“James Kottak, Former Drummer for Scorpions and Kingdom Come, Passes Away at 61”

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

James was a wonderful human being, a great musician, and a loving family man” – the Scorpions


“Former Scorpions and Kingdom Come Drummer James Kottak Dies at 61”

Former drummer for Scorpions and Kingdom Come, James Kottak, passed away at the age of 61, as confirmed by a social media post from the Scorpions.

The band expressed their sadness, stating, “Very sad news. Our dear friend and drummer for 20 years James Kottak has passed at the age of 61. 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. Rock‘n’roll forever. RIP James.”

Born in Louisville, KY, in 1962, Kottak co-founded Kingdom Come in Hamburg, Germany, in 1987. He played on the band’s first two albums before briefly joining The Cult. Kottak joined the Scorpions in 1996 and contributed to all the band’s albums from 1999’s Eye II Eye to 2016’s Return to Forever.


James Kottak’s versatile career included stints with several prominent bands and artists. In addition to his notable contributions to Kingdom Come and Scorpions, Kottak played with Montrose, Warrant, Dio, the McAuley Schenker Group, Buster Brown, Black Sheep, and Wild Horses, which featured his former Kingdom Come bandmate Rick Steier on guitar. Additionally, he had his own band named Kottak. His diverse musical journey showcased his talent and adaptability across various rock genres.


James Kottak, like many touring musicians, faced challenges related to alcohol. In April 2014, during a Scorpions tour in the United Arab Emirates, he was arrested and charged with various offenses related to alcohol, leading to a month-long jail sentence and a fine. Following this incident, Kottak expressed a commitment to addressing his alcoholism and making positive changes in his life.

After a stint in rehab, he returned to the Scorpions in time to contribute to the recording of “Return to Forever.” However, he was eventually replaced by former Mötorhead drummer Mikkey Dee the following year.

Reflecting on his departure from the Scorpions, Kottak acknowledged personal struggles and the band’s support during those times. He stated, “When you’re in a band, it’s like you’re in a marriage. You just know when it’s time to move on. One can say I was fired or dismissed. But to be quite honest, I was right along with them. I lost the drive and desire.”

In 2018, Kottak reunited with original Kingdom Come members for a tour, though frontman Lenny Wolf did not participate. Keith St. John, former Montrose and Lynch Mob vocalist, took his place.

As of now, the cause of James Kottak’s death has not been confirmed.