Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

No Slowing Down for This 'Band of Brothers'; Playing Live Keeps the Doobie Brothers Eternally Fresh

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

No Slowing Down for This 'Band of Brothers'; Playing Live Keeps the Doobie Brothers Eternally Fresh

Article excerpt

Byline: TREVOR HOCKINS

DOOBIE FACTS

THE Doobie Brothers:

was one of the first US interracial bands to reach superstar status

were heroes to the bikers of Southern California for a short period

were Grammy winners and are in the American Music Vocal Group Hall of Fame

Also:

Their song Takin' It to the Streets has been used as the theme for several US Presidential campaigns

Guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter refuses to disclose the origin of his famous nickname

Michael Jackson claimed he added backing vocals to the group's What a Fool Believes and Minute by Minute

MADONNA so loathes her first hit song Like a Virgin she cannot bear to hear it.

British band Radiohead refused to play the tune that made it popular on radio, Creep.

Oasis firebrand Liam Gallagher simply hates the international No.1 he wrote and sang, Wonderwall.

But the prospect of playing the same songs night after night at live shows -- even after 40 years -- does not faze Tom Johnston.

"I like the songs," the co-founder of The Doobie Brothers says.

Listen to the Music, Long Train Runnin', Black Water, Jesus (Is Just Alright with Me), China Grove, Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me) ...

The band, powered by guitar in "hyper-strum" and precise vocal harmonies, has mined silver, gold and platinum records across the world for more than 40 years.

"... We play the 'chestnuts' with a few variations each time," Tom says.

"It keeps the songs fresh ... it's good for us, too."

He sounds West Coast, his voice measured, relaxed.

"And you always take the audience along with you ... that's what it's all about."

It's not a platitude. Tom means it. The Doobies have always considered themselves a road band.

Even when they were turning out hit after chart hit through the 1970s, they were touring.

Playing live made them, and almost ended them. …

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