Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack died of cancer at the age of 65 on March 12, 2012. Hossack played in the band in from 1971 to 1973, and later from 1987 to 2012 for series of benefit concerts and reunion shows.
The Paterson, New Jersey native almost chose a different line of work from music. Here are five things to know about his history with music and the Doobies.
1. Hossack started playing drums at the age of 12 in the Boy Scouts Drum and Bugle Corp. with Little Falls Cadets. There he learned the discipline of playing with other drummers.
People always ask me of it's hard to play with another drummer, Hassock was quoted as saying on the Doobie Brothers website. I tell them that after playing along with up to twelve other drummers at once in the drum corps, this is a snap!
2. After serving four years in the Navy during the Vietnam War, Hossack returned to New Jersey in 1969, expecting to pursue a career in law enforcement. Instead he was convinced to audition for a band from California called Mourning Reign. The band spent a winter playing shows in upstate New York before returning to California, and bringing Hossack to the San Francisco Bay Area.
3. Mourning Reign signed onto the same record label as the Doobie Brothers, but disbanded soon after. Hossack was invited to jam with the Doobie Brothers one night, which turned out to be a live gig at Bimbo's in San Francisco. Impressed with his performance, the Doobies asked Hassock to join the band.
4. Hossack joined the band in the recording studio for their second album, Toulouse Street, released in 1972. He also laid down drum tracks for two more albums, The Captain and Me (1973) and What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974).
5. Hossack left the ban in 1973 after ten months of touring that left him exhausted. He went on to start his own project Bonaroo, recording a single album in 1975 for Warner Brothers before disbanding. In 1976 he briefly played with a band called DFK. Afterward he focused on producing music as a partner with Chateau Records and raising his children.