Former SCORPIONS drummer James Kottak has thanked fans for their support after he was dismissed from the band during his well-publicized his battle with alcoholism.
Back in September, SCORPIONS announced the addition of former MOTÖRHEAD member Mikkey Dee as a permanent replacement for Kottak, who was previously said to be on break while he sought "medical attention."
Kottak, who had not commented on his SCORPIONS exit until now, has taken to his official web site to offer his gratitude to fans for their words of encouragement while he stepped away from the band to focus on his health.
The drummer wrote: "Hello to all my family, friends, and freaks. I want to send a HUGE thank you from the bottom of my heart for the thousands of messages of hope and positivity during my time of healing! I am humbled and honored by your love and gracious offerings.
"I am healthy and happy living in the now… grateful for yesterday, excited for the future.
"As one chapter of my life closes… a thousand new doors of adventure have opened.
"I have been given the ultimate gift of life with my personal REboot.
"To quote one of my fave songs, 'Tomorrow Is A Brand New Day'.
"With the support of Athena [Kottak's wife and sister of MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee] and my three wonderful kids, today IS the first day of the rest of my life!
"I look forward to reconnecting and seeing you all SOON!
"Rock & Roll Forever!"
Kottak rejoined the SCORPIONS on the road in November 2014, eight months after he spent a month in a Dubai, United Arab Emirates jail in April for insulting Islam.
Kottak, who had been receiving treatment for alcohol abuse, released a statement in June 2014 in which he said "this entire incident caused me to realize that it is time to stop drinking once and for all so that I can become the father, musician, and friend that I know I can be."
For some of SCORPIONS' 2014 concerts, Swedish drummer Johan Franzon filled in for Kottak.
Dee was originally scheduled to play drums for THIN LIZZY on the latter band's anniversary shows planned for 2016 and 2017 but was forced to bow out of the dates after he was offered the SCORPIONS gig. He has since been replaced in that group's touring lineup by JUDAS PRIEST's Scott Travis.