Burrito Brothers (1980 - 1987)


John Beland & Gib Guilbeau


John | Skip | Gib | Sneaky

After the SWAMPWATER sessions broke up John Beland got the chance to join the FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS. Greg Harris had left and the Burrito's were ready to do a tour of North Italy. After much thought, he sadly bid farewell to Rick and joined up with the Flying Burrito Brothers. The Italy concerts were very succesfull. Band members were: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland, Sneaky Pete, Skip Battin and John Mauceri.

Back together again, Beland and Guilbeau began writing together and stockpiled an amazing output of solid commercial country songs.
John Beland, Gib Guilbeau, Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Skip Battin did demos at Criterion Music on Selma Avenue in the heart of Hollywood which were eventually released in 1989 as:

Flying Burrito Brothers demo album
- FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS: Hollywood nights 1979 - 82 (Sundown SDLP067)
with 18 tracks on LP and 23 tracks on CD (Sundown CDSD067)
with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland, Sneaky Pete Keinow, Skip Battin
guests: Steve Duncan, Mickey McGee, Billy Thomas, Elmo Peeler, Charlie Harwood, John Davis, Jeanie Clark, Mary Green

Also released in Europe under a few different titels:

Demo album also released as ...
- FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS: The FBB live in concert (Happy Price HP93442) released '94,
- FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS: Too much honky tonkin' 1979 - 82 (Country Stars CTS55439) and
- FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS: The Masters (Eagle Records EAB CD 079) released 1998
- FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS: Louisiana (Desperado Records DS029) released 1999
Only 11 tracks, on the front cover is wrongly a picture of Byron Berline, Roger Bush and Alan Munde live on stage.
And another one on Desperado Records called:
- FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS: Too Much Honky Tonkin (Desperado Records DS 030)
which contains the remaining 12 tracks from Hollywood Nights. The sleeve photograph had nothing to do with the Hollywood Nights line up band being a nice picture of Joel Scott Hill playing guitar wearing a FBB T-Shirt.
Also songs from the "Hollywood nights" album are on:
- FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS: Gold Collection (released 2000 on the Fine Tune label)

The Burrito Brothers

The Burrito Brothers: John, Sneaky, Gib & Skip

These demo's led to a record contract with Curb and with the band name shortened to the BURRITO BROTHERS a number of singles and albums appeared over the next 3 - 4 years.

Albums 1981:

Burrito Brothers albums 1981
- BURRITO BROTHERS: Hearts on the line (Columbia-Curb JZ37004)
with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Skip Battin
guests: Mickey McGee, Ron Krasinski, John Hobbs, David Wheatley, Tom Hensley, Alan Estes, Mark Hudson, Dolly Parton, Kim Carnes

- BURRITO BROTHERS: Live from Gilley's (Radio album / Westwood One ?)
with Gib Guilbeau and John Beland

Note: Skip Battin plays not on the "Hearts on the line" album although his pic is on the cover. The Burritos used a studio bass player, Dennis Bellfield, on Michael Lloyd's (producer) suggestion. Dennis also played on the next studio album "Sunset Sundown". Skip made no recording contribution to the album whatso ever - neither was Mickey McGee. The drums were played by Ron Krasinski. Both Mickey and Skip were let go just prior to recording. Nor was Mark Hudson or David Wheatley involved in that album.
On the next Burrito studio album "Sunset Sundown" Sneaky Pete was only a guest musician and so the Burrito Brothers were a duo: Gib Guilbeau & John Beland.


Burrito Brothers singles 1981
- BURRITO BROTHERS: She's a friend of a friend / Oh lonesome me (Columbia-Curb 5402)
Billboard country chart peak pos. 67
- BURRITO BROTHERS: Does she wish she was single again / Oh lonesome me (Columbia Curb 61011)
Billboard country chart peak pos. 20
- BURRITO BROTHERS: She belons to everyone but me / Why must the ending be so sad (Columbia-Curb 02243)
Billboard country chart peak pos. 16

JB In 1981 "Billboard Magazine" and "Record World Magazine" awarded the BURRITO BROTHERS number one "Crossover Group" and "Best New Vocal Group of the Year" awards.


- LA COSTA: Changin' all the time (La Costa is Tanya Tucker's sister) (1980)
with John Beland on guitar and arranger, Bernie Leadon, Thad Maxwell, Byron Berline

- Jim Ringer: Endangered species (with the BURRITO BROTHERS, The Dillards,The Hot Band)

Albums 1982:

Burrito Brothers albums 1982
- BURRITO BROTHERS: Sunset sundown (Columbia-Curb FZ37705)
with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland
guests: Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Ron Krasinski, Dennis Bellfield, John Hobbs, Larry McNeely, Tom Scott, Alan Estes, Billy Thomas, Lynn Nilles. The string arrangements were done by Chad Stewart (from Chad & Jeremy).

- BURRITO BROTHERS: Silver eagle cross country music show (Radio album)
Recorded live at the Sundown Club, Manhatten N.Y.
with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland and guests (Jerry Reed)

- BURRITO BROTHERS: Country sessions (Radio album)
Recorded live at the Lone Star Cafe/N.Y.
with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland
guests: Larry Marvell and others

- BURRITO BROTHERS /Jerry Graham: US-Air Force country music time (Radio album - prog. 800)
with Interviews and songs from "Sunset sundown"

JB In "Billboard Magazine" the "Sunset Sundown" album got good reviews (Originally reviewed for week ending 2/20/82):

"The Burrito Brothers are rapidly proving that groups sometimes get better the second time around. Guilbeau, a Burrito since 1974, and Beland, a two-year veteran of the group, have turned this band around to create one of the strongest new acts in country. Burrito harmonies are richly magnetic; Guilbeau's in particular has a sincerity that makes lyrics shimmer. Their collaboration on writing seven of the cuts proves their roots go deep and their instincts are right on target. Country, as seen through the Burritos' eyes, is a matter of sparkling instrumentation and melodic commerciality. Best cuts:"I'm Drinkin' Canada Dry," "Closer To You," "When You're Giving Yourself To A Stranger," "If Something Should Come Between Us," and "Louisiana"."


Burrito Brothers singles 1982
- BURRITO BROTHERS: If something should come between us / Damned if I'll be lonely tonight (Columbia-Curb 02641)
Billboard country chart peak pos. 27
- BURRITO BROTHERS: Closer to you / Coast to coast (Columbia-Curb 02835)
Billboard country chart peak pos. 40
- BURRITO BROTHERS: I'm drinking Canada Dry / How'd we ever get this way (Columbia-Curb 03023)
Billboard country chart peak pos. 39
- BURRITO BROTHERS: Blue and broken hearted me / Our roots are country music (Columbia-Curb 03314)
Billboard country chart peak pos. 48

John Note: The song "I'm drinking Canada Dry" was used in the movie "Tender Mercie", the Acadamy award winer starring Robert Duvall. But it was the band that was acting in the movie who played the song.

In 1982 the Burrito's achieved a greater honor by helping to get their idol, Lefty Frizzell inducted into the "Country Music Hall of Fame". Lefty's widow, the late Alice Frizzell gave Gib and John an unfinished song Lefty had started years earlier ... and the permisssion to finish it as well!! This song was "My abandoned heart" and it was recorded by the Burritos for the unreleased album "Tast of the country". But a version of this song is on the "Hollywood nights" demo album.

On their Australia tour in March 1983 (they did their own television special in Australia) Gib & John used on stage in Melbourne a borrowed band "The Pick - Ups". The Burritos played a mixture of Flying Burrito numbers like Christine's Tune, Wild Horses, Sin City as well as their own songs like Big Bayou, She A Friend Of A Friend, Louisiana Man and Toe Tapping Music. Gib also performed a pretty version of Hickory Wind and then at the end of the night Australian rocker Brian Cadd (member of the Flying Burrito Brothers early 90's) joined the guys on piano and they launched into a set of rock'n'roll standards including Blue Suede Shoes and Hound Dog. Eight years later Brian Cadd became a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers for one album in 1993.

Albums 1983:

Burrito Brothers albums 1983
- BURRITO BROTHERS: Live from Gilley's (Radio album / Westwood One LG 83-05)

- EARL SCRUGGS: Top of the world (Columbia 25097)
with two vocal tracks by Gib Guilbeau & John Beland as BURRITO BROTHERS

- BURRITO BROTHERS: Taste of the country (Columbia-Curb FZ38283) - release withdrawn
Album was produced by Randy Scruggs and John Thompson.

Note: The real title of that album was to be "OUR ROOTS ARE COUNTRY MUSIC". Nobody knows where "Taste of the country" came in, although there is a song by that name on the album. Cover of this unreleased album featured Gib & John in front of old posters from "The Louisiana Hayride" & "Chicago Barn Dance"...with Lefty Frizzell's origininal guitar in the background.

Track list:

  • Our roots are country music
  • Louisiana lonely
  • You made a grown man cry tonight
  • Blue and broken hearted me
  • Mountain rose
  • Cheatin' kind of love
  • You're all there is
  • My abandoned heart
  • There is a comfort
  • A taste of country
  • Burrito Brothers

    Gib Guilbeau & John

    Earl Scruggs

    John & Earl Scruggs


    Burrito Brothers singles 1983
    - BURRITO BROTHERS with Earl Scruggs: Could you love me (one more time)
    Flip side: Roller coaster - Earl Scruggs solo (Columbia 38-03777)
    - BURRITO BROTHERS: Cheatin' kind of love / ??? (Columbia-Curb ???) - unreleased
    - BURRITO BROTHERS: Almost saturday night / Jukebox kind of night (MCA-Curb 52329)
    Billboard country chart peak pos. 49

    Note: 2001 Curb Records released a "Best of BURRITO BROTHERS" CD with songs from the "Hearts on the line" and "Sunset sundown" albums and the singles "Blue and broken hearted me", "Our roots are country music" and "Almost Satlurday night".

    Best of Burrito Brothers CD released 2001
    - BURRITO BROTHERS: Best of (Curb D2-77970)
    with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland
    guests: Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Skip Battin, Earl Scruggs, Charlie McCoy
    Mickey McGee, Ron Krasinski, John Hobbs and more .... .

    The BURRITO BROTHERS signed to Leon Russell's label - Paradise Records - in Nashville. They were going to do a double album and had just completed parts of the record when the label went bankrupt and the tapes went on the shelf where they remained till 1996. But before the label went bankrupt the Burrito Brothers appeared on a TNN "New Country" TV show to promote the album which at that time was called by John Beland "A new shade of blue" and not "Double barrel"!

    Albums 1984:

    Burrito Brothers albums 1984
    - BURRITO BROTHERS: Double barrel (Paradise PRL 0004)
    eventually released 1995 in the UK on Sundown (Sundown CDSD079)
    with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland
    guests: David Hungate, James Hooker, Roger Hawkins, Ferrill Morris, Larry Sasser, The Jordanaires

    - BURRITO BROTHERS / Cristy Lane: US-Air Force country music time (Radio album - prog. 885)
    with Interviews and unreleased single "Cheatin' kind of love" - different version to the track on "Hollywood nights" CD!

    Note: 2001 Magnum music in the UK re-released the "Double Barrel" CD (Magmidi MM 077).

    1984 the Burrito Brothers sung the soundtrack for the movie "The Dream Chasers" starring Harold Gould and Justin Dana. Songs and lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn - performed by the Burrito Brothers, produced by Michael Lloyd and Al Kasha. Three songs were recorded by The Burrito Brothers for the movie:

  • Dream chaser
  • My kind of lady
  • Never take my dream away

    Note: " My kind of lady" and "Dream chaser" were released as a single but "Never take my dream away" never came out on record. This song was played over the "end titles" of the motion picture.


    Burrito Brothers

    Gib Guilbeau & John

    Burrito Brothers single 1984
    from the movie "Dream chaser"
    - BURRITO BROTHERS: My kind of lady / Dream chaser (MCA-Curb 52379)
    Billboard country charts peak pos. 53

    Note. John Beland said: "MY KIND OF LADY was the worst record we ever made and we hated to be associated with it. It was originally to be the theme for a film "Dream Chaser" but they released this terrible song long before the movie came out. It was written by the two guys who wrote the music for PETE'S DRAGON. Gib & I hated this song and the production was just as was the movie that eventually flopped."

    3 of the single tracks (non album) above were issued on a German compilation LP in 1985:

    Burrito singles also released on Various Artist album
    - Various Artists: Nuggets of Country & Western (Intercord Int. DLP 155.059)
    Songs by the Burrito's: Blue and broken hearted me/My kind of lady/Almost Saturday night

    Also 1984 the Burrito Brothers made a couple of appearences at the Palomino, with Gib's son Ronnie, a surprise guest, playing twin Clarence White style guitar with John.


    The Burrito's gave a farewell performance on Nashville's biggest TV show "Music City Tonight" with Ralph Emery, who dubbed the event an "historic night". The BURRITO BROTHERS said goodbye to a standing ovation. The BURRITO BROTHERS were one of the first bands or duo's from California to score big on the commercial country charts. They toured the world .... from the Grand ol' Opry to London's Wembly Stadium. Shared bills with George Jones, Hank Williams, Jr., The Oak Ridge Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette and many more.

    A new version of the FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS was formed which did not involve Gib or John Beland.

    Mr. Beland

    John Beland produced the following single in 1984/5:

    Single produced by John Beland
    - RED HORSE: It's all whisky to me / ??? (Red Horse RHP51084)

    Red Horse were a Texas based band.

    John also produced an album for Jimmie Grokett (keyboards and background vocals for "Red Horse") 1985. But this album - "Country Lady" - was never released.

    1986 - 1987

    Gib and John Beland recorded tracks in Sheffield/Alabama for an exclusive to Europe double album set as part of the agreement allowing the 1985 FBB band to tour.

    Burrito Brothers farewell album
    - BURRITO BROTHERS: Back to the sweethearts of the rodeo (Disky SDLP2025)
    later re-issued in Italy with the addition of another 8 tracks on Appaloosa Records (APO54/55) and on the UK label Sundown (CDSD502)
    with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland
    guests: Alan Jones, James Hooker, Steve Nathan, Roger Clark, Wayne Bridge, Butch Johnson

    announcemnet Note: In 1988 John Beland (via his Tuxedo Terrace Productions) was selling by mail order a 2LP record set called "The Burrito Brothers Farewell Album". He advertised this release and ordering details on a whole page advert in "Cosmic American Music News" Vol 7 Issue 1.

    Note: 2000 Sundown Records splitted the "Back to the sweethearts .... " 2 CD set. First release with the title " Back to the ... Volume 1" (Sundown CDSD085) has all the 13 tracks from the first disc of the double CD set!

    For more Burrito Brothers and related pics visit Belgium's American Music Radio Show web-page and read interviews with John Beland and Gib Guilbeau done 1987.

    Gib and John recorded demos at "Muscle Shoals" for the "Back to the sweethearts of the rodeo" album. The songs that didn't make it to that album, and some of the original demos for the songs that did make it were relased 2001 as:

    Burrito Brothers Muscle Shoals demos sessions
    - John Beland & Gib Guilbeau "The BURRITO BROTHERS": The Muscle Shoals demos sessions (Connoisseur SDVSO CD 357)
    with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland
    guests: Alan Jones, Butch Johnson and maybe others

    Go to the table of contents again | ............. continue the John Beland biography