Doobie Brothers Rockin’ Down the Highway History Tour – Stop #3
Newhall Pass, where Interstates 5 and 14 meet
Los Angeles County, CA
45 years ago TODAY saw the release of the album that led many to fall in love with the Doobie Brothers: 1973’s The Captain and Me. Do you remember? This is the LP that delivered such soon-to-standards as “Long Train Runnin’,” “China Grove,” “South City Midnight Lady”. and “Without You.” And talk about a classic album cover. I asked Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston to break it down.
Pat explained, “Our producer, Ted Templeman’s assistant Benita Brassiere put the shoot together. Our drummer, John Hartman, was the the one who got the idea going. We all sat around brainstorming, and as the concept began to take shape, we all started throwing in ideas, coach, horses, top hats, vampires, gothic, banquet table, creepy stuff. It was a complete surprise to me when I got there. All the costumes, props, coach, and horses, and a couple of wranglers to handle the animals, and harness them to the coach, came from the Warner Brothers movie studios in Burbank. Somebody from the record label pulled some strings, and helped us to make it happen. Arguably our most interesting album cover."
Tom told me, “The Sylmar earthquake of ’71 is what caused the freeway to collapse. It was definitely a wild place to do the shoot. Warner Bros Studio lot was where the costumes, the carriage/stagecoach and horses, and the large table everyone is sitting around in the centerfold of the album came from. We had a lot of fun doing this shoot and not a few peeks over the end of the freeway overpass. Oddly enough this overpass was repaired only to collapse again in pretty much the same place in the Northridge quake in 1994.”
Every day, thousands of motorists pass this location in and out of Los Angeles. But how many of them know they are passing under a classic rock and roll landmark?
(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.)
... show more