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[Deathwatch] Keith Knudsen, musician, 56

As always, thanks to a reader for this one - Ed.

February 09, 2005

Doobie Bros. Drummer Keith Knudsen Dies

Keith Knudsen, the longtime Doobie Brothers drummer who was part of the
band during a string of hits that included "Taking It to the Streets"
and "Black Water," died of pneumonia yesterday (Feb. 7). He was 56.

Knudsen had been hospitalized for more than a month, according to the
band's longtime manager Bruce Cohn. "I just saw him Sunday, just before
the Super Bowl," Cohn said. "He was in good spirits. He was weak, but
he was OK."

Knudsen began drumming in eighth grade and joined the Doobie Brothers
in 1974. "After a week's rehearsal, I went on the road with the band,"
Knudsen said in his biography on the band's Web site.

Knudsen played with the Doobies until a 1982 farewell tour. During the
band's hiatus, Knudsen and bandmate John McFee formed the country rock
group Southern Pacific, which released four albums and had several
hits. He rejoined the Doobies full-time in 1993.

"He's going to be missed," said Tom Johnston, the band's founder.
"We're going to miss him on drums. I'm going to miss him as a buddy."

Knudsen, who lived in Sonoma County's wine country, had cancer in 1995.
"It left him weak and I don't think he ever fully regained all his
strength," Johnston said. He added that the band was currently
performing about 100 concerts a year and is scheduled to release a new
album this summer.

Knudsen is the fourth member of the Doobies to pass away, joining
percussionist Bobby LaKind, bassist Dave Shogren and saxophonist
Cornelius Bumpus.