Veteran rock drummer James Kottak, who is best known for his work with Scorpions and Kingdom Come, has died. He was 61 years old.

Kottak‘s daughter Tobi told TMZ her father passed away Tuesday morning (January 9th) in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was born and lived until 1987, although further details about the exact circumstances weren’t immediately available.

In addition to Scorpions and Kingdom ComeKottak had toured with such bands as Warrant and even DIO for a short run. He was also involved in various other projects, including the 1990s band KRUNK in which he sang lead vocals and played guitar.

Kottak‘s passing was also confirmed by his Kingdom Come bandmate, bassist Johnny “JB” Frank, who took to social media to write: “Rock Forever in Peace Brother James KottakJames is in Heaven Now”.

The Scorpions have commented on the passing of their longtime drummer James Kottak, calling the American musician “a wonderful human being” and a “loving family man.”

On January 9th ,the band released the following statement via social media: “Very sad news… our dear friend & Drummer for 20yrs James Kottak has passed at the age of 61.

James was a wonderful human being, a great musician & loving family man. He was our ‘Brother from another Mother’ & will be truly missed.

RIP James

Former Judas Priest and current KK’S Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owenswrote on social media: “Horrible news about the passing of my buddy, band mate and amazing drummer James Kottak ! We had some great times with A New Revenge/Project Rock!! Here is a on the road video made to the ‘Here’s To Us’ demo! You will be missed”.

Poison drummer Rikki Rockett reacted to his friend’s death, tweeting simply: “RIP … James Kottak.”

Fellow drummer Simon Wright (AC/DCDIO) wrote: “Rest in Peace . James Kottak . Shocking news , a very sad day .”

Kottak‘s stuggles with alcohol were well documented, and Kingdom Come singer Keith St. John told Eddie on his Sirius/XM show, Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, “…he was just through a 48-day program, trying to do the rehab thing. And I don’t really have all the grisly details of the last day. They’re still kind of coming in. I haven’t talked to his sister yet, ’cause everybody’s just too out of it right now.”

Kottak is survived by his former wife, drummer Athena Bass (sister of Mötley Crüe‘s Tommy Lee) and their three children,  Matthew, and Bass‘ children  from two prior relationships, Tobi and Miles.

additional source: blabbermouth.net

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  • Dana on

    Firs, former W.A.S.P and L.A. Guns drummer, Steven Riley, now Kottak. It’s been a bad couple of months for drummers.

    Very sad…

  • Michael Minutaglio on

    Kingdom Come was so underrated. They got a lot of flack for sounding like Zeppelin…but they were really good. Their first 2 albums are not bad at all…and I played drums in HS and loved “Get It On” because of the drum solo at the end…and made me a fan of his!!

    Very sad…more of my childhood gone!!

  • Taskerofpuppets on

    I, too, loved this band in 87’ & 88’ right before I became a Metallica fan…I was 15. If not for going to see them and VH & Scorps at the Monsters of Rock @RFK in DC that fateful June 10, 1988 I’d might not become a diehard METALLICA fan until much later.

    Kingdom Come, they still rock. They rocked both times I saw them in DC & Memphis that summer. While they did kinda embraced a Zepp type feel & vibe and MTV played up the hype, they looked more like Cinderella & G’nR than Zeppelin. Lenny Wolf & Kottak really stood out to me and learning that song on drums was fun back then.

    RIP Jimmy Kottak

  • Joe Puccio on

    James did a solid job drumming on Warrant’s Ultraphobic in 1995.

  • Charles Clinchot on

    Very sad in a morbid way kinda Spinal Tapish

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