Major Hoople's Boarding House Band

Rocky Howell

Black and white photo of Rocky Howell.From a very early age Rocky Howell was interested in music. He played his first public concert in grade 6 at St. Pat. School. This was in 1960.

Rocky says…I met Peter Padalino in 1960 and started gigging local parties and get-togethers playing the music of the day.

In 1965 Peter and I started to add members, drummer Rick Riddell and in 1966 became the Shan-da-leers with local disc-jockey Larry Shannon as our manager.

In the next two years, we added Dave Lodge and then Gail Selkirk, with the help of our manager Larry Shannon we changed our name and Major Hoople’s Boarding House was Born.

In 1969, we had our first commercial hit record ‘Beautiful Morning” sang by Gail with amazing harmonies backing her up. This became “Hooples” mantra: Lead singer, incredible harmony in back-up, with interwoven melodies.

This combination produced numerous hit singles and Major Hoople’s became the most worked and recognized band on the university and high school circuit. We recorded in New York a couple of times, in Montreal, Toronto and Detroit.

In 1974, Dave wrote a tune for us called “I’m Running After You” in which I sang lead and this song became a top international hit record. The touring followed suit.

In 1975, we recorded the back-up single “You Girl” also penned by Dave; once again I sang the lead. And the music and touring continued. The band played from coast to coast and down into the states.

In 1976, we added James Leroy to the band, although successful it was not to last.

In 1977, the band took a much-needed break. Everyone went on to do their own thing. I formed the “Rocky Howell Band” playing prog. Rock and originals.

In 1979, all the members of Hooples decided it was time for a reunion. Back together with newly released material the reunion was so successful it was repeated again in 1980.

Hooples played part-time in 1980-83. During this time we played for many prestigious organizations such as the Toronto Blue Jays, the Wayne Gretzkey tennis tournament etc.

During this time, we also recorded our 1st album. “Someone”, another Lodge tune, which I sang pulled from the album, hit the charts in top-10 fashion. Most of the songs from this album were released and charted well across Canada.

The band went on until the untimely death of Dave Lodge in 1986 due to cancer.

1988 – 1994, Hoople’s played part-time throughout Ontario. It was during this time we picked up Ralph Hetke as our keyboard player.

In 2010, Peter, Gail, and myself reformed Major Hoople’s Boarding House along with Ralph and newly acquired Drummer Ron Duke. History is repeating the music magic.