Eddie Hoh

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Eddie Hoh
Eddie Hoh early 1966.jpg
Hoh in early 1966
Background information
Also known as "Fast" Eddie Hoh
Born October 16, 1944
Origin Forest Park, Illinois
Died November 7, 2015(2015-11-07) (aged 71)
Westmont, Illinois
Genres Folk rock, blues rock, country rock, pop rock, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1964–1970

Edward "Eddie" Hoh (October 16, 1944 – November 7, 2015) was an American rock drummer who was active in the 1960s. Although primarily a studio session and touring drummer, Hoh exhibited a degree of originality and showmanship that set him apart and several of his contributions have been singled out for acknowledgment by music critics.

Often uncredited and unknown to audiences, he played the drums on several well-known rock songs and albums, including those by Donovan and the Monkees. He also performed at the seminal 1967 Monterey Pop Festival as a member of the Mamas and the Papas touring band. In 1968, he participated in the recording of Super Session, the highly successful 1968 Mike Bloomfield/Al Kooper/Stephen Stills collaboration album. However, his flurry of activity came to an end by the early 1970s and he remained out of the public eye until his death in 2015.

Early career[edit]

Hoh grew up in Forest Park, Illinois, where he graduated from Proviso East High School in 1963. He moved to Los Angeles and in 1964 became known on the club circuit as a drummer for the Joel Scott Hill groups the Strangers and the Invaders.[1] Hill recorded several singles and the Strangers were an opening act for the 1964 T.A.M.I. Show, headlined by the Rolling Stones and James Brown. However, they did not appear in the concert film and it is unknown if Hoh recorded with Hill.

In September 1965, Hoh joined members of the Modern Folk Quartet as the group was venturing into electric folk rock.[2] Jerry Yester, Cyrus Faryar, Henry "Tad" Diltz, and Chip Douglas made up the quartet and each became involved in various aspects of the music industry and Hoh's career. The group was renamed the Modern Folk Quintet (usually shortened to MFQ), and Phil Spector decided to become their producer.[3] Despite a lot of time spent with Spector in rehearsals and recording at Gold Star Studios, only one song came out of their association, "This Could Be the Night".[4] To the group's dismay, it was not issued as a single, but was used as the theme to the The Big T.N.T. Show, the 1966 follow-up concert film to the T.A.M.I. Show.[a] In March 1966, MFQ recorded a single for Dunhill Records, produced by Spector associate Jack Nitzsche.[5] The song "Night Time Girl", written by Al Kooper and Irwin Levine, reached number 122 on Billboard magazine's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles on April 16, 1966.[6] A second Dunhill MFQ single, the double A-side "Don't You Wonder" backed with "I Had a Dream Last Night", was released in 1968, but Hoh's participation is unknown. The MFQ were a fixture on the Los Angeles club scene and opened for such groups as the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Donovan, the Byrds, Mamas and the Papas, and the Velvet Underground. They undertook a college tour across the U.S., however, a breakthrough eluded them and they disbanded by July 1966.[7]

In 1966, Hoh contributed drums to Scottish singer Donovan's third album, Sunshine Superman. The album was recorded at the CBS studios in Hollywood and included songs such as "Season of the Witch", "Fat Angel", and "The Trip" (the title track was previously recorded in London with a different drummer). Hoh accompanied Donovan during area engagements with ex-MFQ member Cyrus Faryar on electric violin.[8] Donovan's experiences at the Trip club were recounted in "The Trip" and Hoh's "fine drumming" was noted in a review of the song.[9] Sunshine Superman became Donovan's most popular record and reached number eleven in the Billboard 200 album chart.[10]

1967[edit]

In 1967, Eddie Hoh's recording and touring activities accelerated. In March 1967, he performed with the Byrds' former singer-songwriter Gene Clark.[11][b] Clark, who had recorded a country-influenced album with the Gosdin Brothers, was continuing to develop his country rock sound. With Hoh, guitarist Clarence White, and bassist John York (who both joined the Byrds in 1968), the group appeared at several engagements, including at the Whisky a Go Go and the Golden Bear.[12] However, according to York, Clark was largely indifferent to audiences and the group did not last long:

I remember Eddie, Clarence, and I thinking that Gene had so many great songs, that it would be cool to be playing those songs and not just running through Byrds hits ... We played just a few songs and the audience was basically ignoring us. They were talking loudly and Gene got pissed off. [So] we just did an extended blues and he [Clark] walked off the stage ... That was the end of the show.[11]

Country rock biographer John Einarson writes that Gene Clark's band with Hoh, White, and York never recorded, while a White website indicates that around the same time, they recorded Clark's aborted Columbia single, "The French Girl"/"Only Colombe" (eventually released on Clark's 1991 Echoes album).[13]

Around the same time, Hoh recorded with a studio group named the Giant Sunflower, which included future record producer Val Garay.[14] Their first single, "February Sunshine", was released by two record companies simultaneously in April 1967: Take 6 Records and Ode Records, where it was the first record issued by producer Lou Adler's new record label.[15] Ode won out and "February Sunshine" debuted at number 106 on Billboard's June 3, 1967, extended pop chart.[16] Promoted as a flower power/sunshine pop record, it was followed in October by the second Giant Sunflower single "What's So Good About Goodbye".[17] Without a touring band, a Los Angeles folk-rock group, the Rose Garden (without Hoh), sometimes performed as the "Giant Sunflower" and later recorded "February Sunshine" and two unrecorded Gene Clark compositions for their debut album.[18]

Hoh became a part of the Mamas and the Papas touring group and on June 18, 1967, they appeared as the final act at the Monterey Pop Festival (singer John Philips was one of the event's organizers). Although several songs were filmed, only "California Dreamin'" and "Got a Feelin'" made the final cut of the Monterey Pop concert film. The complete Mamas and the Papas set was released on an album in 1970 and additional film footage was included in The Complete Monterey Pop Festival DVD set in 2002. A review of the album described Hoh's drumming as "first rate".[19] During the extended instrumental introduction to their first song, Eddie Hoh plays an improvised drum part; at the conclusion of their set, Hoh and studio drummer Hal Blaine play in tandem as the singers leave the stage. While touring with the group, Hoh took part in after-hours club jams. Another touring musician recalled

I remember ... going to some club with John [Philips] and Denny [Doherty] and ... Eddie Hoh ... We all jammed ... Eddie Hoh had these luminous drumsticks, and at one point in the show it would go to a black-light or something, and there was just this blur of drumsticks – it was awesome, real showmanship.[20]

Also in June, Hoh recorded the Goodbye and Hello album with experimental folk singer-songwriter Tim Buckley.[21] The album was produced by former MFQ member Jerry Yester, which critic Matthew Greenwald called "a revolutionary album that was a quantum leap for both Tim Buckley and the audience".[22] Greenwald singled out "Once I Was" and "Pleasant Street" as "tracks [that] are easily among the finest example of Buckley's psychedelic/folk vision".[22] Rough outtake material from the album session was released in 1999 on Buckley's Works in Progress.[c]

Eddie Hoh also became the Monkees' studio drummer (following Hal Blaine) and played on many of their songs.[23] From their beginning in 1966, producers used a variety of session musicians to record the Monkees' material, including Blaine and several others from the Wrecking Crew. It is unclear which, if any, of the songs on their first three albums include Hoh. However, starting with their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (with ex-MFQ member Chip Douglas now as their producer), Hoh has been identified as the drummer on many Monkees' songs released in 1967 and 1968. Among his contributions are "Pleasant Valley Sunday", the jazz-influenced "Goin' Down", "Daydream Believer", the second studio version recording of "Words", "Zor and Zam", and "Star Collector", which ends with extended improvised drumming.

1968[edit]

Super Session back cover with Eddie Hoh near upper-right corner.

In 1968, singer/organist Al Kooper, who was working for Columbia Records after he left Blood, Sweat & Tears, put together a recording session with former Paul Butterfield Blues Band/Electric Flag guitarist Mike Bloomfield. According to Kooper, Bloomfield chose Hoh as the drummer.[24] When Bloomfield was unable to finish the session, Kooper called guitarist Stephen Stills, who was between gigs with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Upon hearing that Hoh was the drummer, Stills readily agreed, describing Hoh as "an old friend of mine".[25][d] The resulting album, titled Super Session, became an unlikely hit. The first half of the album features mostly electric blues-style instrumentals with Bloomfield, while the second with Stills is rock oriented with vocals. Hoh and bassist Harvey Brooks are the rhythm section for the whole album (Barry Goldberg contributes electric piano to one song). All of the Super Session participants had performed at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival – Hoh with the Mamas and the Papas, Kooper as a solo act, Stills with Buffalo Springfield, and Bloomfield, Brooks, and Goldberg with the Electric Flag.

One of the songs with Stills is an eleven-minute version of "Season of the Witch", which Hoh had originally recorded with Donovan in 1966. It became a staple of late-sixties "underground" FM radio and a review of the song noted Hoh's "flawless drumming which laid down as solid a groove as Stills and Kooper could have ever hoped for".[26] Another Kooper/Stills song is a rendition of Willie Cobbs' blues classic "You Don't Love Me". Hoh's drum part is prominent with the heavy use of flanging (a sound processing effect) on the track. Super Session reached number eleven in the album chart[27] and became one of Columbia's best-selling albums of the late 1960s.[28] It was also the best-selling album of both Bloomfield's and Kooper's careers and Stills' first gold record. Although Hoh had already played drums on several well-known songs, he was relatively unknown to audiences.[29] However, with Super Session he acquired a higher public profile, with his name and photograph given equal prominence on the back album cover.

In addition to Super Session, Hoh participated in several album recording sessions for blues-oriented musicians from Chicago, including singer/harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, guitarist Harvey Mandel, and keyboard player Barry Goldberg. The three had recorded the Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band album in 1967.[30] With Hoh and new backing musicians, Musselwhite recorded his second album, Stone Blues.[30] Hoh also contributed drums to the mostly instrumental fusion 1968 album by Mandel, Cristo Redentor, featuring another staple of late-sixties FM radio, "Wade in the Water".[31] As part of the Barry Goldberg Reunion, he was the drummer for There's No Hole in My Soul.[32] Other recordings with Mandel and Goldberg included Mighty Graham Bond,[33] the Goldberg-produced album by the English blues-band leader/organist Graham Bond.[e]

Eddie Hoh also contributed to singer/organist Lee Michaels' debut album Carnival of Life (both he and Michaels earlier played with Joel Scott Hill). When Michaels' album was released, the personnel listing seemed to indicate that Hoh had only recorded one of the songs, "My Friends". However, in an album review, Greenwald described "excellent performances by Michaels and especially drummer Eddie Hoh".[34][f] Later, Michaels and Hoh recorded four demos with Richie Furay, Jim Messina, and Rusty Young after their final recordings for Buffalo Springfield.[23] With a new lineup, they became the country rock group Poco, but the material from the demo sessions has not been released. Hoh is also credited with the drums for Kim Fowley's Outrageous album.[36][g]

1969[edit]

During 1969, Hoh continued to record and perform with Barry Goldberg (Two Jews Blues, Barry Goldberg & Friends, and Recorded Live Barry Goldberg & Friends) and Harvey Mandel (Righteous). Critic Eugene Chadbourne commented in a review of Barry Goldberg & Friends:

Drummer "Fast" Eddie Hoh completely steals the long jam ["I Got to Love My Woman" a.k.a. "I Got a Woman"] with a solo that hints at the mystery of why there are so many people in the music business with the nickname "Fast Eddie", sounding like at least three of them are on-stage playing the drums.[37]

In April, he performed with Mandel at a Mercury Records-sponsored festival called the Flying Bear Medicine Show, portions of which were released on an album by the same name. Also performing at the festival was Tongue and Groove, described as "something of an offshoot of the legendary, but little recorded, early San Francisco hippie group the Charlatans".[38] Hoh contributed drums to their only album, the self-titled Tongue & Groove. He also drummed on What That Is, the 1969 album by rhythm and blues performer Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Hoh joined Judy Henske and Jerry Yester for the songs "Horses on a Stick" and "Charity", which were included on Farewell Aldebaran, the duo's 1969 folk/psychedelic album.[h]

Goldberg and Hoh participated in a demo session with ex-Sweetheart of the Rodeo-Byrds Gram Parsons, who was looking to form a new country rock group. The session yielded a remake of Parsons' earlier song "Do You Know How It Feels". When Parsons later hooked up with other musicians to form the Flying Burrito Brothers, he invited Hoh to become their drummer. He played on their early recording sessions, but by then had started to develop a substance abuse problem. According to the group's Chris Hillman, "Eddie would come to the sessions and fall off of the drum stool he would be so out of it".[23] Only "Sin City" and the demo song with Parsons (with later overdubs) were used for the group's debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. Jon Corneal, who was brought in to drum on several of the album's songs, recalled "As I understand it they gave Eddie Hoh an equal share of the cash advance [from the record company] and then he split. He ended up with my money".[39] Corneal's account was echoed by Parsons.[40]

Later years[edit]

Some time after a last album with Harvey Mandel (Games Guitars Play, released in 1970), Eddie Hoh apparently stopped recording and performing. In a 2002 quote about the Mamas and the Papas, Denny Doherty believed Hoh had died.[41] A 2006 biography in Great Rock Drummers of the Sixties concluded he "reportedly has been out of the music business for some time, down on his luck".[42] Hoh was out of the public eye for the remainder of his life. He died in a nursing home in Westmont, Illinois, on November 7, 2015, aged 71, from undisclosed causes.[43]

Discography[edit]

Since most of Hoh's recordings were as a session drummer, his credits are sometime unclear or nonexistent. Albums with some tracks known to have been recorded without Hoh are marked with an asterisk (*). He appears on several compilation and career retrospective albums by artists with whom he worked.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes

  1. ^ "This Could Be the Night" finally appeared on a 1976 compilation album Phil Spector Wall of Sound Vol. 6 — Rare Masters Vol. 2 and later included on Spector's 1991 Back to Mono (1958–1969) retrospective
  2. ^ The live dates with Gene Clark may also include August 1967 (Whisky a Go Go Show List 1966–1970)
  3. ^ Hoh sometimes has been listed as a bass player for Works in Progress and other times as the drummer for "The Fiddler"
  4. ^ One account has Stephen Stills and Neil Young giving Hoh a ride in Young's old hearse, shortly after their arrival in L.A. in 1966 (For What It's Worth)
  5. ^ It is unconfirmed if Hoh also played on a second Graham Bond album, Love Is the Law
  6. ^ Years later, drummer Dave Potter asserted that he played on all but one song on Carnival of Life; the 1992 Rhino compilation The Lee Michaels Collection seems to confirm this[35]
  7. ^ It is unknown if Hoh drummed on Fowley's garage/funk rock "Fluffy Turkeys" single, which was released around the same time
  8. ^ It has been suggested that Hoh played the drums on "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" or other songs for Linda Ronstadt's 1969 Hand Sown ... Home Grown album, but it remains unconfirmed

Citations

  1. ^ Cotten 2003, p. 32.
  2. ^ Childs & March 1999, eBook.
  3. ^ Hoskyns 1999, p. 100.
  4. ^ Hoskyns 1999, p. 101.
  5. ^ Priore 2007, p. 98.
  6. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 78 (16): 22. April 16, 1966. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  7. ^ Fisk 1966, p. 3.
  8. ^ Kubernik 2012, pp. 116–117.
  9. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Donovan: The Trip – Song review". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Donovan – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Einarson 2005, pp. 117–118.
  12. ^ Einarson 2008, pp. 49–50.
  13. ^ Einarson 2001, p. 61.
  14. ^ "The Giant Sunflower – February Sunshine". Flower Bomb Songs. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Adler's Ode Debut Is Greeted with Cries of Foul". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 79 (18): 20. May 6, 1967. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  16. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 79 (22): 20. June 3, 1967. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  17. ^ "Breakout Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 79 (42): 73. October 21, 1967. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  18. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Rose Garden – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  19. ^ Rolling Stone 1970.
  20. ^ Greenwald 2002, pp. 168–169.
  21. ^ Underwood 2002, p. 44.
  22. ^ a b Greenwald, Matthew. "Goodbye and Hello – Album Review". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c Einarson 2008, p. 116.
  24. ^ Wolkin & Keenan 2000, p. 161.
  25. ^ Zimmer 2008, p. 71.
  26. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Season of the Witch – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Super Session – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  28. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Al Kooper – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  29. ^ Chadbourne, Eugene. "Fast Eddie Hoh – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Charlie Musselwhite – Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  31. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Harvey Mandel: Cristo Rendentor – Album review". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Barry Goldberg – Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Graham Bond – Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  34. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Lee Michaels: Carnival of Life – Album Review". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  35. ^ Milano 1992, p. 6.
  36. ^ "Kim Fowley: Outrageous – Album credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  37. ^ Chadbourne, Eugene. "Barry Goldberg & Friends – Album review". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  38. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Tongue and Groove – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  39. ^ Einarson 2008, p. 123.
  40. ^ Meyer 2008, p. 277.
  41. ^ Greenwald 2002, p. 69.
  42. ^ Cianci 2006, p. 202.
  43. ^ "Edward Hoh, October 16, 1944 — November 7, 2015". knollcrestfuneralhome.com. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 

References