Patrick Simmons was born in the rainy western coastal town of Aberdeen, Washington on October 19, 1948. Since his parents were both school teachers, five year old Patrick spent time after school with a babysitter, who just happened to be a piano teacher. This sparked an interest in music, which has continued throughout his life. At the age of six Pat and his family moved to San Jose, California. By the age of eight, Pat had discovered the guitar. With the help of an eight year old neighbor he was able to learn the basics of chording and accompanying himself as he sang. He continued to play all through elementary school and by the age of thirteen he was in his first rock and roll band. Later on in high school he also sang in the choir.
Pat’s first professional gig, at age fifteen, was at the Brass Knocker Coffee House in Saratoga, California. He played folk, blues and traditional music along with some original tunes. He continued to play a circuit of small coffee houses, bars, restaurants and clubs by himself and with various bands around the San Francisco Bay Area while finishing high school.
In 1967, Pat enrolled at San Jose State College where he pursued a degree in Psychology. He alternated his studies with performances on most weekends. It was during one of these performances in 1969 at the Gaslighter Theater in Campbell, California that Pat first met Tom Johnston and John Hartman, who were at the time playing in a band with former Moby Grape member and mutual friend Skip Spence. The three musicians, introduced by Skip, began a relationship that would last for over twenty-five years.
At the time Pat was playing in a band called Scratch with future Doobie bass player Tiran Porter and violinist Mike Mindel. A short time later, when Scratch broke up, Pat accepted an invitation to join with Tom, John and bass player Dave Shogren to form a new band and the Doobie Brothers were born.
Throughout the bands’ career, Pat has contributed many songs that have become Doobie classics. The hit “Black Water”, was the group’s first #1 record. He also penned such memorable songs such as, “South City Midnight Lady”, “Dependin’ On You”, “Echoes of Love” and the motorcycling song “Dangerous”. While the group has experienced many personnel changes over the years, Pat has remained as the only member who has stuck with the band and continues to be the driving force behind the Doobie Brothers.
He has also recorded two solo albums, “Arcade” in 1983 and in 1995 the Japanese release “Take Me To The Highway”.
Recently Pat produced, played on, and engineered a recording by Tim O’Connor, the “hitch hiking poet” – a project worth giving a listen to. Entitled Run Over by Love, the album features songs from the movie “Dead Calm”, starring Billy Zane and Nicole Kidman.
Pat lists some of his musical influences as Chet Atkins, Rev. Gary Davis, Mike Bloomfield, B.B. King, Doc Watson, the Moby Grape, Jorma Kaukonen, the Byrds, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.
Pat loves spending time with his lovely wife Cris and his three wonderful children Lindsey, Josh and Patrick Jr. He and Cris are avid motorcyle enthusiasts. Both love to ride their Harleys and enjoy attending motorcycle events and collecting motorcycle memorabilia. They also enjoy horseback riding and surfing.