Dr. Fangus Video Clinic

Because of my interest in music, I was always willing to shoot any musical event that came across the radar screen. After a while, I had quite a bit of musical material in the can. It was a very eclectic mix of local talent. I was encouraged to put together a variety show.

I decided I wanted to host it myself, but I wanted someone to share the duties. We considered all of the possibilities we could think of, until it came to me. Mikes dog would be the host.

The title was a committee decision, the Dr. Fangus Video Clinic.

On the Dr. Fangus Video Clinic set
Sep 1984

On the Dr. Fangus Video Clinic set
Sep 1984

This is a shot of Rich "Bob Neuron" Swann and I on the Fangus set. Rich was a technician at the station. He was more knowledgeable than I about the local music scene, and was subsequently tapped to share the spotlight with the dog.

Note the giant murals in the background. I drew those one weekend with pastels in the conference room while no one was using it. I regret that I had to leave them in Denton when I left. I am sure they are long gone.

The dog worked great. We'd get him in close up and he'd say something a person would never get away with, like how corny the last clip was (and boy some of 'em were!) Then we'd argue with him and tell him how it was ok. He always got the last word.

A lot of people thought it was really me talking for him, but there was this one episode (I think I remember it anyway) where he drank water while I talked, so it was obvious what was going on.

On the Dr. Fangus Video Clinic set
Sep 1984

Producing videos for the Dr. Fangus Video Clinic
Sep 1984

Most of the work producing the Fangus show wasn't in getting the dog to cooperate. Most of the work went on between shows, when Bob and I and whatever skeleton crew we could round up went out to shoot the video for the show. Here I'm shooting Matt Johnson during his stint with Rallock.

The important element of the Fangus show was that it wasn't just bands in bars. It wasn't always hip or pretentious. Sometimes it was a kid playing his piano lessons, or a barber shop quartet, or a viewer who would call in and say he wanted to be on the show. My philosophy was that everybody gets to play. The show was just the opposite of the new music/TV sensation, MTV (which had arrived in Denton 2 years earlier.) It was unpredictable.

During this period, I began to hatch an idea for a Dr. Fangus Outdoor Music Festival. Unfortunately the festival never happened, but during the initial planning stage, I put up an ad at a local laundromat for talent.

One of the calls I got was from a local gal who was a student at the art school at NTSU. Since the festival didn't happen, I offered to record her at my home studio and bring the tracks to the TV station so she could use them as the accompaniment for a guest spot on the Fangus show.

Sara Hickman

Sara Hickman

One of my friends and loyal viewers, Carl Finch of Brave Combo, saw the show and called to find out who the girl was. He said he though she was particularly talented and that he wanted to record her for a label he was starting.

I told him her name was Sara Hickman. They hooked up and recorded her first album. The next time I saw her was on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

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