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Stephen “Doc” Kupka is best known as the foundation of the horn section for Tower of Power, having performed on Baritone Sax with them for 50 years and running. Ever since co-writing “You’re Still a Young Man,” he really has enjoyed songwriting. He wanted to showcase the many songs he has written over the years, so he established Strokeland Records in 1998. Doc’s longevity with performing and songwriting is truly a marvel and the saxophone world has been enjoying his music for so long.

Doc is a Yamaha-endorsed artist, playing on a YBS62. What we talked about:

  • Doc’s background – he didn’t start on sax; he was very accomplished on another instrument
  • His practice routine then, and now
  • What life on the road is like
  • How he gets his huge sound
  • What he feels like are his weaknesses – he was really candid about this
  • The genre of music he really enjoys (this hearkens back to his early days)
  • How Doc met Emilio Castillo and became an integral part of Tower of Power
  • When Doc started writing songs, and he reveals his songwriting process
  • The Who’s Who list of A-players who have performed with TOP over the past 50 years
  • How to stay vigilant in the music business
  • The inspiration for starting Strokeland Records in 1998
  • And much more


For a little more on Doc, click here.


Check out the Video from this Episode HERE