Drummer John Hartman, founding member of Doobie Brothers, dead at 72

Drummer John Hartman, a co-founding member of the Doobie Brothers who played on 1970s hits such as “Listen to the Music,” “China Grove” and “Long Train Runnin’,” has died, the group said. He was 72.

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The group announced Hartman’s death on its official Instagram account. No official cause of death was announced, Variety reported.

“Today we are thinking of John Hartman, or Little John to us,” the band wrote. “John was a wild spirit, great drummer, and showman during his time in the Doobies.”

Hartman was one of nine members of the band inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

Hartman, a native of Falls Church, Virginia, formed the band with Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons in San Jose, California, in 1970, USA Today reported.

He was one of two drummers the band used onstage from 1971 until he left the band eight years later, according to Variety. That came after the band’s greatest successes, including “Black Water” and “What a Fool Believes,” according to USA Today.

Hartman returned to the group for a reunion album in 1989 and continued performing until 1992, Variety reported.

The Doobie Brothers are currently in the middle of a 50th-anniversary tour, but Hartman was not participating, the entertainment news outlet reported.

Michael McDonald, John McFee, Johnston and Simmons were listed as the four legacy members on the current tour, according to Variety. The band is scheduled to appear at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, on Tuesday.

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