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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

San Jose’s Doobie Brothers house headed for historic landmark status

A San Jose home where world-renowned rock band The Doobie Brothers got its start and wrote some of its biggest hits is poised to become a part of history.

San Jose’s Historic Landmarks Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to recommend that the City Council declare the Craftsman-style home at 285 S. 12th St. a historic city landmark. The council will make the final call in the coming weeks.

The single-story home, tucked away in the Naglee Park neighborhood, was rented by the band’s singer and songwriter Tom Johnston from 1969 to 1973 while attending San Jose State University.

During Johnston’s time on 12th Street, he wrote some of the group’s best-known hits, including “Listen to the Music,” in the home’s living room. The band also released its first three studio albums during that time frame, including “Toulouse Street” and “The Captain and Me.”

In a 2019 interview with this news organization, Johnston reflected on his time in San Jose, calling it a “really neat place to be” and to pursue a love for music.

“There were always people at the house playing,” he said. “I would come home from school and find guys down in the basement blasting away.”

The Doobie Brothers went on to sell more than 40 million albums, becoming the most successful pure San Jose band in city history.

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