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Dr. Hook still wants to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone

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Everyone wants to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone now, more than ever, which is why Ray Sawyer and Dr. Hook’s

Dr. Hook plays Scores North, Oct. 21. Photo from

 hit song will live forever and why poeple keep flocking out to hear him play it  almost 40 years after it catapulted Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show into infamy.


“No,  (I never get tired of playing the song) because the Rolling Stone is still what it is. People want to be on the cover. Heck, I still want to get my picture back on the cover,” drawled  Sawyer in his strong Alabama accent , who kicks off the latest  Ray Sawyer and Dr. Hook tour in Kamloops, Oct, 16, which will bring him to Scores North in Lethbridge, Oct. 21.


It could very well happen, what with his new CD, “Captain” about to drop.

“We’re just working on the CD cover and jacket,” he  said laughing it has been about 32 years since there was a new Dr. Hook album.


“It’s New Orleans R and B. It’s a different kind of R and B. It has a horn section,” he described.


“I grew up in Mobile, Alabama listening to it. That’s what I started playing,” he said adding the new CD doesn‘t  feature his touring band.


“I’m using  Chicago’s (the band) horn section and the bass player from the Stray Cats,” he continued adding he is also using a variety of studio musicians.

“Some people are really good live, others are really good studio guys, but it’s very seldom  that you find ones who can do both,” Sawyer observed adding his son Cayce plays drums in his band.


“He’s been playing with me since he was 13 years,” he said adidng he is the best drummer he knows.

“He’s the best drummer I’ve ever played with. It’s been very good. I’m very proud of him. I wouldn’t have my own dad in the band with me if he couldn’t play,” he continued adding he doesn’t keep contact with the original members of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, who had a string of late ’60s, early ’70s hits including “Sylvia’s Mother,” “ When You’re In Love with A Beautiful Woman,” “Sexy Eyes,” and of course their signature song “Cover of the Rolling Stone.”

“Well, two of them have passed on and Igot an e-mail from Rik ( Elswit, lead guitarist) a while ago, but I don’t keep in touch with them,” he said noting he hadn’t heard Dr. Hook guitarist/ vocalist  Dennis  Locorriere  had released a new CD, “Post Cool.”


“He has? Well good luck to hm,” Sawyer said adding he has fond memories of Shel Sivlverstien, who wrote most of Dr. Hook’s songs.


“He was brilliant. Very brilliant. He was full of ideas and full of life. He was just brilliant and very funny. But he was the type of guy who if he got up to go to the bathroom, you might not see him again for two months,” he said adding he remembered when  Silverstein called him about  the song “Cover of the Rolling Stone.”

“Shel was on the road with Emerson, Lake and Palmer and he called me from the road. He was in Chicago and it was three or four in the morning.  I was asleep and he said ‘ Hey, do you want to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone?’ I said ‘yeah. ‘ ‘Then get a pencil and a piece of paper,’” Sawyer reminisced, adding he wrote down Silverstien’s lyrics over the phone and took them to the band.


“They all loved it. We played it for about two months before we recorded it. We knew what we wanted to do with it. And then it took off,” he continued adding they already had  some success  with “Sylvia’s Mother,” but  they all knew “Rolling Stone” was going to be a hit.


Sawyer never gets tired of playing the old hits.

“They are always going to be new to somebody. There will always be someone who hasn’t head “Cover of the Rolling Stone. Each show is a new audience, which keeps it fresh. It’s a brand new experience every time you play,” he said adding it has been a few years since he played Lethbridge.


“We’ll be playing  the old hits and a couple new ones. It will be a little bit of everything,” he said adding the band hasn’t worked  out live arrangements for  the songs from “Captain,” yet. though a tour in support of it is in the works.

The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets cost  $35. The $60 VIP package including no line ups and a meet and greet with the band is sold out.

Local classic rock band Champion opens the show.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:04 )  
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