Lowell George & the Factory – ‘Lightning Rod Man’ (1966)
Those familiar with Lowell George’s work outside of Little Feat generally seem to have a vague knowledge of his production work with The Meters and the Dead as well as a blurry account of his time spent as a guitarist in The Standelles and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. But far fewer seem to be aware of Lowell’s time as a budding musician on the LA psych scene during the mid 60s, where he played in a band called The Factory alongside future Little Feat member Richie Hayward. The group released at least one single during that period, and also went on to record a pair of tracks with Zappa on production duties, “Lightning Rod Man” b/w “The Loved One.” The first song is like a Captain Beefheart blues tune, ripe with George’s growls and cackles and Zappa’s eery background vocals. The second, “The Loved One,” is more of a 60s psych nugget and features Zappa on prepared piano and Stooges guitarist Warren Klein on guitar. However, these tracks didn’t see the light of day until the 1993 release of Lightning Rod Man, which gathers 15 tunes by Lowell George & The Factory recorded during 1966 and 1967. Listen to both Zappa produced tracks below.