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POP EYE

March 01, 1987|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

THE BROTHERS ARE BACK: With oldies radio grabbing solid ratings in virtually every market around the country, is it any wonder that all sorts of aging rockers are talking about getting back together? The Monkees have already done it--and in recent months we've also heard reports about possible reunions by the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Led Zeppelin and Spirit.

But one band's already made it official. The Doobie Brothers, who last played nearly five years ago, will stage a reunion concert May 23 at the Hollywood Bowl. Better still, the comeback is for a good cause. All proceeds from the show will go to the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation, an organization run by former U.S. Army psych officer Shad Meshad that aids and counsels Vietnam vets.

"The major goals of the show are to increase awareness of the veterans' plight and, of course, to raise money," explained Keith Knudsen, the ex-Doobies drummer who's now a member of the band Southern Pacific. "Last year, I read Shad's book, 'Captains for Dark Mornings,' which was a really moving account of his experiences. Afterwards, I got together with him and got to spend some time with some vets and saw what they've gone through. It's pretty incredible. These guys have had a tough go of it. For whatever reasons, they've never really gotten that welcome home that they deserve."

Knudsen began calling former Doobies members, who were equally enthusiastic about reuniting for a good cause. He said the concert will feature virtually every Doobie Brothers member, including Patrick Simmons, Michael McDonald, Tom Johnston, Jeff Baxter, Tiran Porter, John Hartman and John McFee. (The band will also stage a Bay Area concert May 25, with proceeds going to the Stanford Children's Hospital, a leading cancer research center.)

"We think it's important for us to do something, regardless of how small, to make a contribution to the vets," Knudsen said. "Right now everyone's very excited. The members of the original band are rehearsing up north, and the more recent members are working down here. It's not a permanent thing--we're just going to do the Vets concert, and perhaps a couple of other benefits. My first priority is still Southern Pacific. But if we all had the time to do a tour, I think it'd be great."

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