Garth Hudson

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Garth Hudson (first from left, at the organ) with The Band and guests at The Last Waltz in 1976

Eric "Garth" Hudson (born August 2, 1937 in Windsor , Ontario ) is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist ( organ , keyboard , piano , accordion , saxophone , drums ). He was best known as the organist of the rock group The Band .

life and work

Hudson grew up in a musical family, his father, Fred James Hudson, played drums, clarinet, saxophone and flute, his mother, Olive Louella Pentland, sang and played the accordion and piano. When Hudson was three years old, his family moved from Windsor to London , Ontario, where he spent his childhood and adolescence. He took piano lessons, learned music theory and played the organ in St. Luke's Anglican Church; later he studied at the University of Western Ontario . After appearances with many smaller bands, Hudson came to Ronnie Hawkins in December 1961 and became a member of his backing band The Hawks .

Hudson's engagement with Hawkins was conditional, however, he demanded a Lowrey organ , the sound of which would become his trademark ( but he also played the more common Hammond B3 occasionally), and Hawkins had to pay him an additional ten dollars a week in addition to his salary to that he gave music lessons to the other musicians ( Rick Danko , Levon Helm , Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson ). In 1968 the Hawks (without Hawkins) had their breakthrough with the album Music from Big Pink , henceforth they were known as The Band . In his review of Music from Big Pink , musician Al Kooper wrote about Hudson:

" Garth Hudson is one of the strangest people I ever met. If Harry Brooks is the gentle grizzly bear of rock and roll then Garth is the gentle brown bear. "

One of the songs from Music from Big Pink also developed to the song that is always associated with Garth Hudson: Chest Fever , which he with one of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor inspired organ intro - later than The Genetic Method referred - opened.

From 1975 Hudson also used synthesizers . He was involved in the development of the CS-80 for Yamaha , and Hudson also used a prototype of this synthesizer during The Last Waltz .

After Robbie Robertson's departure, Hudson and the three remaining members of The Band tried a comeback in 1983. After the suicide of Richard Manuel in 1986 and the death of Rick Danko in 1999, the group disbanded for good. In 2001 Hudson's first solo album The Sea to the North was released .

In addition to his work for The Band and The Hawks (with Dylan and Hawkins), Hudson has worked for a number of musicians. He is u. a. heard on recordings by Ringo Starr , Muddy Waters , Neil Diamond , Eric Clapton , Emmylou Harris , Tom Petty , JJ Cale , Marianne Faithfull , The Call and Norah Jones .


For publications with The Band or The Hawks see main article The Band .

  • 2001: The Sea to the North
  • 2005: Live at the Wolf
  • 2005: Our Lady Queen of the Angels



  1. ^ Al Kooper: " Music from Big Pink ". Rolling Stone , # 15, 1968
  2. Bob Doerschuk: Garth Hudson - Legendary organist with '60s supergroup The Band . Keyboard Magazine, December 1983

Web links and sources