The great Michael McDonald will rejoin the Doobie Brothers for the band’s 50th anniversary trek next year. Rolling Stone reported that at the Doobie’s November 18th leg closing gig at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, McDonald joined former band mates Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, and John McFee for a rousing rendition of his first standard with the band, the 1976 classic “Takin’ It To The Streets.”
The upcoming 30-date trek will kick off on June 9th in West Palm Beach at Coral Sky Amphitheatre and wrap on October 10th at Houston’s The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Although McDonald has sat in numerous times with the band over the years, the upcoming anniversary shows mark McDonald’s first full-scale tour with the Doobies in nearly 25 years.
Co-founding guitarist Tom Johnston said in the tour announcement, “We’re truly excited about our 50th Anniversary Tour, as it’s a celebration of the band’s entire history. We’ll be performing songs from our full catalog, as well as new music.”
Michael McDonald posted, “Performing again with the Doobie Brothers is something I’ve been looking forward to for some time, especially in celebration of the band’s 50th Anniversary. Now that it’s happening, I couldn’t be more excited.”
Although Michael McDonald has never permanently joined back up with the Doobies following their initial 1987 mini-reunion tour, he told us he still loves his former bandmates deeply: [“I take a certain amount of pride that we had our share of band disputes, y’know, throwing furniture at each other backstage, and all that (like) bands do — y’know, in the crazy days. But it was always important to remember that we were friends first and I think that’s what we’ve walked away with. It’s probably more valuable than ten-times greater success monetarily or record sales-wise. We really, y’know, got through it, intact as friends, y’know? And I think we all kind of hang on to that with a. . . put a certain amount of value on that.”] SOUNDCUE (:30 OC: . . . value on that)
Pat Simmons recalled the band’s uneasy days when frontman and guitarist Tom Johnston was sidelined from the group due to stomach ulcers, with the band choosing then-Steely Dan sideman and vocalist Michael McDonald to become the band’s frontman and keyboardist. Simmons told us that during the making of the 1976 Takin’ It To The Streets album, the Doobies were far from sure that the band’s new sound was going to wash with fans: [“Y’know, when Tommy stepped out it was kind of like, ‘Oh, where do we go from here? What’s, what’s going to happen?’ And we just figured, hey, we’ve had a great run here. Let’s not over-think it, let’s just enjoy it and do the best we can, and make the best records we can. And if it happens, it happens — we’re not compromising our. . . what we’re doin’, y’know we’re still doin’ it to the best of our ability. And we knew it was good music, we, y’know, you never know what’s gonna be a hit, anyway.”] SOUNDCUE (:31 OC: . . a hit anyway)
Tom Johnston maintains that the band has never been in it just for the glory or the money: [“We’re very fortunate that we’re still out here able to be workin’ on a regular basis, because people wanna hear us. It’s been a long run — but it doesn’t seem like a long run. It seems like it was only yesterday that we started doing this, and we’re still out doing it now. But times have changed, and we got to witness it all. And having a good time — and that’s basically why we’re still doing it. If we weren’t having a good time, I don’t think I’d still be doin’ this.”] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC: . . . be doin’ this)
The Doobie Brothers have been nominated for induction into the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The top Rock Hall vote-getters will be announced in January and inducted on May 2nd, 2020 at Cleveland’s Public Hall, with the event airing live.
JUST ANNOUNCED: The Doobie Brothers 50th anniversary tour dates (subject to change):
June 9 – West Palm Beach, FL – Coral Sky Amphitheatre
June 10 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
June 14 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
June 17 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
June 19 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
June 20 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
June 23 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
June 24 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
June 26 – Allentown, PA – PPL Center
June 27 – Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion
June 29 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
June 30 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
July 2 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
July 3 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center
July 19 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
July 22 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center
July 26 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 30 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
August 2 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
August 4 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
August 8 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago
August 14 – St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis
August 30 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
September 2 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
September 5 – Seattle, WA – White River Amphitheatre
September 12 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
September 18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
October 3 – Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
October 9 – Irving, TX – Toyota Music Factory
October 10 – Houston, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
- The Doobie Brothers — Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, & John McFee — tour dates (subject to change):
November 20 – Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
November 22 – Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
November 23 – White Plains, NY – Westchester County Center
November 24 – Staten Island, NY – St. George Theatre
February 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22 – Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
- Michael McDonald will rejoin the Doobie Brothers next year for the band’s 30-date 50th anniversary.
- Although McDonald has sat in numerous times with the band over the years, the upcoming he shows mark McDonald’s first full-scale tour with the Doobies in nearly 25 years.
- Out now on CD/DVD is The Doobie Brothers Live At The Greek Theatre 1982. The concert, recorded during the band’s farewell tour, featured the final Doobie Brothers touring lineup of Pat Simmons, Michael McDonald, Keith Knudson, John McFee, Cornelius Bumpus, Chet McCracken, bassist Willie Weeks, and Bob LaKind.
- Joining the band were then-former Doobies John Hartman, Tiran Porter, Michael Hossack — as well as former guitarist and leader Tom Johnston.
- The show marked the band’s final show for five years, and the material was originally released in 1983 as the album, Farewell Tour.
- The CD tracklisting to The Doobie Brothers Live At The Greek Theatre 1982 is: “Listen To The Music, “Sweet Maxine,” “Rockin’ Down The Highway,” “You Belong To Me,” “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me),” “Long Train Runnin’,” “Black Water,” “Minute By Minute,” “Slat Key Soquel Rag,” “Out On The Streets,” “What A Fool Believes,” “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “China Grove,” “Listen To The Music,” “Little Darling (I Need You),” “One Step Closer,” “Dependin’ On You,” and “Real Love.”