Doobie Brothers Rockin’ Down the Highway History Tour – Stop #5: Mount Tamalpais, Marin County CA
43 years ago, April 25 1975, the Doobies' classic album “Stampede” was released. To get the inside story on how that cool cowboy cover came to be, and where it was shot, I tracked down Michael Maggid, the talented photographer who crafted the images for the album (among other legendary Doobie covers).
He told me, “The concept for the album title and cover sort of evolved from collective discussions with the band while they were recording. We set up to shoot the principal photos in Marin County, since I think most of the band lived up here. (I later photographed Skunk Baxter in a park in San Francisco, as he had not yet joined the band at the time of the cover shoot.) So on the day of the album shoot, we had arranged for an early morning meet-up at the bus station in downtown Mill Valley, CA. There were the band members, various wives and girlfriends, several Warner Record production and art folks, myself and my wife Jill, horse wranglers, a substantial group.
We all caravanned up to Mount Tamalpais, where we had arranged to have permission to shoot on a little dirt road. We had costumes and six-guns, etc. from the Warner prop department. So, all set up, the band goes back up the dirt road and charges, as best they can, toward the camera. Looks OK. Let's do that a couple more times. But... Pat Simmons has vanished. Gone. He turned up two miles away several hours later, and missed the entire rest of the shoot. He said he got lost.” (Note: Pat confirmed for me that the horse “had a mind of its own” and indeed took him on an unplanned side trip through the mountains.)
By the way, Michael also shared that the cover art was shot in black and white, and hand tinted in the antique style by Jill andhe to try to get a 19th century feel to the images.
(Throughout 2018, author/music journalist Chris Epting presents the “Doobie Brothers Rockin’ Down the Highway History Tour,” highlighting sites all over the country related to Doobies history.)
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