Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California on September 24, 1999 · Page 51
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Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California · Page 51

Santa Cruz, California
Issue Date:
Friday, September 24, 1999
Page 51
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- - ' -.jinwnwr '""""'"""" " p uMini , .. .n m . By SCOTT COOPER Sentinel music writer "uick! Who's the most famous I lband to ever come out of San-ta Cruz? Maybe Snail, or Harpers' Bizarre, possibly Fury 66? All three have transcended mere "local band" status, but none have even nibbled at fame and commercial success compared to the Doobie Brothers, who headline Sunday's Fat Fry. Well, all right, if you want to be nitpicky, the Doobie Brothers didn't really come from Santa Cruz, but it's not as interesting a story without that delusion. And besides, they do have extensive Santa Cruz connections. "I've been coming to Santa Cruz since I was a. kid," says founding Doobie Pat Simmons, who also lived on Branciforte Drive for about 20 years. "I used to go shows at the Cocoanut Grove. They used to have rock shows. I saw the Tikis, Paul Revere & Raiders. I used to go a club in Scotts Valley called the Barn. It was a real popular place. Big Brother & the Holding Company played there. The Dead. You name it, they all played there." During that time, Mike Hossack, one of two current Doobies drummers, lived nearby. Multi-instrumentalist John McFee was born here, former horn player Cornelius Bumpus is also from Santa Cruz, and current bassist Skylark still lives here. Keyboard player Dale Ockerman, though no longer performing with the band, still plays around town, and former bassist s Tiran Porter still lives near the . summit. At some point in time, you'd figure, they would have crossed paths with some of the other former local musicians performing at this weekend's party. After all, members of the Radiators used to live in a com 16 "Spqtlighf Sentinel Friday, Sept. 24, 19??! Talkin' 'bout China Grade For years, the Doobie Brothers have had a bit of Santa Cruz in their blood mune near Boulder Creek, and the drummer from the String Cheese Incident is a UC Santa Cruz alumnus. They'll get a chance to reminisce at the Fat Fry, but the chances of them running into each other are otherwise pretty slim. The Radiators are based in New Orleans, the String Cheese Incident hangs its collective hat in Colorado, and the Doobie Brothers are scattered about the West. Doobies guitaristsingersongwriter Simmons now lives in Maui, while other Brothers live throughout California. But don't get the idea that island living has rubbed off on the Doobie Brothers' music. "I love slack key guitar," Simmons says, "(but) I can't say it has influenced my writing. I'm writing rock 'n' roll, R&B, space stuff still." And don't get the idea that this weekend's performance will only be comprised of that "space stuff." "We don't want to overwhelm the audience with new material," the Tve been coming to Santa Cruz since I was a kid,' Pat Simmons longhaired guitarist says. "We try to do the songs we think people want to hear." People probably want to hear hits like "China Grove," Black Water" and "Listen to the Music." If they don't play your favorite Doobie Brothers hit, chances are you can find it on the band's soon-to-be-released, eight-disc box set from Rhino records. Titled "Long Train Run-nin'," the package will include all hits as well as outtakes, demos, and one song from a new Doobie Brothers record due out next spring. For better or worse, the as-of-yet-untitled record will not be made in an attempt to latch on to today's musical trends. The Doobie Brothers are not "in." They do not sound like the Backstreet Boys, Kid Rock, nor the Dixie Chicks, and certainly not Jennifer Lopez. And, they do not try to incorporate hip-hop rhythms or synth-drums samples. Damn them if you desire, but the Doobie Brothers still sound like the Doobie Brothers you've known since high school. "We don't try to be trendy because you shoot yourself in the foot doing that," Simmons says. "We know what our strengths are and we try to draw from those rather than to try to be something we're not. We just try to be true to ourselves." And for all those who've belted out the "whoa-uh-whoa" part of Music "Listen to the Music," that's a good thing. There's nothing like old dinosaurs trying to sound like young lions, and instead looking like tired jackasses. "If anything, we emulate ourselves more than we try to emulate anyone else." Sadly though, they're not the only ones emulating the Doobie Brothers. A former band associate was recently booking dates for a bogus band with the same name, before the real Doobie Brothers sought a legal injunction. "First we had to find him, and then we put a stop to that," Simmons says. "The guy has no life. All he wants to do is use his energies to rip off other bands. We're not the only band. At least for the time being we've got him stopped." Adding insult to injury is the fact that this bogus band included some of Simmons's old bandmates, including the aforementioned Bum-pus, as well as Dave Shogren and Chet McCracken. "How who much knowledge they had remains to be seen," Simmons says. "I've always had a great deal of respect for those guys. I hope they're not part of his scheme." Preview The Doobie Brothers, headlining the Sunday half of this weekend's Fat Fry Festival (with the Radiators, Derek Trucks : Band, Fred Eaglesmith, Ray Wylie Hubbard . ' Sunday, gates open at I 10:30 a.m. I Aptos Village Park, . Aptos ; Single day, $28; Day of 1 the show, $32; Two-day X pass, $50. i 420-2800 But this weasel the very type who contributes to negative stereotypes of the music "business" hasn't been satisfied with just booking bogus bands; he also tries to sell bogus recordings. "He took our old demos and released them as his property. They really weren't. We had to put a stop to that in the U.S. He took it overseas and sold the same demos in other countries. He has no life of his own. He's done the same to other bands, including Santana. All he wants to do is use his energies to rip off other bands." Meanwhile, the real Doobie Brothers rip off nobody, neither financially nor musically.

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