Ex-Burrito Brother Chris Hillman: "He was a joy to know"
Chris Ethridge, the bass player who lent his musicianship and songwriting to country-rock pioneers the Flying Burrito Brothers, the International Submarine Band and others, has died at 65, Rolling Stone reports.
Ethridge co-founded the Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, and "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, playing on their 1969 classic "The Gilded Palace of Sin" before departing; he later co-wrote Parsons' solo track "She." Hillman, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member who left The Byrds to form the Burrito Brothers, called Ethridge a great bassist and talented songwriter.
"Chris was multi-talented; a great bass player, and a great songwriter," Hillman told Billboard by e-mail Monday night. "His collaborations as co-writer, with Gram Parsons, on 'Hot Burrito 1', 'Hot Burrito 2' and 'She,' are classics. He was a joy to work with and a joy to know."
Ethridge's death leaves Hillman as the last surviving original Burrito Brother; Parsons died in 1973 and Kleinow in 2007. Early drummer Michael Clarke, a fellow ex-Byrd member, died in 1993.
Over his lengthy career, Ethridge also performed with musicians including Ry Cooder, the Doors, Graham Nash, David Crosby and, most notably, Willie Nelson.
Nelson, who enlisted Etheridge for his Family Band, addressed the passing on his Twitter page on Monday.
"WN&F are sad to hear of the passing of Family member & friend Chris Ethridge he was a talented musician & we were honored to call him Family," Nelson tweeted.
Ethridge was reportedly hospitalized as of last week, though the circumstances of his death have not yet been made public.