Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
Matt’s Mix Tape, Vol. 153
Hi, I’m Matt Tillotson, and this is Matt’s Mix Tape. My life is a new mix these days. And so is this newsletter.
This week’s Mix:
Odd team-ups making creative magic
LinkedIn learnings + posts
This week’s (not) Florida photo
Odd team-ups make creative magic
As Steven Hyden morbidly warns us in “Twilight of The Gods:” we are steadily losing many of the greatest rock acts of all time. The immortal rock stars of yesterday are, sadly, mortal after all.
If you love their music as I do—especially acts from the 70’s like Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, and Chicago—the time to see them is now.
That includes the Doobie Brothers.
Michael McDonald is reunited with his former bandmates as part of a 50th anniversary tour. The group finally made its way to Tampa after a two-year and two-cancellation delay, thwarted first by COVID and then by a tropical storm.
We, the survivors of plague and precipitation, gathered to see the show this week.
Today McDonald looks like a stand-in for a Macy's department store Santa. But the same unbelievable voice still reverberates, and his fingers still fly over the keyboard at speeds that would make Dasher jealous.
McDonald was an odd bolt-on to the Doobie Brothers in 1975. A little-known keyboard player and backup vocalist, his musical tastes didn’t mesh with the Doobies’ established sound.
Which was just what the band needed.
McDonald took center-stage with the Doobies, pivoting the band’s guitar-rock driven sound to an R&B / “Blue-Eyed Soul” vibe—Yacht Rock, if you will—and the band caught new wind in its sagging sails.
He wrote and sang a parade of new hits, including the ultimate Yacht Rock anthem, “What a Fool Believes:”
What can writers take away from this ill-fitting combination of guitar-rockers with a Motown-loving keyboardist?
The oddest, seemingly incompatible team-ups can create absolute magic. History, even, as the band entered the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. Working with others bends creative work in unpredictable ways.
While it takes great creativity to break through the noise, it doesn’t take decades of great creativity to completely change your life. It’s been many years since the Doobie Brothers or McDonald have a had a hit. And yet they still record music and play to full amphitheaters.
P.S.: Despite his immense talent, McDonald remained the ultimate teammate. He sang backing vocals for so many artists that SCTV eventually paid comedic homage to his hustle:
LinkedIn Learnings + Posts
Still waiting on that first truly “viral” post. This week I published my most viewed and most liked post, so I’m making progress. Slowly adding followers as well.
The LinkedIn experiment seems worth continuing. I’m enjoying the challenge of getting a short post out 4-5 times a week.
This weeks’ Florida photo
The aforementioned Doobie Brothers show, two years after its initial show date.
Thank you for reading!
Whatever you’re working on or working through: keep showing up.
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