A Rockapaedia Obituary
Band: The Doobie Brothers
Michael Hossack died from cancer aged sixty-five on 12th March 2012 at his home in Dubois, Wyoming, U.S.A. Michael is survived by his son Mike Jr., his daughter Erica Rose and his brother Eric.
Michael was born Michael Joseph Hossack on 17th October 1946 in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Known as "Big Mike" to his former band members, Michael started playing drums in the Little Falls Cadets, a Boy Scout drum and bugle corps, as well as Our Lady of Lourdes Cadets and Fair Lawn Cadets. His discipline to play alongside other drummers came from the teachings of his instructors, all to whom he gave much credit.
After graduating from high school, Michael served for four years in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War era. After being honorably discharged in nineteen-sixty-nine, he returned home to New Jersey to pursue a career in law enforcement, but a close friend talked him into auditioning for a California-based band called Mourning Reign. After a grueling stint in upstate New York, the band relocated to the San Francisco bay area and signed with a production company that had also signed the newly formed rock band, the Doobie Brothers.
Although Mourning Reign was short-lived, Michael Hossack's abilities gained considerable exposure and having learned of his availability, he was invited to jam with the Doobies in 1971. Little did he know that the "jam session" was an actual audition which took place at Bimbo's 365 Club. After hearing founding drummer John Hartman and Hossack together, the Doobies decided that having two drummers would beef up the rhythm section and so adopted the "dual drummers" sound pioneered by bands such as the Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers Band. Michael Hossack played alongside Hartman on the band's breakthrough albums Toulouse Street in 1972, The Captain and Me in 1973 and What Were Once Vices are Now Habits in 1974, which spawned the band's first number 1 hit, "Black Water".
After a grueling ten-month tour in 1973, Michael left the Doobies. He went on to join Bobby Winkelman's band Bonaroo which released one album then disbanded shortly afterwards. In 1976, he had a brief stint with a band called DFK (or the Dudek Finnigan Krueger Band), with Les Dudek, Mike Finnigan and Jim Krueger. In 1977, Michael Hossack became a partner in Chateau Recorders studio in North Hollywood. An avid outdoors man, when Mike wasn't in the studio or on tour, he was either riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, hunting or fishing. A family man as well, Mike enjoyed spending as much time as possible raising his two children.
In 1987 former band member Keith Knudsen called Mike and asked if he would participate in a series of benefit concerts for veterans of the Vietnam War. Being a veteran himself, Mike agreed and the Doobie Brothers, after a five-year hiatus, were back together again. Due to the huge success of these concerts, the Doobie Brothers decided to reform with band members Pat Simmons, Tom Johnston, John Hartman, Tiran Porter, Bobby LaKind and Michael Hossack. Not long afterwards, they were offered a recording contract from Capitol Records. Since then, Mike's unique style can be heard on the albums Cycles, Brotherhood, Rockin' down the Highway: The Wildlife Concert, Sibling Rivalry, Live at Wolf Trap and World Gone Crazy.
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