Ray Sawyer

Dr. Hook confirms everything you want to believe about the 70s

Okkervil River’s Will Sheff posted a fantastic essay on his “very-favorite-ever cinematic document of a rock and roll band” which happens to be “a 10-dollar import DVD of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show doing a live-for-German-TV performance sometime in 1974.”

It’s interesting timing, because just a couple months ago GLONO co-founder Derek Phillips, who I call Phil, turned me on to the glory that is video footage of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show from the 70s. I knew “Cover of Rolling Stone” from classic rock radio, but didn’t know anything else and had certainly never seen them live.

Seeing this video blew my mind. Will Sheff put a lot of thought into his essay, but what we’re presenting below are our first reactions to experiencing this crazy, wasted party that was a live Dr. Hook show.

Session Start (Jake:Phil): Thu Nov 29 13:08:45 2012
[13:08] Phil: Hey
[13:09] Jake: yo
[13:10] Phil: You see that crazy shit I posted to the GLONO FB?
[13:10] Jake: no
[13:10] Phil: Dude
[13:10] Phil: Take a break and watch it
[13:10] Jake: the dr hook video?
[13:10] Phil: yes
[13:11] Phil: it is awesome
[13:11] Jake: watching now
[13:11] Jake: those guys are wasted
[13:11] Phil: big time
[13:11] Jake: not in tune at all
[13:11] Phil: Oh no
[13:12] Phil: I mean, why tune up? You’re only on TV
[13:12] Jake: i didn’t realize that’s what dr hook looks like
[13:12] Phil: Looked
[13:12] Phil: past tense, by a long shot
[13:12] Jake: wow
[13:12] Phil: oh yeah
[13:12] Phil: keep watching
[13:12] Jake: the shirt thing!
[13:13] Jake: eyepatch!?!!!
[13:13] Phil: hahahaha
[13:13] Phil: I know. It’s crazy
[13:13] Jake: who’s george?
[13:13] Jake: he’s hairy.
[13:13] Jake: i can practically smell them from here
[13:14] Jake: the eyepatch guy’s dance moves are COLOSSAL
[13:14] Jake: he is the coolest guy i’ve ever seen
[13:14] Jake: wait. that SOLO?
[13:14] Jake: WHAT?
[13:15] Jake: these guys are not sober
[13:15] Phil: I don’t think so either!
[13:15] Jake: OMG
[13:15] Phil: I think they’ve been drinking!
[13:15] Jake: this is the greatest performance i’ve ever seen
[13:15] Phil: you’re welcome.
[13:16] Jake: holy crap
[13:16] Phil: I had to make sure you saw it
[13:16] Jake: this confirms everything i thought was true about the 70s
[13:16] Jake: but only had photo evidence
[13:16] Jake: like from goose lake
[13:16] Jake: or the grand river raft race
[13:18] Phil: When you have a minute go YouTube Willie’s 4th of July picnic videos
[13:18] Phil: more of the same
[13:18] Phil: pure awesome
[13:19] Jake: reading dr hook’s wiki page now
[13:20] Phil: dude has lived
[13:20] Phil: and his album with Dan Auerbach is tight
[13:20] Phil: …and I am not a fan of Dr. Hook’s music normally
[13:23] Jake: dude that’s dr john
[13:23] Jake: different doctor
[13:24] Phil: Oh ho!
[13:25] Phil: Yes, I meant Dr. John, not Dr. Hook
[13:25] Phil: but what do I know about any of this?
[13:25] Phil: I have multiple work conversations going on
[13:25] Phil: I don’t know who I am
[13:25] Phil: where am I?
[13:25] Phil: I am as drunk as those dudes
[13:25] Jake: i want to know what kind of show that dr hook song was filmed for
[13:26] Jake: because if that got played on TV, that makes the 70s even better
[13:26] Phil: right
[13:28] Jake: holy cow. more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0yCzCEgfqE

[13:28] Jake: sounds like hasil adkins
[13:29] Phil: I would like to get loaded and watch these videos with Father John Misty
[13:29] Jake: YES
[13:29] Phil: he is my current hero
[13:29] Jake: i was thinking that when i saw the dance moves
[13:30] Jake: i hope he tours with phosphorescent and jonathan wilson
[13:30] Jake: wouldn’t that be a tour?
[13:30] Phil: oh fuck, that would be awesome
[13:30] Jake: i’d follow them around like the dead
[13:30] Phil: hahahaha
[13:30] Phil: “I am going on hiatus. See you guys in three months”
[13:30] Jake: dig the drummer’s t-shirt
[13:31] Jake: i swear these dudes regularly hung out on the brownshoe [My dad’s boat when I was a kid. – ed.]
[13:31] Phil: hahaha
[13:31] Phil: Dude, that’s John C. Reilly on drums!
[13:31] Jake: ha
[13:31] Jake: i have found my new favorite band
[13:31] Phil: these dudes were fucking LIVING it, man
[13:31] Jake: people loved the 50s in the 70s
[13:31] Phil: look at them!
[13:32] Jake: sweating balls
[13:32] Phil: they sure did
[13:32] Jake: i love the ragged harmonies though
[13:32] Phil: I know nothing about Dr. Hook
[13:33] Phil: I need to fix that
[13:33] Jake: srsly
[13:33] Jake: new favorite band!
[13:33] Phil: no joke
[13:33] Jake: unreal
[13:33] Phil: Portland is all about tribute shows right now. I could pitch this easily
[13:33] Phil: The rare occasions I do hang out now is with dudes who look like this
[13:33] Jake: looks like that whole don kirshner show is on youtube
[13:34] Phil: bad ass
[13:34] Jake: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dr+hook+kirchner
[13:34] Jake: there goes my productivity
[13:34] Phil: uh oh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iYpboTjtoQ

[13:35] Jake: oops. turning that off immediately
[13:35] Phil: the video is pretty awesome
[13:35] Jake: watching rollin’ in my sweet baby’s arms from 76
[13:35] Jake: in HD
[13:35] Phil: link
[13:35] Jake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaE0D852n3Q

[13:37] Jake: i wish we still had don kirshner’s rock concert
[13:37] Phil: this band must have been a riot on the road
[13:37] Phil: can you imagine?
[13:37] Jake: i can
[13:37] Phil: I know this dude named Matt who tours as The Don of Division street who looks just like that dude without the patch
[13:38] Jake: i have a new favorite band
[13:38] Phil: no shit
[13:39] Phil: one of the things I’ll miss the most about Portland is The Hoot, which is a party once a month on this farm in SE Portland
[13:39] Phil: looks and sounds a lot like this
[13:39] Jake: another 50s cover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olQNes_mq8I

[13:40] Jake: these dudes are actually good, soulful singers
[13:40] Phil: This concert is incredible
[13:40] Jake: they’re just insane
[13:40] Phil: WTF?!?!? How have we missed this band?
[13:40] Phil: until now?
[13:40] Jake: this is exactly what is missing from indie rock
[13:40] Phil: No shit, this is exactly what The Hoot is like
[13:41] Phil: not as drunk or high, but this vibe and look
[13:41] Jake: these dudes clearly love each other too
[13:41] Jake: i bet their records sound terrible
[13:43] Jake: looks like this is the first song from the kirshner concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF0_947VPNA

[13:43] Jake: sounds like a beegees ballad
[13:44] Jake: wtf?
[13:44] Phil: I am just catching up on Only 16
[13:45] Jake: srsly this song could be on the soundtrack for grease
[13:45] Phil: hahaha
[13:45] Jake: and now that bearded non eyepatch singer is reminding me of bobier
[13:45] Jake: which is creeping me out a little
[13:45] Jake: i think i’m coming down…
[13:48] Phil: “Sexy Eyes” is Dr. Hook
[13:48] Phil: I had no idea
[13:48] Jake: what is that?
[13:48] Phil: Oh you’ll know it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ3DWa_QLO4

[13:48] Jake: DISCO SUCKS
[13:49] Phil: This is more like it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHufyCHSF1U

[13:49] Jake: man, they must’ve disappointed a lot of people
[13:49] Jake: starting out that great and crazy
[13:50] Jake: and ending up disco
[13:50] Phil: everyone was finding coke together, man
[13:50] Phil: Holy shit, watch the yodel song I just sent
[13:50] Phil: they have a BEZ
[13:50] Phil: crazy hill dancing
[13:50] Jake: amazing
[13:51] Phil: good lord
[13:51] Jake: that dancer is my hero
[13:51] Jake: omg
[13:51] Phil: is this not amazing?
[13:51] Jake: this is fantastic
[13:51] Jake: his “butt dance”
[13:52] Phil: complete insanity
[13:52] Phil: OK, I think Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show is the era
[13:52] Jake: yes
[13:52] Jake: seems to be
[13:53] Jake: although this kirshner show is 76
[13:53] Jake: which seems to be post-medicine show
[13:53] Phil: still buzzing
[13:53] Jake: yes
[13:53] Phil: craziness
[13:53] Jake: shel silverstein wrote their first album
[13:53] Phil: what?
[13:54] Jake: and some of the second, incl cover of the rolling stone
[13:54] Phil: crazy time
[13:54] Jake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Hook_%26_the_Medicine_Show
[13:55] Jake: they’ve got a 1975 live album: Bankrupt [It’s actually a studio album. – ed.]
[13:55] Jake: i bet that’s the one to get
[13:55] Jake: i don’t normally like live albums
[13:55] Jake: but with these guys, i bet that’s the winner
[13:56] Jake: they have a song (written by silverstein) called looking for pussy
[13:59] Jake: ok i’m streaming their album sloppy seconds now
[14:00] Phil: I am listening to Essential Dr. Hook & Medicine Show on Spotify
[14:00] Jake: i might switch to that one
[14:01] Jake: ha
[14:01] Jake: that amg review confirms what we feared
[14:02] Jake: “ramshackle, Shel Silverstein-singing, goofy bar-band hippies”
[14:02] Jake: yes please
[14:03] Phil: more of that!
[14:04] Jake: cover of the rolling stone is pretty perfect though
[14:05] Phil: yes
[14:05] Jake: it needs to go on a mix immediately before or after the doobies’ “black water”
[14:05] Phil: right!
[14:06] Jake: someone needs to sample that “aww beatutiful” at the very end of that song.
[14:06] Jake: (if they haven’t already)
[14:06] Jake: sylvia’s mother kinda sucks.
[14:08] Phil: it does
[14:08] Jake: i bet sab would love it
[14:08] Phil: of course
[14:10] Jake: this band is weird
[14:11] Jake: i don’t understand how bobby keys is NOT in this band though
[14:12] Jake: how did they NOT have a sax player at all?
[14:13] Jake: too many lame ballads
[14:14] Phil: yeah, more party music
[14:15] Jake: hilarious: mog shows similar artists as three dog night, ozark mt daredevils, leo sayer, olivia newton john, status quo, rod stewart, and harry nilsson
[14:16] Phil: jesus…
[14:17] Jake: i’m switching to something in mog called alive in america
[14:17] Jake: by its tracklist, i’m guessing it’s 1976 ish
[14:17] Phil: There was a really interesting article I can’t find anymore about Amazon’s recommendation machine and one of the lead developers said, “It’s more about what’s NOT recommended than what is.”
[14:18] Jake: it’s just not as good without the video
[14:18] Phil: Dude cited The White Album as an example. On the surface, The White Album would be a great recommendation for huge numbers of music fans. But he says everyone who wants the White Album has it
[14:19] Jake: huh
[14:19] Phil: something like that
[14:19] Phil: I want a live Dr. Hook album from that era
[14:20] Phil: or just a great audio file from the Kirshner show
[14:20] Phil: I’ll take that and be happy
[14:20] Jake: someone should sell the complete don kirshner rock concert series on bluray
[14:20] Phil: mos def
[14:20] Jake: i wish licensing wasn’t such a pain
[14:21] Phil: yeah
[14:21] Jake: i wish copyright would expire after a decent amount of time
[14:21] Phil: like it used to
[14:22] Phil: BRB

4 thoughts on “Dr. Hook confirms everything you want to believe about the 70s”

  1. Wow. Cool discovery, guys, I always thought of “Cover” as this annoying goofy song from classic rock radio that had this “guess you had to be there” quality. This fills in some of the “being there”. Whole new perspective on this band. A lot of it is about those two guys up front, greatest buddy act ever, but the band rolls with their whim flawlessly their playing and singling is still spot on. To be able to play that well _while_ goofing off that much takes real work, they had to be simultaneously partying and rehearsing like 24/7. Respect.

Leave a Reply