Red Carpet Interview
Nominee – 1996 6th Annual LA Music Awards
Eldon Wayne Hoke (March 23, 1958 – April 19, 1997) was an American musician. Nicknamed El Duce, he was best known as the drummer and lead singer of the self-described “rape rock” band The Mentors. He was part of other acts, including Chinas Comidas and The Screamers before that.
Hoke and the Mentors worked to gain attention through farcical demonstrations of political incorrectness. Their guitarist renamed himself “Sickie Wifebeater”, and the group often appeared in public wearing black executioner hoods. One reviewer suggested that “their lyrics, which consisted mostly of songs about hitting women, stealing from women, and having anal sex with women, made their anonymity necessary.”
During the 1985 U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s hearings into the proliferation of “obscene” lyrics in popular music, the Rev. Jeff Ling recited the lyrics to the Mentors song, “Golden Shower” to musician Frank Zappa, who opposed the hearings. The lyrics, which included the line, “Bend up and smell my anal vapor/Your face is my toilet paper” prompted Zappa and others to denounce the hearings as a farce.
In addition to his musical career, Hoke also worked as an extra in television, movie, and music video productions. Hoke had a supporting role, credited as “El Duce” in the science fiction musical Population: 1.
In the mid-nineties, after the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Hoke began making the claim that Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, had offered to pay Hoke to kill Cobain. Hoke promoted his story in such media outlets as TV’s Jerry Springer Show, The National Enquirer weekly tabloid, and in Nick Broomfield’s documentary film, Kurt & Courtney. El Duce claimed in the film, Kurt & Courtney, that he knew who killed Cobain (giving the name “Alan”), but said he would “let the FBI catch him”. Two days after that interview was filmed, El Duce was hit by a train in the middle of the night and killed. There were no witnesses to his death.
His most regular entertainment gig was on the talk show Hot Seat, where he and his band called their music “rape rock”. He stated that he could tell if women wanted to be raped “by the look in their eyes”, and in general played a wrestling-style villain for the audience. Hoke’s many appearances often culminated in being “forcibly” removed from host Wally George’s soundstage by security personnel.
In another interview, the journalist asks Hoke to “tell me about some chicks you fucked on the road”. Hoke replies, “Well, we pick ’em up…and drop ’em off at Jack in the Box. Truck stops are the goods… you get an airhead at a truck stop and you say ‘bitch, you gotta get down on the dick! Cunt!'” He then sticks his thumbs in his ears, wiggles his fingers and makes silly noises.
Hoke’s final musical performance was given on Friday, April 18, 1997 at Al’s Bar in downtown Los Angeles. He was found dead on the railroad tracks the next day in Riverside, CA after being struck by a train. The coroner’s office gave the official cause of death as “misadventure”.
“El Duce” was mentioned in the underground hit Fist Fuck by Dr. Know in 1986. He was also mentioned in the Anthrax song “I’m the Man”. Hoke briefly appears in a backstage segment of the Self Destruct Tour portion of the Nine Inch Nails video compilation Closure.