Celebrated Doobie Brothers drummer KEITH KNUDSEN died yesterday (08FEB05) of pneumonia at the age of 56.

Knudsen had been hospitalised for more than a month following cancer treatment, but finally died at Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital in America at 12:30 pm, according to the band's longtime manager BRUCE COHN.

He shot to fame in 1974 when he joined the band and enjoyed a string of hits including BLACK WATER and TAKE IT TO THE STREETS.

The rockers disbanded in 1982 after a farewell tour, but Knudsen, who began drumming in the eighth grade, prompted the band's comeback ten years later (92).

The band's founder TOM JOHNSTON says, "We're going to miss him on drums. I'm going to miss him as a buddy. The cancer treatment left him weak and I don't think he ever fully regained all his strength."

Cohn adds, "I just saw him Sunday, just before the Super Bowl. He was in good spirits. He was weak, but he was OK."

09/02/2005 14:07