Van Halen, “Somebody Get Me a Doctor” (1979)
Usually, people call the doctor when they feel bad. In the case of this ‘Van Halen II’ rattle, David Lee Roth seems to need medical attention because of how good he feels. He “feels no pain”, “too good” and “high”, but he is also shocked and unable to walk. What’s up with Diamond Dave? Who knows? Someone get it a doctor.
Kiss, “Calling Dr. Love” (1977)
When rockers do not beg doctors to help them with their romantic lives, sometimes they take the Hippocratic oath themselves. Gene Simmons apparently got his doctorate in love before this 1977 kiss, which was inspired by a short film by Three Stooges (the hallmark of a true medical professional). Dr. Love declares himself the cure for what ails all women. If your methods are not reasonable (“So if you please get on your knees”), your rates are (“No bills, no fees”).
The Beatles, “Doctor Robert” (1966)
On this ‘Revolver’ rocker, the Fab Four praised the almost mystical powers of the titular doc, a thinly veiled ode to drugs, and a man who supplied them. There are many theories about the “real” Dr. Robert, who could be Dr. Robert Freymann (he gave B-12 shots laced with speed to New York celebrities), Bob Dylan (he turned the Beatles onto marijuana) and Robert “Groovy Bob” Fraser (he was a gallery owner and pal of ’60s rockers who had many substances at his disposal). John Lennon, the primary writer of the song, later said it was about himself.
The Rolling Stones, “Dear Doctor” (1968)
On this ‘Beggars Banquet’ chestnut, the Stones play hillbilly music for laughs, turning the country cliché of getting stood up at the altar into a positive result, because Mick Jagger didn’t really want to marry her anyway. The story is bookended by visits to a physician with Dr. Frankenstein-like powers who removes our hero’s heart before the ceremony, only to replace it when circumstances change.
Aerosmith, “The Hand That Feeds” (1977)
On the cut from ‘Draw the Line,’ Steven Tyler shrieks over and over and over again for a doctor to help him with his inability to resist the temptations of the “loose-hearted ladies” in the crowd at Aerosmith shows. Perhaps it’s not surprising that a member of Aerosmith had trouble with self-control.
Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (1989)
Dr. Feelgood was a band, a stage name for a jazz pianist, the title of an Aretha Franklin tune, a slang term for heroin and a nickname for a number of less-than-ethical physicians. It was also the name of Mötley Crüe’s biggest hit single and LP. Nikki Sixx wrote the lyrics to this pop metal rampage about a Hollywood drug dealer, having had first-hand knowledge of the subject as a customer.