Barrere in 2012, Photo by Jaime Butler
Little Feat guitarist and vocalist Paul Barrere has died.
News broke of his passing on the evening of Oct. 26, with a band statement that described his “abiding love for a life always dedicated to the muse and the music.“
Barrere was officially inducted into Little Feat during the recording of 1973’s Dixie Chicken release. He co-wrote a batch of beloved Little Feat tunes (such as “Skin It Back,” “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now” and “Time Loves A Hero”) and even toured in the early incarnations of Phil Lesh & Friends.
Through the years, Barrere also performed as a duo with Little Feat bandmate Fred Tackett, and also maintained a band called Better Daze with musician Roger Cole.
In 1994, Barrere was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, which eventually led to an ongoing battle with Liver Disease.
Earlier this month, Barrere announced he was taking a medical leave of absence, but planned to be back on stage this upcoming January for the band’s headlining performance at Jamaica’s Ramble on the Island.
As Little Feat celebrated their 50th year, Barrere wrote that the celebratory tour was “a musical dream come true and none of it would have been possible if not for the enduring support of all of you, the Feat Fans!”
Read Little Feat’s full statement on Barrere’s passing below:
It is with great sorrow that Little Feat must announce the passing of our brother guitarist, Paul Barrere, this morning at UCLA Hospital. 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.
Paul auditioned for Little Feat as a bassist when it was first being put together—in his words, “as a bassist I make an excellent guitarist”—and three years later joined the band in his proper role on guitar. Forty-seven years later, he was forced to miss the current tour, which will end tomorrow, due to side effects from his ongoing treatment for liver disease.
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. “Until then,” he wrote, “keep your sailin’ shoes close by…if I have my way, you’re going to need them!”
As the song he sang so many times put it, he was always “Willin’,” but it was not meant to be. 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.
Yours in music,
Little Feat: Bill Payne, Sam Clayton, Fred Tackett, Kenny Gradney, and Gabe Ford.