October marked the official two-year anniversary of Doctor Robert as a full band, and 101 songs into the project, we’re all as enthused as we were at the beginning (if not more)! The music of the Beatles is so diverse, so complex, and so inspiring we can’t wait to get into more.
The Doctor Robert Beatles tribute band has truly been an amazing experience. We can honestly say there hasn’t been a gig where people didn’t approach us to say how much they enjoyed the show. We’ve met some great people, learned a ton, and seen a lot. There have been conga lines, circle dancing, two stepping, breakdance moves, raised-arm tunnels, some crazy costumes, and even a somersault and a worm on the dance floor. There have been people in wheelchairs and walkers, toddlers wearing nothing but diapers, newlyweds, birthday celebrants, and basically just folks of every age, size and background dancing and purely enjoying this music. Doctor Robert has been hired to play fundraisers for causes as varied as a children’s museum to a college wrestling team. We’ve played venues from dive bars to the Museum of Natural History and Science in Denver. We’ve performed for amazing couples for their weddings throughout Colorado. We’ve survived colds, laryngitis, allergies, a trailer tire blowout, a family tragedy, some pretty interesting sleeping arrangements, a chopped-off fingertip, salmonella, and more to still play shows that elicit nothing but compliments. We’ve all tried our hand at instruments we’d never really played, harmonies we weren’t sure we could master…learning all the while!
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has come out to support the Doctor Robert project, and we look forward to more good times to come. Since the Beatles only toured until 1966 (stopping well before they’d written much of their catalogue) we’re honored to do our part in keeping this music alive, and share it with y’all! As always, THANK YOU!
All the best,
Casey, Ben, Kevin, Karen
Doctor Robert, The Beatles tribute from Crested Butte, Colorado, traveled to The Limelight to play our first Aspen wedding last Friday. We can’t thank Anne and Cole enough for having us for the live music entertainment for their amazing wedding reception, and for helping pick songs for the night. Over 100 people were part of the celebration, and did they know how to enjoy themselves. Even staff members were enjoying the music, and everyone made their way to the dance floor for the after-dinner dance sets.
We started out playing more acoustic, quieter music during dinner. This gave us a chance to ease into the evening, and play a lot of songs that don’t normally make the set list at other shows. Here are a few from the dinner set:
Here Comes the Sun 10-5-12
I’m Looking Through You 10-5-12
I’m Only Sleeping 10-5-12
Bungalow Bill 10-5-12
Michelle 10-5-12 (Casey on bass, Kevin on guitar)
Mother Nature’s Son 10-5-12 (Ben on keys, Kevin on Guitar)
I Will 10-5-12 (Casey on bass, Kevin on guitar)
Things We Said Today 10-5-12
We Can Work it Out 10-5-12 (Only the third time played by Doctor Robert)
After dinner brought out the best in everyone’s dancing and singing abilities. We loved watching everything unfold, as the dance moves only got better the longer we played. Had it not been for the 10:00 hotel curfew, we probably could have played all night. Here are some songs from the dance sets:
Day Tripper 10-5-12
Drive My Car 10-5-12
Hello Goodbye 10-5-12
I Feel Fine 10-5-12
I Shoulda Known Better 10-5-12 (Casey on harmonica)
I Want to Hold Your Hand 10-5-12
I’ve Got a Feeling 10-5-12
Lady Madonna 10-5-12 (Karen’s first live performance on piano)
Money (That’s What I Want) 10-5-12
One After 909 10-5-12 (Karen’s first live performance on piano)
Strawberry Fields Forever 10-5-12
Twist and Shout 10-5-12
With a Little Help From My Friends 10-5-12
Thanks again goes out to Anne and Cole for having Doctor Robert as the live music entertainment for their Aspen wedding. We enjoyed their fun group of family and friends as well as The Limelight (an Aspen Ski Company hotel) and their staff.
Thanks to The Gunnison Bank and Trust for hosting the 21st annual Oktoberfest, a great community event in downtown Gunnison. The Pete Dunda Polka Band, which has played every Oktoberfest since it’s beginning, had a previous engagement and wasn’t able to perform this year. Doctor Robert, The Beatles tribute band from Crested Butte, Colorado, was happy to fill the spot, playing over two hours of Beatles music for the festivities. Folks of all ages seemed to enjoy our version of Beatles music, and we sure had a great time playing on such a perfect fall afternoon.
Beatles music is difficult to perform if the voice is impaired, as every song is driven by heavy vocals. Despite a three-week bout with laryngitis, Karen was able to play her fourth show since her throat issues began.
We debuted two songs for Gunnison, finishing out the afternoon with “A Day in the Life” from 1967′s “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Here’s a recording of our version from that day:
A Day in the Life
Our second debut featured Mr. Ben Wright on his first lead vocals with Doctor Robert. After two years and 100 songs into this project, Ben came out strong with a stellar version of “Act Naturally” from 1965′s “Help!” album. Here’s our version:
And of course no Doctor Robert Beatles Tribute show is complete without some electrified rock n’ roll:
All My Loving
Baby You’re a Rich Man
Back in the USSR
Can’t Buy Me Love
Drive My Car
I Feel Fine
I Saw Her Standing There
I Shoulda Known Better
I Want to Hold Your Hand
Money (That’s What I Want)
Please Please Me
She Loves You
Tell Me Why
What Goes On
With a Little Help From My Friends
Thanks a million to Xavier Fane for these amazing photos taken of Doctor Robert, The Beatles Tribute. These were taken on August 5th, 2012, at the 40th annual Crested Butte Festival of the Arts. We had a great time finishing out the weekend of live entertainment, the third in a row for Doctor Robert that weekend. Check out Xavier’s photos at http://www.xavierfane.com/.
Doctor Robert, The Beatles Tribute from Crested Butte, Colorado, had it’s first three-night run since May this past weekend. Thanks to everyone that came out in Telluride, Lake City, and Del Norte to see some of their favorite Beatles music played by Dr. Robert. Though we were tested by some band members being “under the weather,” we rallied for three great shows and had a fun time despite the ailing voices. Not only were the shows a great time, but the road trip through southern Colorado was spectacular with all the aspen leaves changing to gold, red, and orange. What an amazing time of year to tour through the Colorado Rocky Mountains to play Beatles covers.
We started at the Telluride Conference Center on Thursday, playing an amazing room with some very enthusiastic dancers. We had our first “runner” who was making laps around the room, even sliding across the carpet with his socks on. Thanks to Tony with Cadence Hospitality for putting in all the effort for promoting this last-minute show. Thanks also to the event and wedding planners that made it out for the show, we’re lucky to be playing several Colorado weddings this year and next.
Friday night brought us back to Lake City to play our second show at The Depot Saloon. This night really proved that Lake City folks really don’t hold back, and love to have a good time. We played 55 songs from 8 to midnight, possibly the most songs we’ve played in any one night so far. Thanks to John at Depot Saloon for always being so accommodating, he’s a big part of this small town vibe and the packed house helped make us feel at home.
Saturday was our second show at Wildwood Sounds in Del Norte. Once again, a packed house brought great enthusiasm and appreciation for Doctor Robert’s Beatles Tribute. Stephen and Konnie sure have created a great little room in this small town for live music. As it turned out, this may have been the first time Wildwood had an entire room of dancers. It started with just a few early on, but by “I Saw Her Standing There” in our third set, the whole place was on their feet. Thanks again to everyone at Wildwood, we really appreciate the support.
Here’s a few video clips from Wildwood, sorry the camera angle got bumped and Ben on the drums isn’t very visible:
Thanks to everyone that came out to see Doctor Robert, The Colorado Beatles Tribute band in August. We enjoyed playing a variety of venues around Colorado. We started the month playing a private house party in Aspen, with many Aspen locals including Lance Armstrong in the audience. We had the honor of opening the music entertainment for the first annual Big Denver BBQ Block Party at Skyline Park in downtown Denver. What an amazing event this was, with international acts such as The Felice Brothers and Shaniqua Copeland as headliners. Be sure to catch it next summer when it returns to the Mile High City. We headlined the 40th annual Festival of the Arts in downtown Crested Butte, which included some great acts such as Bonnie and The Clydes from Lyons, Colorado and Bruce Hayes from Howard, Colorado. We finshed our August gigs with a return to The Ritz Grill in downtown Colorado Springs for a performance after the USA Pro Cycling Challenge finish just down the block.
September is going to be a great month for Doctor Robert, The Beatles Tribute band from way up in the mountains in Crested Butte, Colorado. Look for us to return to a few small town venues, starting September 13th at Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. We’re very excited to play the night before Blues and Brews starts, we’ll play two 90-minute sets starting at 8:00.
Friday, September 14th brings us back to The Depot Saloon in Lake City, show starts at 8:00. This is the night before the Lake City Wine Festival begins, so it should be quite a memorable night of Beatles music for everyone involved. Last time we played here, the entire room was dancing and/or singing along to every song. We had a hard time saying “good night” as people just wanted more.
On Saturday, September 15th, we are excited to play our second show at Wildwood Sounds in Del Norte, with a showtime of 7:30. Stephen and Konnie have put together such an amazing little music venue, with great acoustics and awesome vintage theater seating. This is still one of the best “shows” we’ve played, as the audience is there to listen to every note played, melody sung, and story told. This small town in southern Colorado sure knows how to appreciate music, and we are grateful for the chance to play Wildwood again.
The 21st annual Octoberfest party in Gunnison will be held on Friday, September 28th from 3:30 to 6:30. We’re delighted to be asked to perform for this party, put on by The Gunnison Bank. Over 1000 people are in attendance each year, and the Gunnison Bank gives away free food and beer to anyone that comes. We love playing our home valley, and Gunnison is always a great town for The Doctor.
Meanwhile, back in the studio, Doc Rob has been busy working on a few new songs during our time off from the road. Look for a few heavy hitters to start appearing in the coming months, such as the #1 all-time Beatles composition “A Day in the Life” from the Sergeant Pepper album, and the hauntingly beautiful “Because” from the Abbey Road album. Though we’ve played “Act Naturally” a few times now, it is with great pleasure to announce that the lead vocals will be passed on to our drummer, Ben Wright, for his debut singing in Dr. Robert. Be sure to give Ben some encouragement as he may be more nervous than Ringo was when he first sang it on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965.
Here’s a quick history of the song, as far as The Beatles is concerned. It was actually written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison, but made widely popular by The Beatles on the Help! album. This is all according to an amazing website full of Beatles songwriting facts, http://www.BeatlesEBooks.com:
” Country and Western is not usually the genre of music one thinks of whenever the music of The Beatles comes up in a conversation. Nonetheless, this type of music was always very highly respected by the group. “I heard country-and-western music in Liverpool before I heard rock’n’roll,” recalled John Lennon. “There were established folk, blues and country-and-western clubs in Liverpool before rock’n’roll…I started imitating Hark Williams when I was fifteen, before I could play the guitar.”
One member who especially loved this form of music was Ringo Starr. “I used to love country music and country rock,” Ringo relates. As related in his book “Ticket To Ride,” Larry Kane asked Ringo in 1965: “What were some of the influences on you as a musician?” Unhesitatingly he replied, “Well, been listening to American country songs since I was a kid, y’know. Think all of us loved the sound. Maybe John and Paul put a little of that in their sound, y’know.” In fact, both John and Paul have revealed in interviews that some of their songs were written with country music in mind, these including “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party,” “I’m A Loser” and even “All My Loving.” Also, of course, The Beatles choice of covering three Carl Perkins songs shows a country leaning as well. “Carl Perkins was really country, just with more backbeat,” Lennon stated in 1973.
When asked to choose a song to sing on their fifth British album, it was only natural for Ringo to pick something from this genre. “I sang ‘Act Naturally’ in ‘Help!,’” Ringo explains. “I found it on a Buck Owens record and I said, ‘This is the one I am going to be doing,’ and they said ‘OK.’” This ended up being the very last cover song the Beatles ever officially released, with the exception of the short ad-libbed “Maggie Mae” that was haphazardly thrown onto the “Let It Be” album in 1970.”
We hope you’ll come and see us at a show nearby, thanks again for all the support!
Ben, Kevin, Karen, Casey
We named our Beatles tribute band, Doctor Robert, after track #11 on the Revolver album. It’s a more obscure song and a lot of people don’t know the history behind the song, if they know the song at all. There’s a funny story behind the idea, as there are with many John Lennon songs. We like to think of our band “Doctor Robert” as medicinal MUSIC, a drug more powerful than all others. Here’s the history, according to a great website www.BeatlesEBooks.com:
“So, when was the first time that you suspected from listening to their music that The Beatles were using drugs? Most first generation fans would probably point to songs from the year 1967, such as the lyric “I get high with a little help from my friends,” or the imagery used in “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” not to mention the supposed message hidden in the initials of that song. The year 1968 gave us clues as well, such as the lyrics “I need a fix ‘cause I’m going down” from “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” and “the deeper you go, the higher you fly” from “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey.”
While there are probably many other examples that can be pointed to, the first obvious indication was on the 1966 “Revolver” album (or “Yesterday…And Today” album in the US). Only the naive would have thought that “Dr. Robert” was a song about John’s family ‘ear, nose and throat’ physician. But then again, young fans may have thought just that! John’s longtime friend Pete Shotton remembers, “When John first played me the acetate of ‘Dr. Robert,’ he seemed beside himself with glee over the prospect of millions of record buyers innocently singing along.”
While the group had been drug users for awhile before this time, they had only hinted at this fact in their music up to this point. The lyrics “turns me on” was slyly included in the song “She’s A Woman,” and the description of a woman as being a “Day Tripper” were two notable examples, but they were included in such a way that not many would suspect anything. “The Word” was admittedly written under the influence of marijuana, as was a lot of the “Rubber Soul” album, but that was also veiled in disguise. It wasn’t until 1966 that they threw all caution to the wind and released a song that was blatantly about a drug pusher.
The subject matter may have been clear, but the real curiosity here was with his identity. Who really was “Dr. Robert”?
“It’s all about a queer!” This was John Lennon’s response when asked about the song during an interview. Keep in mind, however, that when he was asked about the inspiration behind “Eleanor Rigby” his response was “two queers.” Also, when a reporter asked what they thought about a Time Magazine article that explained “Day Tripper” as being about a prostitute and “Norwegian Wood” as being about a lesbian, Paul’s response was “We were just trying to write songs about prostitutes and lesbians, you know.” Obviously they were joking at the expense of those who were trying to interpret their music. Therefore, we can easily rule out “Dr. Robert” being about a “queer.”
Another curious quote from John about the song came in 1980. “It was about myself. I was the one that carried all the pills on tour and always have done. Well, in the early days. Later on the roadies did it, and we just kept them in our pockets loose, in case of trouble.”
While this appears to be the final word on the matter, there seems to be more to the story. Referring to a New York doctor that they’d heard about, Paul explains: “We’d hear people say, ‘You can get anything off him, any pills you want.’ It was a big racket. The song was a joke about this fellow who cured everyone of everything with all these pills and tranquilizers. He just kept New York high.”
Pete Shotton attempts to add more details to the story: “John paid sardonic tribute to an actual New York doctor. His real name was Charles Roberts, whose unorthodox prescriptions had made him a great favorite of Andy Warhol’s entourage and, indeed, of The Beatles themselves, whenever they passed through town.”
As for the Beatles actually visiting this doctor, Paul himself puts this to rest, saying, “As far as I know, neither of us ever went to a doctor for those kind of things. But there was a fashion for it and there still is. Change your blood and have a vitamin shot and you’ll feel better.” Since The Beatles have been very candid about their drug use during those years, the above statement appears to have the ring of truth.
One other detail that needs clarification is the name Charles Roberts. Probably because of Pete Shotton’s account, this physicians’ name had been well circulated in Beatles lore for a time. However, in Steve Turner’s book “A Hard Day’s Write,” it is explained that a New York doctor by this name “didn’t exist. It was an alias used by the biographer of Warhol actress Edie Sedgwick, Jean Stein, to conceal the identity of another ‘speed doctor.’”
The speculation about the identity of “Dr. Robert” is convincingly cleared up in Paul McCartney’s book “Many Years From Now.” Co-author Barry Miles, reiterating Paul’s account, explains as follows: “In fact, the name was based on the New York Dr. Feelgood character Dr. Robert Freymann, whose discreet East 78th Street clinic was conveniently located for Jackie Kennedy and other wealthy Upper East Siders from Fifth Avenue and Park to stroll over for their vitamin B-12 shots, which also happened to contain a massive dose of amphetamine. Dr. Robert’s reputation spread and it was not long before visiting Americans told John and Paul about him.”
German born Robert Freymann, sometimes known as Dr. Robert or “The Great White Father” (reportedly because of having a tuft of white hair), continued his practice in New York for many years administering legal amphetamines in larger than needed doses to mostly well-to-do clients. “I have a clientele that is remarkable, from every sphere of life,” he has stated. “I could tell you in ten minutes probably 100 famous names who come here.” He continued his practice until he was expelled from the New York State Medical Society in 1975 for malpractice. His book “What’s So Bad About Feeling Good?” was published in 1983. He passed away in 1987.
About the writing of the song, Paul recalls: “John and I thought it was a funny idea: the fantasy doctor who would fix you up by giving you drugs, it was a parody on that idea. It’s just a piss-take.” As early as 1967, Paul explained the meaning of the song: “That’s what ‘Doctor Robert’ is all about, just a pill doctor who sees you all right. It was a joke between ourselves, but they go in in-jokes and come out out-jokes, because everyone listens and puts their own thing on it, which is great. I mean, when I was young I never knew what ‘gilly gilly otsen feffer casta nell a bogen’ was all about, but I still enjoyed singing it.”
As to who wrote what, John said in his 1972 interview with Hit Parader Magazine that it was mostly written by him, but then stated “I think Paul helped with the middle.” The sentiment expressed by Paul in his statements about the song seems to corroborate this point.
With a remarkable four month rest period from nearly anything Beatles related, stretching from the completion of their last British tour on December 12th, 1965 to their first EMI recording session of the year on April 6th, 1966, the song “Dr. Robert” can easily be estimated to have been written during this time. It was undoubtedly another product of a writing session between the two composers at John’s Kenwood mansion.”
Doctor Robert, The Beatles tribute from Crested Butte, Colorado, has been off for a few weeks due to a family emergency. We look forward to bringing our modern version of Beatles covers to The Ritz Grill in Colorado Springs on Friday, August 24th at 8:30. We appreciate everyone’s support around Colorado over the past two years, and love to see familiar faces. We called ourselves Doctor Robert, which is track #11 on Revolver. Some people call us Dr. Robert, some call us Doctor Roberts, some call us Dr. Roberts, some call us DocRob. We think of it as a tribute band from Crested Butte, CO, but some call us a Beatles cover band. We’re just happy that so many call us any of the above, so keep the nicknames coming.
Here’s a few videos from August 3rd at a private party in Aspen. These songs rarely make an appearance in Doctor Robert’s live performances but are just as fun to perform as the rest.
Doctor Robert finished another three-night run through the mountains of Colorado this last weekend, bring more Beatles music to Salida, Buena Vista, and Mt Crested Butte. We started in Salida for Thursdays @ 6, playing Riverside Park’s amazing stage right next to the Arkansas River. A good-size crowd showed up and had a great time. We ended up playing an extra hour since it was so fun. This was the first time Doctor Robert set up the stage in a line, with Ben on drums to our right side instead of the traditional location being behind the band. This allowed us to see each other much better, and the audience was able to watch Ben a little easier as well. Taken from the book of Phish, Doctor Robert will be setting up this way anytime the stage is big enough. Here’s a few audio clips from the show:
A Hard Day’s Night –> Eight Days a Week
You Can’t Do That
Two of Us
I Should Have Known Better
From Me To You –> Glass Onion –> Ob La Di Ob La Da
Strawberry Fields Forever –> Hey Bulldog
Friday night brought Doctor Robert back to State Highway Theater in Buena Vista, our seventh visit to the old Roadhouse. As always, we love playing this venue and it’s state-of-the-art sound system. Thanks to Dave and Leo for helping us out once again with the sound. We had a great crew of fans at this one, with folks from 8 years old to 78 years old dancing and singing along with music of The Beatles. We’re always amazed at how many regular fans we have in Buena Vista, so cheers to everyone that came out last weekend for another installment of Doctor Robert, The Beatles Tribute from Crested Butte, Colorado. Here are a few video clips from the night:
Saturday we traveled back to Crested Butte to play the finish of The Epic Relay, which was a running race that started Friday in Colorado Springs and ended Saturday in Mt. Crested Butte. This was the second annual Epic Relay, and what a huge improvement to the finish area and overall layout. Thanks to Laci at CBMR for having us again, and for making all the great changes from last year. Despite some rain, we played three hours on The Red Lady Stage at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. It was fun to watch different people react in different ways to our version of these great Beatles songs. The best reaction we got Saturday (if not ever) was when a bride walked by to load the chairlift on her way to get married. We were already playing “Two of Us,” which is a great love song, then we dedicated “In My Life” to the bride-to-be, and said it was the best wedding song on the planet. As it turns out, the bride cried so much that she had to re-do her makeup before loading the lift. Pretty moving music for sure.
Our next public show is August 4th in Denver. We’ll be kicking off the entertainment for the first annual Big Denver BBQ Block Party, which is in Skyline Park in downtown on August 4th and 5th. Our performance will be Saturday from 1:30 to 2:45 and the entire event is free to enter. Food and drink cost extra, but the entertainment if free. Come see Doctor Robert perform Beatles music for the first time in Denver. Check their website at http://www.bigbbqblockparty.org/denver/music.php for more information about this huge event.
You can always check our shows page for a full schedule of our shows.
Thanks again to everyone for coming out to see Doctor Robert this past weekend, we look forward to our next round of shows and hope to see some familiar faces around the state. Until the next one…
Ben, Casey, Kevin, Karen
Last night Doctor Robert played possibly the quietest set in our 20 months as a Beatles Tribute. Friday night is Grill Night at Crested Butte Country Club, and we had a great time playing for folks of all ages. The kids were especially into it. We got to play several songs that rarely make a live Doctor Robert appearance, and the relaxed atmosphere made for a great setting to play good Beatles music. Here’s a few clips from the show:
I’m Looking Through You
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
I’ve Just Seen a Face
All Together Now
I’m Only Sleeping
Eight Days a Week
Fixing a Hole
I Should Have Known Better
If I Needed Someone
It Won’t Be Long –> Dear Prudence
Strawberry Fields Forever –> Hey Bulldog
Thanks again to everyone that continues to dance, sing, and enjoy Doctor Robert. Our next shows are July 19 in Salida’s Riverside Park from 6-8, July 20 at Buena Vista’s State Highway Theater starting at 8:00, and July 21 we’ll play The Red Lady Stage at Mt. Crested Butte’s base area from 2-4.
We’ll see you at the next one…
Casey, Karen, Ben, Kevin