The drummer and co-founder of Doobie Brothers was 72 years old – Deadline


John Hartman, drummer for the Doobie Brothers during the band’s heyday in the 1970s, has died, the band has announced. He was 72 years old.

No cause of death was given.

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“Today we think of John Hartman, or Little John for us,” the group wrote on Instagram and Twitter. “John was a wild spirit, a great drummer and a showman during his time in the Doobies. He was also a close friend for many years and an integral part of the band’s personality! We extend 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 band would welcome an ever-changing aggregation of members over the decades – the Doobies are still touring today – most notably vocalist-keyboardist Michael McDonald in 1975.

In 1971, the band added a second drummer – Michael Hossack – to their lineup, ushering in the band’s unusual double-drum sound.

Hartman played with the band from 1970 to 1979, and returned for another stint from 1987 to 1992. During his first run with the band, the Doobies released a string of hits that would become classic rock staples, 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 band, including Johnston, Simmons, and McDonald, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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