Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers took some time to chat with the Rhino Podcast about his work with the legendary rockers.
From their inception in 1970, Johnston was one of the key writers and voices in The Doobies. Early smashes like "Listen to the Music," "Long Train' Runnin'," "China Grove" and "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me)" bear his expressive vocals. Though health issues forced him to pause touring in 1975, he still contributed to 1976's Takin' It to the Streets, the band's first album with new vocalist Michael McDonald. The blue-eyed soul legend fronted the band until their hiatus beginning in 1982; when The Doobie Brothers came back in 1987, Johnston was back in the fold and has been a member ever since.
Johnston's recollections come at the perfect time for fans of the group: on Nov. 6, the Blu-ray box set Quadio will collect rare quadrophonic and high-resolution stereo mixes of four seminal Johnston-era albums: Tolouse Street, The Captain and Me, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, and Stampede. The next day, next month, The Doobie Brothers will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a special presentation airing on HBO and HBO Max. A planned 50th anniversary tour initially set for 2020, with Johnston, McDonald, singer Pat Simmons and guitarist John McFee all participating, was rescheduled for the summer of 2021.