Stephen 'Doc' Kupka

ASK DOC - June 2011

The Funky Doctor answers YOUR questions


From Madeleine:

Hello Doc,

My name is Madeleine and I am writing to you from Israel. I emigrated here almost 15 years ago from Stockholm, Sweden. One of the things I knew I was giving up coming here was the possibility to go to concerts every now and then seeing the bands and artists that I love.

My first boyfriend all the way back in 1986 introduced me to the music that really has formed me as a person. He was a big fan of Chicago, The Blood, Sweat and Tears, but foremost he was a freak for TOP. So I got hooked and you have been my favorite band since I was only 16. I have seen the band maybe 12 times but I never seem to get enough. Last time I took the last charter flight back home to Stockholm in November to see TOP. It was a fantastic concert! I have also gone to see you in Berlin and in Spain a couple of years ago. I know that TOP played at the Read Sea jazz festival in Eilat once, but it was probably more than 10 years ago, so isn' it time for the people in Israel to experience the joy I feel when I listen and see the band?

I turn 50 next year and I have asked my husband for one thing and that is that he takes me to a TOP concert no matter where you play! So how about coming to Israel to play?

Kind regards


Hi, Madeleine. Tower of Power loved playing at the Red Sea Festival and would love to play Israel again. If they book us we will come. Tower of Power is playing Barcelona, Spain again on July 2. Maybe we’ll see you there.


From Ron Weber:

Hey Doc, did I just see you guys on "Glee"? Just the horn section? I didn't think I saw Larry in the choir...

Sorry, Tower of Power was not on Glee and if Larry was in the choir, he didn’t mention it to any of us.

Thanks for writing, Ron.


From Deke Roberts:

Hi Doc,

The 60s to maybe the mid 70s were the heyday for soul bari players. It was a period when baritone sax players finally got to take their fair share of the solos. Did you never get an urge to maybe crank a couple out when you were recording the Soulbook?


Deke, my musical talents lie in sectional playing and songwriting. I have no desire to be known as a great virtuoso baritone soloist. Although, after you mentioned this, I'll probably put a solo on a future Strokeland project "just because".


From Anonymous:

Hey Doc, T.O.P. has always had great lead vocalists. Do you always have one waiting in the wings? Are there auditions?


PS: Not that I can sing...

We would have had one, Ali Woodson, however sadly he passed away last year of leukemia. We don't have one now, but we don't expect to need one anytime soon. If that slot opened up, I'm sure we would have no problem getting the word out to singers.



From Jerry:

Doc, always a thrill to see you and the band live in concert but I have a question about your hat. Do you alway wear the same style or brand of hat and what brand of hat is it? When did you first start wearing the hat, and did you have any idea it would become the icon of the band?

Jerry in Fresno, aka The Tax Man

My hat has its own travel case. Last year in Europe, at one show it was left behind, and I had to play a show with no hat. The message board lit up wondering why. Basically, the reason I started wearing a hat was so I didn't have to groom my long hair - back when I had long hair. Since then, I've played every show with it and the fans seem to identify with it. The basic prototype hat was the Stetson "Ivy Leaguer". Now, I'll buy a Baileys or Fléchet similar model if that's what the store has. The hats last about six months because they shrink from perspiration. Thanks for writing, Jerry.

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