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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Famed radio personality and musicologist Dr. Demento, also known as Reed graduate Barry Hansen ’63, will again bring his "mad music and crazy comedy" to Reed with three programs—on January 23, 24, and 25—as part of Paideia, the independent, student-run study period between semesters. All three programs will be at 8 p.m. in the Vollum lecture hall on the Reed campus and are open to the public with a $5 admission charge at the door (Reed students, faculty, and staff are admitted free). For more information see or call 503/777-7755.

A "half-serious talk" about comedy
Thursday, January 23
8 p.m., Vollum lecture hall, $5 admission
Comedy recordings from throughout the 20th century, including great rarities from the Doctor's personal archive of nearly half a million items, tied to changing trends in society, fashion, and politics.

Censorship and how it affects the music you hear (and don't hear)
Friday, January 24
8 p.m., Vollum lecture hall, $5 admission
The Doctor will explain how business pressures, government dictates, and other factors restrict your freedom to hear the music of your choice. This was just presented at the Experience Music Project in Seattle in conjunction with the Washington ACLU.

Festival of Dementia
Saturday, January 25
8 p.m., Vollum lecture hall, $5 admission
Multimedia show featuring many hits from the "Dr. Demento Show" and a few tunes that, for various reasons, he can't play on the air.

Dr. Demento has hosted the nationally syndicated "Dr. Demento Show" since 1970. His weekly program of "mad music and crazy comedy" features such lions of lunacy as Monty Python, Spike Jones, Frank Zappa, Tom Lehrer, and Cheech & Chong, but is perhaps best known as the show that introduced rock and pop parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic to an unsuspecting world.

Those who've listened carefully to the Doctor's show have undoubtedly realized that somewhere between his lively larynx and elegant top hat resides the mind of a seasoned musicologist and dedicated scholar . . . a world-renowned record collector and music historian, whose lifelong passion for music of all kinds is reflected in his weekly selection of "rare records and outrageous tapes" for the "Dr. Demento Show."

Over the years he's done quite a bit of writing about R&B and country music, including numerous magazine articles, liner notes, and two chapters on early R&B for the Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll.

When not on the air, the Doctor also keeps busy compiling and annotating new CD projects (primarily for Rhino), making personal appearances, and keeping up the archives. His notes for Rhino's Remains of Tom Lehrer box set were nominated for a Grammy in 2001. Among those who've commissioned him to provide rarities from the collection are Rhino Records, Time-Life Records, and Columbia Records, plus Aerosmith, Randy Newman, Bette Midler, Ry Cooder, and David Lindley. Recently he returned to one of his earliest musical passions to write a blues handbook, Rhino's Cruise Through the Blues, published by Backbeat Books of San Francisco under the name Barry Hansen.

The Doctor lives near Los Angeles with his wife, Sue.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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