Photo by Christian James

ekoostik hookah founding member and vocalist John Mullins passed away unexpectedly yesterday. Mullins, along with keyboardist Dave Katz formed the core of the pioneering Ohio jamband after a chance meeting in a little bar in Columbus, Ohio in early 1991.
The two musicians found that they not only shared a love of music, but a birthday as well. Soon after an impromptu jam session in Katz’s living room, guitarist Steve Sweney, drummer Steve Frye, and bass player Cliff Starbuck joined the two songwriters and Ekoostik hookah was born. The band toured the nation extensively in the early 1990s, selling out iconic venues from the Wetlands in New York, to the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Mullins left the band in August 1996 to follow his own path only to return a decade later, bringing back some of that old hookah vibe until his permanent departure in March of 2010. While the Ekoostik hookah family is heartbroken by John’s passing, his music will be with us always and his indomitable spirit lives on in all of us.

Dave Katz of ekoostik hookah offered “I will forever be grateful that we met, and for the ‘magic’ that we were able to create together. I know that, had we not met, I would not be where I am today, or the person i am today. You and I only co-wrote one song, Under Full Sail. And, the first few lines of that song are what come to mind at this moment. “It all comes together. Sometimes fades, but never dies. Through different shades, from low to high.” Poignant, to say the least. John, on this coming birthday, and every other one I am fortunate enough to celebrate, I will think of you, and what we accomplished together. You have certainly left your mark, and will be remembered by so many. Rest easy John Mullins.”

With love and ongoing sadness,

Dave Weissman