This Friday night at Kaaboo, Michael McDonald will take the Trestles stage around 7:00 pm. While, at first take, it wouldn’t seem like he might fit in with today’s crowd, Michael is hip once again:
We’re featuring Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter on lead guitar two weeks in a row! This on a song from the album Takin It To The Streets – Skunk was the guy who brought Michael into the band:
By late 1974, touring was beginning to take its toll on the band, especially leader Tom Johnston. Things became worse during touring in support of Stampede when he was diagnosed with stomach ulcers. His condition worsened and several shows had to be canceled. With Johnston forced to reduce his involvement with the band, the other members considered just calling it quits but while in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, member Jeff Baxter suggested calling up friend and fellow Steely Dan graduate Michael McDonald who at the time was between gigs and living in a garage apartment. McDonald was reluctant at first, feeling he was not what they wanted, according to him, “…they were looking for someone who could play Hammond B-3 organ and a lot of keyboards, and I was just a songwriter/piano hacker. But more than anything, I think they were looking for a singer to fill Tommy’s shoes.” He agreed to join them and met them at the Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans where they moved on to a warehouse to rehearse for the next two days. Expecting to be finished once touring was completed, McDonald was surprised when the band invited him to the studio to work on their next album.