Long Train Runnin’ – The Doobie Brothers

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………..on January 7th of 1973 The Doobie Brothers record “Long Train Runnin'” for their upcoming album “The Captain and Me”. Doobie Brothers guitarist and lead singer Tom Johnston wrote this song, which they played live for three years before recording. Johnston told us: “Generally I write the music first, and sometimes I have a devil of a time getting the words. Sometimes they come right away, and sometimes it’s like pulling teeth. We played ‘Long Train Runnin” for three years before it got recorded, and it got called several different names, and most of the time I would make up the words as we were playing the song. Always a crowd-pleaser when The Doobies play this live, it starts with a very recognizable guitar riff that Johnston came up with. When he came up with the riff, Johnston didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary. In our 2009 interview, he said: “It surprises me, because we just finished doing that song in Japan for a TV show, and they wanted to know all about the guitar lick, and I really can’t tell anybody anything in depth. It’s just a lick to me.” This did not originally chart in the UK. However in 1993 it became the Doobie Brothers only British Top 10 hit when a remixed version climbed to #7 on the singles chart. Girl group Bananarama scored a #30 hit in the UK with their cover version, in which they were backed by The Gypsy Kings. Randy Bachman has implied that The Doobie Brothers lifted the guitar riff of this song from the Bachman-Turner Overdrive song “Let It Ride.” According to Bachman, in 1972 The Doobie Brothers were sharing a dressing room with BTO for a show at The Warehouse in New Orleans, which is when they wrote “Let It Ride.” The song topped off at #8 in the US.