The Doobie Brothers

John Hartman, The Doobie Brothers

Drummer John Hartman, 1973

The Doobie Brothers formed in 1970 in San Jose, California area, with original members Tom Johnson, Patrick Simmons, Dave Shogren and John Hartman. Over the last five decades, the band has consistently played and toured, with the exception of a five-year period between 1982 and 1987.

For many of these years, Dan Fong toured right alongside them, wearing multiple hats as the band’s caterer, tour manager, media coordinator, photographer, and even videographer.  His photographs grace seven covers of the band’s albums including What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974) and Takin’ It to the Streets (1976).  

Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald, 1975

Michael McDonald, who played and sang with the Doobie Brothers from 1975-1982, in 1987, and from 2019 to the present, refers to Fong as “a true renaissance man in the world of rock and roll.  A great photographer, world class chef, manager, promoter and life long friend.”

Doobie Brothers on the "Doobie Liner"

Playing cards on the "Doobie Liner," 1973

Dan Fong took thousands of backstage and off-stage photographs of the Doobies, including those depicted here of drummer John Hartman (top, above) in 1973 in his wild stage attire, Michael McDonald in mid-sentence (middle, above) before one of his earliest shows with the band in 1975, and band members playing cards on the “Doobie Liner,” a private plane leased from another band for their 1973 tour (left).  As Fong recalls, the lease stipulated that they had to use the other band's pilot, a man who would often party after the concert with the band and would frequently and noticeably be impaired when beginning the next day of flying. On their last flight of the tour, Fong, and many other passengers, had serious doubts about whether they would make it to their destination alive. This was corroborated by another pilot on the ground who saw the plane's shaky landing. According to Fong, the pilot who was flying ended up moving to South America, where he died a short time later when a plane he was piloting crashed.