For the past four decades, Bill Payne has spent more time on the road, in studios, and working with Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers than most of that rare group of musicians who can pay the bills with their talent and endurance. He’s one of rock’s most talented keyboardists, a legitimate legend among peers. A founding member of Little Feat, he’s appeared on hundreds of studio albums and toured with the likes of Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor and the Doobie Brothers. Most people in the music industry or familiar with rock’s meaningful past know this amazing musician’s songs and recognize his chops instantly. Countless musicians have shared time with him in the studio or onstage. More would like to, because he makes most musicians better.
While angling for a chance to play with avant-garde avatar Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, he managed through his tenacity on the telephone to set up a chance meeting with one of the Mothers, Lowell George. Hooking up with Lowell up was a great first step in the right direction for Bill – in fact, it would become a huge step. Lowell and Bill bonded immediately and began to collaborate. Lowell was still a Mother, so Bill marked time and hung with the fine crowd of young musicians – Jackson Browne, Fred Tackett, Ray Collins, Richie Hayward – drawn to Lowell’s pad. When Bill wasn’t with Lowell or that remarkable crowd, he found himself playing with the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously), a Frank Zappa enterprise, often sleeping in Lowell’s car because he was allergic to his cats. I was clear that Bill had the talent; all he needed was that big break. It would come soon.
Bill Payne is not a musician of habit, nor one who needs his ego stroked regularly to inspire his creativity. Bill’s presence in rock has been defined by his talent, resourcefulness, longevity and penchant for straying. His laid-back demeanor provides a perfect camouflage for the intensely passionate artist he shelters within. He lives and breathes to create, not to smell the roses. He doesn’t spend his time looking back at what he and Little Feat have accomplished. Rather, he’s always looking ahead to start anew, to be inventive, to be original. Bill doesn’t produce product, he creates, plays and produces music. He is an artist. It’s what he’s always been about.
The show starts at 8:00PM and tickets are $18 in advance and $23 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at The Linda box office or online.