James Kottak

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James Kottak
Scorpions - 04.jpg
Kottak performing in 2014
Background information
Birth nameJames Kottak
Born (1962-12-26) December 26, 1962 (age 56)
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
GenresHard rock, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, guitar, vocals
Associated actsBuster Brown, Montrose, Kingdom Come, Warrant, Scorpions, Kottak

James Kottak (born December 26, 1962 in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American drummer. Kottak is best known for his work with the German hard rock band Scorpions, which he joined in 1996. At the time of his firing from the band in 2016, he was their all-time longest-serving drummer, surpassing Herman Rarebell, who spent 18 years in the band.


Prior to joining Scorpions, Kottak was a drummer for the Bob Brickley Band, Nut House, Mister Charlie, Buster Brown, Montrose, Kingdom Come, Wild Horses, the McAuley Schenker Group, Warrant, and Ashba. He gained early mainstream exposure during his time with Kingdom Come, appearing on the band's first two studio albums, the first of which included their biggest hit, "Get it On." This track prominently features Kottak's drumming, culminating in a drum solo just before the song's conclusion.

In February 1997, he helped Dio on their US tour by replacing Vinny Appice for four or five shows when Vinny Appice had pneumonia. He also gave drum lessons at Far-Out Music in Jeffersonville, Indiana, once having as students former Bride drummer, Jerry McBroom, and Shane Harrison, who went on to play with country super star Terri Clark. He also played with guitarist Michael Lee Firkins.

Kottak also plays in his own band Kottak, formerly known as KrunK.

On April 28, 2016, it was announced that Kottak would be replaced by Mikkey Dee on 12 North American headlining dates, including a run of shows at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas dubbed "Scorpions blacked out in Las Vegas".[1][2] On September 12, 2016, it was announced that Kottak was no longer in the band.[3]

Kottak endorses Ddrum and Yamaha drums, Aquarian drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Ahead drumsticks and accessories and Danmar percussion.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Kottak was married to Athena Lee, Tommy Lee's younger sister, who is also a drummer and was a fellow member of Kottak. The couple had three children between them, including their son, Matthew, and Athena's two children from her first marriage, Tobi and Myles.

On April 29, 2014, the National Post reported via the Associated Press that Kottak was arrested in Dubai and sentenced to one month in jail for drunkenness, offensive behavior and insulting Islam.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Kottak is one of the characters in the book Sex Tips from Rock Stars by Paul Miles published by Omnibus Press in July 2010.[5]


with Buster Brown[edit]

with Montrose[edit]

with Kingdom Come[edit]

with Michael Lee Firkins[edit]

with Wild Horses[edit]

with McAuley Schenker Group[edit]

with Warrant[edit]

with Ashba[edit]

  • Addiction to the Friction (1996)

with Scorpions[edit]

with Black Sheep[edit]


  • Greatist Hits (1998)
  • Therupy (2006)
  • Rock & Roll Forever (2010)
  • Attack (2011)


  1. ^ "SCORPIONS RECRUIT MIKKEY DEE TO FILL IN ON U.S. DATES". www.the-scorpions.com. April 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "SCORPIONS Recruit MOTÖRHEAD Drummer MIKKEY DEE For U.S. Tour". 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  3. ^ "Former MOTÖRHEAD Drummer MIKKEY DEE Joins SCORPIONS As Permanent Member". blabbermouth.net. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  4. ^ Paul Miles. "Scorpions drummer James Kottak jailed in Dubai for drunkenly insulting Islam, reports claim". Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  5. ^ Paul Miles. "Sex Tips From Rock Stars by Paul Miles". SexTipsFromRockStars.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.

External links[edit]