Monday, December 28, 2009

"Doctor Robert"

"Doctor Robert" is a song by The Beatles originally released on the album Revolver in the UK and on Yesterday and Today in the US. The song was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney helped him finish it. It was recorded in 7 takes on April 17, 1966 with vocals overdubbed April 19.


* John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonium
* Paul McCartney – bass guitar, vocal harmony
* George Harrison – lead guitar, maracas, backing vocal
* Ringo Starr – drums

Drug references

The song contains many drug references, including the fact that drug dealers are often called "doctors." The Beatles were often accused of putting drug references in their songs though they claimed that they hadn’t intentionally done so; ironically, the drug references in this song went largely unnoticed. John Lennon has said that Dr. Robert was actually himself, "I was the one who carried all the pills on tour ... in the early days." However, it has been speculated that the real life Doctor Robert is Doctor Robert Freymann, who supplied "generous amounts of amphetamines to people." Another speculation is that it referred to Dr. Charles Roberts, a physician in New York.

Cultural references

* The title of the song was used as a pseudonym by Robert Howard, lead singer with 80s group the Blow Monkeys.
* Doctor Robert and Uncle Albert are referenced in Regina Spektor's song "Edit" from her album Begin to Hope.
* In the video game Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, the player may access the personnel files in the Santa Monica Medical Clinic. On staff is one Dr. Roberts, whose personnel file says, "No one can succeed like Dr. Roberts." This is a variation on "No one can succeed like Doctor Robert," a lyric from this song.
* The 2007 film Across the Universe features several Beatles songs and also employs several names from lyrics as character names. One character, played by Bono, is named Dr. Robert.

Album: Revolver
Released: 5 August 1966
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, 17, 19 April 1966
Genre: Rock
Length: 2:15
Label: Parlophone
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin


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