Dobie Brothers Drummer and Cofounder John Hartman Dead at 72: ‘A Wild Spirit,’ Says Band

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John Hartman

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John Hartman, cofounder of the Dobie Brothers and original drummer of the California rock band, has died. He was 72 years old.

On Thursday, the band announced Hartmann’s death in a post on their official instagram And Twitter accounts, where he praised him as “a wild soul, great drummer and showman” and offered condolences to his family.

“Today we are thinking of ourselves as John Hartman or Little John. John was a wild soul, a great drummer and showman,” the band wrote in their social media post. “He was also a close friend for many years and an intricate part of the band’s personality! We send our condolences to all his loved ones at this difficult time.”

“Rest in Peace John,” the band added. The Dobie Brothers did not confirm when Hartman died or the cause of his death.

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According to the band, Hartman formed the original Dobie Brothers with guitarists and vocalists Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston in the early 1970s after the pair met while playing at a Bay Area bar in Northern California. official website,

“It all started in 1969, when a drummer named John Hartman came to Northern California. He was there to meet Skip Spence from the band Moby Grape and be part of an alleged band reunion that never quite got off the ground, An excerpt from the band’s biography on their website reads. “But it wasn’t all for naught. Spence (who also played in Jefferson Airplane) introduced Hartman to his friend Tom Johnston, a local singer/songwriter/guitarist—and they connected. Hartman and Johnston Started playing the local Bay Area bar.”

“They were soon met by singer/guitarist Pat Simmons, whose finger-playing style greatly admired Johnson’s R&B strumming-style, and the foundation for The Doobie Brothers was established,” the biography states.

John Hartman

John Hartman

ABC Photo Archives / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

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Hartman served as the Doobie Brothers’ drummer on each of the band’s first eight albums, and popular tracks including 1972’s “Listen to the Music,” 1973’s “Long Train Runnin'” and 1978’s “What a Fool Believes” performed on. The band also saw two songs that hit No. 1 billboard hot 100 During Hartmann’s tenure.

Although he was the band’s original drummer, Hartmann was not the only Doobie Brothers, as the band had worked with the two men behind the kit since 1971. stereogam,

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Hartmann left the band after 1979 and returned for their 1989 reunion album Cycle, He played with the Dobie Brothers again until he retired in 1992.

In 2020, Hartmann was included in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame As a member of the Dobie Brothers, along with 8 other artists from the band’s decades-long career.

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