The Doobie Brothers announced the death of drummer John Hartman Saturday morning, collectively saying in a social media post, “Today we are thinking of John Hartman, or Little John to usJohn was a wild spirit, great drummer, and showman during his time in the Doobies.” He was 72. No cause of death was immediately announced.

Hartman, a co-founder of the group, was one of nine members of the Doobie Brothers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. He had long since left the frequently reuniting band.

Hartman was with the group for its initial run of chart-topping hits, including signature songs like “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Runnin’” and “What a Fool Believes.” He was one of two drummers the Doobies had on stage from 1971 until he first left the band in 1979. Ten years after departing, he returned for a reunion album in 1989 and continued on with the group through 1992.

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The band is currently in the midst of a 50th anniversary tour, including a stop tonight in Portland, but Hartman was not taking part in the reunion. Michael McDonald, Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons and John McFee are the four legacy members advertised as participating in the current tour.

More to come…

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