Eric Haydock, Original Hollies Bassist, Dies

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The early Hollies, with Eric Haydock at top right

Eric Haydock, the bassist who co-founded the British band The Hollies in 1962 and remained in the lineup until 1966, died January 5, 2019. The cause of death was not disclosed but Haydock was known to have been in ill health for some time. He was 75.

Haydock’s death was confirmed by Bobby Elliott, who replaced original drummer Don Rathbone in the group, in a social media post. Elliott noted that the musician died at his home in the U.K.

Elliott wrote, “Along with Tony [Hicks], Eric and I were the rhythm section that created the springboard for [Allan] Clarke, Hicks and [Graham] Nash to launch that famous three-way Hollies harmony…On the early package tours, Dave Clark, the Kinks and artists of the period would watch from the wings as we effortlessly rocked the screaming theatre audiences into a frenzy…Although Eric left the Hollies in 1966, I occasionally listen enthralled by our BBC and Abbey Road recording sessions and dear Eric masterfully playing his six string bass.”

All four of the other original band members–Clarke, Nash, Hicks and Elliott–survive Haydock.

Eric John Haydock was born on February 3, 1943 [some biographies say 1942], in Stockport, Cheshire, U.K. Haydock, one of the first British musicians to play a six-string Fender bass, was a member of the Deltas when he heard Allan Clarke and Graham Nash singing together as Ricky and Dane Young. Haydock invited them to join the Deltas, which soon became the Dominators of Rhythm and then the Hollies.

Eric Haydock in 2010 at the Hollies’ Rock Hall induction

Clarke once said of Haydock, “Eric was a great guy; he lifted our spirits when we were down, he was the joker. But he was also very deep. As one of our sleeve notes (from Bus Stop) said, Eric Haydock is an enigma. He never wanted to say anything to anybody. He just wanted to get up and play bass.”

Haydock appeared on all of the Hollies’ earliest singles and albums, including “Just One Look,” “Look Through Any Window,” “I’m Alive” and others.

Watch this clip of “I’m Alive” from 1965.

Related: Our interview with “Bus Stop” songwriter Graham Gouldman

In the spring of 1966, following an eight-week American tour, Haydock was fired from the group and replaced by Bernie Calvert.

Haydock formed his own band, Haydock’s Rockhouse, which failed to find success. He took part in a 1981 Hollies reunion in the U.K. for the TV program Top of the Pops but did not appear on the 1983 reunion album What Goes Around…

Related: When the Hollies first played New York City

In 2005, members of the Hollies asked the High Court in the U.K. to jail Haydock for allegedly flouting the terms of a 1998 agreement not to tour under the name Hollies. The request was not granted.

Haydock was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of the Hollies

Best Classic Bands Staff

14 Comments so far

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  1. Rob
    #1 Rob 6 January, 2019, 21:03

    Noticed a minor error- Mr. Haydock wasn’t with The Hollies for “Stop! Stop! Stop!”; he left just after the “Bus Stop” sessions.

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    • Jeff Tamarkin
      Jeff Tamarkin 7 January, 2019, 09:42


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    • Jeff Tamarkin
      Jeff Tamarkin 7 January, 2019, 09:44

      Actually he wasn’t on “Bus Stop” either. We’ve made the correction. Thanks.

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    • Tony M
      Tony M 13 January, 2019, 10:30

      Eric failed to attend the “After The Fox” session and Jack Bruce deputised. Klaus Voorman then stood in for a live date at the London Palladium, John Paul Jones played on “Don’t Run And Hide” and then Bernie Calvert (who would eventually replace him permanently) played on “Bus Stop” on 18th May 1966 and on a Scandinavian tour. Eric briefly returned to the band and appeared on TOTP 23 June 1966 to promote “Bus Stop”. Eventually in July 1966 it was announced that he’d left the group.

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    • nlkink
      nlkink 19 May, 2023, 09:53

      I understand that he agreed to come back temporarily to help out with the sessions for Stop! Stop! Stop!

      Reply this comment
  2. Will Birch
    #2 Will Birch 7 January, 2019, 02:10

    Bobby Elliott was not the original drummer in Hollies. That was a Don Rathbone. RIP Eric Haydock.

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  3. Brio
    #3 Brio 7 January, 2019, 13:30

    Eric Haydock was born Eric Haddock.

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  4. Andy
    #4 Andy 8 January, 2019, 10:05

    It’s awful we are losing all the greats from the 60’s. See them now if they are still performing

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  5. kcladyinca
    #5 kcladyinca 9 January, 2019, 00:38

    Brio .. wrong info. He was born Eric John Haydock.

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    • Tony M
      Tony M 13 January, 2019, 10:32

      He was born Eric John Haddock but changed his name to Haydock on becoming a professional musician.

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      • Deb
        Deb 18 September, 2020, 18:46

        Yes my mum went to school with him and said his name was Haddock.

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    • Les Ludwig
      Les Ludwig 19 March, 2020, 16:07

      Definitely Haddock, worked with him at Needhams Foundry, Portwood, Stockport. Other members of his family worked there also.

      Reply this comment
  6. David
    #6 David 27 March, 2020, 15:32

    According to Allan Clarke, Eric Haydock was not fired from the Hollies; but, left voluntarily after band traveling become too much for the newly married bassist.

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