The Doobie Brothers have lost one of their own. Drummer Michael Hossack has died at age 65. Confirming the sad news was the band's manager Bruce Cohn, who said in a statement that the rocker, who is also known as "Big Mike", died peacefully at his home in Dubois, Wyoming on Monday, March 12 after a long battle with cancer.
Two of Hossack's bandmates have also released a statement in his memory. Founding member and guitarist Tom Johnston said, "Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers; from our earliest singles, like 'China Grove' and 'Blackwater' to our most recent single 'Brighter Day'."
Johnston continued on to describe Hossack as "an incredible musician, a studio quality drummer." He noted in the end, "The last few years, he was brave and determined to keep on playing in the face of ill health, and I will always admire him for that. He was a terrific dad and family man, and we will all miss him."
The Doobie's singer and songwriter Patrick Simmons, meanwhile, shared his personal memory of Hossack. "When my kids were little, they used to call him Big Mike, because to them he was such a big guy," he said. "But to me and those who knew him, he had an even a bigger heart. We were friends for 43 years and we shared some wonderful adventures together, times I will never forget."
Aside from confirming Hossack's passing, Cohn himself also spoke of the fallen rocker. "Mike was a one-of-a kind guy," the manager remembered. "He was a fighter and fought the big battle with cancer and he was a close personal friend of mine and I speak for Mike's family and the entire band when I say he will be greatly missed."
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Hossack joined The Doobie Brothers in 1971. He played with the band until 1973, lending his drumming to early hits including "Listen to the Music", "China Grove" and "Blackwater". He returned to the band in 1987 and was a mainstay of the group for the next 23 years before he was forced to take a health leave in 2010. He is survived by a son and daughter.