Longtime Little Feat guitarist and singer Paul Barrere died Saturday morning at UCLA Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 71.
“It is with great sorrow that Little Feat must announce the passing of our brother guitarist, Paul Barrere,” reads a message from the group’s surviving members posted on the band’s official website. “We ask for your kindest thoughts and best wishes to go out especially to his widow Pam and children Gabriel, Genevieve, and Gillian, and to all the fans who were his extended family.”
While no cause of death was reported, the message points out that Barrere had been forced to miss Little Feat’s current tour “due to side effects from his ongoing treatment for liver disease.”
The note ends by saying, “Paul, sail on to the next place in your journey with our abiding love for a life always dedicated to the muse and the music. We are grateful for the time we have shared.”
Barrere joined Little Feat in 1972, three years after he unsuccessfully auditioned for the bassist position when the group was being formed.
Paul co-wrote and many songs by Little Feat, including “Down on the Farm” and “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now.” After founding frontman Lowell George died in 1979, the group disbanded, but reformed in 1988, with Barrere taking on more of a leadership role in the band.
Barrere also released a number of solo albums, and played in a duo with fellow Little Feat guitarist Fred Tackett. In addition, he contributed to albums by a variety of well-known artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Robert Palmer, Nicolette Larson and Carly Simon.
Raitt posted a message on her Twitter feed paying tribute to Barrere, calling him “[a] brilliant guitarist, singer and songwriter — a cornerstone of one of the greatest bands of all time.”
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