Hosker left behind a prodigious discography and performance legacy that stretched from grungy pop-punk to bludgeoning noise music and ol' timey swamp country. There was seemingly not a single instrument he didn't teach himself.
This December, those who loved the man will be celebrating his life on what would have been his 47th birthday. Of course, it's going down at Churchill's Pub. And of course, the lineup reads like a who's who of loud-and-dirty Miami.
Crossfade spoke with Hosker's longtime bandmate and best friend, Rob Elba, to learn more about the upcoming concert and the music charity it benefits.
Crossfade: Tell us about the Dan Hosker Music Continuum.
Rob Elba: Dan's sister, Chris, started it. It's going to be in his name for the school that him and his sister went to in Massachusetts, for the music department. Like, if a kid wants to do music and they can't afford it, it'll be theirs.
How did the tribute show come about?
Me and Rat Bastard put it together. When Dan passed, we knew we wanted to do something. When something like that happens, you're afraid people are going to be sad and then just forget about it. Dan was a part of so many people down here. So we said, "Let's do something around his birthday." Whatever we raise will go toward the fund. I'll be a good way to think about him once a year.
Will people be covering Dan's music?
I didn't tell people they should, but a couple have asked if it would be cool. I know some people are doing stuff he did with The Bikes.
Would a cover of The Holy Terrors qualify as a "Dan Hosker cover"? How did you guys write songs?
The lyrics were pretty much mine, but the music was mostly Dan.
A couple of other people in his family are coming down. He's got a nephew Joe that's 19 and he's a guitar player. He's a cool kid. He's actually a lot like Dan. This quiet kid, but a really deep thinker. We're gonna do a couple songs with him.
[Dan's] got a half-brother, John, that's coming down. He wants to sing this song by The Bikes called "Drive Home." He's gonna sing that with the other guys in The Bikes. His stepbrother, Mike, who goes by the name HOSKA, is gonna be performing too. There will be a lot of family involved.
How did The Holy Terrors come together?
We met down here in 1984. It's funny. At this point, everyone assumes I come from Boston. I'm from New York. Everyone assumes me and Dan grew up in Boston together, but we totally didn't. When we met in 1984, he moved back to Boston and I went up with him. That was the first time I'd ever been there. We moved back in 1990. That's when we formed The Terrors.
Why did you move back to Miami?
Oh, I know. Why come back down when you've actually escaped. [Laughs]. For me, it was a family thing. When I moved up [to Boston], I got married and had my daughter. My wife really missed her family [in Florida]. I told Dan, "I'm moving back down." And he said, "I'll come back down too."
From '90 to '94 and '95 was really great down here. We just happened to come down when this whole scene started. It was actually better than what we left in Boston. Eventually, it all died, of course.
How did Dan come to be a figure in the experimental music scene? Did you guys have a pre-existing relationship to that sort of stuff down here?
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Dan fell in with the weirdos, really. Dan was an amazing guitar player. But when I met him, he couldn't play shit. He sucked. But he never stopped. He never stopped exploring. When we came down here in '90, he started coming into his own.
One band was definitely not enough for Dan. I would play in my band and do my own thing. But Dan would be out every night meeting different people. I hear from people all the time, "Oh, I played with Dan, too!" He spread himself far and wide. When his family came down, they couldn't believe how many people were at his funeral. They knew he was down here and played music. But they had no idea that he left such a legacy.
Dan Hosker Memorial Show. Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. There is a barbecue from 6 to 8 p.m. and the music starts at 8:45. Cover costs $5 and all proceeds go to the Dan Hosker Music Continuum. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.