Dr Hook Newcastle City Hall 1974 and 1977

Dr Hook Newcastle City Hall 1974 and 1977
The first time that I saw Dr Hook, they were very different from the AOR band that they became in their later days. My mate Norm and I went to see them at Newcastle City Hall in 1974. We only knew one track Sylvia’s Mother, which is a great song, and were impressed by these crazy guys, who sang a mixture of southern rock and country, with great funny lyrics, many written by poet Shel Siverstein. Those guys had incredibly long hair at the time, were all stoned, crazy hippies, and front men Ray Sawyer and Dennis Locorriere had a great line in on-stage chat. Songs from that period were: Sylvia’s Mother, Cover of the Rolling Stone, Roland The Roadie And Gertrude The Groupie, and Ballad of Lucy Jordan (later covered by Marianne Faithful). They were great fun, and totally crazy. By 1977 when I saw them again at the City Hall, Dr Hook were riding on a wave of major success in the UK, having hit the chart with A Little Bit More and If Not You. Support came from Alfalpha. The show seemed a little toned down to me, with less crazy banter, and more straight songs. At this point the band were changing from a rock band to more a middle of the road rock/country act. They had even had their hair cut (which disappointed me)! Dr Hook went on to even greater success in the UK with a string of mega-hits. However, the memories I have are of those crazy long haired guys that I saw at the City Hall in 1974. A DVD exists of the band in those early days, when they were known as Dr Hook and the Medicine Show and shows the set as; Sylvia’s Mother; Marie Lavaux; Yodel; Cops ‘N Robbers; Carry Me, Carrie; Penicillin Penny; Roland The Roadie; Freakin’ At The Freaker’s Ball; The Cover Of The Rolling Stone.

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