Episode 271: War

“Low Rider”

The band War formed in 1969, in Long Beach, California. “Low Rider” is from their 1975 album Why Can’t We Be Friends? The song was a hit as soon as it came out. It went to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts, and it’s just had tremendous lasting power ever since. Besides being in the movie Dazed and Confused, where I heard it, it’s been sampled by the Beastie Boys, it was covered by Korn, and it was the theme song for all six seasons of The George Lopez Show.

For this episode, I talked to War’s bandleader Lonnie Jordan, and their producer Jerry Goldstein. The two of them told me how “Low Rider” was made in the studio, through a combination of improvisation and meticulous editing.

You can buy or stream “Low Rider” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

For a transcript of this episode, click here.

“Low Rider” personnel: Lonnie Jordan, Papa Dee Allen, B.B. Dickerson, Charles Miller, Harold Brown, Howard Scott, and Lee Oskar
“Low Rider” as seen in the movie Dazed and Confused
Crystal Studios
Jerry Goldstein’s prior credits included “Hang on Sloopy” and “My Boyfriend’s Back”
Tito Puente
Lowrider cars
Stevie Wonder
Sound City Studios
“Low Rider” is sampled on “G.D.F.R.” by Flo Rida
Flavor Flav