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|Birth name||Eldon Wayne Hoke|
|Also known as||El Duce|
|Born||March 23, 1958|
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Died||April 19, 1997 (aged 39)|
Riverside, California, U.S.
|Genres||Heavy metal, punk rock, shock rock|
|Labels||Ever Rat, Mentor, Metal Blade, Mystic|
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, as well as other acts, including Chinas Comidas and the Screamers.
Apart from his musical career, Eldon was also an actor who appeared in several films as an extra, and discussed his hugely-controversial band and lifestyle on the notorious Jerry Springer and Wally George TV talk-shows.
Today El Duce is remembered as a cultural pioneer who, using his dark sense of humor, destroyed taboos in rock music regarding onstage speech and behavior, and who set a precedent for today's most outrageous and extreme musical acts.
The Mentors' songs were covered by artists including Frank Zappa, Black Label Society, GWAR and Koffin Kats, and quoted by Guns N' Roses, Anthrax and Dr. Know (in "Cornshucker", "I'm The Man" and "Fist F*ck", respectively).
Hoke was born in Seattle, Washington to mother Doris Hope and father Walter Hoke. His father designed bombs for the Vietnam War, and he was also abusive towards him and his sister. He attended Roosevelt High School where he formed the Mentors with school friends Eric Carlson and Steve Broy after he was expelled for repeatedly vandalizing the school.
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 Reverend 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
After the body of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was discovered in the greenhouse of Cobain's Lake Washington home on April 8, 1994, Hoke began making the claim that Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, had offered to pay him 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. In 1996, Hoke passed a lie detector test when claiming that Love had offered him $50,000 to kill Kurt Cobain. In his interview in the Kurt and Courtney film, recorded on April 11, 1997, El Duce again claimed that Love had offered him $50,000 to "whack" Kurt Cobain, and further claimed that he knew who did kill Cobain (giving the name "Allen" some say from the band Kill Allen Wrench), but said he would "let the FBI catch him".
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, and Tales From The Crypt episode), 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 in music video productions.
In 1998 Backstage Sluts (lately shortened and re-edited as Backstage Pass: Uncensored), directed by Matt Zane, was released — a 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 a penultimate interview with El Duce 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 talking to Brent Alden, and eight days after filming his interview with Nick Broomfield for the Kurt & Courtney documentary, Hoke was found dead on the railroad tracks in Riverside, California. He was "decapitated in the accident — he was hit full on by a freight train doing 60 MPH", 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". 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 toes became stuck in the track. Due to the timing of his death 8 days after the Kurt and Courtney interview, people have speculated that his death was related to the statements he made that Courtney Love offered him $50,000 to "whack" Cobain, and that someone named "Allen" took the offer.
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.
With the Mentors
As featured artist
- 1981 – Get Up & Die
- 1987 – Fuck Movie
- 1990 – A Piece of Sinema
- 1990 – The Wretched World of The Mentors
- 1991 – Hollywood Head Bash
- 1991 – Tour De Max '91
- 1993 – El Duce: The Man. The Myth. The Video
- 2007 – El Duce Vita
- 2010 – Perverted Movie
- 2017 – The Kings of Sleaze (documentary)
- 2019 – The El Duce Tapes (documentary)
- 1986 - Quiet Riot - The Wild And The Young (promo video)
- 1997 - Nine Inch Nails - Closure (documentary)
- 2011 - Ministry - Fix (documentary)
- @broysteve. "Instagram post from August 8, 2016". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
- "The el Duce Tapes".
- Wallace, Max (March 20, 2014). Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain. ISBN 9780749016104.
- Simmonds, Jeremy (2012). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press. p. 371. ISBN 978-1613744789.
- Jourgensen, Al (September 9, 2015). Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Allen Jourgensen. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306824630.
Broy, Steve (2015). Truth Is Funnier Than Fiction: My Life With Eldon Hoke and the Mentors Self Published, Second Edition p. 263-264.