Not your av­er­age Joe

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Sara Fitz­patrick

SYD­NEY soul singer Doug Parkin­son is en­sur­ing the spirit of Joe Cocker re­mains alive.

With the re­cent pass­ing of icons such as Prince and David Bowie, Parkin­son wor­ries the lesser-known Cocker – who died in 2014 – could fall off the radar.

“He could get lost in the sand­pit, so to speak, and I think he de­serves more than that. Peo­ple won’t for­get about him; I just want to make sure I nudge their mem­ory,” Parkin­son said.

Parkin­son hon­ours his idol with a tribute show fea­tur­ing songs You Can Leave Your Hat On, Cry Me a River and The Let­ter.

“I’ve been a fan from day one and peo­ple see us as very sim­i­lar sort of acts,” he said.

“We’ve been do­ing the show and peo­ple have come back two or three times: they drive hundreds of kilo­me­tres to see us so I think there’s a big au­di­ence out there for Joe Cocker and peo­ple are lik­ing the idea of me do­ing it.”

Parkin­son re­mem­bers hear­ing Cocker the first time.

“The song was With A Lit­tle Help From My Friends by The Bea­tles and it blew me away be­cause at the time we were do­ing very well in Mel­bourne with my band, Doug Parkin­son in

Focus, and we had a hit with Dear Pru­dence, an­other Bea­tles song,” he said.

“I heard his in­ter­pre­ta­tion of their song and thought it was very clever: he made a re­ally poppy lit­tle song that Ringo sang valid in its own right and turned it into this won­der­ful big soul­ful al­most-an­them.”

Parkin­son, from hit mu­si­cals Je­sus Christ Su­per­star and Grease, ven­tured into music when he was 12 af­ter his fa­ther bought a reel-toreel tape recorder.

“One day Dad left it out and I switched it on and sang into the mi­cro­phone and it scared the hell out of me be­cause I had no idea my voice sounded that way,” he said.

“In my early teenage years, I asked for a gui­tar for Christ­mas and got one and then in those days when you went to school the only way to meet girls was to sing in the choir, so I went to church and be­fore I knew it I was singing in all these dif­fer­ent choirs.”

■ Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group has 10 dou­ble passes to give away to Doug Parkin­son Hon­ours Joe Cocker at Crown Theatre Perth on May 27. En­ter at www.com­mu­ni­tynews. com.au by 10am, May 12.

Doug Parkin­son wants to keep the songs of Joe Cocker alive.

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