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Snippets of FEELIN' GOOD Issue 9/October 1997

Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.

 

DOWN AT THE DOCTORS

1972 Lee Brilleaux, Big Figure, John B Sparks, Wilko Johnson opened Dr Feelgoods practice with gigs in and around Saarfend (Southend). Chris Fenwick (Whitey) arranges tour of Holland in Easter Holidays to avoid disruption in Wilko's teaching. On return they backed sixties rocker Heinz.
1973 Met Vic Maile at the Hope & Anchor who suggested making of an EP (unfortunately this does not happen). Broke into pub circuit with London gigs such as Tally Ho, Lord Nelson and The Kensington.
1974 Appeared as support on the 'New Favourites' tour in June/July with Dave Edmunds and Brinsley Schwarz. The Dingwalls gig on July 8th was recorded and the track "Bonie Moronie / Tequila" was later included on the debut album. First single "Roxette" was released in November following signing bv Andrew Lauder to United Artists.
1975 First Album "Down by the Jetty" was released following the Naughty Rhythms tour with Kokomo and Chilli Willi. Second album "Malpractice" out in October and reached number 17 in UK album charts. The concert at Southend Kursaal in November was recorded to become side two of "Stupidity" and released on Video many years later on Grand Records.
1976 "Stupidity" the LIVE album surprised everyone by becoming Number One in October in the second week of its release. The Feelgoods were the major live attraction. They go across the pond to America and meet Bert de Coteaux.
1977 Bert produces album "Sneakin' Suspicion' and Wilko leaves. Henry McCullogh (Wings) and Tim Hinckley join Lee, Sparko and Figure to honour tour commitments before John "Gypie" Mayo joins. "Be Seeing You" released in September.
1978 "Down at the Doctors" single released in September along with the "Private Practice" Album which contains their biggest chart single "Milk & Alcohol"
1979 "Milk & Alcohol" reaches Number 9 in January. Live album "As It Happens" in June followed swiftly by studio album "Let it Roll" featuring the Dr Feelgood Toby Jugs on the cover.
1980 Perfect for Parties - "A Case of the Shakes" album released.
1981 Following the 10th album the live "On the Job" Gypie leaves to be replaced by former Count Bishop Johnny Guitar.
1982 "Fast Women and Slow Horses" the last album to include Big Figure and Sparko who are replaced by Buzz Barwell and Pat McMullen. Touring not a great success!
1983 New lineup - Lee, Gordon Russell (guitar), Phil Mitchell (bass), Barwell (drums) lasts only a few months and during a mini tour of Dingwalls clubs in the UK Kevin Morris takes over the drum stool from Buzz.
1984 A self financed album "Doctors Orders" recorded in January/February introduces the songwriting talents of Gordon Russell. More hectic touring of Europe to rebuild Feelgoods live success.
1985 "Mad Man Blues" released firstly as a six track then later extended to ten track. The title track by John Lee Hooker is still a favourite in today's repertoire. Dr Feelgood Information Service opened it's surgery doors with John Butterfield as consultant.
1986 Dr Feelgood sign to Stiff Records and release "Brilleaux" album. Singles "Don't wait up" and "See you later Alligator" both attract airplay on radio stations. "See you..." rewarded the Feelgoods with a Number Two single in Sweden.
1987 Another Stiff album "Classic" recorded but never released on Stiff in the UK.
1988 Dr Feelgood re-record "Milk & Alcohol" with Dave Edmonds for release on EMI in 1989. Grand Records is formed with the main intention of re-releasing all early deleted Feelgood albums on new formats such as Compact Disc.
1989 EMI/Liberty release compilation album "Singles - the UA years+". Gordon Russell leaves so Lee invites ex DT Steve "Whirlwind" Walwyn to join.
1990 First live album since 1981 was released on Grand Records - "Live in London" recorded June 1989 was one of Steve's early gigs.
1991 Grand Records 12th release and their first studio work "Primo" contained the classic "Down by the Jetty Blues" written and produced by Will Birch. Phil leaves during the recording and Dave Bronze comes aboard.
1992 Grand reissue two live albums while Feelgood are too busy touring to record any new material. The Southend gig from 1975 was issued on video "Going Back Home".
1993 During the recording of "Feelgood Factor" Lee reveals he is ill with Lymphoma. Dr Feelgood suspend touring but open the Dr Feelgood Music Bar on Canvey Island.
1994 January 24th/25th were the dates for live shows at the Music Bar with Dr Feelgood be joined onstage bv Ian Gibbons on Keyboards. The shows were recorded and produced by Dave Bronze and the "Down at the Doctors" CD was released in the summer. Lee died on April 7th less than a month away from his birthday on 10th May - Past and present Feelgoods appeared onstage together in the Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial- the first of what is now established as an annual event.
1995 Kevin Morris, the longest serving member of Dr Feelgood, helped the Feelgoods on the road again by reforming Dr Feelgood with Phil Mitchell, Steve Walwyn and Pete Gage. After several received low key gigs the Feelgoods touring schedule visiting many countries. The Feelgood Information Service launched a newsletter "Feelin' Good"
1996 A brand new studio Album "On the Road Again" featuring a mixture of original(covers introduced the recorded voice of Pete Gage singing classics such as "Wine, Women, Whiskey", "World Keeps Turning" and "lnstinct to Survive"
1997 Dr Feelgood celebrate 25 years of Dr Feelgood with more touring, a biography "Down by the Jetty", and the double CD "25 years of Dr Feelgood".

(this article first appeared in an edited version "Instinct to Survive" in Issue 6 of Feelin' Good)

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OPEN SURGERY

DEAR DR
I gave up cigarettes and alcohol back in 1974 after seeing Dr Feelgood on the "Geordie Scene" and spent all the money saved on some black plastic circular things which are now scratched and worn out from years of playing. Can you help me replace them?

Buy yourself one of them new fangled CD Players and send off for all your favourite albums now on CD from Grand Records.

DEAR DR
What are the ex-guitarists of Dr Feelgood doing now?

Gordon Russell has teamed up with Sara James under the name "Two Timers", Gypie Mayo is now with "The Yardbirds", Wilko has his own trio - "The Wilko Johnson Band" and an official newsletter "Some Kind of Hero" by Alan Grundy, 11 Darley Avenue, Farnworth, Bolton, Lancs, B14 7RU (Send sae for free copy).

DEAR DR
Does the Information Service have any fans outside the UK?

In 1997 the Information Service received letters from France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Russia, America, and Australia. Fans need to send me International Reply Coupons (bought from Post Offices) AND A4/A5 addressed envelopes.

DEAR DR
How do I get a job as a roadie with Dr Feelgood?

There are only 3 requirements:
1) Has got to be able to exist on less than 3 hours sleep per 24 hour period.
2) Has got to be able to consume 3 different alcoholic drinks in 3 minutes, one of which must be a pint of beer.
3) Has got to like Fast Women and Slow Horses.

DEAR DR
How do I register with the Dr Feelgood Information Service?

The service is free on prescription providing patients send me 4 stamped addressed envelopes (A4 or A5 size) and in return will receive a years supply of the Fcelgood Newsletter "Feelin' Good" which is produced quarterly - January, April, July and October.

DEAR DR
What is the "Going Back Home" video advertised by Grand?

It is a historic concert filmed at Southend Kursaal in 1975 and features the original Feelgood Line Up. The tracks are "Going Back Home", "I can Tell", "All through the City", "I'm a hog for you Baby", "Riot", "Roxette", "You shouldn't call the doctor" and "Route 66".

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SHE DOES IT RIGHT

I jumped up this morning right out of a dream, it was a strange dream no doubt due to too much milk and alcohol. On looking back the dream started when I was looking at you, Baby Jane, what sweet sweet lovin' it was back in the night. I'd always had this sneakin' suspicion that we might get together in the night time. You my babe are a goddess. Well paradise was just around the corner, we jumped into my automobile and drove all through the city. I was driving in a dangerous manner but that's my way. we went to a hotel, the receptionist with the dimples asked "are you staying"? I said "as long as the price is right I'm coming to you". You know I feel so good like a king for a day when I'm with you, so we went up to the room and well baby jump it was a classic!

(Steve Smith, Beeston Rylands/UK)


BUDDY BUDDY FRIENDS

Johnny Green recommends a daily dose of R'n'B!

Name: Johnny Green
Born: July 2nd 1953 when father was serving time for armed robbery. Father was a fairground worker who met Johnny's mother Roxette when she was 2 x 9 and fresh out of school one weekend under Saarfend Pier.
Occupations: Studied Brain Surgery by correspondence course, practiced from Deep Coma Drive, Canvey Island but was struck off for Malpractice when he set up in America. Became a roadie for Dr Feelgood followed by spells as a witch doctor, Disc Jockey and currently a truck driver.
Education: "didn't go to college, didn't go to school, but when it comes to loving he's an educated fool."
Pets: Snat the Dog
Favourite Drinks: Tequila and Tanqueray and Lots of bottles of gin.
Hobbies: Hunting Shooting Fishing, Fast Women & Slow Horses, Wine, Women, Whiskey and every kind of vice.
Favourite Feelgood Tracks: Going back home, take a tip, bend your ear

(Article inspired by Steve Smith, thanks also to Johnny Wilkinson and Mick Green!)
 


Go to Newsletter Issue 10/January 1998
 

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