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Doobie Brothers Drummer Passes Away

Mike Hossack has died of cancer at the age of 65,

Hossack was a longtime member of he Doobie Brothers having joined the band first in 1971.

"Mike was a one-of-a kind guy and a longtime member of the Doobie Brothers," his manager Bruce Cohn said in a statement. "He was a fighter and fought the big battle with cancer and I speak for Mike's family and the entire band when I say he will be greatly missed."

New Jersey-born Hossack began playing drums at the age of 12. After serving in the Navy in Vietnam in the late 1960s he was planning a career in law enforcement before getting his first gig with a California band called Mourning Reign.

That led to an invitation to join the northern California band The Doobie Brothers in 1971, where he became the second drummer and was heard on early hit songs like "Blackwater", "Listen to the Music" and "China Grove."

He left in 1973 to form Bonaroo, and he played in various other bands and owned a Hollywood recording studio. He rejoined the Doobie Brothers in 1987 and to play a series of benefit concerts for Vietnam war veterans, and remained with them when the band reformed to make albums like "Cycles", "Brotherhood" and 2010's "World Gone Crazy."

A bad motorcycle accident in 2001 nearly ended Hossack's life, but he survived the crash and underwent months of gruelling physiotherapy before he eventually rejoined the band and he played with them all the way until 2010 when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Founding member and guitarist Tom Johnston said Hossack was "an incredible musician, a studio quality drummer."

"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," Johnston said on Tuesday.

RIP Mike Hossack, 1946 - 2012

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