the Case of E. T. Hooley
Cleveland, 1967-69, 1973-4
The Case of E.T. Hooley played heavy psychedelic blues rock in the manner of Cream and Jimi Hendrix. At their peak they were one of the biggest bands in town and had a large following. The original band included singer/guitarist Chip Fitzgerald (formerly the lead singer of the Disciples), bassist Dale Peters, guitarists Richard Shack and Donny Baker (formerly of the Missing Lynx), and drummer Paul Klonowski. The band debuted at the Midnight Hour on August 29, 1967. According to a 1968 comment by Shack, the band's name came from a Scotland Yard crime caper.
The band took off fast and were a big name by the fall of 1967. Not content with being a local dance band, they wrote original songs, and by January of 1968. they hit the road for several months looking to break out. They played the Electric Circus and Trude Heller's in New York, and after returning home, spent a few weeks in Puerto Rico. They returned to New York for more gigs in the spring and summer. Sometime during those out of town shows Donny Baker left and the band was a four piece.
The band returned to Cleveland in August, 1968, with a new drummer, Kenny Mills (from Detroit), and picked right back up playing to huge crowds at the Hullaballoos, the Grande Ballrooms in Detroit and Cleveland, and then went to Los Angeles to try again and get a record deal. While there, they recorded three songs with Slim Harpo that appeared on the1970 "He Knew The Blues" LP released shortly after Slim's sudden passing. The songs are "The Hippy Song", "Jody Man", and "Dynamite". The band was unable to get a record deal and returned to Cleveland in late 1968. A few months later, Mills (who used the name K.J. Knight in Detroit) left to join a band back in his hometown, and a few months after Dale Peters joined the James Gang and the group disbanded. There was an August, 1969 listing for the band playing with Bill DeArango which was probably a one-off.
Around August 1973 Chip Fitzgerald revived the band name with different musicians, including teenage guitar whiz Todd Sharp, formerly of Fleet, Dave Snyder on bass, and Tom Shrontz (formerly of the Brambles/Black Rose) on drums. The band played the Cleveland college bar scene for a year or two, including a steady Friday gig at the Viking Saloon. They also played an opening slot for Roy Buchanan. This version of the band ended in July 1974, supposedly with an album recorded or in process.
Todd Sharp joined Hall and Oates touring band in the late 70s. Richard Shack rejoined Dale Peters in the a late lineup of the James Gang. Paul Klonowski and Donny Baker played with Mr Stress.