For the first time, the incredible true story of the legendary band, The Doobie Brothers, written by founding members Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston.
Only a very few rock bands have had the longevity, success, and drama of The Doobie Brothers. Born out of late 1960s NorCal, and led by Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston, they stood alongside their contemporaries The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and many others as an iconic American rock band. The train was rolling along, hits were flowing like wine, and arenas were packed with fans who wanted to see them live...then Tom Johnston, the band’s front man and lead guitarist, became ill and had to leave.
The Doobies' train came to a screeching halt. All of a sudden the band started contemplating the end of the road only seven years into their career, just as things were taking off. But Pat Simmons made sure they were far from the end and began the process of keeping the band together through most of the next decade.
A soul-steeped backup singer for Steely Dan named Michael McDonald took a shot at singing some of the Doobies' songs on tour, and all of a sudden a new chapter in the Doobie Brothers' story began. The band expanded their sound and had even more hits with their new front addition. Tom recovered from his health issues, but the band had moved on. When it came time for a reunion concert in the ’80s, Tom got the call and was back in the mix. Led once again by Pat and Tom, The Doobie Brothers have been touring ever since and maintain a massive fan base the world over.
Never before have Pat and Tom shared their story, in their own words. In Long Train Runnin’ they’ll change that.
The leaders of legendary rock band the Doobie Brothers offer a spirited tour through the five decades of music that landed them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. "Destined to be the Doobie Boys," thanks to their predilection for smoking joints, Johnston and Simmons formed the group in 1970 after being introduced by friends. Within the year, they found a formidable fan base performing "Long Train Runnin' " and "Rockin' down the Highway" ("songs we would be famous for") around San Jose, Calif., and secured a recording contract with Warner Bros. But their meteoric rise was halted in 1975 when a neglected stomach ulcer forced Johnston to retire from the group. Simmons and the band persisted, honing their sound with new voices including that of Steely Dan's Michael McDonald ("The second I heard him open up his mouth... my mind was blown," recalls bass player Tiran Porter) until Johnston rejoined the group in 1987. While discussions of "stuff like wah-wah pedals, Echoplex parts, and... flanging guitar pedals" can bog down the narrative, the warts-and-all account of their drug-addled path to fame entertains nonetheless. Fans will be thrilled by this unvarnished look at the good, the bad, and the ugly that went into making the band.
I just completed this book on the history of the Doobie Brothers and it exceeded my expectations.
I strongly recommend it to any fan of the band!