Paul Barrere, the guitarist in Little Feat since 1972, died Saturday at UCLA Hospital from liver cancer.
In a statement, the band says, "It is with great sorrow that Little Feat must announce the passing of our brother guitarist, Paul Barrere... We ask for your kindest thoughts and best wishes to go out especially to his widow Pamand children Gabriel, Genevieve and Gillian, and to all the fans who were his extended family."
The statement continues, "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 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."
Barrere was 71 and is the third member of the band to pass away following original members Lowell George in 1979 and Richie Hayward in 2010.
With heavy hearts, Little Feat wrap up their 50th anniversary tour tonight (Sunday) in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.