Chris Ethridge:Death Of a Flying Burrito

John Christopher “Chris” Ethridge II died on Monday at the age of 65, so who was Chris Ethridge? Most people reading this will not know who he is and perhaps don’t really care, after all his death comes so soon after Levon Helm and Dick Clark that it may not register as a human interest story, but to myself it is. Chris Ethridge was in one of my favourite early bands The Flying Burrito Brothers  a band that he helped form with another of my musical heros Gram Parsons, and it was a band that really helped to define the Country Rock Sound in the late 60’s early 70’s. He co-wrote  “Hot Burrito #1 (I’m Your Toy)” and “Hot Burrito #2” with Gram Parsons for the Burrito brothers as well as “She” with Parsons from Grams self Titled  Debut album. The Burrito sound was a strong mix of traditional Country, a little folk and a lot of Rock that made some great music that bands like the Eagles and Poco would perfect later on.  Chris was one of the more in demand session Bassists in the 70’s appearing on albums by musical artists as diverse as Phil Ochs,Ry Cooder,CSNY, Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Winter,and he was a member of Willie nelson’s band for almost 8 years and He had a small role in the film Honeysuckle Rose. Chris Ethridge may not have been a musical superstar but his musical contributions will be here forever.