We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Phil Pellegrino – better known to Nippertown music fans as Billy Clayton – who died over the weekend from complications of cancer. Guitarslinger Clayton was one of the founding members of Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers back in 1988. Over the years, he was also a key member of numerous other bands on the local music scene, including Good Friday, Blue Hand Luke and KB and the Slingtones.
Update: Buck Malen, who generously supplied the photo at right, passed on this note from Kim Camatti of KB and The Slingtones:
Believe me when I say this was very sudden. We had band practice last week. Was supposed to have practice yesterday but he cancelled on Saturday. The Chemo was starting to really make him feel bad. His fingers were going numb, and he didn’t think he could play on Sunday. He was also having a lot of dizziness and a lot of nausea. He couldn’t stop throwing up last night, he called 911 from home and he was taken to the hospital. The last person he spoke to was his brother Ron at around 9:30pm. Ron said he didn’t sound good. We got the news this morning that he didn’t make it. I can’t tell you how sad I am and how much I will miss him.
Full obituary from The Sacramento Bee