Bill’s passing went unnoticed, so I wrote this brief obituary and posted it to my blog. William Barbour Rinehart February 14, 1946—April 18, 2017 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. During his tenure with The Leaves, Rinehart struck up a friendship with Gene Clark, who shared his love of sports cars, music and girls. After his departure from that band, Rinehart jumped at the chance to join Gene's first post-Byrds effort, the Gene Clark Group (also featuring Chip Douglas and Joel Larson). Rinehart contributed guitar and co-wrote two songs ('Keep on Pushin' and 'Elevator Operator') on Gene's solo debut album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers, released in February 1967. 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.’ 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 This is only a partial history of Bill Rinehart's career. It is by no means complete. I am in the process of researching what I hope will be the definitive biography of Bill thus far—one that will include a thorough look at his recollections of the Gene Clark Group—that is set to appear in an upcoming issue of Mike Stax's legendary Ugly Things magazine. The research includes a comprehensive interview I conducted with Bill in 2010, along with contemporary reflections from former bandmates like the Leaves' Jim Pons, plus contributions from his best friend, musician and luthier Mike DeTemple, along with many others.