Patrick Simmons, singer and guitarist from the Doobie Brothers turns 72 today. He is the only member that has been there continuously since they formed. Their producer and engineer knew a good riff when they heard one. The song Black water which made it to the album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits made it to # 1 in 1974. A producer who can hear a hit song is said to have “ears.” Pat Simmons explains that in the case of “Black Water,” what their producer heard wasn’t even a whole song.
“I just had this guitar riff, I didn’t have a song. I’m out in the studio cutting another song, actually, and I had an acoustic guitar in my hand and I start playing that riff. And Ted Templeman and Donn Landy — Ted the producer and Donn the engineer — were in the control room and I heard on the talkback, ‘What is that? Is that a new song you have?’ And I go, ‘No, that’s just a riff.’ And Ted comes on the talkback and says, ‘You should write a song with that riff,’ so I went home and wrote the tune.”