Milk and Alcohol

The first single I ever bought, way back in 1979 was Milk and Alcohol by Dr. Feelgood.

The song was written in 1978 by Nick Lowe and John Mayo and reportedly retells Lowe’s experience of drinking too many Kahlúa-milk drinks at or after a United States concert by bluesman John Lee Hooker. Ironically, while the song anonymously criticises Hooker (“Main attraction dead on his feet, Black man rhythm with a white boy beat”), it was also inspired by Hooker’s own lyric about “milk, cream and alcohol”.

The song was recorded in 1978 and first appeared on Private Practice which was released in 1978. It was several years after this that my teenage finances were able to stretch to this album.

For me, this song, and this album, remain the high point of the Canvey Island Rockers’ output, the stand-out aspect of which was Lee Brilleux’s remarkably menacing vocals.