And Yet More Again...

So, working on the Mohammed and the Mountain principle, figuring that there’s nothing like going straight to the top I emailed Bill Payne and Paul Barrere with a proposal for a permanent tape tree and around the middle of 1998 I received a reply from Bill telling me to go ahead and to expect to hear from band sound engineer, Jerry Manuel.

In the process of setting up the tree, which was known as Highway 95 I ran across Chris Cafiero, who went on to become the band’s official archivist.

My involvement as administrator of the tree only lasted two years, and Highway 95 slowly faded off the scene after that, but, while I was involved I was in touch with Bill and Paul from time to time. Shortly after I took up with ‘Er Indoors breaking news indicated that Little Feat would be making a return visit to Australia after a twenty-six year interval. 

Predictably, Hughesy went, and Madam was along for the ride. The 2001 Little Feat Australia/New Zealand tour was built around two appearances at the Blues & Roots Festival at Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend, and some swift footwork saw a group of fans booked into a three-bedroom townhouse near Belongil Beach. Cost us $1500 for the week, which ain’t exactly chicken feed, but we had accommodation, tickets and the wherewithal to go.

Early on Good Friday we found ourselves boarding a plane in Mackay, bound for Brisbane where Madam had organised a lift to Byron with an acquaintance who likes driving. Seriously, he’s the kind of guy who’s been known to hop into his car in Brisbane, drive across the country to Perth and turn straight around and drive back again. 

As we boarded the flight, Madam requested a look at the copy of the Hotcakes & Outtakes box set I’d brought along with a view to getting it autographed. She thought it might be handy to familiarise herself with names and faces in case we met anybody.

It was shortly after one o’clock when we were dropped off outside the townhouse. A quick phone call put me in touch with Tony, who’d done the legwork on the accommodation arrangements and was out and about around the ridges. 

Shortly thereafter, Tony pulled up to let us in, inquiring whether we wanted to stay at the unit and freshen up.


B© Ian Hughes 2012