It is with great sadness that we inform you that John Hostetter passed away on September 2, 2016
He will be sorely missed.
Goodnight sweet prince.
Exit stage left.
by Rick Deyampert
Friday, September 16, 2006
Daytona Beach News Journal
Band you play with regularly:
The Pirates with Timmy Probst and Bill Games
Instrument(s) you play:
Mostly 12-string guitar and harmonica
I played clarinet and percussion in the school band and orchestra and learned
music theory. Picked up the guitar when I joined a folk group in high school.
Then the british invasion happened and we all pretended to be The Beatles and
the Stones. Started writing songs. Met David Borden in Ithaca, NY.. He was a
composer working with Bob Moog. We recorded a "rock demo" using a
prototype Moog synthesizer in 1969. Had an eclectic group in L.A. called The
Nonchalants. We did originals, latin, rock, and jazz. Sang a bunch of Lambert,
Hendricks, and Ross material, too. Helped found The Mighty Echoes (acappella
doowop) in 1986. Sang with them until I moved here in 2001.
Had a nice recurring role on Murphy Brown as the stage manager. Also played
lots of cops: No Way Out, Heartbreak Ridge, People Under The Stairs, etc.. Did
a fun psycho on J.A.G.. Sang with Tony on Who's The Boss. Had a couple of voices
on G.I. Joe and Transformers. In the theater I got to play King Lear, Estragon
in Waiting For Godot, Milo Tindle in Sleuth, and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion.
My wife and I manage Jonah's Cat's Art Gallery in New Smyrna Beach. Samuel Ruder
brought me in four years ago. I was making one-of-a-kind walking sticks and
he encouraged me to try painting. Now my art hangs along side his in our beautiful
new space. We reopened in April after a 20 month hiatus thanks to Hurricane
Charley. I do have an acting agent in Orlando, but since I let my hair grow,
unless the part is a wizard or an old hippie I don't get any calls.
New Smyrna Beach
Type of music you perform:
Acoustic rock with a hint of folk, country, and jazz.
List seven or eight songs in your repertoire:
Legend of Detroit, Big Bang Boom, Rockin' The Boat, Surrender The Booty, Flagler
In The Summertime (Mungo Jerry), Black Is Black (Los Bravos), Rockin' Robin
Upcoming area gigs:
every Thursday, 9-11 p.m., Peanuts, 419 Flagler Ave., NSB, 386-423-1469
every Friday and Saturday, 6-10 p.m., Sea Harvest, 107 Riverside Dr., NSB, 386-426-5301
The Pirates' first CD "Rockin' The Boat", $10 at gigs or $13.50 at thepiratesnsb.com.
Do you have a Web site?
johnhostetter.com. I have
some solo CD's available there plus my art work and links to The Pirates and
The Mighty Echoes.
What or who inspired you to pursue
The folk scene in the sixties got me performing and listening to some great
songs. Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, even The New Christie Minstrels were
sources of inspiration. Then the rock
groups took it to a new energy. Plus they were writing their own songs and doing
such imaginative material with great harmonies and instrumentation. Traffic,
Incredible String Band, Moby Grape, all were influential for me. I've also had
the good fortune to work with some superior musicians who allowed me the freedom
to stumble along in their wake while encouraging me to create in my own way.
If a DVD time capsule could preserve only three of your acting roles and
they would be viewed 1,000 years later, which three would you choose? Why these
1. Elvis impersonator in the art house film "Aria". I lip-synch "La
donna e' mobile" from the opera Rigoletto dressed as the Vegas Elvis. I
am only on screen for about 20 seconds or so, but I'm working it.
2. Dr. Krassman in "Kermit's Swamp Years". Got to work with Kermit
and play the bad guy.
The director and producers let me overact to my heart's content...actually they
3. A store clerk from the competition in a 7-11 commercial called Mobile Judge
directed by the great Errol (Thin Blue Line) Morris. While defending my choice
of meat products I tell the judge, "It's a generic hotdog". Something
in my delivery is so pathetic yet manipulative that the performance still dwells
for me in a place both ridiculous and sublime.
How did you come to play those exotic instruments, such as tamboura, on the
upcoming Pirates CD?
I've collected lots of strange noise makers in my life and I like to use them
in the studio whenever I get a chance. We used the tamboura on our first CD
too. It has a shimmery drone-like sound that works well on songs in minor keys.
Our producer, Billy Chapin, has been kind enough to let me play my harmonium,
tabla, berimbau and banjo so far. We even recorded a rhythm track using brushes
on the floor.
Most unusual gig you've ever played:
The Mighty Echoes were hired to sing for a couple in a booth in the back of
a funky little hoagie place in L.A.. We did two sets...all cuddled up together.
We had to learn "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" for that gig. Only
time we ever sang it.
Musician/celebrity/historical person you'd most like to have dinner with
(living or dead):
The late, great Lord Buckley, the hipsemantic humorist and storyteller, has
had such a strong influence on my life that I would love to meet him up close
and personal. His message was all about love. Although judging from his life
story, I'm sure he'd stick me with the bill.
Last book you read:
Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia.
What CD/tape is in your car and-or home stereo right now?
Tell Me Something / The Songs of Mose Allison, with Van Morrison, Georgie Fame,
Ben Sidran, and Mose.
The original Bedazzled with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.
Best concert you ever attended:
Jimi Hendrix, March 10, 1968, Washington Hilton Ballroom. Sixth row, right in
front of him!
He played so theatrically and with such ease that it was incredible to behold.
The Soft Machine was the opening act. They were a pretty powerful trio also.
"If I didn't perform music, I would . . . "probably curl up
in a little ball and die.
"I'd sell my soul for . . ." I'd be hesitant to sell my soul,
but I might rent it.
enjoying lower anxiety level
By Paul Marseglia
New Smyrna Beach - A diverse professional life has
taken John Hostetter from a small town in Pennsylvania to the glamour and tinsel
of Hollywood, Calif. and later, the quaint seaside village of New Smyrna Beach.
Datona Beach News Journal
July 15, 2005
Late-blooming artist John Hostetter
is happy to work on his art in his studio.
Hostetter is an accomplished musician, singer, songwriter and actor who has worked
in numerous movies and television programs. Most recently, he has turned
a creative eye toward painting. "To say the least, I've had a very interesting
career." he said earlier this week during a brief break between projects.
"I sort of went from one extreme to the other. I played King Lear in a National
Shakespeare Company production, sang second tenor in an a cappella doo-wop group
called the Mighty Echoes for 13 years and toured with a jazz band."
His credits also include an undergraduate degree from the University of North
Carolina and a master of fine arts degree from Cornell. "I played a
Bolian Officer in the movie 'Star Trek Resurrection,' and did TV work," he
said. "I had a major role on 'Murphy Brown' for 10 seasons, appeared with
Angela Lansbury in a two-hour special 'Murder She Wrote' and had parts on 'NYPD
Blue,' 'Who's The Boss?' and 'JAG.' I also worked on 'Heartbreak Ridge'
with Clint Eastwood, a Kermit The Frog movie and 'Beverly Hills Cop II.'"
Although he was working and enjoying what he was doing, Hostetter quickly discovered
working in the entertainment industry wasn't always the glamorous lifestyle people
thought it was. "The nine months I spent on the road playing King Lear was
an adventure in itself. We did basically one-nighters and on our bus we carried
our own sets, lighting, costumes and 14 actors. We would get into town,
check into a hotel and then go to the theater, cafeteria or wherever we were performing
and set up. That took two hours and our performance usually ran for three hours.
After that we would tear down, load up the bus and try to find a diner that was
still open. The next day, we started all over again".
"An inspiring actor in Hollywood never is guaranteed a good part in a movie
or television show and survival in the industry is very competitive. As an entertainer
in L.A. or New York, you do just about anything that comes along to survive,"
Hostetter said. "You might do cartoon voices, TV commercials, theater or
try to get a movie part or a bit on an episodic TV show". "Almost everyone
in the profession has the same sort of talent or acting abilities and that's important.
But what I think is equally important is luck. You never know, you might just
have the right look or the right personality for the part."
Hostetter landed in Santa Barbara, Calif. in the early 1970s, where he sang with
a jazz band and performed in an improvisational group. His journey then took him
to Berkeley, where he met his wife-to-be. They arrived in Hollywood in 1977. After
24 years of living and working in Tinseltown, the couple retired to Florida to
a home they bought 12 years earlier in New Smyrna Beach. "We bought our place
here in '93 and we were going back and forth a few times a year. We would come
for a month or so and then go back to the West Coast". "After a while,
it got harder and harder to go back and forth, so my wife and I made the decision
to find a way to move to New Smyrna Beach permanently and we did."
The first year was an adjustment for the couple, who had lived in major cities
for many years. "You might say it was a culture shock but it really was a
reassimilation of living in a small town, as I grew up in a small town."
Hostetter said. "In a small town, the anxiety level drops almost 1,000 percent.
It's very peaceful and laid back". "In L.A. you were always looking
over your shoulder. When it got dark, you carried your car keys in your hand as
you were walking to your car. I don't miss any of that."
After the move to Florida, Hostetter's art endeavors consisted of making one-of-a-kind
walking sticks, - found cedar branches he stripped down, sanded, carved, painted
and sealed. "I really enjoy doing the sticks. They can be pretty challenging.
My designs encompass everything from birds to dragons, to abstract journeys of
the imagination...Besides the carving involved, there is a lot of painting that
goes into the finished piece."
Hostetter's artistic training took a giant step forward when he went to work part-time
in a Flagler Avenue art gallery owned by renowned artist Samuel Ruder. "I
was helping Samuel by cutting mattes and putting frames together," he said.
"After several weeks, I began to feel pretty comfortable with my various
responsibilities, so in my spare time, I started picking up a brush, trying to
imitate Samuel's technique." "Very soon I found out how complex his
talents were and how great an artist he is." Ruder eventually saw some
of the paintings and encouraged his friend to continue with them. "So I got
more canvas board and knocked out an acrylic painting." Hostetter said. "Soon,
I was doing works that were abstract and colorful and incorporated lots of dots
that I have been putting in the designs on my walking sticks. This was an influence
from the Australian aboriginal 'dream time' paintings I had seen in museums. "Samuel
was there all the way for me. Now I was ready to try watercolors with the quality
paper and pigments that he used. Often times, he would watch me paint and, if
I couldn't go forward with a painting, he would ask me for the brush and take
over the work to show me how to get out of the corner that I had painted myself
into." " It was probably a year before he agreed that I had actually
finished a complete watercolor painting to his satisfaction. For me, that was
a great accomplishment."
Local art teacher Trish Thompson also was instrumental in helping Hostetter pursue
his new passion for painting. "When I felt I needed to know more about the
basics of art, I enrolled in her classes," he said. "She covered technique,
color, composition and all the basics that a new artist needs. Not only is she
a great artist, she is a great teacher." In a short time, Hostetter
has become an accomplished painter himself. His work is selling well in the marketplace
and he recently designed the commemorative T-shirt for the Seaside Fiesta. "I
have done a lot in my lifetime, but painting is one of the most satisfying means
of creation and discovery. It is always a delightful surprise when someone expresses
pleasure in my work and even forks over money for it."
shaves cedar branches on a schnitzelbonk (shaving bench) to be used in his walking
Actor-Musician-Artist Seems To Have Nine Lives
October 21, 2003
If a cat has nine lives,
that's nothing compared to the number that artist John Hostetter has racked
up - and he's still counting. There's Hostetter, the actor - on stage,
on big and small screens; Hostetter the musician, singer, songwriter; Hostetter,
the artist; and now, Hostetter, the cat painter. Hostetter is one of
41 artists participating in the Picatsso Project, culminating with an auction
Nov. 22 at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. His entry,
"The Cat With a Heart of Gold," suggests one facet of Hostetter's
complex personality and interests. His talents have led him, on one hand,
to play King Lear in a National Shakespeare Company production and other roles
actors dream of, and, on the other, to sing second tenor in an a cappella
Hostetter and his wife, Del Appleby, have had lifelong interests
in the performing arts, but fine art is something new to him. The
couple bought a home in New Smyrna Beach 11 years ago, "but we got tired
of just visiting it, and moved here in February 2001." Before that,
Los Angeles was home. Appleby worked as a theater actress and dancer,
while he forged a successful acting career in movies and television. Before
moving to New Smyrna Beach,Hostetter's California home had been his only canvas
- the Joan Miro-like bathroom,the Rothko-homage refrigerator. (Can't
you just picture it?) Leaning against the gallery's wall are his signature
walking sticks, home grown, in some cases, in his backyard. At 6 feet,
2 inches, Hostetter could be the real-life cop he portrayed in the movie "The
People Under the Stairs," or the government agent of the film "No
Way Out." On a recent day, Hostetter was at Jonah's Cats Art Gallery,
the Flagler Avenue venue where he is represented. His works are toward
the back of the space, which seems fitting for the newcomer. Looking at
all 190 pounds of him - hippie hair, hazel eyes, stereotypical assumptions,
and then do a mental double-take when he starts talking about art. Here's
a bit of what he says about The Cat With a Heart of Gold: Returning from a
journey of discovery across the alchemical rainbow... she proudly wears the
heart of gold reflecting the light of love." Not what your might
expect to hear form someone who portrayed a Bolian Officer in the movie "Star
Trek Resurrection." But you might expect it knowing that Hostetter
has both an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, and
an MFA in theatre from Cornell.
After UNC, he toured with a jazz band, and still plays music once a week at
a New Smyrna Beach club. In more ways than one, sleepy New Smyrna Beach
is a long way from Los Angeles. "But I don't miss it in the least", he
said. "My whole temperament has changed." Even with memories of
a recurring major role on "Murphy Brown," of starring guest shots
on other TV shows such as "Arliss" and "NYPD Blue" to
"Who's The Boss" and "JAG," it's still "No thank
you" to all those orders stage folks used to bark at him. But following
a different path isn't only about autonomy
for Hostetter. In a sense, even with film and CDs to preserve a performance,
acting and music are ephemeral - disappearing as they're being created. This
(art) is tangible," he said. "Someone comes in, falls in love
with it and goes, "Oh!" and takes it home with them." Just
to keep his hand in the other arts, however, he has just cut a CD of songs
he composed over the past 30 years, and one new one. Singer, songwriter,
session performer, producer - he does it all, and plays guitar, keyboards,
flute, percussion. Except for stand-up comedy and improvisation, making
art is one of his few non-collaborative performances. Of course, he still
has an agent. Maybe some day he'll think of something else he wants
Artist John Hostetter, who designed
the T-Shirt for the 17th annual
Seaside Fiesta shows his design to Adele Aletti of Gone Bonkers
|John's creation "Cosmo
Froggy's Dream Pad" graces the cover of the program for the
chair-ity auction sponsored by ARC.
The surface of the chair is carved and painted...including the back
of the chair which features a back view of Cosmo Froggy.