Stephen 'Doc' Kupka

ASK DOC - November, 2008

The Funky Doctor answers YOUR questions


From Steve Finch, Strokeland Director of Operations:

Hi Doc,

It has been a privilege to be your friend and partner in Strokeland Records for the last two years, and now as you celebrate 40 years with Tower of Power, to celebrate this wonderful milestone with you.   I have an “Ask Doc” question for you myself.

On your 40th anniversary with Tower of Power, what are your thoughts and reflections right now?


When I joined the band on August 15, 1968, I barely thought about next Saturday, let alone years later.  Now, looking back, I realize what an achievement this actually is -- not only having been in the band for forty years, but the fact that the band is still playing at an extremely high level and still plays vibrant, exciting music.  It is ironic that our new CD, “Great American Soulbook”, is cover material of great old Soul songs.  I can assure you that our next CD will be original material.  I’m grateful to the fans that they have helped to keep this sound alive..


From Bobby Dowler:

Mr. Kupka, any latest news on your future excellent musical gems?  Thank you, always.


Hi, Bobby. The next two projects we have in mind are: 1) A digital remix of “The Life and Times of Frank Biner”, a beautiful CD from 1982 that has mostly original material written by Frank and myself; and 2) “Doc Goes Vegas”, a follow-up to “Doc Goes Hollywood” that I’m putting together with Lon Bronson.  Larry Braggs will be singing most of the leads..


From Mark B.:

Doc, I’m a huge Strokeland Superband fan.  Any plans for a live recording or DVD from Strokeland?


We’re looking for an Executive Producer for a DVD.  As soon as that’s been done, we are ready to roll!


From Ray Wilkes:

Hi, Doc.  Thank you so much for all the years of great music.  What is your favorite song that you’ve recorded outside of Tower of Power and why?

“Simple as That” with Huey Lewis.  It took a long time to get that one recorded and it’s one of my all-time favorite songs! Thanks for writing, Ray.


From Ron L.:


I must admit, I didn’t think I would like Doc Goes Hollywood because I’m a huge Tower of Power / East Bay Soul fan.  It’s so different from your usual East Bay Soul musical style.  But… I absolutely LOVE it!   The melodies and incredible orchestrations won me over and now I can’t stop listening.   Great work, but you’re still going to crank out that great R&B, though, right???



Hi, Ron. R&B is always the first club out of the bag for me.  Maybe that’s why it was so much fun doing Doc Goes Hollywood as a change of pace.

Note to the fans:  Lots of people have asked about Strokeland showing an address in Roanoke, Virginia. I have always been and will remain a California resident.  I live in Los Angeles, but my heart remains in the East Bay.  For now and the future, our business will be run out of Roanoke, Virginia, as my business partner and Chief Operating Officer of Strokeland Records is situated there.  It gives me a great excuse to come to Virginia where I love to visit.


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Until next month,


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