News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Flashback Monday: Reston, Rock-n-Roll, and Eat


Local music lovers of a Certain Age may remember the early 1980s sensation Four Out of Five Doctors, who were considered the Next Big Thing to come out of the DC area (besides suburban sprawl). But did you know that when the time came to pick out a location for the cover of their first eponymous album*, the band picked Reston? More specifically, they picked EAT**, an old school roadside restaurant at the intersection of Rt. 7 and Baron Cameron Avenue.

Sadly, the band's story was one of unfortunate timing.
Their music blended elements of the Cars, Elvis Costello, XTC and Squeeze, using sunny day melodies as a backdrop for wry lyrical observations. Everett’s boyish lead vocals gave them pure pop appeal, and their absurd sense of humor (displayed in songs like "Jeff Jeff" and "Danger Man") made them a precursor to They Might Be Giants and Barenaked Ladies.

When the album was released in January, 1981, the pop scene was changing. Radio had soured on power pop and new wave in the wake of the Knack’s unsuccessful second album and the failure of similar acts to break. Album rock radio had turned to heavy metal and hard rock instead.
Along with opening for acts including Hall and Oates, the Clash, and the Cars, Four Out of Five Doctors did get a role in 80s movie The House on Sorority Row II (skip ahead to 2:45 to go straight past the stabby business to the band).

They also performed at Jammin' Java as recently as 2010.

Of course, Reston has since developed more homegrown musical talent. But we keep going back to Four Out of Five Doctors album cover and its old-timey, pre-Reston vibe. If only they had known there were myriad artistic inspirations for their album covers just a short drive down Baron Cameron, the end.

*album (n.) Pre-cassette CD iPod device used to store music on circular vinyl platters.

**Probably not its real name.


  1. My uncle said some of the first hfstivals were at lake Fairfax park. That would be a good flashback Monday!

    1. Ah yes, my kids still proclaim the local HFestivls as touchstones of their misspent youthful lives...

  2. The take out restaurant was simply known as the 'EAT' for many years. Back album cover showed the full signage as can be seen, here:;toolid=10013&customid=&


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