Van Halen

Phil Clarkin

Steve Ripley, guitarist, inventor and leader of the country rock group The Tractors, died Thursday evening at his Pawnee County home after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 69.

Ripley played in several bands during high school and continued to do so as a student at Oklahoma State University. He opened his own recording studio, Stillwater Sound, in the early 1970s.