The first time I met Gary Hobish was at a NRBQ concert at Don Quixote’s in Felton. My friend Mick Gray introduced me to him as “someone (I) should absolutely meet.” Gary was not just a fan of NRBQ, but also a musician, producer and recording engineer that was employed by the band to remaster a lot of their old recordings.
Gary was a friendly guy that I’d see regularly at countless music shows in the San Francisco bay area. I was pleasantly surprised to see Gary at the recent Nuggets event a few months ago in the Los Angeles area 400+ miles from our home base.
In 2018, I discovered that Gary had a LOUIE LOUIE connection when I obtained some air check recordings of some of the Berkeley KALX radio marathons of the 1980s. Gary (aka “Armin Hammer”) had created a version of LOUIE LOUIE for the May 1984 marathon with a musical ensemble he called “Jim Phelps & the Clandestones.” Gary shared some details about that unique recording:
“Louie Louie (IMF Version)” is a mashup of LL & Lalo Schifrin‘s Mission Impossible theme, recorded in May 1984 at Fantasy Recording Studios back when I was on staff there. It features local jazz great Jennifer Clevinger (piano), Kirk Felton on drums, bongoes and matches, myself on bass, and that’s Jennifer, me and Martin Clevinger (inventor of the Clevinger electric solid body upright bass) on vocals.
One of the last times I saw him, Gary gave me a copy of his new record “Make Love Not War,” a collection of music by his old band, The Jars, which I really appreciated.
As I logged onto Facebook, I found out that Gary passed away on Sunday, October 29th. Apparently he died doing something that he loved – dancing the Lindy hop in Golden Gate Park.
We’re going to miss you, my friend.
Gary’s Facebook page
About Gary Hobish – official bio at his AHammer.com page
Discogs – Gary Hobish credits
AllMusic – Gary Hobish credits
Jim Phelps & the Clandestones (KALX premiere) – LOUIE of the Week