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Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forty years and still making music and working together. A DB-produced documentary I found insightful as a DB novice., December 2, 2012
This review is from: Let the Music Play [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
In the essay by San Francisco Chronicle music journalist Joel Selvin which accompanies some great Doobie Brother memorabilia in the 8-page booklet inserted the BD case, Selvin refers to this 99-minute film as both a "sprawling documentary" and a "scrapbook", both terms that I think accurately describe the centerpiece of this DVD and Bluray package. When original DB member Pat Simmons discovered a trove of old videos spanning 40 years in his house, he - and the remaining DBs provided them to filmmaker Barry Ehrmann to create the film.

I'll admit up front that I have always liked the DBs but I was never a rabid fan and knew little about them other than what I heard on the radio. But, after watching this thoroughly enjoyable film, I know a lot more. And the snippets of songs I heard - there are no full performances in the film (how could there be? - they produced way too many hits) but nine are included as bonus tracks - brought back a lot of memories. All the important folks are here in open, and in depth, interviews. All the living members (four have died over the years) of the band, their manager (of 40 years!) Bruce Cohn and Producer Ted Templeman. Unlike many of these "story of" documentaries, it's not loaded with comments from music journalists or biographers. There's only one and, honestly, I forget his name and I'm not sure he adds much except from a fan's perspective.

The footage, both in the film and as part of the 43-minute "bonus" section, is not always the best lighted or sharpest but - if we are to believe Selvin's comment that much of this is being seen for the first time in years - it's certainly watchable. And, as the band sings in just one of their biggest hits, just "listen to the music". It's still great.

In 1982 when the band members decided it was time to quit for a while (actually only five years) they did it as friends and you hear no real animosity from any of them.

If you are DB devotee you may see this film from a different perspective and have some gripes. As for me, I found this both an insightful and entertaining film. Sure, five minutes before the end you hear the members promoting their latest album (and their new brand of wine - which benefits charities in the Bay Area), but the 94 minutes before that are (to excerpt another DB hit) "just alright with me".

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 13, 2013 5:03:54 PM PST
Not to nitpick, but the producer is Ted Templeman. I just think he deserves his name spelled correctly given his accomplishments, not just with the Doobies, BTW.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 7:32:25 AM PST
Steve Ramm says:
Thanks Bill: My boooboo. You are right. I'll go back and change it but - of course then yiour comment and this reply won't make much sense to others ;-)
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Location: Phila, PA USA

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