Thursday, January 11, 2007

RIP: Sneaky Pete Kleinow

Pedal steel guitar legend Sneaky Pete Kleinow died Monday, January 7, at the age of 73. Kleinow was one of the founding members of The Flying Burrito Bros., after being spotted by co-founder Gram Parsons in 1968, and went on to lend his signature sound to the likes of John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, and even more recently with The Lemonheads. But what you may not know is that Kleinow was also sought-after in Hollywood as a stop-motion animator.

Kleinow got his start in 1963 working on the television show Gumby, and continued as an animator well into the 90's. You've no doubt seen much of his special effects work in films like The Empire Strikes Back, the first two Terminators, and Gremlins as well as on television in commercials like the Pillsbury Doughboy, and a nostalgic favorite show of mine Land of the Lost (video.)

Aside from composing the theme song for Gumby (video,) Kleinow's music oddly didn't carry over into his work in film and television (although, his pedal steel work in Johnny Lee's "Lookin' For Love" is certainly memorable in the movie Urban Cowboy.)

Here's a playlist of many of his more memorable turns at the pedal steel over the years.

Playlist: Sneaky Pete Kleinow

Sneaky Pete's work on Gumby (Theme song and animation:)


Another video: Sneaky Pete stretches out on "Lazy Day" with TFFB (1970) (via Stereogum)

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4 comments:

drake leLane said...

Sneaky Pete Kleinow

1. The Gumby Show - Television's Greatest Hits
2. Christine's Tune (Devil In Disguise) - The Flying Burrito Brothers
3. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Joe Cocker
4. Sin City - The Flying Burrito Brothers
5. California - Joni Mitchell
6. I Trust - The Byrds
7. Cody, Cody - The Flying Burrito Brothers
8. Turn Around - Billy Joel
9. Tulsa Turnaround - Helen Reddy
10. Tried So Hard - The Flying Burrito Brothers
11. Rock Me On The Water - Linda Ronstadt
12. I've Been The One - Little Feat
13. The Bramble And The Bush - Barbara Keith
14. We - Shawn Phillips
15. Looking Into You - Jackson Browne
16. Bird On The Wire - Rita Coolidge
17. Here Tonight - Gene Clark
18. Torn And Frayed - The Rolling Stones
19. Willin' - Little Feat
20. It Just Might Be A One-Shot Deal - Frank Zappa
21. Mind Games - John Lennon
22. Silver Threads and Golden Needles - Linda Ronstadt
23. Something To Believe In - Steve Miller Band
24. Come Home Johnny Birdie - The Bee Gees
25. Tight As - John Lennon
26. Sweet Wahini Mama - Jimmie Spheeris
27. Too Shy To Say - Stevie Wonder
28. Come A Little Bit Closer - Fleetwood Mac
29. Steel Guitar (LP Version) - Danny O'Keefe
30. Ebony Eyes - Stevie Wonder
31. Fingerprints - Leonard Cohen
32. I Think I'll Say Goodbye - Olivia Newton-John
33. Lookin' For Love - Johnny Lee
34. But I Guess We'll Never Know - Grapes of Wrath
35. Big Gay Heart - The Lemonheads
36. Being Around - The Lemonheads
37. In Your Eyes - David Olney

J Shifty said...

Thank you for the animational education. And I certainly didn't miss the serendipity of the Barbara Keith record, and I must admit my own recent vulnerability to that gold plated door on the 31st floor.

Cheers all!

Anonymous said...

My favourite Sneaky Pete session is on the "Sandy Denny" album in 1972. His playing on "It'll take a long time" is superb and coupled with Sandy's vocals and Richard Thompson's guitar it is a track I will never grow tired of hearing.

desertlightningprose said...

Nice list, but for Jackson Browne Pete played on two songs on his second album, For Everyman on the first song Take It Easy which was carried into Browne's second number, Our Lady of the Well. The segue is simply stunning, with Pete giving it the masterstrokes that only a genius could lay down. When one hears those two song together, you forget altogether the Eagle's brash first hit & begin to really appreciate Browne's understated gifts.