Gary James' Interview With Dennis Locorriere of
What can you say about Dr. Hook, except they're one of the most popular and successful groups in America today.
We spoke with Dennis Locorriere, vocalist / guitarist for Dr. Hook.
Q - You've had some beautiful songs. "Only 16" and "A Little Bit More" became major hits. Your onstage image doesn't seem to fit the romantic songs you sing.
A - We like to change musical styles. No Dr. Hook album or single has ever been alike. You can't look at any of our records and say 'Ah, ha! So that's what they are.' If we showed up in three-piece white suits, it wouldn't be Dr. Hook anymore.
Q - What did Ray mean when he said, "We're not in the music business. Now Bach, Beethoven - they were in the music business."
A - We don't feel like we're in a business. We like to be out there, that's why we spend 300 days every year on the road. We deal alot with people. We're like a family.
Q - What is Dr. Hook's overseas appeal?
A - We just did a press tour of Japan, and to them we typify American music. In Europe we seem to typify Americans.
Q - After the group declared bankruptcy, all the guys probably decided to keep a closer watch on your finances, didn't you?
A - No. There were no finances. We were living hand to mouth. We'd take the money from one night's gig, buy plane tickets, reserve hotel rooms for the next night's gig. The bankruptcy thing was the best thing that ever happened to us. We realized that monetary gain is not the best way to measure success.
Q - Getting back to Ray, he also said "Pop music is not the most important thing going on in the world." What did he mean by that?
A - They'll ask you in European countries, so now that you've achieved all this success, how are you going to change the world? We know what's going on. But we want to take people away from all that for the hour and a half to two hours we're on stage. What makes Rock music unimportant is when you try to make it more important than it is. Then you're making it something it is not. In England they'll beat you up for your musical taste, which is ridiculous. Why can't there be all types of music?
Q - Your success seems so unlike any other "name" groups.
A - That's because we more or less made it on our own terms. We never did a major tour with anybody as an opening act. Instead we played biker's clubs, state fairs and clubs where we headlined. We never trashed hotel rooms. Music has become a way of life for me. I don't have alot to compare it to. We all enjoy each other's company and we'd be doing it even if we didn't have this success. Our show fits with everybody from Willie Nelson to Kiss, who we've performed with.
Q - Who or what influenced you to become a musician?
A - My mother introduced me to Sam Cooke, she bought me records and got me Frank Sinatra's autograph. Then when I announced I was gonna be a musician, she tried to talk me out of it. She said I'd starve.