Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
Group Members: Gib Guilbeau, Gib Builbeau, Bernie Leadon, Chris Hillman, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, The International Submarine Band, Al Perkins, Gene Parsons, Brian Cadd, Rick Roberts, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Byron Berline, Gram Parsons
All Music Guide:
The Flying Burrito Brothers helped forge the connection between rock and country, and with their 1969 debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin, they virtually invented the blueprint for country-rock. Though the band's glory days were brief, they left behind a small body of work that proved vastly influential both in rock and country. The Flying Burrito Brothers reunited later in the '70s, albeit without their founding members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, and continued performing and recording in a variety of incarnations into the '80s.
Originally, the Flying Burrito Brothers were a group of Los Angeles musicians who gathered together to jam. Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman took the band's name when they were forming their own band after leaving the Byrds. Parsons had helped steer the Byrds toward a country direction during his brief stint with the band, as captured on the 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Following the release of Sweetheart, he left the Byrds, followed shortly afterward by Hillman. The duo added pedal steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow and bassist Chris Ethridge to the band and set about recording their debut album with a variety of session drummers.
The Gilded Palace of Sin, the Flying Burrito Brothers' debut album, was released in the spring of 1969. Although the album only sold 40,000 copies, the band developed a devoted following, which happened to include many prominent musicians in Los Angeles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. Around this time, Parsons and Stones guitarist Keith Richards became good friends, which led to Parsons losing interest in the Burritos. Before the band recorded their second album, Ethridge left the band and was replaced by Bernie Leadon, and the group hired ex-Byrd Michael Clarke as their permanent drummer.
Burrito Deluxe, the group's second album, was released in the spring of 1970. After its release, Gram Parsons left the group and was replaced by Rick Roberts, a local Californian songwriter. Roberts' first album with the band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, was released in 1971. After its release, Kleinow left the band to become a session musician and Leadon departed to join the Eagles. The Burritos hired pedal steel guitarist Al Perkins and bassist Roger Bush to replace them, as well as adding guitarist Kenny Wertz and fiddler Byron Berline to the lineup. This new version of the group recorded the live album The Last of the Red Hot Burritos, which was released in 1972. Before its release, the band splintered apart. Berline, Bush, and Wertz all left to form Country Gazette, while Hillman and Perkins joined Manassas. Roberts assembled a new band to tour Europe in 1973 and then dissolved the group, choosing to pursue a solo career. Roberts would later form Firefall with Michael Clarke.
Close Up the Honky Tonks, a double-album Flying Burrito Brothers compilation, was released in 1974 because of the burgeoning interest in Gram Parsons. Capitalizing on the collection and the cult forming around Parsons, Kleinow and Ethridge formed a new version of the Flying Burrito Brothers in 1975. The duo recruited Floyd "Gib" Gilbeau (vocals, guitar, fiddle), bassist Joel Scott Hill, and drummer Gene Parsons and recorded Flying Again, which was released on Columbia Records in 1975.
Ethridge left the band after the release of Flying Again; he was replaced by Skip Battin, who appeared on the 1976 album Airborne. Also in 1976, a collection of Gram Parsons-era outtakes entitled Sleepless Nights was released on A&M Records.
For the two decades following their 1975 reunion, the Flying Burrito Brothers performed and recorded sporadically, undergoing the occasional lineup change. In 1979, the group released Live From Tokyo on Regency Records; the album spawned their first country hit, a cover of Merle Haggard's "White Line Fever," which hit the charts in 1980. Also in 1980, the group abbreviated its name to the Burrito Brothers when they signed a contract with Curb Records. The Burrito Brothers' Hearts on the Line spawned three minor country chart hits in 1981. Sunset Sundown, the Brothers second Curb album, appeared in 1982 and like its predecessor, it produced three minor hits. Following the release of Sunset Sundown, Kleinow left the band to become an animator and special-effects creator in Hollywood. The group carried on without him, led by Gib Gilbeau and John Beland. That incarnation of the band fell apart in 1985, the same year that Kleinow assembled yet another version of the band. For the next three years, this incarnation of the Flying Burrito Brothers toured America and Europe. In 1988, the group split apart again, although it did occasionally reunite for further tours and recordings in the '90s, including 1999's Sons of the Golden West.
The Flying Burrito Brothers were an early country rock band, best known for its influential debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969). Although the group is most often mentioned in connection with country rock legends Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, the group underwent many personnel changes.
Original line-up and members until 1972 
The Flying Burrito Brothers were founded in 1968 on the West Coast of the United States by former Byrds members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, as well as pianist and bassist Chris Ethridge and pedal steel guitarist Sneaky Pete Kleinow. The group recorded their debut album The Gilded Palace of Sin without a regular drummer, although 'Fast' Eddie Hoh and Jon Corneal were both occasional full-time members during the early days of the band and both are featured on this album. The album contains originals by Parsons and Hillman, and two covers by soul music writers Dan Penn and Chips Moman. After firing Corneal the band needed a permanent drummer for touring purposes; they hired another ex-Byrd, Michael Clarke, who had recently been working with the Dillard and Clark Expedition.
Although critically well received, The Gilded Palace of Sin did not sell well. Ethridge departed in mid-1969, and Hillman moved to bass as the band hired singer and guitarist Bernie Leadon. The band performed at the Altamont Free Concert in December 1969, and, as documented in the film Gimme Shelter, the band was on stage when fights broke out in the audience.
Owing to disagreements between Parsons and Hillman, the band's next album, Burrito Deluxe, included few collaborations between the pair. Parsons left the group after its release in May 1970. A version of the group without Parsons appeared in June-July 1970 on the Festival Express tour of Canada, documented in the film of the same name. Gram was later replaced by Rick Roberts, with the new line-up releasing the self-titled album, The Flying Burrito Bros, in 1971. Kleinow then left to become a session musician, and Leadon departed to create the Eagles. Al Perkins and Kenny Wertz replaced them, and Roger Bush and Byron Berline participated as guests in live performances, with the band releasing a live album, Last of the Red Hot Burritos, in 1972.
The original band dissolved after the last founding member, Chris Hillman, took Perkins with him to join Manassas. Berline, Bush and Wertz continued with their own band, Country Gazette. Roberts assembled a makeshift Flying Burrito Bros group to fulfill contractual commitments for some 1973 European live shows, then initiated a solo career before forming Firefall with Michael Clarke.
Later configurations 
As Gram Parsons' influence and fame grew, so did interest in the Flying Burrito Brothers. This new-found popularity led to the release of Close Up the Honky Tonks in 1974, a double-LP compilation of album tracks, B-sides, and out-takes, followed by the re-creation of the band by Kleinow and Ethridge in 1975. Floyd "Gib" Gilbeau, Joel Scott Hill, and Gene Parsons (no relation to Gram) also joined the group, and the band released Flying Again that year. Ethridge was then replaced by Skip Battin for 1976's Airborne, followed by an album of previously unreleased early material, Sleepless Nights. For the next few decades, the group continued to release albums and tour. It had a country hit with a cover-version of Merle Haggard's "White Line Fever" in 1980, and at that time became the Burrito Brothers.
Headed by songwriter and guitarist John Beland and Gib Guilbeau, and normally featuring Sneaky Pete, the Burrito Brothers scored well on the country charts in the early 1980s, marking the first significant commercial chart success the band ever had. In 1981 they received the Billboard Magazine award for "Best New Crossover Group" from pop to country. The Burrito Brothers continued to work with the top session players in Nashville and Los Angeles, logging up an impressive list of hit singles for Curb Records. In the 80's they toured Europe and were featured at the Albi Nashville Festival in Albi, France, and performed with Emmylou Harris, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Tammy Wynette at London's Wembley Stadium. Also in the early 1980s, the Burrito Brothers were responsible for a campaign that finally saw their idol, Lefty Frizzell, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Through numerous incarnations, nearly all with Beland at the helm, the band released albums and toured throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The latter day Flying Burrito Brothers CDs, produced by Beland, featured an impressive line-up of guests, including the likes of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, and Charlie Louvin. The band's final two CDs, California Jukebox in 1997 and Sons Of The Golden West in 1999, received solid critical reviews. However, Beland decided to finish with the band in 2000, and embarked upon a successful career as a record producer. Sneaky created a Burritos spin-off with his new band Burrito Deluxe, which featured Carlton Moody on lead vocals and Garth Hudson from The Band on keyboards. Burrito Deluxe gained no chart success, relying solely on live appearances in Europe. Pete left the band due to illness in 2005, leaving no direct lineage to any of the actual Flying Burrito Brothers members, past or present.
Legacy of band 
Parsons died on September 19, 1973. Clarke died in 1993, Battin died in 2003, Kleinow died in 2007, and Ethridge died in 2012.
Hillman remained a successful singer-songwriter, having been part of the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band and McGuinn-Clark-Hillman, then going on to form the Desert Rose Band (1986–93) with Herb Pedersen. He continued to sing with Pedersen as Chris and Herb, releasing The Other Side in 2005.
Guilbeau retired following heart surgery and moved to Palmdale, California, from where he continued to appear occasionally at local functions in and around the Los Angeles area. Beland continued to produce acts in the USA and abroad, achieving hit records in both Australia and Norway, where he also performed as a solo act. Beland moved to Brenham, Texas and has written hits for performers such as The Whites with "Forever You", Mark Farner with "Isn't It Amazing?", and the Bellamy Brothers with "Cowboy Beat", "Hard Way To Make An Easy Living", and "Bound To Explode". His songs have been covered by many acts from Ricky Nelson to Garth Brooks.
A Mexican restaurant in Gainesville, Florida, was named after the band.
A chain of Mexican restaurants in New Zealand was named after the band.