Sneaky Pete Kleinow (1934-2007)

Sneaky Pete Kleinow was a highly influenital American pedal steel guitarist.
Before his music career began, Kleinow worked as a motion picture special effects artist. In the 60s he began to get work playing the pedal steel guitar, and eventually met up with Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons of The Byrds. He helped them replicate their new country-styled sound on stage, and so became integral in the development of the country-rock genre. When Hillman and Parsons left The Byrds and started a new group, they took Kleinow with them, and so he became a founding member of The Flying Burrito Brothers. His steel playing on their debut album The Gilded Palace Of Sin was one of the first instances of the instrument taking a lead role in a rock group, filling the place usually held by normal 6-string electric guitar, even making use of distortion and electronic effects. Still today it is this one album which best shows why he was so highly regarded.
He stayed with the Burritos until 1971, after which he returned to session work full time. His steel playing has graced records by artists as diverse as Gene Clark, Al Kooper, Delaney & Bonnie, Little Feat, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Cocker, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Frank Zappa, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, and many more. He rejoined a re-constitued Flying Burrito Brothers line-up in 1974. In the 80s he made a return to his special effects work, and worked on numerous films (including Star Wars and The Terminator). In 2000 he formed a new group, Burrito Deluxe, and recorded his last steel playing with them. He died in 2007.

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