After battling some controversy with the band and finally coming to terms with his alcoholism, drummer James Kottak will finally rejoin the Scorpions for their upcoming album and next year's tour. This summer Kottak made the announcement that he would be working with Bob Forrest, an addiction specialist known for working with musicians and "Celebrity Rehab".
He entered into treatment through the MusiCares organization which helps musicians recover from mental health and addiction issues. After admitting that he had a problem, Kottak quit drinking and worked to overcome his disease in order to be a better musician, father and a friend to his band members.
The rest of the Scorpions supported him throughout his rehab stint hoping he would return to the band after serious recovery. The band has recently announced his return and the drummer performed again at recent tour stops in the Netherlands and Belgium.
His Drunken Incident in Dubai
In June, Kottak released a statement revealing that he had been drinking for years and ran into trouble during the Scorpions tour due to his alcoholism and erratic behavior. The drummer related how he ended up being arrested in Dubai after drinking 5 or 6 glasses of wine on the flight from Russia.
At the airport in Dubai, Kottak was intoxicated and made a lewd gesture to an airline representative who then reported his behavior to the police. He also allegedly shouted derogatory remarks about Islam and showed the tattoo on his back when asked to provide his ID.
He was arrested for drinking without a license and spent a month in Dubai jail following this incident. Kottak realized that his drinking had finally caught up with him and reached out for help to recover from his dependency.
His band members supported his decision and asked him to focus on taking a break and getting clean so he could return as the same James they had always known.
Kottak's Decision to Quit Drinking
After serving jail time and being fined $545 for drinking alcohol without a license, Kottak came to grips with his alcoholism and became determined to change his life. He confessed his shameful display of public drunkenness to fans in a Facebook post sharing the story while also vowing to quit drinking and stay sober from now on.
He asserted that he is doing everything in his power on a daily basis to beat the relentless disease of alcoholism. His antagonistic exchange with authorities in Dubai and suffering the consequences of his drunken behavior helped him to realize that it was time to stop drinking once and for all so that he could become a better human being to the people around him.
He told fans online that he hopes to put the embarrassing and unfortunate incident behind him so that he can move on with his life and continue his work with the Scorpions.
James Kottak has been a member of the Scorpions since 1996 but he has been drumming for a number of bands throughout his life and even replaced Vinny Apice for a few shows of Dio's tour. The Scorpions have now welcomed Kottak back as their drummer and continue to stand by him after his recovery from alcoholism.
The frontman of the band, Klaus Meine, stated that the door was always open for Kottak to return to the band in spite of his reckless behavior. Kottak will play drums on their album and be back on tour when recording has finished. The band kept in touch with James throughout his stay in rehab and provided him with positive support to aid in his recovery.