“It is with great sorrow that Little Feat must announce the passing of our brother guitarist, Paul Barrere, this morning at UCLA Hospital,” said a statement on the band’s official web page. “We ask for your kindest thoughts and best wishes to go out especially to his widow Pam and children Gabriel, Genevieve, and Gillian, and to all the fans who were his extended family.” The statement was signed by members Bill Payne, Sam Clayton, Fred Tackett, Kenny Gradney, and Gabe Ford
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Little Feat is currently on tour, but Barrere was too ill to join them. He had auditioned as a bass player for the group when it was first formed, but in his words, “as a bassist I make an excellent guitarist.” He joined as a guitarist three years later.
Barrere had hoped to be well enough to join the band’s annual fan gathering in Jamaica in January.
“As the song he sang so many times put it, he was always “Willin’,” but it was not meant to be,” said the band statement. “Paul, sail on to the next place in your journey with our abiding love for a life always dedicated to the muse and the music. We are grateful for the time we have shared.
Barrere was born in Burbank, Calif. in 1948, joining Little Feat in 1972, just three years after its founding by Lowell George. His songwriting credits include Feats Don’t Fail Me Now and All That You Dream. His music appeared on soundtracks for TV’s The Sopranos, and in the films Major League II, Pink Cadillac and Road House, among others.
He is survived by his wife, Pam, and children Gabriel, Genevieve, and Gillian. No memorial plans have been announced.