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.
“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.