Rockin' Down the Highway

Album: Toulouse Street (1972)

Songfacts®:

  • Never released as a single, this is a popular song from the second Doobie Brothers album, Toulouse Street, which contains their breakout hit "Listen To The Music." Like many of The Doobies early hits, it was written by their lead singer Tom Johnston, who told Songfacts: "'Rockin' Down The Highway' was a good times song. It's just what it sounds like. It's about being in a car with the top down flying down the road, which was not uncommon. I lived in San Jose, but I spent a lot of time in the Santa Cruz Mountains and driving up and down Highway 1 down by Santa Cruz. You know, we hadn't signed with a label at that particular time, and I would imagine that the words came out of those experiences: it was footloose, fancy free, and just groovin' up and down the coast, partying. I don't think there was anything more in depth about it as far as the words. I don't think there's any major story to be told there. I mention a motorcycle in there, and it's not a direct mention, but it kind of glances off motorcycling and riding around in cars. I was motorcycle nuts in those days, so there's a reference to that."

Comments: 3

  • Ryan L Stone from Montgomeryville PaRockin' Down the Highway WAS released as single, on the flipside of 'Jesus Is Just Alright' WB 7661. It did not chart, but is still available.
  • Andy from Republic, Pa, PaThe Doobies are a deffinet influence on music. While with Michael they are good, Tom Johnston makes them sound fantabulous.
  • N from Staten Island, NyDefinitely a great 1970s "driving" song, from the days when gas was cheap and V8s ruled the road. Not for Prius owners. Also available on the CD "Best of the Doobies (Warner ctalog# 3112-2).
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Metallica

MetallicaFact or Fiction

Beef with Bon Jovi? An unfortunate Spandex period? See if you can spot the true stories in this Metallica version of Fact or Fiction.

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse Pop

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

90s Music Quiz 1

90s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

First question: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson appeared in videos for what artist?