Spending time with Bill

By gregebersole

June 18, 2011

Category: Travel

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Last night, the band, Little Feat, played a show at the Louisville outdoor summer concert series. I have know the band members and photographed them for many years. Once, I photographed them in an alley near the Pike Street Marketplace area in Seattle. They used the group photo for posters and publicity for many years. Bill Payne, the keyboard player, is the only original member left in the band. Lowell George and Richie Hayward have passed away. The original band was formed in 1969. A few years later, Paul, Sam and Kenny were added. And later, Fred joined them. Bill and I have been good friends for years since I first met the band. Besides being an amazing keyboard player, he is a wonderful photographer. He knows his way around Photoshop more than I do. His photos are worked through that program and are turned into art pieces. I met him at his hotel near the venue and we drove to the location in my car. Then we hung out in the band bus and talked photography and watched golf. He told me that he recently met Robert Hunter, the Grateful Dead songwriter. They collaborated on three songs, with Hunter writing words and Bill the music. I asked Bill if they sounded like Dead songs or Little Feat. He laughed and said everything the band does sounds like a Little Feat song. I can’t wait to hear them. He’s really excited about them. Bill spends a lot of time at his place in Montana. It’s on a river and he did some fly fishing recently and cross country skis there in the winter. He said he has a Steinway grand in the place, one that he used when he recorded with Emmylou Harris.
I always enjoy hearing the stories about the musicians he knows and has worked with. Stories he has about time with Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan and others. Last night, the band played for over 2 hours to a huge crowd. I hope to catch them again in Oregon or Washington before I head back to Colombia in October. My brother, Ken, his wife, Meredith, and their two kids, Ryan and Allison came for the show. Also my sister, Karen, and her husband, Bob, came from Greeley. Their son, Matt, who plays drums in a band came after work. I was able to introduce him to Gabe Ford, the Feat drummer, after the show. They got to talk drums.

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