Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Defense of Michael McDonald


In another forum today, a person made a crack about Michael McDonald of Doobie Brothers fame. Often accused of draining away any amount of rock left in the band, I found myself defending the guy. Now, he probably was guilty of said charges but I often associate certain songs and sounds with certain times in my life. When I hear "What A Fool Believes" I get drawn in. Actually, I get sucked in anytime I hear that keyboard sound. It's mostly nostalgia. When I hear those songs I am 7 years old again and it is early summer. I am laying on the carpet with those big headphones on in front of the record player and the sun is shining through the windows. My dad is making fried chicken. The world was perfect then. I was perfect then. At least that's how I like to remember it.

There is a particularly good rant about this topic in the movie Diner. Shrevie (Daniel Stern) is a music fanatic and after his wife wrongly categorizes his records, he launches into a tirade about how each one of them takes him back to a special time and place. He knows exactly where he was when he heard each of them for the first time. The scene is really about the disconnect between he and his wife and his pining for his lost youth but it really spoke to me. Great buddy movie with stellar performances by guys no longer associated with good acting. Check it out.

Anyway, I may curse the radio for Michael's later atrocities but he gets a pass from me for the stuff he made with the Doobie's. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go download that album and tune the way-back machine to 1978. Where's my ELO records?

9 comments:

edP said...

I'll second that.

Michael MacDonald was the low singing guy right?

Michael K said...

Yeah and really soft consonants. He sang backing vocals on "Ride Like the Wind" by Christopher Cross.

The Old Dog said...

Just stop now Mike. I won't be able to hold back any longer.

edP said...

Was Christopher Cross in the Doobies?

Michael K said...

Now you're just trying to get me to say something to set OD off. Something like, "Steely Dan were awesome!"

edP said...

Was Christopher Cross in Steely Dan?

That was the kid with the fucked up pants right?

Prairie Dawg said...

Did you guys ever see the SCTV skit where Michael McDonald (Rick Moranis) wakes up late for his session doing backups to "Run Like the Wind?"

Michael K said...

No, but I would like to.

Prairie Dawg said...

The song plays as the soundtrack of the skit. McDo wakes up late, thinks about going back to sleep, realizes he has a session, scrambles to get his clothes on, grab a bite and get out of the house. We follow him in the car, "riding like the wind," getting antsy at the stop light, etc. Gets to the studio, bursts through the door, runs down the stairs, gets into the vocal booth and claps the cans on his head just in time to sing "Such a long way to gooooo." Takes the headphones off, runs back outside, gets back in the car, starts riding like the wind, realizes he forgot the second chorus, runs back and does it again, in the nick of time.