It is with great sadness that we inform you that John Hostetter passed away on September 2, 2016
He will be sorely missed.

John & Del
Goodnight sweet prince.
Exit stage left.

by Rick Deyampert

Friday, September 16, 2006

Daytona Beach News Journal

Vital stats:
Band you play with regularly:
The Pirates with Timmy Probst and Bill Games
Instrument(s) you play:
Mostly 12-string guitar and harmonica
Music resume:
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.
Acting resume:
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.
Day job:
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.
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Current residence:
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 Ave. (originals)...
In The Summertime (Mungo Jerry), Black Is Black (Los Bravos), Rockin' Robin (Bobby Day)
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
CDs available?:
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.

Taking Notes:

What or who inspired you to pursue music?
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 three?
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 encouraged me.
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.
Favorite movie:
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.

Actor-musician-turned-artist enjoying lower anxiety level

By Paul Marseglia
Datona Beach News Journal
July 15, 2005

Late-blooming artist John Hostetter is happy to work on his art in his studio.

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.
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." 

John Hostetter shaves cedar branches on a schnitzelbonk (shaving bench) to be used in his walking sticks, right.

Actor-Musician-Artist Seems To Have Nine Lives

By Eleanore Osborne
Daytona News-Journal
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 doo-wop group. 
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 to be.

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.