Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why Should You Care Now? -- Doctors' Mob.

By Peter Blackstock

OK, so the intent here is a series. Along the lines of "Where Are They Now?", I suppose, except it really doesn't matter where these folks are now. It's about what thy did at some point, something that mattered. Something that has been pretty well forgotten, left for dead and gone. And yet....

The series has to start with Doctors' Mob, because it's their song title that's the inspiration for the series. "Why Should You Care Now?" was the next-to-last ("penultimate," if you're more literate than Doctors' Mob cared you to be) song on the band's 1985 record Headache Machine. Here's an odd admission about that song:

In the chorus, singer Steve Collier repeatedly asks, "Why should you care now?", and then finally answers the question at the end. "We do!" ... or, wait, is it "We don't?"

Doctors' Mob was kind of a loud band, see. The words weren't really supposed to matter, except that they did, because Collier was pretty sharp. I mean, fer chrissakes, he named one of his songs after an editor of Details magazine. So as much as they were all about showing up drunk, showing up late, or not showing up at all (their official motto), these guys actually had some pretty good words to their songs. (Witness that when folks called out in the encore for "The Cage," typically the stress was on "The" rather than "Cage." The audience clearly cared about the words.)

And so, back to the question at hand. Why should you care now? It's been about 25 years now that I've wondered whether Doctors' Mob cared, or didn't care. Frankly, at this point, I really don't wanna know what the actual line is there. I prefer to believe that Collier screamed out something different each time, depending upon what he felt at any given moment. It could be "WE DO!", it could be "WE DON'T!" -- either would fit the band's identity, I think. "We do" if they were buying into the "New Sincerity" tag that was put upon them and their peers in the mid-'80s Austin scene; after all, what could be more sincere than caring? And "We don't" if you figured these guys thought that whole New Sincerity deal was just a crock of shit.

This summer I saw Doctors' Mob play for the first time in about 15 years, at a reunion gig. They played "Why Should You Care Now?", and each time the chorus came around, I joined in. I shouted "We Do!" ... or maybe "We Don't!". It doesn't really matter. I sang it at the top of my lungs, and that was all that mattered.

When the mood strikes me, I'll write about some other stuff long since dead and gone, and why you should care about it now. Or shouldn't.