The Burrito Brothers Timeline 1967-2016
1967 - 68: Looking for more fun in their music, Barry Tashian & Billy Briggs from the Remains join with Ian Dunlop & Mickey Gauvin from The International Submarine Band to form a loose aggregation of musicians named by Ian as " The Flying Burrito Brothers ". They play gigs in honky-tonks around LA. Other musicians sit in with the band including John Nuese, Jon Corneal, Bobby Keyes, Leon Russell, Delaney Bramlett, Junior Markham, Jesse Ed Davis, Jimmy Karstein and Gram Parsons.
1969: Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman make an LP for A&M Records, “The Gilded Palace of Sin”, with Chris Ethridge, Pete Kleinow and Jon Corneal. Gram took Ian’s band moniker, The Flying Burrito Bros., resulting in two bands with the same name. Gram’s in LA and Tashian’s & Dunlop’s, who had moved to the east coast. The LP is an all-time classic including “Sin City”, “Wheels” and “Devil In Disguise”.
1970: Altamont era, craziness rules. Parsons hangs out with Keith Richards. The band is already splintering. With Ethridge out, Michael Clarke and Bernie Leadon come in. They make a 2 nd album for A&M, “Burrito Deluxe”. It features “Wild Horses” (released before the Rolling Stones version).
1971: Exit Gram Parsons (ousted for unprofessional behavior). Chris Hillman assumes control. Enter Rick Roberts. The band carries on, rejuvenated, with a 3 rd A&M long player. Reviews are good. “White Line Fever” and “Colorado” are the hits.
1972: Leadon and Kleinow depart. Al Perkins and Kenny Wertz join. Chris Hillman calls it the end of the band with the bluegrass influenced “Last of the Red Hot Burritos”, their 4th album for A&M. Hillman is the only band member left from the 1 st LP. He and Perkins move on to Steven Stills’ “Manassas”. Country Gazette finds it’s beginning here. Sales are up from previous albums.
1973: The group that will not die. Rick Roberts is commissioned to lead a “Flying Burrito Bros.” for a Scandinavian tour. He recruits Country Gazette (Byron Berline, Kenny Wertz, Roger Bush and Alan Munde) along with pedal steel player Don Beck (from Dillard & Clark) and drummer Eric Dalton. Not a single “original” member is in the band. A live album is released.
1974: The group is supposedly finished. A&M Records releases, in the wake of Gram Parsons’ death, a 2LP set, “Close Up The Honky-Tonks”, comprised of out-takes and tracks from the first 2 LPs. It sells more than any previous Burritos’ release.
1975: With the newly heightened public interest, but none from Hillman, a CBS record deal is offered to remaining original members Sneaky Pete and Chris Ethridge to rebuild the band. They recruit Gene Parsons, Gib Guilbeau and Joel Scott Hill and the group is “Flying Again”. The re-established band works regularly.
1976: A second CBS LP, “Airborne” is released with same lineup as before except former Byrd, Skip Battin replaced Chris Ethridge. The major label buzz is alive. They play festivals, listening rooms, concerts and radio.
1977: Gib Guilbeau and Sneaky Pete carry on, after the others depart, with Mickey McGee, who’d already been playing drums (Gene Parsons quit after “Airborne”), Thad Maxwell (who’d played with Gib in Swampwater) and Bobby Cochran. A deal with Mercury was signed with Felix Pappalardi producing. When the record was released it was credited to " Sierra ". But live shows were still billed as " The Flying Burrito Brothers ".
1978: Robb Strandlund, Bob Warford and, most importantly, Greg Harris come through the gates. Multi-instrumentalist, world class singer, Harris breathes new life into the group. The “Live in Japan” album is released. “White Line Fever” from it makes the country charts.
1979: “Flying High” and “Burrito Country” albums released, comprised of earlier Gib Guilbeau sessions with Clarence White, Gene Parsons, Red Rhodes, James Burton, Thad Maxwell, Stan Pratt, Wayne Moore and Jerry Scheff. This was an unusual “cash in”, but not bad music.
!980: The Burrito Brothers once again are a full-time working band. The personnel is Gib Guilbeau, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, John Beland, Thad Maxwell, Mickey McGee and sometimes Skip Battin. This is Swampwater reborn as the Burritos.
1981: The Burrito Brothers redefined. They move their base of operations to Nashville, Tennessee. They get a deal with Curb Records and have more chart success than ever before. “Hearts On The Line” is released. Three singles from the LP are released to country radio; “She’s A Friend of a Friend”, “Too Much Honky-Tonkin” and “She Belongs To Everyone But Me”. Cover photos show Guilbeau, Beland, Kleinow and Battin. The session drummer is Ron Krasinski.
1982: Gib Guilbeau and John Beland operate as The Burrito Brothers with various Nashville pros playing shows and televisions appearances. Musicians include, Sneaky Pete, Richard Bowden and Skip Edwards. A 2 nd Curb LP, “Sunset Sundown” is released, including the hit “I’m Drinking Canada Dry”. Krasinski, though not in the live group, is the drummer on both Curb LPs.
1983: “Taste Of The Country” (Columbia - Curb FZ 38283 Unreleased 1983) the duo's third album scheduled for early 1983 was cancelled but white label promo copies exist. Sessions, produced by Randy Scruggs, included Earl Scruggs, Jody Maphis and Charlie McCoy.
1984: A new deal with MCA/Curb. The Burrito Brothers return to the recording studio, cutting, in January, a single for the label, with Brent Maher producing; John Fogerty's " Almost Saturday Night " with " Jukebox Kind Of Night ". It reaches # 49 on the charts.
1985: Guilbeau and Beland give a hyped/promoted “final show” on Nashville television. But the Burrito Brothers were not dead. They played in 1986 at Argyle Bell’s “Nashville Tribute to Gram Parsons” with Argyle, Chris P and Fred James in the band.
1986 - 87: Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Greg Harris, Skip Battin and Jim Goodall overlap the Curb Burritos. Sneaky’s lineup made two albums released in Europe; “Cabin Fever” and “Live In Amsterdam”. Also in ‘87, Ian Dunlop and Jon Corneal resurrect The International Submarine Band with Fred James, Jody Maphis, Ben Keith and Chris P James on the “Back At Home” CD.
The double album "Back To The Sweethearts Of The Rodeo" credited to the Burrito Brothers was first released in Holland, containing 20 songs mainly by Guilbeau/Beland with some covers. During this time, Beland, Chris P James (keyboards) and Gary Kubal (drums) are working in Bobby Bare’s backup band.
1989: Back to being a working band. Numerous dates, including European tour, were played by John Beland, Gib Guilbeau, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Larry Patton & Rick Lonow. The “Wheels” album was released (including Chris P. James). George Grantham played drums on some dates. Chris Ethridge was back sometimes as well.
1990: Previous year’s band still active. Ronnie Guilbeau enters. Sneaky Pete only there part-time. “Southern Tracks” album released in France.
1991: The Australian Burritos. With Gib Guilbeau phasing out his involvement, John Beland recruits keyboard playing pop-rock singer-songwriter Brian Cadd from “downunder”. Sneaky Pete and Beland had both played on Cadd’s Australian releases.
1992: Guilbeau, Beland, Cadd, Kubal and Larry Gadler (bass) are the Flying Burrito Brothers. Up to the early ‘90s nobody had acquired the trademark rights to the name. That results in…
1993 - 94: Two Burritos again. “Eye of the Hurricane “ CD released. Personnel: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland and Brian Cadd, with token participation from Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge. Ronnie Tutt is the session drummer. This Nashville contingent (MCA/Curb) of Burrito Brothers played some radio and TV appearances, including “Music City Tonight”. Meanwhile Sneaky Pete, Greg Harris, Jim Goodall and David Vaught play gigs as the Flying Burrito Brothers in CA.
1995: Sneaky Pete, Gib Guilbeau, Bobby Cochran, Charlie Harwood along with singer songwriter Phil Lee recorded demos at Criterion Studios. The songs, all written and sung by Phil, were circulated on a cassette by Criterion Music.
1996: Slow year, no Burrito Brothers CD. Beland and Cadd, along with Al Perkins, recruit sessions, including German artists Carry and Ron. Gary Kubal, Chris P James and Gary Talley also played with them.
1997: Cadd departs back to Australia. Guilbeau and Kleinow declined participation, due to health issues, in a new album recorded in Hendersonville, TN, “California Jukebox”. Al Perkins performs. Larry Patton and Gary Kubal are the rhythm section. Guest singers; Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Charlie Louvin and Joel Sonnier.
1998: John Beland aquires trademark rights to “The Flying Burrito Brothers”. Begins a few years of ever-changing Nashville pros. This year, Beland, Patton, Kubal and Wayne Bridge.
1999: “Sons of the Golden West” CD released. Band was Beland, Patton, Kubal & Bridges. Guests were Earl P. Ball, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, The Oak Ridge Boys, Delbert McClinton, Jamie Whiting, Dave Roe.
2000 - 01: John unexpectedly announced the end of the band, which was initially contested by Sneaky Pete & Gib Guilbeau but as John had the sole legal rights to the name there was nothing they could do. Beland begins marketing CD compilations from his tenure on his own website-based label. No live band. Chris P James, Boomer Castleman, Rick Lonow and Bob Hatter are “Mr. Hyde” (Taxim Records). The group has involvement with Tony Paoletta, Al Perkins, Ron Guilbeau, Scott Baggett, Randall Harris, Denny Bruce, Harvey Kubernik, Mike Ward.
2002: “Burrito Deluxe” begins. Longtime fan and bluegrass musician Carlton Moody gets a financial backer to build a Burrito variation around Sneaky Pete (now legendary). Beland still owns the “Flying” name. Moody gets Bobby Cochran, Rick Lonow, Garth Hudson, Jeff "Stick" Davis and Tommy Spurlock involved. “Georgia Peach” CD released. Mr. Hyde quits and, with Boomer out, Mike Webb in, morphs into “The Lost Sideshow” (Walter Egan sometimes plays guitar).
2003: Garth Hudson joins Burrito Deluxe with Kleinow, Moody, Lonow and Dave Rowe. During this decade Walter Egan’s “Walternative” band is Chris P James (keys/vocals), Ed Cain or John Terrence (bass/vocals) and Ron Krasinski, Peter Young or Rick Lonow on drums.
2004: “The Whole Enchilada” by Burrito Deluxe released. Same lineup as ‘03. Chris P James begins to work occasionally as a featured vocalist (sometimes keyboards) in Bill Lloyd’s all-star concert group, “The Long Players” with Steve Allen, Bobby Keys, Jimmy Hall, Supe Granda, Tom Petersen,
Gary Tallent, Walter Egan, Jim Hoke and countless others. The group is still going.
2005 - 09: Walter Egan enters Burrito Deluxe as a pivotal figure. They work sporadically. Garth Hudson leaves, Richard Bell comes in. Sneaky begins to fade with Alzheimer’s and Tony Paoletta fills in. Supe Granda, Al Perkins, Brian Owings, Ed Cain and Chris P James work with the group during these years. James also leads a loose aggregation called “The Gram Band’ that plays occasionally (musicians include: Bob Hatter, Billy Block, Mike Webb, Peter Young, Sherrie Kay, Al Perkins, Tony Paoletta, Ron Guilbeau, Rick Schell).
2010: Burrito Deluxe folded up shop. A reinvention gets negotiated by SPV Records in England. Chris P James is asked to rebuild the band. Walter Egan and Rick Lonow fell right in. Michael Curtis, Supe Granda and Jody Maphis were all approached and briefly in the group. Chris P also did sessions with Barry Tashian, Roland White, Al Perkins, Michael Webb, Kenne Kramer, Walter Egan, Chip Abernathy and Brian Pepo for a still unreleased album called “The Gram Band”.
2011: “Sound As Ever” CD, simply credited to " The Burritos " is released to critical acclaim in Europe. The band now is comprised of Chris P. James, Walter Egan, Fred James and Rick Lonow. Reviews are good across the board. The group is once again reborn.
2012: The Burrito Brothers carry on. Chris P James acquires trademark rights to the name. Chris Hillman, the same year, acquired rights to the “Flying” part. Rusty Russell joins on bass. Band works sporadic gigs in the US, including the Billy Block Show, The Waycross Annual Guitar Pull and the Nashville Tribute to Gram Parsons.
2013: The Burrito Brothers get more cohesive than they’ve been in years. Walter Egan leaves to pursue solo career opportunity. Fred James moves out from the pedal steel chair to center stage on guitar and vocals next to Chris. The two brothers now are the Burrito Brothers. The harmonies are natural, consistent, strong as with The Everly Brothers, Louvin Brothers, Bellamy Brothers and even as with the Bee Gees. “The great” Tony Paoletta takes over the steel chores. Lonow and Russell still onboard. Ready and able, but the band doesn’t play as much as they desire.
2014: Ronnie Guilbeau occasionally joins a Burrito Brothers gig. A defined, established tight band is in place though performances are infrequent. There are problems with agents and venues wanting to include “Flying” in the band’s name. Not an option, Chris Hillman holds onto that part of the moniker and has no problem with the group continuing as “The Burrito Brothers”. His wishes are adhered to. The group keeps writing and recording with an eye to the future.
2015: Jody Maphis takes over from Rusty on bass. Lonow leaves to join Poco. Peter Young comes in on drums. Walter Egan guests a couple times. The Burrito Brothers connect with Sam Lowe of LoweRider Entertainment. Sam has worked with many groups in the Country-Rock genre and is a fan of The Burrito Brothers incredible body of work and excited with the direction they’re heading. The group, now together five years, is comfortable in their skin. They nail their live shows. Somebody’s got to do it, right Gram? Better gigs turn up, including WSM radio, The Rio Grande Scenic Concert Series, The I-bar Ranch, The Crimson Moon, Jesse & Noah Bellamy’s Psychedelic Barn Party to highlight a few. Negotiations and sessions have begun for the next album. A live album is also planned.
2016: Chris P James, Fred James, Tony Paoletta, Jody Maphis, Peter Young…