Press Clippings and testimonials

Doctors in London and Hamburg

(Joern Lade, Hamburg 2001)

I 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 ...??')

The 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.

The 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.

A 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).

The 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.

After 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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'Stroboscopic light effects, the lead singer with capri-blue hair.''

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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