Deep Cuts: Doctor Songs

Beak_DoctorLarry Spragg, Night Doctor just might be the greatest television vehicle Wayne Rogers never starred in, but there’s still hope.  Trapper John recently turned 80, which sounds like just the right age for a comeback.  We miss you, Wayne-O!

While we wait for that television masterpiece to be produced, let’s listen to some songs about doctors:

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From the Stacks: Klaatu – 3:47 EST / Self-Titled

Klaatu

The Beatles broke up in 1970, and we spent the rest of the decade in denial:  They’re getting back together, it’s just a matter of time.  Wings isn’t so bad, and neither is ELO. Ringo’s new album is pretty good.

Even the slightest hint of a Beatle’s reunion was buzzworthy.  This was the climate in which Klaatu dropped 3:47 ET / Self-Titled in September 1976.

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The (Kind Of) Complete Woodstock: Keef Hartley Band

Keef Hartley is an interesting footnote in rock history.  He became the drummer for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes after their drummer left to join The Beatles.  Oh, Ringo — what a career limiting decision you made there.  Hartley also played with the legendary bluesman John Mayall.

And he played Woodstock, though you’d never know it because his performance wasn’t recorded.

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79. No One Will Guide You Through Armagideon Time

“Hey, you’re a little headbanger. Want these?”  I handed Sherri’s little brother my 8-track collection:  KISS, AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Black Sabbath.

“Why, what’s wrong with them?”

“Nothing.  I’m just not into this stuff anymore.”

“Peter Criss?  Peter Criss sucks.”

“Do you want them or not?”

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57. I’d Give You Everything I’ve Got For A Little Piece Of Mind

I’m desperate –  my tank is empty.  The notebook hasn’t been marked up in days.  I turned on my iPod today and a tumbleweed rolled across the screen.  For the first time in over a year I missed a “Why It Matters” Monday deadline, and I likely will miss another unless I publish this slop.

I’m not really desperate and empty, just distracted.  Right now I am keeping such a tight rein on my emotions that there’s no room for stories of whacking off to Bo Derek calendars and grooving to P-Funk to slip between the cracks.  When you hear the patented burp you know that no emotion will get past the air tight seal.

So here I sit, a bit buzzed for the fourth (fifth? sixth?) night in a row.  I tried to follow my tried and true ritual this morning:  Grab the portable “Why It Matters” kit, find a restaurant that won’t kick me out, put in the ear buds and start scribbling.  I didn’t get anywhere.  And so here I am clattering the keys, listening to The Beatles’ White Album, and I do mean album.  I slipped it out of its protective sleeve, ran the Discwasher over side one, and dropped the needle.

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Deep Cuts: Ten Covers Done Right

Sure every garage band when I was growing up played “Freebird,” but that doesn’t mean they played it well or brought anything new to the table.  That’s what makes a good cover song:  Bringing some new level of understanding to the listener.  Not just change for change’s sake, but “Oh, I never noticed that” kind of change.

Cover songs aren’t particularly rare  anymore.   Between tribute albums, heritage acts putting out complete albums of covers, and grunting “Yeah, yeah” over another artist’s song and calling it your own, there are countless opportunities to hear your favorite songs in a new way.  However, what is still rare is the remake done so well that the cover artist owns the song.  Here are some classic covers:

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11. Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again

Finding a road into South Carolina has been tough.  It should not be so difficult.  The interstate medians are wide there, and the traffic is light.  But those are the wrong roads, unfortunately.  They exist in the same three dimensions as the highways and backroads of my childhood, but they are missing the most essential dimension: time.  The South Carolina we relocated to from Texas only exists in a moment in time.

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