Doobie Brothers drummer Michael “Big Mike” Hossack has passed after a long battle with cancer at home in Wyoming.He was 65. Originally from New Jersey, Hossack served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam conflict, and was set to become a police officer on his return in 1969 when he was asked to audition for California rock band “Mourning Rain”, who shared management with The Doobies. He there became a regular fixture in the Northern California rock scene.
As Mourning Rain was calling it quits in 1971, Mike got an invitation to audition…alongside Doobies founding drummer John Hartman, establishing the band’s trademark two-drummer rhythm section that produced the hit albums Toulouse Street, The Captain and Me, and What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. Mike had started playing drums at age 12 as part of a drum-and-bugle corps, to which he credited his ability to play with other percussionists. “People always ask me if it’s hard to play with another drummer. I tell them that after playing along with 12 others at once in the drum corps, this is a snap”.
He quit the band in 1974 after the period of constant touring and hard living that landed singer Tom Johnston in the hospital, but rejoined in the 80’s and had been playing with them until he was diagnosed in 2010.