Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News: 40 Songs About Doctors
Between drug habits, stage accidents, unhealthy lifestyles and rehab stints, rock stars might visit the doctor (or “doctor,” in some cases) more than the average person. That might explain the abundance of medically themed songs in rock ’n’ roll, including these 40 songs about doctors.
The types of doctors in these tunes are myriad. Some are responsible for someone’s next fix (“Doctor Robert,” “Dr. Feelgood”), while others focus on trying to fix their patients’ heads (“The Real Me,” “Doctor My Eyes”). Sometimes the doctor in the song symbolizes something else, including the spirit of music (“Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor”), society’s intolerance (“Lady Godiva’s Operation”) and the devastation of drugs (“Doctor Wu”).
From the evidence present in these songs, musicians seem to operate under the misguided notion that their family doctor is the one to consult anytime they’re having romantic issues. Artists from Robert Palmer and Aerosmith to the Young Rascals and Paul Simon have sung about visiting the doctor for assistance with lovesickness. Others, who are apparently more confident in their abilities, bestowed an instant doctorate on themselves, often with a degree in getting’ it on. Both Lemmy and Gene Simmons became “Dr. Love” while David Coverdale proclaimed himself a “Medicine Man” and Peter Green embodied the neighborhood sexpert.
If rock songs shaped popular opinion on the medical profession, the numbers would not look good. At best, the doctors in these songs are often clueless or unhelpful (check out his instructions in “Coconut”). At worst, they’re irresponsible (“Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out”) or downright nefarious (“Comfortably Numb”). It’s no wonder that the Doobie Brothers and Black Sabbath would rather put their trust in the curative power of music.
Below are tracks about 40 rock doctors who are good and bad, sleazy and mad. If their medical advice isn’t helpful, the music is just what the doctor ordered.