WHO Eric Howk, the 32-year-old guitarist, music producer and partner at iconic Seattle businesses like the Crocodile, the Forge and Ghost Gallery. Born to arts journalists in Wasilla, Alaska, who named him after Eric Clapton, Howk was surrounded by guitars, typewriters, cameras, good books and hand tools from the beginning.
FANBOY After years of watching Singles and Hype! on an endless loop, 17-year-old Howk bought a one-way ticket to Seattle and arrived in town armed with a backpack and zero friends or family. “The first time I snuck underage into the old Cha Cha and saw Kim Warnick from the Fastbacks tending bar, I shrieked with delight and probably made an ass of myself. I was pretty much a poster child, small-town fanboy.”
THE LOOK “I always try to look like I could sit in with Fleetwood Mac. I don’t own many T-shirts and I think I only have one pair of shorts. I’ll wear a long-sleeve dress shirt and a leather jacket on the hottest day of the year. It’s not premeditated: I just never really learned how to dress for summer. Most of us Alaskans drop the ball when it comes to beachwear. I have a pretty serious collection of vintage watches and feel naked without one on my wrist.”
ICONS “Early Todd Rundgren. He could go from partying with Blondie and the New York Dolls straight into producing a Hall & Oates record without changing a thing. Also, JFK. JFK’s America was a damn handsome nation. I feel like my wife is way more stylish than I am. Most days, I’ll wait for her to get dressed and then copy her color scheme without telling her.”
NEXT Howk continues to record with Shelby Earl and Portugal. The Man, and to produce and tour. Look for one of his recent tracks on the forthcoming Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. He and good friend Ben Obee are also currently beta testing an app for musicians called OnTour, designed to help bands manage their musical lives on the road. It’s scheduled to launch this summer.
Photo by Lauren Max