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HOWIE EPSTEIN

220px-Howie_Epstein
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Full Name: Howard Norman Epstein

Description: Bassist, US

Known For: Known for his work with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Instruments: Bass

Music Styles: Rock

Location: United States of America

Date Born: 21st July 1955
Location Born: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America

Date Died: 23rd February 2003

Location Died: Santa Fe, United States of America

CONTACT DETAILS
Web Site: Howie Epstein

at Myspace

Other Links: See below:

YOUTUBE VIDEO

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Howie Epstein

Epstein was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in a musical household. His father, Sam, was a top local record producer who worked with various rock and roll and soul groups in the 1950s and ’60s. Howie often visited the music studios, watching his father work and occasionally making recordings under his dad’s watchful eye at a very young age. “I would go into the bars with my father to check out the bands he was thinking of working with,” Epstein recalls, “and a couple of times he let me use groups he was working with as back-up musicians for stuff I’d record.”[citation needed] Howie attended Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin, as part of the class of 1973.

Epstein was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in a musical household, but didn’t start playing the bass until a couple of years before joining the Heartbreakers.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Howie played in a number of both rock and roll and country Milwaukee bands that were regionally popular, like MHG Experience, Egz, Winks, Forearm Smash, and The Craze.

When he’d gone as far as he could go in Milwaukee, Epstein decided to move to New York, but before he could pack his gear, he was lured to the West Coast by a drummer friend to play bass in a new band that singer-songwriter John Hiatt was forming in LA.

He stuck with Hiatt for two years and two albums (Slug Line and Two Bit Monsters) and also toured briefly with Cindy Bullens.

Epstein then took a gig backing Del Shannon. While playing on a Del Shannon album that Tom Petty was producing (Drop Down And Get Me), Epstein impressed Tom with his ability. So when Ron Blair, who had been bassist with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers since their inception in 1976, announced that he had enough of touring, Epstein was recruited into the line-up.

In addition to playing bass and singing back-up vocals, he played mandolin. His harmonies with Tom Petty were a Heartbreakers’ trademark. He preferred Fender basses (particularly the Precision and Jazz models), but performed on Hofner, Rickenbacker and Vox instruments sometimes.

Epstein played bass on recordings by Eric Andersen, Bob Dylan, Carlene Carter, Johnny Cash, John Hiatt, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, John Prine, Linda Ronstadt, Del Shannon, The Textones, The Village People, and Warren Zevon.

While playing on a Del Shannon album that Tom Petty was producing (Drop Down And Get Me), Epstein impressed Tom with his ability. YOUTUBE: Tom Petty – vocals, guitar Mike Campbell – guitar Benmont Tench – keyboard, vocals Howie Epstein – bass, vocals Scott Thurston – guitar, vocals Steve Ferrone – drums

Epstein died of complications due to drug use; but an overdose has not been reported. Investigators were told Epstein had been using heroin.

Personal life[edit]

Epstein formed a creative and personal partnership with Carlene Carter following her divorce from the English singer-songwriter Nick Lowe and return to the United States in 1988. He helped Carter re-establish her career. Epstein produced her hit album I Fell in Love (1990), and co-authored the title track with his longtime collaborator, Milwaukee writer Perry M. Lamek. Carter’s vocals “I Fell In Love” earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1991. Three years later, Epstein produced Carter’s follow-up CD Little Love Letters. Epstein and Carter were engaged in the mid to late 1990s, but they never married.

Epstein died of complications due to drug use; but an overdose was not reported. Investigators were told Epstein had been using heroin. Howie was driven to St. Vincent Hospital by his girlfriend, who described him as “under distress.” Epstein was taking antibiotics for an illness, and he had recently suffered from flu, stomach problems and an abscess on his leg, friends said.

He died on February 23, 2003, at the age of 47. Reportedly, he was extremely despondent over the death of his 16-year-old German Shepherd a few days earlier. In recent interviews, Tom Petty admitted that Epstein’s behavior had become unpredictable: “He was just degenerating on us to the point where we thought keeping Howie in the band was actually doing him more harm than getting rid of him. His personal problems were vast and serious.” He was interred at Second Home Cemetery in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

He died on February 23, 2003 at the age of 47.

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