IT was just two words, but as the free-lovin’ 60s drew to a close and The Beatles wound up, they were a powerful message about the changing of the guard, of a unique Aussie talent bursting onto the scene.
When Doug Parkinson first belted out the opening of The Beatles’ classic call to play, you had to sit up and take notice, and if the hair didn’t stand up on the back of your neck, your radio wasn’t up loud enough.
His unmistakably gruff and raspy voice cut through like a clarion and the single raced up the national charts, peaking at No 5.
Five months later his band Doug Parkinson in Focus did it again with the hit Without You/Hair.
After launching a successful solo career, Parkinson also found his feet on a different type of stage – musical theatre.
His first foray was in the 1973 Australian debut of The Who’s rock opera Tommy, then later that year he replaced Reg Livermore in the role of Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar.
But with his ‘Lucifer’ beard and shock of hair, he seemed born for the role of Judas, and when the musical returned in the 80s, his portrayal of the fallen disciple was a triumph.
Parkinson’s standing in the annals of Aussie music can be measured by the company he keeps on stage; a roll-call of the country’s top musicians, including Tommy Emmanuel, Billy Thorpe and Daryl Braithwaite.
But he’s always kept his feet firmly on the ground, and his homage to the music of Van Morrison is a respectful and accurate tribute.
In an evening filled with all of Morrison’s classic hits, Parkinson and his eight-piece band will make you sit up and take notice again – of what made this iconic Irishman a superstar.
With hits including Brown Eyed Girl, Moondance, Bright Side of the Road and Have I Told You Lately, there isn’t a more qualified singer to showcase the music of Van Morrison than Doug Parkinson.
With the soul, grit and power that is Doug, this will be a show for all Van Morrison and Doug Parkinson fans alike.
Doug Parkinson presents an evening celebrating the music of Van Morrison
Saturday April 4, 7.30pm
Astor Theatre, Mt Lawley
Tickets: ticketek or astortheatreperth.com