Former Scorpions Drummer James Kottak Passed Away At 61

Former Scorpions Drummer James Kottak Passed Away At 61 | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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The music world mourns the loss of a rock icon as former Scorpions and Kingdom Come drummer, James Kottak, has passed away at the age of 61, as confirmed by TMZ.

Known for his dynamic drumming and contributions to the hard rock scene

Kottak’s career in the world of music left an indelible mark.

“James was a wonderful human being, a great musician and loving family man. He was our ‘brother from another mother’ and will be truly missed.”

Originally from Louisville, Kottak played in various hard rock bands during his career, including Buster Brown, Montrose, McAuley Schenker Group, Dio, and Warrant. He gained significant success with Kingdom Come, whose 1988 debut album reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and achieved gold status, drawing comparisons to Led Zeppelin.

In 1996, Kottak joined the Scorpions, becoming their longest-tenured drummer until 2016. He contributed to several studio albums, including Eye II Eye, Unbreakable, Humanity: Hour I, Sting in the Tail, and Return to Forever. However, he was eventually dismissed and replaced by Motorhead’s Mikkey Dee.


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James Kottak faced a long battle with alcoholism, leading to his arrest and imprisonment in Dubai in 2014.

Despite seeking treatment at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre Antigua, he parted ways with the Scorpions. Kottak remained on good terms with his former bandmates, acknowledging the decision to move on with new personnel.

“Mikkey came into the band, and it was going to be temporary,” said Kottak in 2018. “It didn’t feel like being fired. … They’re great guys like that. I’m so grateful to them. Put it this way: 21 years is a lifetime.”

In 2022, Kottak participated in a controversial Kingdom Come performance at the Sweden Rock Festival, drawing attention and concern from fellow musicians.

“This is a sad situation … James is a good dude … He’s a father, brother, son, husband, and friend … But sadly, you are correct … the only person that can save James is James. He has to want it,” commented Robbie Crane, former Ratt bassist and member of Black Star Riders.

The music world mourns the loss of James Kottak, remembering him for his contributions to rock music and his enduring impact on those who knew him.