Somebody Get Me A Doctor

Album: Van Halen II (1979)
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Songfacts®:

  • An early Van Halen rocker, "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" is, as Eddie Van Halen explained to Guitar World, "About being high and feeling good, which everyone again can relate to." It's a common theme in the lyrics of David Lee Roth.

    It's one of the first songs they wrote and a song they played at most of their early shows. They included it on the 1976 demo that helped get them a record deal, but left it off their first album - they had many songs to choose from, and it got squeezed out. It ended up on their second album, Van Halen II, in 1979.
  • This song was released as a single, but only in Japan. It's a fan favorite of particular interest to guitar aficionados who appreciate Eddie Van Halen's technique. Brad Tolinski, author of Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen, explained to Songfacts: "'Somebody Get Me a Doctor' sounds like it's going to come off the rails at any minute. It slows down, it speeds up, it stops, it does all these different things. And it's really like a great blues/jazz band, or early rock band."

    Tolinski considers it one of Eddie's great songwriting accomplishments, showing how he could invent riffs and hooks to propel the songs. "There are these cool, ripping artificial harmonics, and these volume swells, but it's just such an exciting song," he says. "I could listen to that any day, any time – not just the guitar part, but the whole thing."
  • Van Halen included this song in their 1998 tour setlist when Gary Cherone was their lead singer (he was with the band for one album: Van Halen III). Instead of having Cherone sing it, Michael Anthony got his turn on the mic. On some tour stops, a sexy nurse would come on stage to administer Anthony a shot of Jack Daniel's.

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