Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 29: Doogie White

Scottish singer Doogie White is currently fronting classic hard rock band Alcatrazz. He and his excellent voice have also sung with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Michael Schenker, Praying Mantis, Tank, Jon Lord, Cornerstone, La Paz and many more. A new Alcatrazz album will be out in the autumn and Doogie has also the debut album of Long Shadows Dawn coming out on 6th August. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson caught up with Doogie to hear what five records rocked his world.

David Bowie “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” (1972)

“Thursday 6th of July 1972 changed the world for many, including this teenager. That was the date Bowie played ‘Starman’ on Top of the Pops. By Monday we all had Ziggy haircuts. By the following Saturday we were wearing pyjamas and our mothers’ red boots. I saved my pocket money and being young and never having bought an album before, bought ‘The Man Who Sold the World’. Of course, ‘Starman’ was not on ‘The Man Who Sold the World’. It took several more weeks of saving and doing chores before I finally got the album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ with ‘Starman’ on it. From that faded in drumbeat to the lament of ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide’ it had such an impact on me. Bowie has been a constant since that day. I never got into the three Berlin albums as by that time I had heard…Deep Purple.”

Deep Purple “Made in Japan” (1972)

“A gang of us went to Clason Memorial Church and on Saturday nights we had a Youth Fellowship. Boys in one ante-room, girls in the other. We had a record player and would listen to whatever anyone had bought that week. It was there I heard Purple for the first time. ‘Come Taste the Band’ was my introduction to the band that shaped my musical future. Over the weeks I was listening to every Purple album that was available. ‘Made in Japan’ was as powerful as anything I had ever heard. The singing, the playing, that guitarist. I can still put it on and know it’s absolutely live, no studio overdubs. That’s what a live band should sound like. Awesome!”

James Taylor “Dad Loves His Work” (1981)

“When I had my heart broken for the first but sadly not the last time, a friend seeing the pain I was in and knowing the healing power of music, lent me his copy of ‘Dad Loves His Work’. Songs like ‘Her Town Too’ and ‘That Lonesome Road’ soothed my weary, heavy heart. It led me to a lifelong love affair with the music of James Taylor. Every one of his albums has a number of songs that just tug at the heart strings.”

AC/DC “If You Want Blood, You Got it” (1978)

“I first saw AC/DC for 50p at Glasgow City Halls on a balmy summers night in 1976. 1976 was a great year for my introduction to live music. Robin Trower, Deep Purple with Tommy Bolin, Rainbow and AC/DC. The very next day we all went and bought ‘High Voltage’. I was lucky to see them seven times with Bon Scott and was at the Glasgow Apollo the night they recorded ‘If You Want Blood’. If I play it, I can still feel the vibe. I can still smell the elements of sticky carpet-ness. Angus was the first guitarist I saw to use wireless and he came down from the Apollo’s high stage and was carried on a security guard’s shoulders banging his head and sweating all over us. I did not wash for a week.”

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow “Stranger in Us All” (1995)

“This album changed my life. Ritchie Blackmore had asked me to join up with him for a 90s version of Rainbow. It was exactly where I had wanted to be from first hearing him in 1975 in the ante-room of the church on a dodgy record player. I treated everyday as if it was my last and given the Man in Black’s reputation, it may well have been. Ritchie, not for the first time, took a chance on a virtual unknown. He gave me a launch pad for my career that reverberates to this day. For that and many, many other things I will be forever in his debt. It was a magical time and we made a fine album but it was the live shows where we really made our mark. He was at his third peak playing wise and had a great band of musicians around him to allow him to stretch and show any dissenters that he still was the greatest guitarist of his generation.”