41 & Done: Takin’ It To the Streets And Robin Williams
For this edition of 41 & Done, John recalls “Takin’ it to the streets” with Robin Williams and The Doobie Brothers.
From the mid-70s to the mid-80s, the record business was absolutely exploding. The albums were bigger than they had ever been before. Record companies were just trying to top other record companies with the type of parties they could throw to debut a new album. Even though he was a baby disc jockey, John got to go.
In 1978, Warner Brothers decided to throw a debut party for the new Doobie Brothers album, Minute by Minute. The Doobie Brothers had been on A roll for the past couple of albums. A couple of years earlier, they had the single “Takin’ It To The Streets” out and Warner Brothers decided to have a “takin’ it to the streets” party. They closed off the intersection of Mulberry and Mott streets in the middle of Little Italy in Manhattan. These parties were always special, but DeBella was used to going to them. John assumed that this would be like any other party, but for some reason, this one became a huge Hollywood event. There were more actors at this party than there were radio and record people.
All of a sudden this couple walks over to DeBella, and the guy looks at him and says, “Hey, are these two seats taken?” John paused for a moment when he realized it was Robin Williams. John was in shock. But there he was, sitting there enjoying himself, drinking cappuccinos with Robin Williams and his wife. All while The Doobie Brothers were “takin’ it to the streets.”