Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere (born July 3 1948) passed away on October 26, 2019, aged 71. He had been undergoing ongoing treatment at UCLA Hospital for liver disease. He was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2015 and was unable to join the band’s current tour.
A statement released by the band said: “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.”
Paul Barrère joined Little Feat in 1972 for the band’s third album Dixie Chicken (1973), and had been with the band since. He co-wrote such Little Feat songs as “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now” and “Time Loves a Hero.” When founding member Lowell George died in 1979 When George Barrere became Little Feat’s lead guitarist and vocalist.
During Little Feat’s early 80’s hiatus, Paul led the group Chicken Legs. Since Little Feat’s return with Let it Roll, Paul has stepped more into the spotlight. Paul’s guitar, vocals, and songwriting are now an important part of the Little Feat sound.
In addition to his work with Little Feat, Paul Barrère has also recorded and performed with many other musicians including: the Blues Busters (featuring Catfish Hodge), Valerie Carter, Chico Hamilton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Palmer, and Carly Simon.