On this day in 1973, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. They landed the cover just three months after their hit song ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone’ was released on the group’s second album, titled Sloppy Seconds.
The song was great publicity for the magazine, as it was only in it’s fifth year. But instead of putting the band’s name on the cover, they literally put the band’s pictures with the caption “What’s Their Names Make The Cover”.
The song was written by Shel Silverstein, a writer of many famous country songs including Johnny Cash’s hit ‘A Boy Named Sue’. Silverstein is a best-selling children’s author, as well as a contributor to Playboy magazine.
The BBC declined to play the song due to violations in their ruling on publicizing trademarked products by brand name (The Kinks changed their lyrics from Coca-Cola to Cherry Cola to get around this problem when their song ‘Lola’ was released). CBS reacted by setting up a phone line that would play the song for anyone who called in, which only created more of a buzz about the song and the band.
A side note: I got to hang out with the remaining band members while they were on tour in 1999. They stopped in for a drink at the Hamilton bar that I was happy to be working for that day!