Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show are available @ iTunes.
by Walter Price
Back in 1972 rock radio was jammed with soon to be classic rock classics. Songs from Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and The Doobie Brothers blasted from crackling AM dialed airwaves. But former Chocolate Papers, now Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show had a wink and a smile look at the rock lifestyle track that induced smiles. That song was the Shel Silverstein penned “The Cover of the ‘Rolling Stone”.
Well, we’re big rock singers
We got golden fingers
And we’re loved everywhere we go…(That sounds like us)
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten thousand dollars a show…(Right)
We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we’ve never known
Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone
In the book Silverstein Around the World, Silverstein’s nephew Mitch Myers wrote, “I think that he was already hanging with Dr. Hook when he did it, but if he didn’t, he had been around musicians, and he understood what people wanted. And he understood how every musician’s dream was to be a star. To be a big star. To be on the cover of a big magazine, and what magazine epitomized music? And Shel lampooned the whole rock and roll lifestyle in that – groupies and Indian gurus – at the time. The Beatles and everybody, Donovan, and all those people were wearing Indian garb and going to see Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and coming back supposedly enlightened, or not. And everybody was still hustling, was all hustle. I’m not saying that anyone was insincere, I’m just saying that you can see people for what they are. And he did that, and made it funny, too.”
Today the rock lifestyle conjures cringes in the indie-heavy scenes kids dwell in. But its still a thing. Maybe getting on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine doesn’t have the weight it once did, but the glam life is so intriguing. So much so, many have covered this classic rock radio staple. To varying degrees, styles, and reconfigurations. I’ve dug into a huge swath of odes and came up with three of the best.
Sammy Kershaw & Jamey Johnson
Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
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