Doobie Brothers’ Pat Simmons discusses band’s “unique” new memoir he co-wrote with Tom Johnston

Doobie Brothers’ Pat Simmons discusses band’s “unique” new memoir he co-wrote with Tom Johnston
St. Martin’s Press

Doobie Brothers co-founders members Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston teamed up to write a new memoir about their famous band titled Long Train Runnin’: Our Story of The Doobie Brothers that’s available now.

Simmons tells ABC Audio that having the book co-written by him and Tom gives fans the chance to learn about the band’s history from the different perspectives of two guys who were there from the beginning.

“[I]t was kind of unique, because it’s both Tom and myself telling a story,” Simmons notes. “[I think that’s] a little bit better all the way around, since…it’s hard to remember…what was going on through the years. And it was nice to kind of reflect on aspects that somebody else might have seen a little differently from your own [recollection].”

Simmons says parts of the book that he thinks fans will find particularly interesting include how the band came together, details about how The Doobies made their records, and the successful period in the group’s history when Michael McDonald became the frontman at a time that Johnston was experiencing serious health issues.

Regarding the making of The Doobies’ music, Simmons notes, “[H]ow we put those songs together, how we wrote them, how we built them is kind of an interesting aspect that…I thought…was kind of unique in terms of the wide variety of ways that we approached songwriting and how songs were created.”

As for McDonald joining the band and the resulting change in the sound of the group’s music, Pat says, “[I]t was an arduous process. And it worked out, luckily.”

Long Train Runnin’ also features commentary from various other Doobie Brothers members, alums and associates, including McDonald, former bassist Tiran Porter, longtime multi-instrumentalist John McFee and producer Ted Templeman.

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