R.I.P. Pete Kleinow

“Sneaky” Pete Kleinow, co-founder of country-rock outfit The Flying Burrito Brothers, is dead at 72. From The Gilded Palace Of Sin on, Pete left a stamp on entertainment as guitarist for the influential Burrito band, with countless cameos on others’ recordings, and with later work in film and television. Reuters eulogizes:

The Flying Burrito Brothers, led by two former members of the Byrds, Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, formed in 1968 and won a cult following by playing soulful country music with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude.

Largely ignored at the time, the band would influence such acts as the Rolling Stones and the Eagles. It released two albums before the hard-living Parsons was fired in 1970. Kleinow soon quit for lucrative session work on albums by the likes of John Lennon (“Mind Games”), Fleetwood Mac (“Heroes are Hard to Find”) and Joni Mitchell (“Blue”).

But he wasn’t just a Flying Burrito; Pete was a special FX master, having worked on The Empire Strikes Back, as well as The Terminator I and II (the one with the crazy shape-shifting liquid metal Robert Patrick!). Add stop-animation work on Gumby, and we’re paying respects to a man dear to our hearts. Remember him here, working that pedal steel on “Lazy Day.”