!!! The very best of rock history for your enjoyment !!!
The appearance of Little Feat at the Grugahalle in Essen, Germany, in July
of 1977 was unusual in more ways than one:
First there was Peter Ruechel, creator of the Rockpalast (Rock Palace), who
was a long time fan of the band. A year earlier he had gone to a Rolling
Stones concert in Stuttgart just to see Little Feat, who were the opening
act. From then on he worked like crazy to arrange for their appearance at
the Rockpalast. It was to happen during the first long RP night, and it was
to be broadcast live all over Europe.
Then there were the local TV crews, who got their first experience in
filming and broadcasting 3 rock concerts that went on all night long.
Little Feat's music seemed unusual to some, and they were relatively unknown
in Europe, although they had reached a high point in their creativity in the
USA. They were, and still are today, at their very best during live
performances, and members of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were often
found among the concert goers.
Bootlegs, unauthorized live recordings, had flourished for years on the
black market. So Little Feat decided to release an official live album,
which was recorded in London and Washington, DC during the 7 shows after the
historic Rockpalast appearance. The result was "Waiting for Columbus", by
many fans and critics considered to be the best live rock album of all
times, even though it was overdubbed in the studio later.
The Rockpalast concert is pure live Little Feat, as is breathtakingly
evident on "Skin It Back". Although the VHS version, and later the 2000 DVD
version with commentary from keyboardist Bill Payne and guitarist Paul
Barrere circulated for years among fans, this new release is the one that
really kicks! Both audio and video have been remastered for a listening
pleasure beyond comparison.
As a bonus there is the 30 minute sound check from the afternoon of July 23,
1977, a real diamond in the rough with its seven tracks, including "Rock And
Roll Doctor" which, unfortunately, didn't make it into the recording of the
show. These tracks, known only to a few insiders, have been pulled from the
holy grail of the Rockpalast to be enjoyed by all like a fine, rare wine.
30 minutes of bonus material might not sound like very much, but 30 minutes
is a long time for a sound check. Cameras are everywhere, giving the viewer
the feeling of being right there on stage with the band for the first
Rockpalast night. It is obvious that the TV crew is testing their limits and
that Little Feat themselves are having a great time.
Not a trace of the rumored tension between band members, except for one time
during the show when Lowell George left the stage during "Day At The Dog
Races" to demonstrate that the jazzy instrumental was not exactly his cup of
Unlike the rest of the DVD, the bonus tracks have not been remastered,
giving viewers the chance to experience this piece of rock history as it was
Kudos also to the extensive info in the liner notes, which includes a story
by Peter Ruechel about his memories of the first Rockpalast night with
Little Feat and many previously unpublished photos.
Little Feat "Skin It Back - Live At Rockpalast" is not just for die hard
Featfans, but also a must-have for all friends of excellent, timeless rock
music recorded by a band at the peak of their creativity.
(translation German-English by Dirk Neosuede)