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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Music: Rock Goes Disco - Dr. Hook, Opthalmologist

Archival Grave Robbing by Noah Mallin

Dr. Hook made their careers as stoned country rockers singing about making it to "The Cover of Rolling Stone" -- a song that eventually made their wish come true. Many of their jokey early songs had lyrics supplied by Where The Sidewalk Ends author Shel Silverstein.

A bankruptcy and a change of labels in the mid 70s led them to the path of disco perdition as it would many another band. Their sense of humor and legendary stage antics have led some to believe that all of their disco material was tongue-in-cheek. This is entirely possible, but for Key Party Nation their songs about lust, love, and more lust struck a chord, giving them their biggest string of hits.

Central to this pearl necklace of commercial acceptance was 1979s "Sexy Eyes" a Lothario's come-on notable from a band who's frontman Ray Sawyer sported an eyepatch. "I was sitting all alone/watching people get it on with each other..." is an opening line worthy of Plato's Retreat, if not Dylan. It's telling that Sawyer doesn't sing this-- he would leave the band in disgust a year later. As always, if the video shows as "Not Available, hit refresh in your browser. It's just the YouTube demons acting up...

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