Paul Barrere, guitarist and singer for Little Feat, dead at 71

Other members of Little Feat announced Barrere’s death on the band’s official website.

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Paul Barrere performing with Little Feat in 2006.

Jason DeCrow/AP Photo

Paul Barrere, guitarist and singer for the long-running rock group Little Feat, has died at 71, the band announced.

In a blog post shared Saturday and signed by Little Feat members Bill Payne, Sam Clayton, Fred Tackett, Kenny Gradney and Gabe Ford on the band’s official website, they announced the death of “our brother guitarist, Paul Barrere” on Saturday morning at the UCLA Hospital amid “ongoing treatment for liver disease.” 

USA TODAY has reached out to a Little Feat representative for comment. 

Little Feat originally formed in 1969. Barrere auditioned at the time as a bassist but eventually joined the band three years later as a guitarist. ”As a bassist, I make an excellent guitarist,” group members recalled him saying. He stuck with the band since joining in 1972 but sat on the sideline for Little Feat’s current tour, which is scheduled to end Sunday in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for medical treatment.

“He promised to follow his doctor’s orders, get back in shape, and rock on the beach at the band’s annual gathering in Jamaica in January 2020,” the statement reads. It says Barrere advised fans, “ “Keep your sailin’ shoes close by … if I have my way, you’re going to need them!’ ” 

Barrere also recorded and performed with Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon and Robert Palmer, according to his official bio

Raitt mourned the musician’s death early Sunday on Twitter, calling Barrere a “brilliant guitarist, singer and songwriter” and a “cornerstone of one of the greatest bands of all time.” 

She added: “I’m glad he is free of pain and may he rest in peace. I send my deep love and condolences to his family, bandmates and friends. We will hold him in our hearts and celebrate his life and music always.”

Survivors include Barrere’s wife, Pam, and children, Gabriel, Genevieve and Gillian, according to the band’s website. 

”As the song he sang so many times put it, he was always ‘Willin’,’ but it was not meant to be,” the post continued. ”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.”


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