Today’s Blimp Time-Hop
39 years ago today, The Doobie Brothers came to the Civic Center on the brink of their massive success Minute By Minute. On August 23, 1978, it was a sold-out show in Portland on the Livin’ on the Fault Line tour! This was the Patrick Simmons/Michael McDonald led line-up which also featured Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar. The new Doobies tunes spinning on BLM in the summer of ’78 were Little Darlin’ (I Need You) and Echoes of Love. They of course included songs from the Tom Johnston era like China Grove and Long Train Runnin’ on this tour as well. Tom Johnston left the band in 1977 after being side-lined by health issues and growing creative conflicts. Michael McDonald was recruited to be the lead vocalist during this time by “Skunk”, who worked with him in Steely Dan. It is so very cool that Blimpsters got to see this funkier version of the Doobies with the blue-eyed soul of Michael McDonald in their one and only Portland appearance. The Doobie Brothers returned to Maine as a Patrick Simmons/Tom Johnston led outfit in the summer of ’91 at SEAPAC in OOB and as recently as last summer in Bangor with Journey.
By the way, Michael McDonald returns to Portland for a show at the State Theatre on October 17th! Ya Gu Be There!