Five Musicians With Doctorates (None of Whom are in Dr. Dog)

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Dr. Dog tries not to overthink things.

Is Dr. Dog the worst band name ever? It is pretty close but that kind of thing can be overcome. The Beatles is a pretty stupid band name too but look what they managed to accomplish. Most notably Dr. Dog are neither doctors nor canines. They are a 60's-indebted rock band from Pennsylvania that make the most of their tight harmonies and bouncing keyboards. Their most recent release, Be the Void, finds their 4-track aesthetic slightly polished but their live performances remain satisfyingly fierce.

Dr. Dog aren't the only doctoral poseurs in the music world. Dr. John, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Dr. Dre, Dr. Hook, and Dr. Teeth are all implying more student loans than they really had to pay. In honor of Dr. Dog's appearance at the Observatory tonight, here are five musicians who actually nabbed a PhD.

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Sterling Morrison

Original Velvet Underground guitarist (and occasional bassist) Sterling Morrison lived an interesting life. He put his studies on hold to help start VU and lasted with the group longer than Lou Reed. When things began to fall off in the early 70s, Morrison completed his bachelor's degree and kept on going, eventually obtaining a Ph. D in Medieval Literature from the University of Texas, Austin. What did he do with the degree? He worked on tugboats and occasionally played with his former bandmates until passing away in the mid '90s from non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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Phil Alvin

Local rocker Phil Alvin (Hello Downey!) made his name churning out crunchy riffs with the Blasters in the early 1980s alongside his brother Dave. When the party first ended in 1986, Phil decided to return to school eventually earning a PhD from UCLA in mathematics with an emphasis in set theory, determining the "meaning of meaning" as he put it. Heavy shit but his true passion was the guitar and he reformed the Blasters before the 80s were through. Their still rocking with a new release earlier this summer.


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The Observatory

3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Music

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