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article image'Big Mike' Hossack, Doobie Brothers drummer, dead at 65

By Yukio Strachan     Mar 15, 2012 in Entertainment
Michael Hossack, the gifted drummer of the legendary rock band The Doobie Brothers, died of cancer on Monday at his home surrounded by family in Dubois, Wyoming. He was 65.
“Mike was a one-of-a kind guy and a long-time member of the Doobie Brothers,” said the band's manager, Bruce Cohn, in a statement on the official website. “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.”
Affectionately known as "Big Mike," according to Billboard, Hossack, played with the group from 1971 to 1974 and rejoined in 1987.
Hossack, who grew up in New Jersey, played in various drum and bugle corps as a youngster, setting the foundation for something greater. He said it was this experience that had prepared him for playing in a two-drummer group like the Doobie Brothers.
“People always ask me of it’s hard to play with another drummer," he said, on"I tell them that after playing along with up to twelve other drummers at once in the drum corps, this is a snap!”
According his biography, Hossack, was on his way into a career of law enforcement, before his drumming abilities were needed elsewhere.
Fortunately for Mike, the Doobie Brothers had heard of his abilities and invited him to jam with the band. What Mike didn’t know is that the “jam” turned out to be a real gig and audition at Bimbo’s in San Francisco. After his trial by fire, the band decided that the two drummer concept was just what they needed for that extra percussive punch.
Hossack’s unique drumming style can be heard on hits such as “Listen to The Music”, “Rockin’ Down The Highway”, “Jesus Is Just Alright”, “China Grove”, “Long Train Runnin”, and the band’s first #1 hit single “Blackwater”.
The Doobie Brothers began as a trio in San Jose and evolved into one of the most successful bands the 1970s.
Said Doobie Brothers co-founder Tom Johnston: "Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers ... He was an incredible musician."
He was also an incredible person, his fans say.
He was the type of person who took time to speak with fans, like Perry Spano on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
“Everyone has someone they look up to, but when an idol takes time for a fan….it means the absolute world to us,” he wrote.
Hossack is survived by his son Mike Jr. of Dallas Tx. and daughter Erica Oliver of Denver CO.
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