Mitch Myers, who is Shel Silverstein's nephew and wrote the book Silverstein Around the World
, explains: "I think that he was already hanging with Dr. Hook when he did it, but if he didn't, he had been around musicians, and he understood what people wanted. And he understood how every musician's dream was to be a star. To be a big star. To be on the cover of a big magazine, and what magazine epitomized music? And Shel lampooned the whole rock and roll lifestyle in that - groupies and Indian gurus - at the time. The Beatles and everybody, Donovan, and all those people were wearing Indian garb and going to see Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and coming back supposedly enlightened - or not. And everybody was still hustling, was all hustle. I'm not saying that anyone was insincere, I'm just saying that you can see people for what they are. And he did that, and made it funny, too.
Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show became such prolific interpreters of Shel's material for some reasons which would completely include their sense of humor. They were just a bar band from New Jersey, as much as Columbia Records tried to make them some crazy Cajun band that came out of the swamps. I mean, Ray Sawyer was from the South, maybe one or two of the other guys. But they were just a bar band, and were blessed with two great singers, both Ray and Dennis had fantastic voices. Dennis' was the one that was a little raspier and rougher, and similar to Shel's in grit, and Ray was a little bit more lascivious and a little bit more playful, and the chemistry between the two of them - although it did not last forever - was a perfect foil for Shel to use. And if it was a sweet love song, you know, Dennis might just do something very straightforward. Like "I Can't Touch The Sun For You" off the first record. And not all their songs were novelty, and not all their songs were humorous, and not all their performances were gimmicky. But they also were not afraid to go over to Europe and perform on stage and get naked. I mean, they were just a bunch of maniacs." (Learn a lot more about Shel Silverstein in our interview with Mitch Myers