Doobie Brothers drummer John Hartman has died at the age of 72.

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The rock band paid tribute to its "wild spirit" co-founder on Thursday.

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"Today we're thinking of John Hartman, or Little John for us," the band wrote on Instagram and Twitter.

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“John was a wild spirit, a great drummer and showman during his time at Doobies.

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He was also a close friend for many years and a critical part of the band’s personality!

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Our condolences to all of his loved ones at this difficult time. Rest in peace John.

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The cause of death was not immediately released.

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Image: Google