They revved up the audience into a Doobie Brothers frenzy and rocked the night away. The Doobie Brothers rolled into the Ciurcus Maxius Theater Saturday night, June 29 in Caesars Atlantic City. The anticipation of what was to come was high even before the band took the stage.
When the lights dimmed announcing the entrance of the “Doobies”, the SRO audience came alive and loud. When the Dobbie Brothers started to play the first song, “Jesus Is Just Alright,” the audience went wild. Quickly following with “Rockin’ Down The Highway” and “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While), the Doobies fans were already on their feet and dancing in front of their seats and it ws only the third song of a sixteen song setlist.
According to the Doobie Brothers, there have been many different ways people describe their music. “Someone once said simply, ‘listen to the music.’ It’s hard for us as the Doobie Brothers to define our music, and as a matter of fact one of the things that has kept the band going through the years is an approach that isn’t self-limited stylistically.” That feeling is not lost on their fans. “I was raised on the music of the Doobie Brothers and they sound better now then I remembered them,” said a fan holding up his cell phone to get a photo of the Doobies backdrop.
Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston founded the Doobie Brothers in San Jose, CA in 1970. Loosely modeled after a San Francisco Band known as Moby Grape, the three guitar, three part vocal harmony became the distinctive sound of the Doobie Brothers that has carried them to the heights of popularity.
Producing their first album in 1971 introduced them to their public even though that initial offering produced no notable hits. The group hit pay dirt in 1972 with their second album, “Toulouse Street”, which yielded the Doobies most recognized song, “Listen To The Music,” which went to No.11 on the charts. “Toulouse Street” also produced another of their hit songs “Jesus Is Just Alright” which rose to No. 35. “The Captain and Me,” the Doobie Brothers third album, included two songs written by Tommy Johnston, “Long Train Runnin” which went to No. 8, and “China Grove” rising to No. 15. With the success of this third album, the Doobie Brothers firmly established themselves as a force in music. It was in 1974, on the bands fourth album, “What Was Once Vices Are Now Habits,’” that the band had its first No. 1 hit, “Black Water” selling more than 2 million copies. “Black Water was written by Pat Simmons and was the first song that featured him as the lead vocalist.
By 1975 the band had become one of the most popular rock bands in the country and it was also the year that illness forced Johnston out of the band. Needing a new member, the band added Michael McDonald, a former member of Steely Dan to fill Johnson’s place. McDonald had an immediate impact on the band when, with him in the band, the Doobie Brothers had a platinum million selling album in 1976 with “Takin’ It To The Streets,” (No.13) written by McDonald. 1980 brought recognition to the Doobie Brothers with the band receiving three Grammy’s for “What A Fool Believes” which garnered Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Vocal Arrangement and a forth Grammy for “Minute By Minute” for Best Pop Vocal performance, Duo/Group.
The Doobie Brothers final tour was in 1982. At the end of the tour, the members went their separate ways with Johnston, Simmons and McDonald all having hit solo albums. 1987 marked the reformation of the Doobie Brothers with Simmons and Johnston (without McDonald) for an 11-city tour, which raised more than $1 million for a variety of charities. The tour renewed interest in the Doobies both from the followers perspective and the bands viewpoint. The Doobie Brothers sound returned in 1989 when they recorded the hit “The Doctor” rising to No. 9.
It has been more than 10 years since The Doobies released a new album but on September 28th, 2010 the group released, “World Gone Crazy,” Over the years, the Doobie Brothers have released a total of 17 albums – have earned 13 gold and 11 platinum sales awards and have performed around the world for over 35 million fans.
With founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and Michael Hossack, the Doobies had perfectly honored the band’s legacy. However, on March 12th, 2012, drummer Mike Hossack, who played on the hits “Blackwater”, “Listen to the Music” and “China Grove”, died of cancer at the age of 65. Mike left the band in 1973, but returned in 1987 to record the albums “Cycles”, “Brotherhood” and “World Gone Crazy”.