The Doobie Brothers have been elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! It was possibly the Doobie Brothers‘ very own long-suffering fans who inadvertently had been diluting the demand for one of America’s most beloved bands’ entre into the Rock Hall of Fame, simply by succumbing to a specious debate and false choice. Now proudly celebrating their fiftieth anniversary, the issue isn’t whether the earlier and current Tom Johnston-led line-up which gave us Toulouse Street, The Captain and Me, What Were Vices Are Now Habits, and Stampede was “better” than the version of the Doobie Brothers featuring the songs and distinctive voice of Michael McDonald on Taking It to the Streets, Livin’ on the Fault Line, and the #1 seller and 1979 Grammy Record and Album of the Year, Minute by Minute.
The fact is that either era qualified on its own merit, so the entirety of this band’s output taken collectively, with multi-threat singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat Simmons the tie that binds it all together over five decades, made it ludicrous that in twenty-four years of eligibility that the San Francisco Bay Area-based Doobie Brothers had never even been nominated until now. Longtime Rock Hall watchers can’t help but notice that this is also the first year that Bay Area native Jann Wenner, until recently the only publisher Rolling Stone magazine ever had, relinquished his role as the sole President of the Rock Hall. Coincidence? Ask former longtime Bay Area resident Steve Miller, who likewise was blacklisted for twenty-four years until 2016.
Be sure to see The Doobie Brothers on their celebratory fiftieth anniversary lap of America in concert near you in 2021. –Redbeard