Michael Hossack, who drummed off-and-on with the Doobie Brothers since 1971, died from cancer on Monday at the age of 65, Entertainment Weekly and other sources are reporting. Hossack, who the rest of the band knew affectionately as “Big Mike,” was a Navy veteran, joining the Doobie Brothers after a stint in Vietnam. The Doobies added Hossack in 1971 after hearing him jam with founding drummer John Hartman, producing the double drummer sound that bands like the Grateful Dead had already embraced. Hossack played with the band for many of their first hits, like the infectious bluegrass-infused Mississippi ode “Black Water” and perennial road trip favorite “Listen To The Music.”

Hossack left the band in 1973, playing for brief stints with the should-be-but-isn’t-festival-namesake band Bonaroo and a Les Dudek-led project called DFK. He rejoined the Doobies in 1987, and played with the group until he developed cancer this year. A true Doobie through and through, Hossack also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and riding Harleys. Tom Johnston, Doobies founder, remembers Big Mike on the band’s website as “A terrific dad and a family man, and we will all miss him.”

Advertisement