John Hartman Dies: Doobie Brothers Drummer & Co-Founder Was 72

John Hartman Dies: Doobie Brothers Drummer & Co-Founder Was 72

September 24, 2022

John Hartman, drummer for the Doobie Brothers during the band’s hit-making 1970s heyday, has died, the band announced. He was 72.

No cause of death was given.

“Today we are thinking of John Hartman, or Little John to us,” the band wrote on Instagram and Twitter. “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.”

Formed in San Jose, California, in 1970, the Doobie Brothers began with the meeting of Hartman and singer-guitarist-songwriter Tom Johnston. Soon joined by singer-guitarist-songwriter Patrick Simmons and bassist Dave Shogren. The group would welcome an ever-shifting aggregation of members over the decades – the Doobies still tour today – most notably singer-keyboardist Michael McDonald in 1975.

In 1971, the group added a second drummer – Michael Hossack – to its line-up, inaugurating the band’s unusual double-drum sound.

Hartman performed with the band from 1970 to 1979, and returned for another stint from 1987 to 1992. During his initial run with the group, the Doobies released a string of hits that would become staples of classic rock, including “China Grove,” “Listen To The Music,” “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “Black Water,” and “Takin’ It To The Streets,” among many others.

In 2020, Hartman and other surviving members of the original group, including Johnston, Simmons and McDonald, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A post shared by The Doobie Brothers (@doobiebrothersofficial)

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