This month, we profile Featbase. Here are a few words from co-founder Chris Cafiero.
The internet is an amazing resource.
I have been a Little Feat fan since the early 70’s and actually stared archiving Little Feat tapes even before I taped my first show in 1977 at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA. It’s been a great ride ever since. With the help of many tapers and traders across the world I was able to amass quite a large collection of Little Feat tapes. One of the problems I found in trading was that not everyone was aware of the song titles,
venues, cities and sometimes even the date of the show. Before the internet hit it big, Little Feat tape traders relied on fellow tape trader’s lists to keep accurate information on the live shows. Wes Meyett had the most complete and actually had his list published in the Gray Areas magazine. A few years later, Little Feat setlists first showed up on the internet with the help of Red Miller, who was the bands volunteer webmaster. Red had added a section on the Little Feat web site that listed dates and venues(and setlists when he could) of shows in the late 90’s.
Featbase was an idea I had for some time until I met a fellow Feat fan
Steve Keiss at the Charlie Daniels Band Volunteer Jam, which Little Feat was a
part of, in Nashville, TN On 06/03/00. After the show Steve and I met for a
BEER or two and that’s when we decided that we’d make a run at putting our own Little Feat setlist site up. Here’s where I’ll admit to not knowing much about web design. I had all the data and did all the research, but needed the help of someone who could put a web site together. Steve on the other hand, didn’t tell me that he didn’t know much about making web sites. What he did do though was truly amazing. He taught himself on his own time, how to make and design web sites, and to work with all the other programs that we now use to make Featbase run. On the other hand, I have been tenaciously gathering all the information I can on previous Little Feat shows. Despite my access to the band members it became apparent to me that they have not kept any records of their old shows.
Most of my research is conducted by talking with fans, trading tapes and scouring the internet to help recreate history.
Featbase is intended to be used by all Feat fans, the tape traders to
ensure accuracy of their shows and the casual fan to reminisce about shows they
had attended. One of the cool things about what I call "the Featbase Project"
is that it calls on everyone to participate. We have a section of the site
where folks can "Submit A Show". They can submit information on any Little
Feat show they want to. We get the range of information, from a setlist
correction of a recent show all the way to the addition of shows from the
early 70’s. I check all of the submittals and then Steve does a site update about once per month.
Our site also covers the solo careers of each of the band members, hosts
the band’s official Taping and Duplication policy, has a great search section
and then also has a section of related Little Feat links. The links
include the Official Little Feat web site, sites where cool CD covers are
kept, Hank Randalls’s Little Feat photo site, locations where Feat shows can be
downloaded and a link to our permanent Tape Tree called Highway
95. Even though the band frowns against bootlegging we thought that since boots have played an important part of Little Feat history that we added information about all known bootlegs too. Since the band started their own label, Hot Tomato
Records, we now also feature a link to the latest official offerings from
the band. Some of our new features include the ability to add a setlist from the
most recent show within hours of each performance, view scans of ticket stubs
and posters of shows, list the upcoming tour dates with venue links, and the
ability to print out a J-card of any shows set list.
We will continuously update and make new features available for the site,
so stop by frequently to see what’s new.