RIP Dave Hlubek

Molly Hatchet founder dies at 66

By Gary Graff
September, 5, 2017

Molly Hatchet has lost another of its founding members. Dave Hlubek, the group’s lead guitarist from 1971-1987 and again since 2005, died on Sunday (September 3) at the age of 66 after suffering a heart attack.

The guitarist founded Molly Hatchet in 1971 in his native Jacksonville, Florida, and was the group’s original lead vocalist before Danny Joe Brown joined three years later. Hlubek wrote the majority of the group’s songs during his tenure with the band, including “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” “Gator Country” and “Whiskey Man.”

He was booted from the group in 1987 after becoming, by his own admission, “unbearable” due to substance abuse and worked in a number of bands such as Hlubek & Friends, Southern Jam Band, Dixie Allstars, Southern Rock Legends and Skinny Molly. Hlubek rejoined Molly Hatchet in 2005 but had slowed his touring schedule recently due to health reasons.

In a statement on its web site, Molly Hatchet wrote: “It is with great sorrow [we] announce the passing of our beloved friend and band member Dave Hlubek. Amongst his many contributions to southern rock is ‘Flirtin’ With Disaster.’ Our condolences and our prayers go out to his family during this time of loss. He will be missed but never forgotten, as the music lives on through his legacy in Molly Hatchet.”

Molly Hatchet has lost several members over the years, including bassist Banner Thomas earlier this year, drummer Bruce Crump in 2015, guitarist Duane Roland in 2006 and singer Danny Joe Brown in 2005.