatos volume one
    (2002, 2cd, usa, hot tomato records)  - feat.lowell george & roy estrada
  tom jans: eyes of an only child
    (??, ??, ??, ??) - feat. lowell george
  judy mayhan: moments
    (??, ??, ??, ??) - feat. lowell george
  lowell george: walk together, darling (live in ny, june 20th, 1979)
    (??, ??, ??, ??) - feat. lowell george


frank zappa: finer moments
    (2012, cd, usa, zappa records)

zappa_finermoments.jpg (47358 bytes)

  bonnie raitt & lowell george: ultrasonic studios
    (2014, cd, uk, iconography)

bonnieraitt_lowellgeorge_ultrasonic2014.jpg (37634 bytes)

  lowell george: feats first - the life and music of lowell george
    (2015, dvd, ??, ??)

lowell_george_featsfirst.jpg (50218 bytes)

  eugene chadbourne: 13 society
    (2015, cdr, usa, private release) - incl. 'steal softly through sunshine'  (don van vliet), 'willin'' (lowell george)

chadbourne_13society.jpg (30069 bytes)

  lowell george with linda rondstadt and friends: live in maryland '74
    (2018, cd, uk, roxvox, rvcd2091) = radio show album


bands playing Lowell George compostions


press kits

random notes 


    From: unknown
Appeared on the GTO's album, "Permanent Damage"
Formed Little Feat with Roy Estrada.
Played Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) on Akiko Yano (later Mrs Ryuichi Sakamoto)' debut album.
Passed away in 1979, shortly after his album "Thanks, I'll Eat It Here" came out.

     From: Bill Lantz (lantz@cableaz.com)
Nothing to much to add, except the following interesting bit of trivia:
     From: http://www.btinternet.com/~chinacat/magazines/body_littlefeat.html
Lowell and Zappa were childhood rivals; both had appeared on the Al Jarvis Amateur Hour, Frank with a puppet show, Lowell playing harp with his brother. They both lost to a girl who tapdanced.

     From: unknown
New CD with old stuff (pre-Little Feat) released in 1993 - "Lightning Rod Man ".
Lightning Rod Man actually features FZ as producer, as well as Ian Underwood and other Mothers. It was recorded before he joined the MOI by a band called The Factory.

     From: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As Little Feat was disbanding in late 1978, their lead guitarist/songwriter Lowell George recorded a solo album, Thanks I'll Eat It Here, that sounded as loose and funky as the band in their prime. After its release the following year, he set out on tour to support the album. Sadly, George died of a heart attack while on the road; he left behind a body of gritty, eclectic, and funky rock & roll. On the first five Little Feat albums, his songwriting and instrumental talents are more apparent than on his solo effort, yet that doesn't detract from the record's pleasures.

     From: donquixote (donquixote@black-hole.com)
The Lowell George tribute album, "Rock and Roll Doctor", might be worth a mention here. Not that he performed, but it is a really great tribute album.

     From: Patrick Neve (splat@darkwing.uoregon.edu)
For some reason I've got Lowell George listed as a guitarist on Hot Rats. Does anyone know for sure if he appears, and if so, where?

     From: Wally Adams (whadams@mpinet.net)
some people swear Lowell George is on that album but he's uncredited in the liner notes. if you listen closely you can hear his (or possibly somebody else's) rhythm playing in some songs. my ears have placed him in "The Gumbo Variations" and "Peaches En Regalia".

     From: Biffyshrew@aol.com
This was posted by Ted Alvy a few years ago.  It's from an interview in the March 1975 issue of Zigzag.

LOWELL GEORGE: I got into The Mothers to replace Ray - an impossible job, because no-one can replace Ray.  He's a singer par excellence and has a sense of humour that I couldn't hope to get near. He did amazing things, very very funny things. Well I wound up playing more guitar than singing.
I was initially hired to be the singer because I guess Frank thought I could sing, but I really ended up playing more guitar than singing. We wound  up doing a lot more instrumental stuff. I appeared on a couple of albums although I didn't get credited for the albums I appeared on,  I got credited on other albums, because at that period everything was  sort of in a state of flux that those moments were never  chronicled. No-one ever scribed who did what and when.
I sang on "WPLJ" [a song not (from "Weasels") but on "Burnt Weeny Sandwich"], and I played on "Hot Rats", and I sang something else. I wasn't on "Uncle Meat" although my photograph was. Very strange things occurred at that period. I'm also on the 12-album set that Frank planned to release. I think I have half a side. I do a border guard routine. I'm a German border guard interviewing people as they cross the border. And I think I play one long relatively lame guitar solo, almost half a  side.
One of these days Frank will put that thing out - the Xmas album – that was when it was supposed to be for awhile. But nobody  will take it. Nobody wants a 12-album set. It'll probably cost 30 bucks or something, and not many people will want to spend 30 bucks on a 12-album set of the history of The Mothers Of Invention. What he might do is make it a limited edition.

    From Ted Alvy
    December 2004

Frank Zappa dedicated a song to the new members of The Mothers Of Invention, Lowell and Buzz, during the three hour radio interview that took place at the KPPC-FM radio studios in the basement of The Pasadena Presbyterian Church (PPC):

KPPC-FM 106.7 Pasadena, California Thanksgiving Eve 5pm - 8 pm November 27, 1968 when legendary deejay LES CARTER and his guest FRANK ZAPPA play Their Scratchy 45s



1987 Uncle Meat (as himself)


- additional info: Leo Schelvis

frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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