Monday, November 09, 2015

Passings: Session Drummer Fast Eddie Hoh (1944 - 2015)

Edward "Fast Eddie" Hoh, whose drumming graced recordings for artists from the Monkees to the Modern Folk Quartet, died on Saturday, November 7 from natural causes. He was 71.

His death was announced on a Facebook page dedicated to the drummer:

It is with heavy heart to announce the passing of Fast Eddie Hoh. Eddie passed away peacefully yesterday, November 7, 2015 of natural causes.

I had met and been friends with Eddie since January of this year. Though Eddie was somewhat of a private person, he gave me permission to create this facebook page for him. Nothing was published on this page without Eddie's prior approval.

Do know, that all messages and posts sent to Eddie WERE seen by Eddie himself. Any replies by Eddie received to him WERE answered by Eddie through the administrator of this page. He would read his messages and posts and if he had a reply, he would tell the administrator what he wanted said. Then, before his reply was published, he did proof read it to be sure it said exactly what he dictated.

So please be assured, if Eddie had replied to you, that it really was Eddie Hoh. And any un-answered messages were seen by Eddie. All of these posts and messages made Eddie extremely happy. He was at times overwhelmed by how well known he was and by how appreciated his work was. That was the purpose of my starting this page and I appreciate all those kind words to Eddie greatly, myself.

I had taken the opportunity one day, to sit with Eddie and go through his Wikipedia page (I did not make). He verified all the information on his Wikipedia is correct. I asked him if I could add his birthday and he told me "no". In respect of his privacy, it had not been added.

I will miss my friend, terribly. Eddie was a very kind and humorous man. We had so many great conversations, and he had so many awesome memories to share about his days playing. I am so honored to have met him and to be allowed by him to create this page for him. And though he no longer played the drums, which was partly due to his hearing loss, he could still pound out some good beats on the table! The photo was a selfie taken recently of Eddie and myself. This is the only photo I have of us, but I will cherish it always. As you can see, it is unmistakably Eddie... Just look at that smirk!

Rest in Peace and God Speed my friend.
While still in high school in Maywood, IL, he started the band the Downbeats with Larry Nestor, who went on to be a member of the Buckinghams and guitarist Russ Vestudo. In 1963, he moved to California where he became a member of the groups the Invaders and the Strangers, who went on to be part of The T.A.M.I. Show.

In September 1965, Hoh joined the Modern Folk Quartet who, despite not having recording success, became a major part of the Los Angeles club scene.

Hoh also built a reputation as a session drummer with his first major credit being Donovan's Sunshine Superman where he didn't play on the title cut but can be heard on tracks such as Season of the Witch.

In 1967, Hoh went on tour with the Mamas and the Papas including their performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. On the side, he continued to work in the studio playing with Tim Buckley and becoming the backup drummer for the Monkees behind Hal Blaine, appearing on a number of their later albums.

The next year, he was chosen by Mike Bloomfield to play drums on one of the seminal rock albums of the late-60's, Super Session with Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills and a number of other musicians. During the same period, he played with Charlie Musselwhite, Lee Michaels, Poco, Harvey Mandel, Barry Goldberg and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

From all accounts, Hoh left the music business in the early 70's and moved back with family. Over the years, both Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the Papas and Al Kooper had incorrectly said that Hoh had died but further reports said that he lived out the rest of his life quietly in Illinois.