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In Memory Of Mike Botts

Song playing: Old Man's Lament by Mike Botts

It is with deep heartfelt sadness that we announce the passing of Michael Botts on December 9th 2005, of colon cancer at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.
Mike Botts, 61, was best-known as the drummer for the 1970s rock band Bread.
Mike, who also recorded and toured with Linda Ronstadt, Dan Fogelberg, Eddie Money, Tina Turner and others, grew up in Sacramento and began playing the drums in high school. He joined Bread in time to make the group's second album, "On the Waters."
Well, on the morning of December 16th 2005, I woke up and as usual, got online to check and clear my emails. Looking through my inbox at a glance I see an email from "Mike Botts". I was ecstatic because I haven't heard from him in a few months.
Clicking on it, I see that this particular email was from his website's mailing list. I see a photo of him sitting behind his drums (photo above) with a little note to the right of his photo. I was expecting to read that he had released a new solo album but as I read the note, it started with, "It is with deep heartfelt sadness that we announce the passing...."
I thought, "oh gosh. Someone dear to Mike had passed away."
The last thought that even crossed my mind was that Mike had passed away. I read on and read the note another time.
It read: "It is with deep heartfelt sadness that we announce the passing of Michael Botts on December 9th 2005, of colon cancer."
Took me a while before it finally struck me that Mike had passed away. Tears starting filling up my eyes. I was in shocked. I stared at my computer screen and the email for a good long while. How can he have died? He never mentioned he was ill. It was only 8 months ago that he emailed to me. How? Why him?
At that point, Mike's sudden death shattered my world. It didn't make any sense. Life isn't fair and bad things seem to happen to good people. His sudden death sure left me shaken, unsure and vulnerable.
Why am I grieving over a celebrity? Well, he wasn't just a famous person to me. He was a friend who have taught me the true meaning of life.
I feel a profound sense of loss right now. I can't possibly imagine how his wife Michelle is feeling? Mike always spoke highly of Michelle. She was the light of his life. And now that he's gone, I pray that God will give Michelle the strength to carry on.
It's weird but I am filled with anxiety, confusion, depression and disbelief. I sure an in denial about Mike's death. I feel heaviness in my chest and I feel the need to tell and retell stories about Mike.
I know once I am over the shock, that memories of Mike will always comfort me. Memories will keep him close to me in spirit and thought and always in my heart, today and forever.
I spent all day listening to Mike's CD which is titled "Adults Only". I remember the day it was released, I was there to support him and bought 10 copies! Kept one copy for myself and gave the rest to family and friends. I own 2 copies of that CD now, one of which I will treasure forever and that is the one Mike sent me with his autograph!
Nevertheless, what I want to do most of all now is, I want to remember Mike's family today especially his wife Michelle, with sincere sympathy in their loss. Although words seem to say so little, I hope they help in some small way to ease the sense of loss that you're experiencing today. Hold fast to your memories, to all of the cherished moments of the past, to the blessings and the laughter, the joys and the celebrations, the sorrow and the tears. They all add up to a treasure of fond yesterdays that you shared and spent together, and they will keep Mike close to you in spirit and thought. The special moments and memories in your life will never change. They will always be in your heart, today and forevermore. I am sending you my deepest sympathy.

This is a photo of Mike when I first met him in 1997. He was touring Southeast Asia and performing in Singapore with the group Bread. We (my mother, brother and I) spent the few days with the group and got to know them pretty well especially Mike who was the most down-to-earth.
We presented the group with an award which we made and Mike hung on to it like it was gold.
The years after that meeting, we kept in touch through email and he always told me how much he treasured that award and how it stands proudly in his showcase.
How did we actually get to meet the group?? We were simply just one of the fans. I don't really recall but the three of us were featured in the newspaper and the reporter said she'd try and get us backstage passes to meet the group.
Well, she didnt get us backstage passes so we did our own thing. Met them at the airport and greeted them. They gave us their hotel and asked to call. We spent the next few days hanging out with them at the hotel lobby, backstage after the concert and saw them off at the airport. Exchanged email address and have been in touch with only Mike.
So that's my story of how this beautiful friendship with Mike grew.

When somebody dies, a cloud turns into an angel,
and flies up to tell God to put another flower on a pillow.
A bird gives the message back to the world,
and sings a silent prayer that makes the rain cry.
People disappear, but they never really go away.
The spirits up there put the sun to bed, wake up grass,
and spin the earth in dizzy circles.
Sometimes you can see them dancing in a cloud
during the day-time, when they're supposedto be sleeping.
They paint the rain-bows and also the sunsets and
make waves splash and tug at the tide.
They toss shooting stars and listen to wishes.
And when they sing wind-songs,
they whisper to us, don't miss me too much.
The view is nice and I'm doing just fine.

I was going through my old emails and started reading some from Mike. One said he can't believe the little girl he met is now a grown woman and a mother. And the last email I received from him was dated April 3rd 2005. I asked him when he was started to tour and if he'll be around the Massachusetts area so I could meet up with him again and this was his reply:
Hi Debra:
Everything is fine here. I was going to tour with Dan Fogelberg but he had to cancel because of health problems so I'll be here in L.A. Doing some studio work and trying to write. take care and bye for now. :-)
The best from Botts
Mike will live on in the hearts of everyone who loved and adored him, his family, friends and fans.

In lieu of flowers, it is the family's request that donations be made in his memory to:
Providence St. Joseph Foundation
501 S. Buena Vista St
Burbank, CA 91505
Please include a note with your donation that it is in memory of Michael Botts so his family will get an acknowledgment.
Condolence messages may be sent here for Michael's family:

Please feel free to leave messages or condolence notes on the forum page for Mike's family. You can share your stories about Mike. Remember this forum is in memory of Mike Botts and only topics on Mike will be permitted.

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Debra Palmer
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