The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band. The group has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide throughout their career. The band has been active in five decades, with their biggest success occurring in the 1970s. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.
Drummer John Hartman arrived in California in 1969 determined to meet Skip Spence of Moby Grape and join an aborted Grape reunion. Spence introduced Hartman to singer, guitarist, and songwriter Tom Johnston and the two proceeded to form the nucleus of what would become The Doobie Brothers. Johnston and Hartman called their fledgling group “Pud” and experimented with lineups (occasionally including Spence) and styles as they performed in and around San Jose. They were mostly a power trio (along with bassist Greg Murphy) but briefly worked with a horn section.
In 1970, they teamed up with singer, guitarist, and songwriter Patrick Simmons and bass guitarist Dave Shogren. Simmons had belonged to several area groups (among them “Scratch”, an acoustic trio with future Doobies bassist Tiran Porter) and also performed as a solo artist. He was already an accomplished fingerstyle player whose approach to the instrument complemented Johnston’s rhythmic R&B strumming.