Stephen 'Doc' Kupka

ASK DOC - November, 2006

The Funky Doctor answers YOUR questions


From Bobby Dowler:

There was a song you wrote mentioned in a newspaper article about Tower of Power years ago in the Oakland Tribune called "Sophisticated Snap Funk". If it is in your Tower vaults it would be great to hear on an upcoming recording project. Did that tune ever get recorded?

Hi, Bobby.  "SOPHISTICATED SNAP FUNK" ultimately became the instrumental "THE EDUCATED BUMP" on the Epic/Sony Tower of Power CD called "T.O.P." Originally, there was a whole set of lyrics, but after a long convoluted process, that's what we ended up with. Another little known fact is that the music for that instrumental was originally the track to "THE FUNKY WHITE BLOOD", which the "geniuses" felt was inappropriate subject matter. You can hear "TFWB" on the "KICK IT UP A STEP" Strokeland CD.


From Dave Moore:

Which Tower of Power release is your favorite?

My favorite Tower CD is the Warner Bros. CD "TOWER OF POWER" My favorite Sony CD is "MONSTER ON A LEASH" But I like the new upcoming Strokeland CD "DOC GOES HOLLYWOOD" better than any CD I've ever been involved with. Thanks for writing, Dave.


From Sam Samuelsson:

Through all the years, I have seen Tower use two trumpets, sometimes a double on Bone, and three saxes. I saw an original score for "What is Hip" for sale that showed three trumpet parts. Was there an extra part on the records?

Hi, Sam. Every CD we have recorded from "BUMP CITY" on has extra parts. In general, it's two trumpet parts doubled and a trombone part, as well as two tenor saxes doubled and a bari sax part. What you hear live is a condensation of that. Five horns is great for live but six are better for a studio sound.


From Steve Booth:

Doc, Your lyrics are funny and insightful. Where do they come from?

Thank you for the compliment, Steve. I get lyrics from things I read, from TV, from movies, from e-mails, and from things people say. Sometimes I even think up something I haven't heard from another source. Anything that at all lights me up, I write down. These days I have to write them down or I'll forget them. I then combine all these little phrases and concepts into lyric form and either add music myself or collaborate with a songwriting partner. Sometimes the music comes first. I take it any way I can get it. For a good example of a song that's both funny and insightful check out "WHEN WILL COLIN POWELL WRITE HIS TELL ALL BOOK?" off the upcoming "BUMPED UP TO FIRST CLASS" Strokeland CD slated to come out early 2007.


That's it for now,


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