Paul Pena Dies

Blues guitarist Paul Pena, who wrote one of the Steve Miller Band‘s biggest hits, died from complications of diabetes and pancreatitis October 1st at his San Francisco home.

Pena, 55, was best known for writing “Jet Airliner” in 1977 and for the 1999 documentary “Genghis Blues,” which told the story of how he became a Tuvan throat singer.

The Minnesota native, blind since birth, taught himself to play several instruments.

He went on to perform alongside acts including the Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa in the late 1960s and later collaborated with B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and Bonnie Raitt.

His last album, New Train, was released in 2000.