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)
tags: music, film, soundtrack, movies, television, sneaky pete, flying burrito brothers, obituary, rhapsody