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music friday: the doobie brothers

The newest inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced: Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex.

I agree on Depeche Mode, Whitney, and Biggie, although only the latter actually mattered much to me. Kraftwerk is the biggest snub, especially if they are starting to include more synth music.

Rationally, I think the Doobie Brothers are the worst of this group of six. I mean, I was never a fan of Whitney Houston, but it's hard to argue with any woman managing to get inducted. I'm pretty sure I'd only recognize one Depeche Mode song, but that's on me, they clearly belong. But the Doobies?

And yet ... in terms of the amount of enjoyment I took from all these artists, the Doobie Brothers probably rank at the top. And I should recognize that fact, before I consign them to the pit of overrated bands.

Basically, I'm talking about the pre-Michael McDonald Doobies, i.e., fuck Yacht rock.

I lived near Santa Cruz in 1970-71, and the Doobie Brothers were in the air. They released their first album in '71, and they were something of a house band at the Chateau Liberté in the Santa Cruz mountains. I really started to notice them when the hits arrived. Any band that came up with "Long Train Runnin'", "China Grove", and "Black Water" is OK by me, and I listen to those songs to this day. (Their covers of "Jesus Is Just Alright" and "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me)" are good as well.) Whether this amounts to a Hall of Fame career is something I'm not prepared to say. But in honor of those three songs, I can at least give them a Music Friday.

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