Published Aug 13, 2010Richie Hayward, drummer and co-founder of the long-running jam band Little Feat, died on Thursday (August 12) in a hospital near Vancouver due to pneumonia-related complications after being diagnosed with liver cancer last year. He was 64.
Hayward played with Little Feat for 40 years (minus an eight-year break), having helped to found the group in 1969. The band, who are still known for their fusion of rock, blues, funk and improvised jamming, went on hiatus in the late '70s following the death of original frontman Lowell George. Hayward and the remaining members reconvened in 1987 with a different singer, and have remained staples on the touring circuit ever since.
In addition to performing with Little Feat, the drummer appeared alongside such musicians as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant and Tom Waits.
Although Little Feat were founded in Los Angeles, Hayward lived in Comox, BC. The Associated Press reports that the drummer died while waiting for a liver transplant. He didn't have health insurance, and benefits had been held to help him raise money.
In an interview with JamBands.com just two weeks ago, Little Feat guitarist/singer Paul Barrere said, "When he saw us, he was in great spirits. I talked to him a couple of days ago and he said he misses us already. He's such a fighter. Richie's amazing."
Hayward's last public performance was at the Vancouver Island MusicFest on July 11, when he sat in with Little Feat.