Michael Hossack: Drummer with the Doobie Brothers

 

When the drummer Michael Hossack jammed with the Doobie Brothers at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco in June 1971, he proved such a natural fit alongside founding drummer John Hartman that the other two mainstays of the group, the guitarists, vocalists and songwriters Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmmons, asked him to perform with them at the Fillmore West. Within weeks, "Big Mike" Hossack and "Little John" Hartman forged a drumming partnership to match those driving the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers.

With the addition of bassist and baritone singer Tiran Porter, the Doobies developed the trademark blend of sunny harmonies, rock, rhythm and blues, country, funk and boogie that endeared them to millions of fans and radio programmers throughout the 1970s. Hossack drummed on three of their definitive albums, Toulouse Street (1972), The Captain And Me (1973 – featuring the explosive band composition "Without You") and What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974) as well as the enduring hit singles "Listen To The Music", "Jesus Is Just Alright", "Long Train Runnin'", "China Grove" and the US No 1 "Black Water", but left at the end of 1973 after a particularly gruelling tour.

A Vietnam war veteran, Hossack returned to the group when they reformed in 1987 after a five-year hiatus to play a series of benefits for Vietnam vets. As the reformation became permanent, he continued with the many subsequent incarnations of the Doobies, first alongside Hartman, from 1993 with Keith Knudsen, the drummer who had replaced him two decades earlier – until he died in 2005 – and finally with Ed Toth of Vertical Horizon. Hossack contributed to the band's last significant hit, "The Doctor", in 1989, and featured on several more live and studio albums, including the best-selling Cycles (1989) and World Gone Crazy (2010), on which the musicians reunited with Ted Templeman, the producer who had helped shape their classic sound.

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1946, Hossack was a member of several Boy Scout marching bands during his teens and often credited his instructors with instilling the discipline of a team player in him. "People always ask me if it's hard to play with another drummer," he said. "I tell them that after playing along with up to 12 other drummers at once in the drum corps, this is a snap!"

After four years in the Navy he was set to enter the New Jersey police force in 1969 when a friend suggested heaudition for Mourning Reign, a Californian outfit in need of a drummerfor a series of engagements on the East Coast. He accompanied them back to the Bay Area, where they signed to the same production company as theDoobies. After the demise of Mourning Reign, the Harley-Davidson-riding Hossack was a shoo-in for the SanJosé group with a Hells Angels following and a name derived from the local slang for a joint.

In 1974, he helped form Bonaroo and recorded their sole eponymous album. The next year, they took part in The Warner Brothers Looney Tunes package tour of Europe which also featured the Doobies, Little Feat, Graham Central Station, Montrose and Tower of Power. In 1977, he became a partner in Chateau Recorders, a studio in North Hollywood where assorted Doobies, Devo and Ronnie Wood recorded. Hossack's tenure with the reunited Doobies was interrupted by a motorcycle accident in June 2001 but he was back behind the kit within a few months until he was diagnosed with cancer in 2010.

Michael Hossack, drummer and songwriter: born Paterson, New Jersey 17 October 1946; (one daughter, one son); died Dubois, Wyoming 12 March 2012.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Head Porter / Concierge

£16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks