Pedal steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, who co-founded influential 1960s country rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers, has died from complications of Alzheimer's disease, associates said yester

Pedal steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, who co-founded influential 1960s country rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers, has died from complications of Alzheimer's disease, associates said yesterday (Jan. 8). He was 72.

Kleinow, who died on Saturday, had been living in a nursing facility in Petaluma, Calif., about 40 miles north of San Francisco.

The Flying Burrito Brothers, led by two ex-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").

He later returned to his original calling as a visual effects artist in film and television. Before the Burritos, he had worked on NBC's "The Gumby Show." His later credits included the first two "Terminator" films, and he shared an Emmy for his work on the TV miniseries "The Winds of War."

In 2000, he founded the country-rock group Burrito Deluxe, named after the Flying Burrito Brothers' second album. His last public performance was in October 2005 at a Gram Parsons festival in Georgia.


AP LogoCopyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.