Since their humble bar-band beginnings in San Jose CA forty-five years ago, the Doobie Brothers have had no less than 25 members, a mind-boggling fact that nearly always signals intransigence by a control freak leader or two. With the Doobie Brothers, however, the exact opposite has always been the case: their collaborative spirit, seemingly open to any American musical influence including folk, bluegrass, rock’n’roll, Motown, and jazz has been matched only by the undying loyalty extended to every member. The fact that the Doobies reinvented themselves for their March 1976 album Takin’It to the Streets   is quite widely known, but the reasons for the musical shift, and the manner in which they made it work so successfully, is a fascinating back-story worthy of an HBO mini-series. 

Important to note that, even though my guest Tom Johnston sang and wrote their early hits “Listen to the Music” and “Long Train Runnin’ “, and guest Michael McDonald did likewise on million-sellers “Takin’ It to the Streets”,”It Keeps You Runnin'”, & Grammy winners “What a Fool Believes” and“Minute by Minute“, it is  guitarist/singer/songwriter Pat Simmons around whom the 25+ members have always rotated. It is my third guest Pat Simmons who solely has appeared on every Doobie Brothers album and tour. This episode is dedicated to the late Doobie drummer Keith Knudsen. -Redbeard