Eldon Hoke

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Eldon Hoke
Background information
Birth name Eldon Wayne Hoke
Also known as El Duce
Born (1958-03-23)March 23, 1958
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Died April 19, 1997(1997-04-19) (aged 39)
Riverside, California, U.S.
Genres Heavy metal, punk rock, shock rock
Instruments Vocals, drums
Years active 1974–1997
Labels Ever Rat Records, Mentor Records, Metal Blade, Mystic
Associated acts The Mentors, Gardy Loo!, Coven, The Screamers, Chinas Comidas

Eldon Wayne Hoke (March 23, 1958 – April 19, 1997), nicknamed El Duce, was an American musician best known as the drummer and lead singer of the shock rock band The Mentors. He was part of other acts, including Chinas Comidas and The Screamers before that.


The Mentors[edit]

Hoke and the Mentors worked to gain attention through farcical demonstrations of political incorrectness. The band's guitarist, Eric Carlson, renamed himself "Sickie Wifebeater", and the group often appeared in public wearing black executioner hoods.

During the 1985 U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's hearings into the proliferation of "obscene" lyrics in popular music, the Rev. Jeff Ling recited the lyrics to the Mentors song, "Golden Shower" to musician Frank Zappa, who opposed the hearings. The lyrics, which included the line, "Bend up and smell my anal vapor/Your face is my toilet paper" prompted Zappa and others to denounce the hearings as a farce.

Kurt Cobain death claim[edit]

After the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain on April 5, 1994, Hoke began making the claim that Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, had offered to pay Hoke to kill Cobain. Hoke promoted his story in such media outlets as TV's Jerry Springer Show, The National Enquirer weekly tabloid, and in Nick Broomfield's documentary film, Kurt & Courtney. El Duce claimed in the film that he knew who killed Cobain (giving the name "Allen"), but said he would "let the FBI catch him".

According to the self-published book "Truth Is Funnier Than Fiction" by Mentors bass player Steve Broy, the whole story was concocted by Mentors associate Rev. Bud Green in order to sell to supermarket tabloids.

Other appearances[edit]

In addition to his musical career, Hoke also worked as an extra in television (such talk shows like Hot Seat with Wally George and The Jerry Springer Show), movies (including the science fiction musical "Population: 1", starring his bandmate Tomata Du Plenty; "Two Idiots in Hollywood", directed by Stephen Tobolowsky and "Du-beat-e-o", starring Joan Jett), and music video productions.

In 1998 "Backstage Sluts" (lately shortened and re-edited as "Backstage Pass: Uncensored"), directed by Matt Zane, was released — the movie wherein famous rockers (including members of Motörhead, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Sugar Ray and Insane Clown Posse) recount their wildest sexual moments, while actual porn stars acted them out. The film contains one of the last known footage of El Duce, with his penultimate interview from 1997, in which he drunkenly declares his taste in the opposite sex: "I like nasty women. I like... homeless women."


On April 19, 1997, one day after his final performance and two days after filming his interview for the Kurt & Courtney documentary, Hoke was found dead on the railroad tracks in Riverside, California, "decapitated in the accident — he was hit full on by a freight train doing 60 MP/H", according to Steve Broy, the Mentors' bass player. Subsequent tests indicated a high blood alcohol content and thus Hoke's official cause of death was given by the coroner's office as "misadventure".[1] However, Al Jourgensen (of the industrial metal band Ministry) wrote in his autobiography that El Duce was killed by the train when some fans on the other side of the railroad tracks called his name and, as he attempted to cross to meet them, his foot became stuck in the track.[2] However, due to the timing of his death, conspiracy theorists have postulated that his death was related to the statements he made for the Kurt & Courtney documentary.[1]



  • Get Up and Die (1983)
  • Mentors Fuck Movie (1987)
  • A Piece of Sinema (1990)
  • The Wretched World of The Mentors (1990)
  • Mentors Tour De Max '91 (1991)
  • El Duce, The Man. The Myth. The Video (1993)
  • Mentors – El Duce Vita DVD (2007)


  1. ^ a b Simmonds, Jeremy (2012). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press. p. 371. ISBN 1613744781. 
  2. ^ Jourgensen, Al (September 9, 2015). Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306824639. 

Broy, Steve (2015). Truth Is Funnier Than Fiction: My Life With Eldon Hoke and the Mentors Self Published, Second Edition p. 263-264.

External links[edit]