The Doobie Brothers' Patrick Simmons: "I Always Thought It Was a Nutty Name"
The band has such varied influences, and each of the charter members come from such different backgrounds. How were you able to reconcile these different styles and fuse them together so cohesively? Was there ever a clash of styles?
I don't think there was ever a clash in our minds. We always made the effort to facilitate each others' styles and create the best songs we could out of the ideas that were presented.
With all the awards, accolades, and honors you've received, do you ever feel like you're competing with your past? Or are you content to rest on your laurels? Are there future goals and achievements you're still looking to attain? Or do you feel like you can never top your earlier selves so why try?
We're always trying to be creative and come up with new ideas. We don't feel the pressure to constantly be in the studio that we once had, but we continue to write and record, and I'm sure we'll continue to make records. There's great enjoyment in the process, and it's still fun.
Aside from the new album, which retraces your hits with a bunch of superstar special guests, can we expect any new Doobies material in the near future?
I'm sure that will happen.
Do you find audiences only want to hear the hits? And if so, does that make it difficult to introduce new material into your shows?
Not at all. We play new material and deep cuts from various albums all the time. The audiences love that we still have new stuff and that we take some chances.
Considering the origins of your name -- and the Doobie (i.e., marijuana) reference, did you ever regret that you had chosen that handle or that it would kind of align you with a certain element? Or conversely, because of pot's growing acceptance, do you find that the name is more relevant and culture-friendly than ever before?
I always thought it was a nutty name, but since we were actually authentic hippies at the time, we thought it was funny and clever. Too late to change it now...
Speaking of which, did you ever play any pro-pot rallies?
Yes, every night! [laughs]
Tell us about the causes that you support. You've done concerts to raise money for military families, no?
That has probably been our most visible support mission. We started back when the Vietnam veterans were returning, and it's continued to be an ongoing part of our concern. We try to raise money every year for various veterans groups. VFW posts, outreach programs, Wounded Warriors. There will never be enough we can do to help our returning brothers and sisters. We also have tried to do things for musicians' aid programs, education programs, food banks, hospitals, pediatric care, cancer research, and many others.
The Doobie Brothers perform at SunFest on Friday, May 2, at 9 p.m.
SunFest. Also performing are Kid Rock, Robin Thicke, J. Cole, Ellie Goulding, and others. 5 to 10 p.m. on April 30 to May 2, noon to 11 p.m. on May 3, noon to 9:20 p.m. on May 4, at 525 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $30 to $71 plus fees. Call 561-659-5980, or visit sunfest.com.
New Party Rules for Millennials
10 Best Hipster Bars in Broward and Palm Beach Counties
Top 20 Sexiest R&B Songs from the '90s to Today
Ten Best Florida Metal Bands of All Time