Paul Barrere from Little Feat passed away this morning as confirmed by his bandmates in an announcement earlier this evening.
Scroll down to see the official letter from the band. It was re-printed from their website word for word.
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
The news came unexpectedly as he was in great spirits when he alerted fans that he needed to fine-tune his treatment for liver disease at home, at the behest of his doctors, and it seemed like he was ready to get well and continue on with the 50th Anniversary of the legendary band he helped shape the sound for.
This was the letter that was published early October signaling that he would be out but clearly on the mend.
As many of you know, for the past several years I have been dealing with liver disease. When we finished the second leg of our 50th Anniversary Tour, I was beginning to develop some edema, which has been making some things a little more difficult. It has been a bit of a roller coaster as I go through the treatments my medical team has prescribed, and I have had good days and not so good days. Lately, the not so good days have been more common. I have met with my team at UCLA and they have told me that what I am experiencing is common and treatable. However, the timing is not ideal, as they have directed me to stay home in October while they fine-tune the treatment in order to get me back to where the good days are the norm.
Needless to say I am beyond disappointed as I was really looking forward to the shows in October. This whole year has been 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!
Fortunately, the shows will go on. I have no doubt the band is going to rise to the occasion. As a band, for over 50 years we have always had each other’s backs and I know they will continue to put on the best possible show each and every night. That’s the way we roll. I am also very appreciative that Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams (from October 7 to 24), and Scott Sharrard (October 26 and 27) are able to fill in for me. I can’t think of any musicians better suited to take on the guitar seat than Larry and Scott. Most of you know Larry, and you may have heard Scott while he was with Greg Allman’s band. He is one hell of a slide player for sure. Together with the band, they will take the music to some great places.
My plan is to follow my doctor’s orders and sit tight, but I have every intention of getting back to Jamaica in January and rock’n on the beach with all of you. Until then, keep your sailin’ shoes close by… If I have my way, you’re going to need them!
Very best wishes, Paul
Super sad news. 😢💔
Amazingly grateful that we were able to photograph their recent run through the West Coast on their 50th Anniversary tour.