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The Doobie Brothers - Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers

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There probably aren't too many fans of the Doobie Brothers who wonder how the band got their name, especially among those who know that 'doobie' is slang for a marijuana cigarette. But early on in this documentary singer/guitarist Patrick Simmons explains that the band smoked a lot of pot when they were first getting started in Santa Cruz in the early '70s, adding that they were fully aware that the name was kind of silly. Through commentary from most of the group's main members including Tom Johnston, bassist Tiran Porter, Michael McDonald, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, longtime manager Bruce Cohn and producer Ted Templeman, Let the Music Play thoroughly tells the story of the Doobies from inception through to current day. The first part of the film documents the band's rise to stardom but most of the film finds the guys talking about two main things: how band members starting with founding member Johnston started leaving the band one-by-one because they were burned out by incessant touring and how the addition of McDonald totally changed the band's sound and dynamic. The McDonald era ended up being the band's commercial zenith but not without casualties; Baxter and McDonald did not get along, causing Baxter and others to take their leave. All the frustrations led Simmons to pull the plug on the band in '82 but the film also chronicles how a '90s reunion show brought Johnston back into the fold and led to a 'permanent' reformation of the band that continues today. Performance snippets are interspersed with the interview segments but bonus footage includes full performances of nine favorites including "China Grove," "Black Water," "Listen to the Music" and "Rockin' Down the Highway."

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