The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers were an American rock band from San Jose, Calif., that released nine albums on Warner Bros. between 1971 and 1980. The first five albums feature guitarist/vocalist Tom Johnston, who led a hard-rocking sequence of lineups, augmented from 1974-onward by Steely Dan guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. In 1976, the Doobies entered their soul-pop phase with the arrival of another Dan fixture, keyboardist/vocalist Michael McDonald.

Members: Tom Johnston (guitar, vocals, 1970-77, 1987-present), Patrick Simmons (guitar, vocals), John Hartman (drums, 1970-79, 1987-92), Dave Shogren (bass, 1970-71), Tiran Porter (bass, 1971-80, 1987-92), Michael Hossack (drums, 1971-74, 1987-2000-12), Keith Knudsen (drums, percussion, vocals, 1973-82, 1987, 1992-2005), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (guitar, 1974-79, 1987, 1992), Michael McDonald (keyboards, vocals, 1975-82, 1987), Bobby LaKind (percussion, 1977-79, 1980-82, 1987-89, 1992), John McFee (vocals, guitar, 1979-82, 1993-present), Chet McCracken (drums, vibraphone, marimba, 1979-82, 1987), Cornelius Bumpus (vocals, keyboards, saxophone, 1979-82), Willie Weeks (bass, 1980-82)


The Doobie Brothers originated in 1970 from a partnership between guitarist/songwriter Tom Johnston and drummer John Hartman. They were introduced by ex-Moby Grape frontman Skip Spence after an aborted Grape reunion that was supposed to include Hartman, who’d just arrived in San Jose from Virginia. They gigged locally as Pud before linking with bassist Dave Shogren and guitarist/songwriter Patrick Simmons, whose fingerpicking style contrasted Johnston’s rhythmic approach. They were given the name Doobie Brothers by a friend who noted that they were always smoking pot from doobies.

The Doobies emerged as a popular live attraction in Northern California, where they drew a loyal following among Hell’s Angels during a residency at the Chateau Liberté in the Santa Cruz mountains. They cut a demo that caught the attention of Warner Bros. A&R Ted Templeman, who signed the band in late 1970.


Discography:

  • The Doobie Brothers (1971)
  • Toulouse Street (1972)
  • The Captain and Me (1973)
  • What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974)
  • Stampede (1975)
  • Takin’ It to the Streets (1976)
  • Livin’ on the Fault Line (1977)
  • Minute by Minute (1978)
  • One Step Closer (1980)

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