RIP Doobies’ John Hartman, 72

Doobie Brothers’ Founding Drummer, John Hartman, Dies

Best Classic Bands  – John Hartman, a co-founder of the Doobie Brothers, and the drummer on all of their biggest recordings, has died at age 72. The news was shared by the band today (Sept. 22, 2022) on their social media platforms, though the post omitted the precise date, cause of death or location.

Their message called Hartman “a wild spirit, great drummer, and showman.” Hartman became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020 when the band was finally inducted after decades of eligibility.

Among the many classic rock recordings on which Hartman performed are their first hit, “Listen to the Music,” as well as “China Grove” and “Black Water,” from such albums as The Captain and Me, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, and Takin’ It to the Streets.

His death was first announced by the Rock Hall on Sept. 20 in a brief “In Memoriam” post on its social media pages that also left out any details.

The Doobie Brothers’ full post read:

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“Today we are thinking of John Hartman, or Little John to us. John was a wild spirit, great drummer, and showman during his time in the Doobies. He was also a close friend for many years and an intricate part of the band personality! We send our condolences to all his loved ones at this difficult time. Rest In Peace John.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RIP John Hartman, 72

John Hartman (March 18, 1950 – September 2022) was an American drummer who was a co-founder and original drummer of the Doobie Brothers. At the band’s inception, Hartman was the sole drummer.

However, in late 1971, the group added second drummer Michael Hossack, and the dual-drummers formation remained until 2016 when Ed Toth became the band’s sole drummer. (Hossack was replaced in 1973 by Keith Knudsen.)

Hartman played on all of the Doobie Brothers’ major hits of the 1970s with both Tom Johnston and Michael McDonald. He left early in 1979 following a promotional tour in support of the award-winning Minute by Minute album to look after Arabian horses on his California ranch.

Hartman was enticed to join twelve Doobies alumni (including drummers Hossack, Knudsen, and Hartman’s own 1979 replacement Chet McCracken) for a brief benefit tour in 1987. Hartman subsequently rejoined when the band was reconstituted the following year.

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He played on the reunion albums Cycles (1989) and Brotherhood (1991) as well as the accompanying promotional tours. However, following a 1992 alumni reunion for the benefit of terminally ill percussionist Bobby LaKind, Hartman retired permanently from the band. In typical Doobies fashion, he was replaced by his former partner, Keith Knudsen.

Hartman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Doobie Brothers in 2020.

On September 22, 2022, The Doobie Brothers announced Hartman’s death several days earlier, at the age of 72.

Discography | Albums:

  • The Doobie Brothers (1971)
  • Toulouse Street (1972) (US #21)
  • The Captain and Me (1973) (US #7)
  • What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974) (US #4)
  • Stampede (1975) (US #4)
  • Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) (US #8)
  • Livin’ on the Fault Line (1977) (US #10)
  • Minute by Minute (1978) (US #1)
  • Cycles (1989) (US #17)
  • Brotherhood (1991) (US #82)
  • On Our Way Up (2001)
  • Divided Highway (2003) (consisting of tunes from Cycles and Brotherhood)
  • Live at the Greek Theater 1982 [Live] (2011) (guest appearance on one song)
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