The Doobie Brothers College Home to Become A San Jose Landmark

Singer Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers performs onstage during the We are One Benefit concert, benefiting the Playing for Change Foundation, at The Mayan on October 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

The quaint suburban home of the legendary rock group The Doobie Brothers has been unanimously voted by the city of San Jose to become a city landmark.

The small, one-story Craftsman-style home was the hearth of some of the group’s most popular music. Singer Tom Johnston rented the property, 285 S. 12th St., from 1969 to 1973 while attending college, where the unassuming house would soon become a true house of music.

“There were always people at the house playing,” Johnston told Mercury News in 2019. “I would come home from school and find guys down in the basement blasting away….[it was] really neat place to be.”

The group would go on to write some of their classics, such as “Listen to the Music,” and release their first three studio albums in their time at the San Jose residence.

“I think this project really hits all the bells and whistles,” Anthony Raynsford, Commissioner of the San Jose Historic Landmarks Commission, told the Mercury News. “We have this amazing house with some architectural history behind it, we have the great historical report, we have the owners who have this amazing commitment to the house, and we have the historical connection with the musical culture of the Twentieth Century.”

The current owners, John and Lauren White, were the ones to submit the application for landmark status in May of 2021, and hold a firm commitment to refurbishing and maintaining the residence. If approved, the Whites plan to repaint the house and adorn the front with a plaque commemorating the site.

The Doobie Brothers have recently been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making them the first San Jose group to do so.




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