Spin Doctors: a tale of two princes continues

Ben Breier

Did you miss the Spin Doctors after all these years? Well little miss, “little miss can’t be wrong.”

Credit: Ben Breier

Spin Doctors

Where? House of Blues, Cleveland

When? Sunday, Sept. 4; Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

How much? $19.50, $25.00


You had grunge, you had less bubblegum pop, you had less electronica. And you had the Spin Doctors.

Pop music in the early ’90s was drastically different than the state of today’s music. Yet, the Spin Doctors are updating their sound to fit the modern main stream.

“We have evolved, but at the same time, people who listen to the new record will recognize it as a new Spin Doctors record,” lead vocalist Chris Barron said. “We aren’t like David Bowie where we re-invent ourselves on every record — we haven’t gone from a fish to a lemur, but more like a lemur to a chimp.”

After getting their start at a fraternity party at Columbia University, the band released its first album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, in 1991.

Children of the ’90s may fondly recall the black-and-white music video for the Spin Doctors’ hit single “Two Princes” — which illustrates a battle between a fat guy and a skinny guy. Kryptonite also generated another memorable single, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.”

“They were just a regular ’90s band that had a few hit singles, a couple good videos,” said Chris Cramer, a junior pre-med major. “Girls liked the skinny guy with black hair because he was a dream boat.”

After the success of their debut album, the band slowly began to fade into obscurity. In addition to turmoil within the ranks of the group that resulted in the band’s deconstruction, Barron was suddenly struck with vocal paralysis.

“It was kind of a neurological thing which was similar to Bell’s Palsy,” he said. “I had a 50/50 chance of ever talking again, let alone singing on a professional level. It was a really nightmarish time, but luckily, it came back.”

With Barron’s voice back in full-force, the only thing left to do was to reunite the Spin Doctors – a process which began in September 2001.

“We got a call from the Wetlands (a Manhattan club) to reunite the band to play a show there,” said Barron. “We cautiously went into a rehearsal, and it was amazing. When the four of us play music together, something amazing happens.”

Shortly after the reunion show, the Spin Doctors toured in the spring of 2002, which was followed up by a summer tour with Sponge, Seven Mary Three and the Gin Blossoms. Thoughts of a new record began to dance around in the heads of the band, but it was something the band approached with caution.

“We took our time, because we knew it was really important to come back with a really strong record,” said Barron. “We took the best of everything we had written together and some friends from outside of the band.”

Although the Spin Doctors have been successful in the past due to cult-classic singles from Kryptonite, the band certainly wants to avoid being lumped into the dreaded one-hit wonder category.

“We’re a band, and it’s our job to entertain people and make really great music,” Barron said. “I’d rather not be thought of as a one-hit wonder, but it’s something that I don’t have control over. All you can do to exert any kind of control over it is to do what you do, and what I do is sing and write songs.”

Contact ALL correspondent Ben Breier at [email protected].