Band members released this statement on its website today:
We are sad to announce that the New Years Eve show in Columbus will be the last ekoostik hookah show with Ed McGee. After nine great years together, Ed has decided to move on to a new phase in his musical carreer. We would like to thank him for all that he brought to our lives through his music, and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Dave Katz, Eric Lanese, Cliff Starbuck, Steve Sweney
A letter from Ed follows below.
A personal message from Ed McGee:
When I was asked by the band to audition in late summer of ’96, I was already a huge fan of ekoostik hookah. Even before Hookah began, I’d been a fan of Dave’s work in Local Color and was a loyal supporter of Cliff and Steve’s band Supplication. When Hookah began, I attended the first shows and continued to attend every possible Wednesday show for years, also traveling city to city with friends (as you all have done so tirelessly) to see them on other days. I was hooked, and happily so, so it was nothing short of a dream come true to get the chance to play with Hookah.
I considered it a great honor and an opportunity for me to learn and grow as a musician. I remember early on saying, “playing with Hookah feels like asking your dad for the car keys Friday night and him saying ‘here, take the space shuttle instead.’” Joining ekoostik hookah catapulted me into a whole new realm of music and the life of a traveling band. I had nine incredible years with the band, so many stories to tell, and I am eternally grateful to Dave, Eric, Cliff and Steve for the musical and personal growth granted me by that experience.
I am also grateful for all the love and support given to me over the years by Hookah’s faithful supporters. Many of my best friends right now are people I met through this band. It is a blessing to have been able to share music and friendship with you all this time and I pray it continues.
In keeping with the ongoing search for musical and personal growth, I now must move on. New Years Eve will be my last show with ekoostik hookah. I honestly feel it’s best for me, for the rest of the band, and ultimately, the fans, that this change takes place. I will always cherish the music of ekoostik hookah and I look forward to the possibility of reconnecting musically in the future. I’ll also cherish the long friendships I’ve enjoyed with Dave, Eric, Cliff and Steve and am confident that long after our ways part musically, our friendships will endure.
My heartfelt thanks to you all,
And here’s another announcement from the band…the hiatus continues:
We can’t thank you enough for your continued support and good spirits in light of our recent ‘hiatus’ announcement. We hope you will join us in maintaining these good spirits as we now announce that New Years Eve will be the final performance of this line-up ekoostik hookah.
As for the future, we will still be taking a hiatus after the New Years show. After having some time to step back and evaluate our situation, we will decide on our next course of action. At this time we have no definite plans, but we do hope to return sometime in the spring of 2006. We respectfully ask for your patience and understanding during this time of change. We hope that upon our return we will get to once again experience the joy of performing for each and every one of you that has supported us for the past 14+ years.
In the meantime, we plan on using every remaining show as a chance to celebrate what we’ve accomplished musically and to give our thanks to the kind people we’ve come to know as friends in other cities. Your energy and support over the years has sustained us and we want you to join us in our celebration.
Once again, thank you for all that you’ve given us for so long. Now let us give it back…a few more times.
Dave Katz, Eric Lanese, Ed McGee, Cliff Starbuck, Steve Sweney