Shine a Light - The Story of the Rock Doc

 

We are taking the opportunity to highlight Randy Sharma, a doctor who lives in Columbus, Ohio.  He attend the University of Cincinnati and studied Biology and went to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where he studied Medicine.  Randy has a unique clientele he works with, Randy often gets to work with musicians.  Especially, alt royalty.  Randy is called "The Rock Doc" and often finds himself serving as a doctor for touring musicians, particularly at concerts.  Check out our interview the "The Rock Doc" below! 

 

1: Many a band and artist call you “The Rock Doc”. Can you explain to the readers how you came to have this nickname?

 

“So "rock doc" is a fairly common term in the music industry - especially amongst touring musicians -  for a doctor who takes care of bands. There is usually at least one in most big cities. In Columbus, Ohio,  I have kind of stepped into the role. So when I show up at a venue to take care of an artist, there will usually be a walkie-talkie call made where they say, "The rock doc's here. Where should I send him?"  I have worked with bands since I was in college, so I understood touring and the music industry pretty well. Which comes in VERY handy!”


2: How long have you been “The Rock Doc”?

“I moved to Columbus about 15 years ago and would go to enough shows that I became friends with a lot of people that worked at the local indie radio station (CD102.5). Probably 9 or 10 years ago, one of them sent me a message that they had an artist passing through town, and they asked if I had the time to see them. So, I made the time.
 

At other times, they would introduce me to various record label reps that were traveling with bands, and the reps would occasionally call me because one if their bands was in town and needed some medical attention.
 

Eventually, a few of the venues caught wind of this and began calling me as well.
Now, anytime that you take care if a band, you usually have the tour manager walk you to the band and introduce you, and they usually take your contact info in case they need it later (quite a few of them jump from tour-to-tour with various artists).”

 

3: How often do you find yourself serving as a doctor at concerts for bands/artists? And how do these arrangements come about?

 

“Over the past 5 or 6 years, it's become a fairly steady thing. Depending on the season, I might not get a call for 2 months, and then, I might get 2 every week for several weeks.”

4: Who were some of your favorite bands/artists that you have had the opportunity to work with?

 

“Of course, all of the bands and their crews are going to be nice to me - I'm helping them out!
That being said... Sigur Ros were particularly wonderful! We had a great conversation about the Icelandic soccer team and Norse mythology. They invited me to the "festival" that they curated in December... so of course I went! Afram Island! Silversun Pickups have been particularly kind to me. Whenever I run into them, it's like catching up with old friends.


Avett Bros were just a fun bunch. We haven't stayed in touch, but the whole lot of them seem to really enjoy each other’s company and were funny as hell.
And then, there's Ryan Adams. I was a little bit nervous when I stepped onto his bus because he has quite a reputation from the past. He was making himself a sandwich on a portable panini grill and offered to make me a sandwich. We talked for about 45 minutes, but then, I had to leave because I was late for a date. But, he was not what I expected. Just a really solid dude. He was great!

 

My favorites, to be honest,  are the bands that are playing a smaller room. They seemed to be more appreciative and are hungry to succeed. Those are the bands that I usually stay in touch with because I love watching them grow.


If I had a pick my 2 favorite bands that I've worked with, I would probably say White Reaper.  They give it their all every night and take the time to greet their fans even when they are a sweaty, worn-out mess. And trust me, they BRING IT!
 

And topping the list would have to be The Wombats. We hit it off when I met them, and we have stayed in touch ever since. I don't know that any other band has made me laugh as much as they do!
 

Murph (lead vocals) was pretty adamant that I see them at Alexandra Palace in London this past March, and I'm glad that I did! The venue is gorgeous! And I wasn't prepared to see 10,000+ fans singing their lungs out to every song! It was REALLY special.
 

After the show, Murph insisted that I take a picture with his friends, so I did. After they walked away, he asked, "You know those guys, right?" I shrugged. "C'mon, mate! You know Dan from Bastille and Gus from Alt-J!" Nope. Sure didn't. Lol!”


5: What is the craziest thing you thing have ever seen at a show?
 

“Murph (lead vocals) was pretty adamant that I see them at Alexandra Palace in London this past March, and I'm glad that I did! The venue is gorgeous! And I wasn't prepared to see 10,000+ fans singing their lungs out to every song! It was REALLY special.
 

After the show, Murph insisted that I take a picture with his friends, so I did. After they walked away, he asked, "You know those guys, right?" I shrugged. "C'mon, mate! You know Dan from Bastille and Gus from Alt-J!" Nope. Sure didn't. Lol!”


6: What was the best venue you have ever worked in at a show?
 

“Arena shows are challenging because the band members usually have separate dressing rooms, so you don't get to meet them all. (And there can be an air of stuffiness because there is security detail, etc. which is understandable.)
Because of that, it's more fun when you get summoned onto a tour bus. Multiple band members are usually there, everybody is comfortable, and you get to see their personalities and interactions with each other.”

8: Do you have any upcoming shows that you’re excited to attend?

 

“I'm a little burnt out on shows at the moment. I just saw Courtney Barnett as well as the Wombats/Pixies/Weezer shows, and they were a lot of fun!  I'm looking forward to Austin City Limits because that is always a solid weekend, and I'm excited that Nicole Atkins and Givers are both making their ways back through Columbus soon!!! (They may not be on your radar, but definitely worth checking out!)”

9: Often celebrities create personas which may or may not be grounded in their everyday life. Which Band/artist’s demeanor or personality surprised you the most?

 

“The band that surprised me most was...Panic! At the Disco. I remember them from their debut album but was never a big fan. They played a radio station CD1025 holiday show here about three years ago, and I took care of them before soundcheck. They were super-chill. But when they took the stage, I was beside myself! Brendan Urie was not the person that I had met! He was a brilliant showman. And now, I understand why they are still able to sell out arenas. He is a wonderful performer!”

10: What was your first concert and how many shows would you estimate you have been to over the years?

 

“The first "real" concert was Counting Crows opening for Cracker. Still love them both! I have no idea how many shows I have been to; let’s just say a lot!”

 

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