“If you have never heard the Doctors of Madness, you should. Musically they are the Velvet Underground, New York Dolls with shades of glam, hippie, prog and punk all rolled into one, yet are still totally original. Vastly underrated, they should have been huge. Pure genius”
Vic Reeves (Comedian and Artist)
The Doctors of Madness are “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols” (The Guardian May 2017).
Exploding onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band’s dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance.
Among the many fans of the band were acts as diverse as The Damned, Vic Reeves, Joy Division, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Spiritualized, Julian Cope, The Adverts, The Skids and Simple Minds.
The Sex Pistols supported them, so did The Jam, Penetration and Cabaret Voltaire. They were the first to combine the avant-garde approach of The Velvet Underground with a distinctly European aesthetic.
The blue hair, exotic stage-names, the lyrical themes of urban decay, political propaganda, mind control and madness were all taken up by the punk bands who followed in their wake.
The Doctors of Madness were trailblazers, pioneers, adventurers…pushing the boundaries of rock music and theatre to see how far it would go before it bust. What happened after them was due, in no small part, to what they achieved in three short years. They may not have been Jesus Christ, but they were, arguably, John The Baptist!!!
Frontman, singer and songwriter Richard “Kid” Strange went on to make solo albums, open clubs, write a memoir, curate art events and act in dozens of films and TV programmes including Batman, Robin Hood, Gangs of New York, Harry Potter, Mona Lisa and Men Behaving Badly. He also worked on projects with artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Gavin Bryars, Marianne Faithfull, Damon Albarn and Jarvis Cocker.
40 years after the band broke up, in 1978, they are back with an incendiary energy and a passionate fury that would be the envy of many bands just starting out. Their songs are political, tender, and genuinely edgy, complex but forthright, melodic and epic, and their live shows have been critically acclaimed in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and Japan.
“In my Version of Rock History, Richard “Kid” Strange looms a lot larger than Pete Townsend”
Paul Morley (Journalist & Broadcaster)
“The Doctors of Madness- now THERE was a band!”
Jim Kerr (Simple Minds)
“The Doctors of Madness were the best! Blue hair, sequinned eyelids, a guitar that spelled out “KID”, space-age vaudeville that tipped this 16-year old kid over the edge! One of the most original songwriters & performers of my generation.”
Joe Elliott (Def Leppard)
“When Ziggy shagged all of Amon Duul 2 at the Berlin premiere of “A Clockwork Orange”, their divine progeny was undoubtedly Richard “Kid” Strange and The Doctors of Madness.’ Julian Cope (The Teardrop Explodes)
“18 years after first meeting him, just thinking about Richard still reduces me to a state of near hysteria…and terror. He restores one’s faith in the ability of the human spirit to soar.”
James Nesbitt (Actor)