“Sneaky” Pete Kleinow dies at age 72 of Alzheimers

January 9, 2007

The BBC reports that virtuoso pedal steel guitar player “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow died yesterday in a Petaluma, CA nursing facility from Alzheimers. I knew and loved Sneaky as a pedal steel player who played with the Byrds, Gram Parsons, Flying Burrito Brothers, and a list that goes on and on (check out his bio on his website). Pete was also an animator and special effects artist. He worked on Gumby back in 1960 and with Industrial Light and Magic on The Empire Strikes Back.

Here is Sneaky Pete playing one of the most originally touching introductions I know. The recording is Chris Hillman singing Bob Dylan’s “To Ramona” with the Flying Burrito Brothers.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

geosci February 6, 2007 at 3:39 pm

I have known Pete Kleinow since the early 1950s in Michigan. Pete and I formed several bands and played together in the Michigan, South Bend, and Chicago area until 1957, when we both moved to San Diego. I made the steel slide bar that Pete used until his retirement. I considered him to be more than a friend – he was a unique individual. He was the only true musical genius that I ever knew personally.

Interestingly enough, I attended his Burrito Deluxe concert in San Diego in December, 2004 and, thankfully, I videotaped it!

Rest in Peace, Pete!

Roger Bourland February 6, 2007 at 9:22 pm

You are a lucky man. He was a great artist, I’m sorry I was never able to meet him. I bet he was a great guy as well. Thanks for your comments!

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