The Doobie Brothers


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-70)

- John Hartman -- drums, percussion 

- Tom Johnston -- vocals, guitar 

- Greg Murphy -- bass 

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 2 (1970-71)

- John Hartman -- drums, percussion 

- Tom Johnston -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Dave Shogren (RIP 1999) -- bass (replaced Greg Murphy)

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 3 (1971-73)

- John Hartman -- drums, percussion 

NEW - Mike Hossack (RIP 2012) -- drums 

- Tom Johnston -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Tiran Porter -- bass (replaced Dave Shogren)

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 4 (1973-74)

- John Hartman -- drums, percussion 

- Tom Johnston -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Keith Knudsen (RIP 2005) -- drums, percussion 

  (replaced Mike Hossack) 

- Tiran Porter -- bass (replaced Dave Shogren)

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 5 (1974-75)

NEW - Jeff Skunk Baxter -- lead guitar 

- John Hartman -- drums, percussion 

- Tom Johnston -- vocals, guitar

- Keith Knudsen (RIP 2005) -- drums, percussion 

  (replaced Mike Hossack) 

- Tiran Porter -- bass

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 5 (1975-79)

- Jeff Skunk Baxter -- lead guitar 

- John Hartman -- drums, percussion 

- Keith Knudsen (RIP 2005) -- drums, percussion 

NEW - Michael McDonald -- vocals, keyboards (replaced

  Tom  Johnston) 

- Tiran Porter -- bass 

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 5 (1975-81)

NEW - Cornelius Bumpus (RIP 2004) -- sax, keyboards

- Keith Knudsen (RIP 2005) -- drums, percussion 

NEW - Chet McCracken -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  John Hartman)

- Michael McDonald -- vocals, keyboards (replaced

  Tom  Johnston) 

NEW - John McFee -- lead guitar (replaced  Jeff Skunk Baxter)

- Tiran Porter -- bass 

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 6 (1981-83)

- Cornelius Bumpus -- sax, keyboards

- Keith Knudsen (RIP 2005) -- drums, percussion 

- Chet McCracken -- drums, percussion (replaced  John Hartman)

- Michael McDonald -- vocals, keyboards (replaced

  Tom  Johnston) 

- John McFee -- lead guitar (replaced  Jeff Skunk Baxter)

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Willie Weeks -- bass (replaced Tiran Porter)

 

  line up 7 (1988-)

- John Hartman -- drums, percussion 

- Mike Hossack (RIP 2012) -- drums, percussion

- Tom Johnston -- vocals, guitar

- Bobby LaKind (RIP 1992) -- percussion 

- Tiran Porter -- bass

- Patrick Simmons -- vocals, guitar

 

 

 

-

- Barefoot Jones (Dave Shogren)

- Bonaroo (Mike Hossack)

- Cornelius Bumpus (solo efforts)

- Clover (John McFee)

- Corny and the Corvettes (Cornlius Bumpus)

- The Del Rays (Michael McDonald)

- DFK (Mike Hossack)

- Ron Gardner Group (Dave Shogren)

- Help (Chet McCracken)

The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils (Keith Knudsen)

- Tom Johnston (solo efforts)

- Mandelbaum (Keith Knudsen)

- Michael McDonald (solo efforts)

- Mike And The Majestics (Michael McDonald)

- Moby Grape (Cornelius Bumpus)

- Mourning Reign (Mike Hossack)

- Phoenix (Tiran Porter)

- Tiran Porter (solo efforts)

- Roadhouse (Mike Hossack)

- Patrick Simmons (solo efforts)

- Sons of Champlin (Dave Shogren)

- Southern Pacific (John McFee and Keith Knudson)

- Steely Dan (Jeff Skunk Baxter and Michael McDonald)

- Ultimate Spinach (Jeff Skink Baxter)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  The Doobie Brothers

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: BS 1919
Year:
 1972

Country/State: San Jose, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5734

Price: $15.00

 

So here's the background on this one ...  In 1969 drummer John Hartman relocated to Los Angeles for was originally intended as a job with a reunited Moby Grape.  The Moby Grape job didn't pan out, but Grape guitarist Skip Spence subsequently introduced Hartman to singer/guitarist Tom Johnston.  The two found common ground and decided to form a band recruiting bassist Greg Murphy and Spence.  As Pud, they went though a number of line-ups, but by 1970 had stabilized as a quartet showcasing bassist Dave Shogrun and singer/guitarist Patrick Simmons.  The group's club and bar gigs began attracting a local following throughout Northern California (including a sizable Hells Angels contingent).  They also decided on a name change, eventually deciding on 'The Doobie Brothers' which was an apparent nod to one of their preferred sources of entertainment.

 

band signing with Warner Brothers

left to right: Simmons - Hartman - Johnston - Shogren

 

Co-produced by Lenny Warnoker and Ted Templeman, 1971's "The Doobie Brothers" served as the band's debut, though they'd previously recorded considerable material that Warner Brothers management inexplicably elected to shelve (much of it appeared on the 1980 "Introducing the Doobie Brothers" set).  With Johnston and Simmons responsible for all of the material, the collection may come as somewhat of a surprise to anyone raised on the band's mid-1970s top-40 hits.  Powered by Johnston's instantly recognizable slurred voice, tracks like 'Nobody', 'Feelin' Down Farther' and the rocker 'Beehive State' weren't all that different from the forthcoming hits.  Melodies that climbed into your head and wouldn't let go; surprisingly sweet harmony vocals, and a pounding rhythm section in the form of Hartman and Shogren were all in ample supply.  On the other hand, tracks like 'Slippery St. Paul', 'It Won't Be Right' and '' featured a largely acoustic sound (with an emphasis on Simmons wonderful finger picking) that would large disappear with the following albums.  The relatively simple arrangements and production caught me off guard the first couple of times I heard the LP, but I'll readily admit that it's something that's grown on me over the years.  Here The Doobies were a band enjoying the chance they'd been given willing to take a chance with material that wasn't overly radio friendly, rather than a band anxious to hold on to their commercial breakthroughs.  Plenty of highlights including Greenwood Creek', and the pretty ballads 'Travelin' Man' (bet they didn't play that one in front of a Hells Angels crowd), and 'Closer Every Day'.  Warner Brothers tapped the album for a series of three singles, though none did much commercially:

 

- 1971's 'Nobody' b/w 'Slippery St. Paul' (Warner Brothers catalog number 7495) 

- 1971's 'Travelin' Man' b/w 'Feelin; Down Farther' (Warner Brothers catalog number 7527) 

- 1971's  'Beehive State' b/w 'Closer Every Day' (Warner Brothers catalog number 7544)

 

In spite of the fact it's been released a couple of times, this one remains largely unknown, including amongst many Doobie fans.  Not exactly rare, but not one you run into everyday.

 

"The Doobie Brothers" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Nobody   (Tom Johnston ) - 3:42

2.) Slippery St. Paul   (Pat Simmons) - 2:14

3.) Greenwood Creek   (Tom Johnston ) - 3:04

4.) It Won't Be Right   (Tom Johnston ) - 2:38

5.) Travelin' Man   (Tom Johnston ) - 4:25

 

(side 2)
1.) Feelin' Down Farther   (Tom Johnston ) - 4:20

2.) The Master   (Tom Johnston ) - 3:30

3.) Growin' a Little Each Day   (Tom Johnston - Pat Simmons) - 3:20

4.) Beehive State   (Randy Newman) - 2:42

5.) Closer Every Day   (Pat Simmons) - 4:19

6.) Chicago (adapted by Pat Simmons) - 1:40

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Introducing the Doobie Brothers

Company: Pickwick

Catalog: SPC 3721
Year:
 1980

Country/State: San Jose, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5533

Price: $75.00

 

Recorded in 1969 and finally released in 1980 (amidst questionable circumstances), "Introducing the Doobie Brothers" showcased a series of eight demos the band recorded and reportedly mailed to Warner Brothers' A&R department.  Warner Brothers executives were so impressed by the tapes, they signed the band sight unseen, resulting in the release of the band's official debut - 1971's "The Doobie Brothers".   My own experience has been that 'recently discovered' demos tend to be somewhat disappointing due to crappy sound quality and middling material.  Not the case here.  In remastering the original tapes Bob McNabb did a great job in terms of sound quality and the Johnston and Simmons penned originals were all worth hearing.  Only  'Blue Jay' had previously seen the light of day and that was buried on Rhino's 1999 four CD boxed set retrospective "Long Train Running".  While a little raw, the trademarked Doobies sound was instantly recognizable on Johnston-penned tracks like 'Coke Can Changes', 'Make It Easy' and 'Quicksilver Princess'.   Similarly, Simmons counterpart was on display via his two contributions - 'Be Yourself' and 'Runaround Ways'.  While some folks lean to the Michael McDonald led blue-eyed soul band, to my ears this was one of the best line ups - Hartman's power drumming set the benchmark for all of the follow-on line ups, Johnston and Simmons displayed a great and widely overlooked one-two lead guitar punch, and few bands could match their harmonizing - check out the country-rock ballad 'Pauper's Diary'.  Anyhow, all told a great LP, far better than any of their 'comeback' material and well worth looking for.  Speaking of, the album apparently ran into legal issues with the band and Warner Brothers both threatening legal action.  Pickwick quickly stopped distribution, making copies somewhat difficult to track down.

 

"Introducing the Doobie Brothers" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Be Yourself   (Patrick Simmons) - 2:50

2.) Coke Can Changes   (Tom Johnston) - 3:20

3.) Blue Jay   (Tom Johnston) - 4:58

4.) Make It Easy   (Tom Johnston) - 3:54

 

(side 2)
1.) Quicksilver Princess   (Tom Johnston) - 2:43

2.) Runaround Ways   (Patrick Simmons) - 2:42

3.) Pauper's Diary   (Tom Johnston) - 3:46

4.) I'll Keep On Giving   (Tom Johnston) - 3:45

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Cycles

Company: Capitol

Catalog: R173187
Year:
 1989

Country/State: San Jose, California

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3545

Price: $40.00

 

Here's the executive summary for 1989's "Cycles":

 

Pros: The original line-up reunites for a relentless set of bar band rock.  Michael McDonald is gone.

Cons: The original line-up reunites for a relentless set of bar band rock.  Michael McDonald is gone.

 

The Doobies formally called it quits in 1982, so this brief reunion marked a return to the band's early-'70s line-up featuring drummers  John Hartman and Mike Hossack, lead singers/guitarists Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons, percussionist  Bobby LaKind, and bass player Tiran Porter.

 

Produced and engineered by Rodney Mills, the album was clearly an effort to shed their Michael McDonald era reputation in favor of a return to their earlier rocking identity.  Having grown up on early and mid-'70s Doobie Brothers, it was certainly a blast to hear Tom Johnston's instantly recognizable voice and the band's patented bar band sound - check out the strumming guitars that opened  'Need a Little Taste of Love'.  And to that end, tracks like the single 'The Doctor', 'South of the Border' and 'Wrong Number' were a clear success.  Yeah, they occasionally seemed to be trying a little too hard to capture the earlier magic and on a couple of occasions simply reworked early tunes (I'm certainly not the only one to hear more than a little 'China Groove' on 'The Doctor'), but it made for a nice flashback and you could certainly dance to the grooves.   But ...  The Doobies weren't able to entirely shake McDonald's creative shadow.  Though it was penned by Simmons, the jazzy ballad 'I Can Read Your Mind' sounded like a McDonald composition.  Elsewhere, 'Tonight I'm Coming Through (The Border)' was actually co-written by Bobby LaKind and McDonald.  Hearing Johnston singing the tune and not thinking about McDonald was a strange experience.  

 

Their finest moment?  Nah.  Not by a mile, but in the realm of "comeback" albums I'll give it more than its share of kdos.

 

"Cycles" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Doctor   (Tom Johnston - Charlie Midnight - Eddie Schwartz) - 3:47   rating: *** stars

I'm certainly not alone in hearing a touch of 'China Groove' on this one.  That wasn't meant as casting shade on the band since they largely invented this brand of party time bar band music.  And it was certainly nice hearing Tom Johnston's instantly recognizable voice back with the band.  Capitol quickly tapped it as the leadoff single:

- 1989's 'The Doctor' b/w 'Too High a Price' *(Warner Brothers catalog number B-44376)

It certainly wasn't the most original promotional video you've ever seen, but it was nice to see them back together again; even if they were only lip-synching through the performance (way too many earrings): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8uCryLHnt4 

2.) One Chain (Don't Make No Prison)   (Dennis Lambert 0 Brian Potter) - 3:03    rating: ** stars

The Four Tops had the original hit with this one.  Unfortunately, giving  'One Chain (Don't Make No Prison)' the Doobie bar band treatment served to strip away much of the original's charm.

The tune was released as a promo CD single in the US and as a vinyl single throughout Europe.

3.) Take Me To the Highway   (Patrick Simmons - Dale Ockerman - Fedele - Charlie Midnight - Eddie Schwartz) - 3:21   rating: *** stars

'Take Me To the Highway' was a patented Simmons ballad, though it sounded like the band had been listening to a little too much '80s hair band material.

4.) South of the Border   (Tim Johnson) - 4:23   rating: *** stars

With Johnston on lead vocals, 'South of the Border' was a return to their classic mid-'70s sound.  And for some reason this one has always struck me as being slightly under-whelming.   I'll admit their vocal harmonies remained impeccable.

5.) Time Is Here and Gone  (Bobby LaKind - John McFee - Keith Knudsen) - 3:52   rating: *** stars

Sweet ballad that strikes a little too close for comfort ...   Ironic that LaKind would himself be gone within a couple of years.

 

(side 2)
1.) Need a Little Taste of Love   (Marvin Isley - Ernie Isley - Ronald Isley - O'Kelly Isley - Chris Jasper) - 4:07   rating: **** stars

Another soul classic subjected to a Doobie-fied arrangement, but this time around it worked.  Geez, talk about a flashback to "Toulouse Street", or "Stampede".   Capitol released it as a promotional single in the States:

- 1989's 'Need a Little Taste of Love' b/w 'Need a Little Taste of Love' (Capitol catalog number 7PRO 79723)

 

The band released a promotional video for the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg6rvhzcwrg 

2.) I Can Read Your Mind   (Patrick Simmons - Dale Ockerman - Thompson) - 4:29   rating: **** stars

With the band having effortlessly climbed back into their pre-Michael McDonald sound, Simmons' 'I Can Read Your Mind' came as an unexpended surprise.  At least to my ears the song's jazzy sound and soulful backing vocals bore more than a passing nod to McDonald's influences on the group.  Not a bad tune, but it sounded very out of place surrounded by the rest of their return to classic Doobies moves.

3.) Tonight I'm Coming Through (The Border) - Bobby LaKind - Michael McDonald) - 4:29   rating: *** stars

And speaking of McDonald, 'Tonight I'm Coming Through (The Border)' was co-written by the man and reflected the band's urban contemporary moves during McDonald's tenure with the group.  Pretty enough, but even with Johnston handling lead vocals, still  sounded kind of out of place on this album.

4.) Wrong Number   (Tom Johnston)  4:09   rating: **** stars

Johnston's rocking 'Wrong Number' could easily been an outtake from "Toulouse Street".   Always loved the electric sitar sound on this one.

5.) Too High a Price   (Bobby LaKind - Zeke Zimgeibel - Herron) - 4:13   rating: ** stars

The album ended with another power ballad  that sounded like the band had been listening to too much Whitesnake and other '80s hair bands.

 

 

 

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