Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekend Video - "Willin' "

With the new film “Pineapple Express” set to be the talking point of the weekend and the term “stoner” movie entering the critical vocabulary, here’s a smokin’ tune from the 70s.

Written in 1970, "Willin'" was a signature song for Little Feat and their lead singer and co-founder Lowell George. George died in 1979, but the song quickly became a favorite among America’s truck drivers, many of who continue to regard it as the unofficial anthem of their profession.

In George's lifetime, "Willin'" was recorded in three different versions. On the band’s debut album, Little Feat (1971), with only George’s raspy voice and guitar and the sparse accompaniment of Ry Cooder’s steel guitar. On Sailin’ Shoes (1972), where the song was done by the whole band with the chorus harmonized by four voices. And finally on the live double album, Waiting for Columbus (1978), where, "Willin’" segues straight into "Don’t Bogart That Joint" (which George helped compose when he was briefly a member of the band Fraternity of Man).

While Little Feat never made it to the peak, and in fact never even had a single on the charts, Britain’s Melody Maker magazine proclaimed in 1977, "Little Feat is the best U.S. band of the decade." Their 1976/77 tour became a minor legend and was captured on the live double album, Waiting for Columbus, now a cult classic and considered by many to be the greatest live record in the history of rock music.

Willin’ by Lowell George

I was warped by the rain
Driven by the snow
I'm drunk and dirty, don't you know
But I'm still, oh I'm still,... willin'

Out on a road, late last night
I saw my pretty Alice, in every headlight
Alice... Dallas Alice


And I've been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
I've driven down the backroads so I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And show me a sign, I'll be willin' to be movin'

Now I smuggled some smoke, some folks from Mexico
Baked by the sun, every time I go to Mexico, and I'm still

And I've been kicked by the wind
Robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in but I'm still on my feet
And I'm willin'... oh I'm willin'


Anonymous said...

Jimmy! You did it again, went right to one of the atavistic favorites of 1970s coming-of-age: Little Feat is another core holding in my music portfolio, that is little understood by my wife but appreciates in value with every hearing. Dixie Chicken from Waiting for Columbus is terrific, too. Thanks, dude.


California Girl said...

thank you!

Bill from Jersey said...

Great tune, Willin'! I like Linda Ronstadt's cover, as well.