This weekend my former bandmate Jake Hooker passed away. Jake and I were founding members of the band the Arrows.
I met Jake at Taft High School in the Bronx New York 1965. We were both young teens in different bands, both of us guitar players with the look of the British sixties bands the Beatles, Kinks and Rolling Stones. Long hair and flamboyant clothing, fashionably avant garde for the mid 1960s.
His guitar playing was basic and unskilled when I met him, it needed quite a bit of finessing so his mother hired me as his guitar teacher. I went to see his band The Psychedelic Force at the Bee Hive, a dive bar in Brooklyn. The band were not very good. So over the next year I taught him my guitar style and approach and he was a quick learner. He was such a good student that when my band’s own guitar player Jimmy Reilly started missing rehearsals due to substance abuse we replaced Jimmy with Jake in my band the Watertower West. We had a residency at The Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village New York. Jake took to the semi-pro rock n roll stage like a duck to water. He fit right in to the band.
In 1968 I left to live in Japan but we stayed in touch. In close enough contact that when my manager in Japan wasn’t paying me well enough in the autumn of 1973 Jake stepped up and sent me a plane ticket from Tokyo to London to start a band call the Arrows.
The story of the Arrows has been told often and there’s an excellent book about our band written by Bill Harry which was released on Everest books in 1976. Publisher, Everest Books, 1976. ISBN, 0903925613, 9780903925617.
I think all we can hope for across the course of a lifetime is to attain our goals. I think in becoming a rock star in England with the Arrows Jake realized his dreams. It’s all we can really hope for in life when all is said and done.
Jake Hooker RIP (May 3, 1953 - Aug. 4, 2014)
- Thank you to my friend EK in Prague for making the Jake Hooker memorial photo above.