Sneaky Pete Kleinow Dies at 73

Peter Kleinow’s family announced the passing of Pete Kleinow from Alzheimer’s disease. He died Saturday morning, January 6, 2007 at the nursing facility.

Kleinow was a very influential pedal steel guitarist, who pioneered the country rock movement in the West Coast of the United States. He was born August 20, 1934 in South Bend, Indiana. He learned steel guitar at the age of 17, and after graduating high school. In 1963, he moved to Los Angeles, where he played in various bands and also worked in Hollywood developing special effects for films.In the late 1960s he joined Poco for a brief time and later became a member of another country rock legend: the Flying Burrito Brothers. Sneaky Pete Kleinow was known for his creative solos, including work in Frank Zappa seminal Waka/Jawaka (1972).

For many years he recorded with some of the key figures in rock and pop. He recorded two solo albums: Meet Sneaky Pete (1978) and The Legend & The Legacy  (1994).

During the 1980s and 1990s, Peter Kleinow continued his Hollywood work, participating in major motion pictures as animation supervisor.