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Tuesday September 02, 2014
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David Doris

 

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Doris's willingness to learn the difficult, tonal Yoruba language has endeared him to Nigerians (though they tease him about his pronunciation). Traveling around a country plagued by crime and ethnic and religious violence can be dangerous for a foreigner, and Doris says he has had to talk his way out of scary situations. But he doesn't dwell on the dangers. "I love Nigeria because it has challenged me in a thousand ways," he says. "Any troubles I might have experienced there pale in comparison with those Nigerians experience every day, year in and year out."

Of Sicilian and Russian Jewish heritage, Doris grew up in New York, where his passions were acting, art, and playing the saxophone. After graduating from Southampton College at Long Island University in 1983, he worked in advertising and freelanced as a sax player, recording with people like Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground. He joined the Raunch Hands in 1988. "NYC bluesy punkrock" is how a fan's website describes the group. "Very male, loud and drunk, all of that," says Doris.

The Raunch Hands, briefly, hit it big in Japan and parts of Europe. But Doris became restless, and, uncertain about the group's direction, decided to move on. He quit in 1992 after a fight over the name of a future album. Doris wanted Wake Up and Smell the Raunch Hands. His band mates chose Fuck Me Stupid. "We parted on bad terms," Doris admits.

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