Born in the Scottish steel town of Motherwell, Doogie’s introduction to music was at Clason Memorial Church. It was at the Kirk’s Youth fellowship that Doogie met up with Kenny Johnstone, a drummer of some reputation despite his young years. Kenny needed a singer for his band and was suitably impressed with the way Doogie would belt out his praises to the Lord that he asked him to join. As with most High School bands it was short lived, though Doogie and Kenny became lifelong friends.
Doogie then took up with Tryxter, a band that mixed covers – “everything from Foreigner to Sabbath” – with their own songs. The lineup included Davy Pentland who would go on to play guitar and sing BVs with Scottish band Hue and Cry. Drummer Danny O’Neil worked with the now-defunct River Detectives. Bass player Alex Carmichael would join Doogie in La Paz. Tryxter lasted nine months.
Doogie later decided to move to London and join Midnight Blue, which was being formed by ex-Tobruk keyboard player Jem Davis and also included guitarist Alex Dickson who would later go on to join Gun, Bruce Dickinson, and Robbie Williams.
After finishing with Midnight Blue, Doogie did some recordings with Jan Cyrca and also with the Kulke brothers in a band called Sole Asylum. Doogie also toured Japan for the first time fronting at two weeks notice with NWOHM band Praying Mantis, who had lost their singer just prior to the tour.
It was around this time that Deep Purple were playing in London. “I was really skint and have always been a huge Purple fan. So a mate sorted me out with a pass and an aftershow party pass.” Doogie passed a tape of some songs he had recorded and passed it to Colin Hart, the band’s tour manager, with the words 'If Ritchie ever needs a singer . . .”
It wasn’t until he met up with Yorkshire guitarist Ashley Limer that Doogie felt that he once again wanted to be part of a band. Recruiting Jem Davis from Midnight Blue on keyboards, he formed Chain. They produced one album in their nine months together.
Doogie ended up in Belgium recording an album with La Salle, after which he heard that Bruce Dickinson was leaving Iron Maiden. He sent a tape of his vocals to the management, which led to two auditions.
“We ran through 20 Maiden songs and I came away pleased with what I had done. The second time was more nerve racking as I thought they must like me to ask me back. Bruce would have been a hard act to follow vocally and performance-wise, but I was glad to have had the opportunity to sing with such a powerful band.”
In the end, Blaze Bailey was hired. “Steve called me and said that he was sorry but Blaze had more the voice that he was looking for.”
Because of the Maiden audition, Doogie was now getting calls from loads of people wanting him to sing for them.
"Steve had said good things about me, which was a very cool thing for him to do. So I did everything I could.”
This included demos for Cozy Powell and Neil Murray, and some rehearsing and recording with Pink Cream 69.
“We did some cracking stuff and I was in a bit of a dilemma. A one-off album with Cozy – who I had admired for years – or the chance of a career with PC69, who were doing good things back then.”
Doogie’s mind would be made up the night he returned from Germany by a certain Ritchie Blackmore.
“I got home and someone had left a large note on my bedroom door saying that Ritchie Blackmore’s secretary had called.”
Doogie joined Rainbow on 20th April 1994. He recorded one studio album Stranger In Us All with the band.
“I enjoyed the whole process. From sitting in a cold barn in Massachusetts rehearsing Stranger In Us All to touring the world. It was exactly what I had wanted to do since I first heard Ritchie play. Not many people get to meet the guy that had inspired them to join a band, never mind get to work with them...how cool was that? ”
Doogie then joined Yngwie Malmsteen on the Mexican and South American leg of Yngwie’s world tour in September and October 2001 and stayed with the guitar maestro for almost seven years touring the world almost constantly and recording two studio albums: Attack and Unleash the Fury.
Doogie is currently working with a number of well known musicians and is also recording a solo album.
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