RIP – “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow

On Saturday, January 6, pedal steel guitarist and Emmy-winning  visual effects artist “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow died at the age of  72 from Alzheimer’s complications, according to a Reuters report. Kleinow  was born in South Bend,  Indiana but a California resident at the time of his death.

Kleinow was a founding member of the Flying Burrito Brothers,  along with country-rock pioneers (and former Byrds) Gram Parsons  and Chris Hillman. The band’s music has been highly influential  since their debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, was released in 1969.

Kleinow also contributed as a session musician to albums by John  Lennon, Joni Mitchell, and Fleetwood Mac. He founded a new group  called Burrito Deluxe (named after the title of the Burrito Brothers’  second album) in 2000, and his last public performance was in October  2005 at a Parsons tribute festival.

When he was not playing music, Kleinow also  made his mark in the TV and film industries as a multi-faceted visual  effects artist. His credits include The Empire Strikes Back, The Right  Stuff, both Terminator films, Gremlins, “The Outer Limits”, “Land of  the Lost”, “Gumby”, and miniseries “The Winds of War”, for which he shared an Emmy.

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