In Memoriam: Bill Rinehart (The Leaves/The Gene Clark Group/The Merry-Go-Round)
William Barbour Rinehart III
February 14, 1946—April 18, 2017The Clarkophile has learned that Bill Rinehart, a pivotal, if largely unheralded figure in L.A.'s Sunset Strip scene during the 1960s, died last year at the age of 71.
Rinehart played a key role in the founding of the Leaves, whose memorable 1965 track, 'Too Many People,' (co-written with Jim Pons) was featured on Rhino's peerless 4-CD compilation, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968, in 2001.
|Bill Rinehart & Gene Clark|
|The Gene Clark Group (1966):|
Clockwise from bottom left: Gene,
Joel Larson, Bill Rinehart, Chip Douglas
Rinehart's next project saw him joining forces with his former bandmate from the GC Group, Joel Larson, along with Gary Kato, in the Emitt Rhodes-led Merry-Go-Round. Rinehart was eventually fired from the group after punching the band's notorious manager, Eddie Shaw.
Sonny Bono, with whom Rinehart had struck up a friendship during this time, thought enough of his talent to have him produce/arrange Sonny & Cher's reflective chamber-pop waltz, 'A Beautiful Story,' (which, oddly enough, bears an uncanny resemblance to Gene's '67 demo of 'Down On the Pier', from Gene Clark Sings for You).
In 1968 Bill recorded a 45 under the moniker The Common Cold, Come Down/Dream World, the A-side of which was included on a subsequent volume of the Nuggets series, Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets: 1965–1968.
Further production work followed (Fields self-titled album; The Aquarians Jungle Grass, both from 1969), plus an unreleased solo album from 1973. Bill's songwriting was strong enough to earn him composing credits in films, including 1972's The Hot Rock (starring Robert Redford) and 1984's Falling in Love, with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro.
|Fields - Fields (1969)|
|The Aquarians - Jungle Grass (1969)|
|Promo 45 for the aborted Bill Rinehart solo album from 1973|
|Bill Rinehart in 2011|