The Doobie Brothers paid tribute to drummer and co-founder John Hartmann, who is reported to have passed away.
“Today we’re thinking of John Hartmann, or Little John for us,” Dobbies’ family wrote in a social media post. “John was a wild spirit and a great drummer and showman during his time at the Doobies. He was also a close friend for many years and a complex part of the band’s character! We send our condolences to all his loved ones at this difficult time. Rest in peace, John.”
Hartmann was born on March 18, 1950, in Falls Church, Virginia, and moved to San Jose, California around 1970. There, he formed what became known as the Doobie Brothers with singer and guitarist Tom Johnston after being introduced by Moby Grape’s Skip Spence. Hartmann and Johnston participated in a house, and the drummer was blown away by the force of his bandmate.
“When he turned on Johnston, it was loud,” Hartmann recalls. rolling rock In 2020. “Soon the cops came and said, ‘You have to stop.'” So we mitigated it.”
Guitarist Patrick Simmons and bassist Dave Shogren will be recruited to fill the initial Doobie Brothers lineup. The band’s self-titled debut album – produced by Ted Templeman – would arrive in 1971. At the time, the Doobies were notorious for being savages, and are regularly associated with Hell’s Angels. Hartmann turned heads during the creation of the band’s debut album when he pulled out a gun in the studio.
The drummer later admitted: “It was a muzzle – a starter pistol.” “I scared shit [the producers] Very bad. I had no idea they were so sensitive or fragile. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve apologized.”
Hartmann was the only drummer for the Doobie Brothers when they formed, but after the release of their first album, the band added Michael Husack as the second drummer. The band would use a double drum setup from 1971 until 2016, when touring member Ed Toth became the sole drummer.
Hartmann’s first tenure with the Doobie Brothers lasted from 1970 to 1979, during which time he played on several multi-platinum albums including 1973. The captain and me1974 What were the vices are now habits and 1978 minute by minute. The latter became the band’s first and only LP on the Billboard 200 and spawned the song “What a Fool Believes” topping the Grammy Award-winning charts.
Although the group achieved massive commercial success, tensions within the band ran high. Drug abuse within the group generated a combustible situation. Meanwhile, Michael MacDonald, who joined the Doobies in 1975 to replace Johnston, was a studio perfectionist, a trait that didn’t sit well with some of the other band members. In 1979, after touring Japan, Hartmann resigned from the Dobby Brothers.
“Everything was falling apart,” he recalls decades later. “I remember sitting in rehearsal in California and hearing Michael say he didn’t want to get out of his car because of some anxiety.”
The group later disbanded in 1982, but after a five-year hiatus, the Dube brothers came together in 1987 to perform a concert for the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation. Hartmann was among the alumni who took part in the show, which led to a successful reunion tour that same year. The drummer performed on two consecutive albums for Reunion, 1989 courses and 1991 Brothersbefore leaving the band for good in 1992. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Doobie Brothers in 2020.
In his life after the Doobie Brothers, Hartmann trained to become a police officer. The drummer graduated from the Reserve Police Academy in 1988 and spent several years working in the local police department. However, when he wanted to be appointed as a full-fledged officer, Hartmann’s past in rock music was a problem. The former drummer was turned down by more than 20 police departments for his confessed drug use while on Doobie Brothers.
“These guys still think I’m a credibility problem because of what I’ve been doing,” Hartmann declared in 1994 after filing an unsuccessful lawsuit against a police department for what he saw as discrimination. Although he insisted he had “nothing to hide”, Hartmann expressed his displeasure at being judged about his past. “Who knows? You have to grow up. Kids eat putty. Kids eat dog food. But there are some things you don’t want to do. I do drugs. I could have been Janis Joplin.”
Doobie Brothers albums in order
They remain an intriguing split for the band.
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