in London and Hamburg
Lade, Hamburg 2001)
live in Germany and have grown up and lived in Hamburg most
of my life (so excuse my English). Meanwhile I'm 47, so you
can imagine, that I was in my prime, when I saw the Doctors.
('Here we are the fifties kids on collision course with ...??')
first gig I saw was at the Marquee Club (London) in April 1976.
It was extremly hot that day and the Marquee was like a sauna.
The concert itself was something like we' d never seen before.
Urban-Angst meets the Velvet Underground or something like that.
Stroboscopic light effects, the lead singer with capri-blue
hair, his 'kid'-shaped guitar, the effects from his eyes, Urban
Blitz and his incredible violin-playing, the frankensteinesque
look of Stoner and Peter's powerful drumming - we became fans
immediately. (20 incredible minutes of 'Waiting for my man'
surely helped). We even managed to get some badges (regrettably
not the free flexi which was also thrown into the audience).
I bought the record and played it endlessly.
next concert I saw was in Hamburg, where they played╩a midnight
surprise gig at the 'Onkel Poe'. I happened to come late to
that concert, all my friends were already there (they all had
bought or listened to the first record) and it was certainly
thrilling to see this band playing live again (less stroboscopic
though). When the concert had ended, a roadie came to our table
(it was Richard's brother as we got to know later on) and asked
us very politely , if we would mind if the band would join us.
We happily agreed and soon all of the band plus Richard' s brother
and his girlfriend (a danish girl and pictured on the sleeve
of 'Figments') joined us. We chatted with them for quite some
time and they were extremely anxious to know whether we liked
their music and what we thought of the show. Despite his image
on stage Richard was the funniest of them. He was making jokes
all the time and was very friendly and open minded. We drank
a couple of beers and then parted having had a very good time.
couple of month later ('Figments of Emancipation' had hit the
record stores), the Doctors played the 'Markthalle' in Hamburg.
A very sad and short affair. Kid Strange looked paler than ever,
his blue hair amplifying this effect. He had upset his stomach
on the ferryboat ride to Hamburg ('Maybe the bacon ..?'). The
concert had to be cancelled after the first 3 songs, and they
promised to be back and give a free concert in a couple of month.
(By the way, I had a short talk with them describing the way
to the next hospital).
free concert took place about half a year later. The house was
packed with people and the blue hair gone. Great concert but
afterwards was little time to socialize - only a little chat.
We had to wait a quite a while, but then the Doctors played
their last ever concert in Hamburg, although we didn' t know
it then. It must have been early 1978,and when we got to the
'Markthalle' in time the doors were still closed. The band was
still soundchecking when the doors opened and everything seemed
to be normal except for the fact that the equipment for Urban
Blitz was on-stage, but no sight of Urban. When we came into
stage area they were rehearsing 'Network' and it looked like
they were still waiting for Urban to appear at the last minute.
After that they left the stage and when the reappeared they
played one of the most intense and energetic sets
I' ve ever seen. They were incredible and played with an absolute
'who cares' - attitude.
this amazing show they were quite obviously relieved that everything
had turned out so well. Peter told us that Urban had left almost
just before they left, but now it did not matter anymore and
that this had been the first concert without him. The rest is
history, the Doctors disbanded - I bought all of Richard' s
solo records I could get hold of. A couple of months ago I got
the Happiness tracks from Vitaminic, haven' t found out yet
the running order though. But these tracks still confirm the
fantastic humorous side of Richard. His TV activities in Germany
surprised me a lot, but I think that Germany was some sort of
a home base. But seeing Richard in an evening entertainment
show was quite funny. Seeing him in the 'Batman' movie was great
too. The last sighting of Stoner was with 'TV Smith Explorers'
- great record. Urban Blitz and the very nice and gentle Peter
Dilemma got lost from my sight after the band folded.
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