Doogie White was the vocalist in the last incarnation of Rainbow. With Ritchie Blackmore he created one of the bands best albums 'Stranger In Us All', since then news has been scarce but that is about to change with several projects in the pipeline. Read on to find out about Rainbow and Doogies current projects.
What age did you first start to realise you could sing and who are your influences?
I was asked to sing at the age of 16. My influences were always the Purple and Rainbow guys.
I'd like to start a little with your career pre Rainbow, I believe you were in a band called Midnight Blue, did you release anything with this band?
There is one Album Called "Take the Money and Run" The guitarist Alex Dickson left to join GUN then Bruce Dickinson and now Robbie Williams.
How did you get the gig in Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow?
I gave a tape to Colin Hart and 3 years later Ritchie called me.
Is has often been said that working with Ritchie Blackmore can be ‘difficult', what was your personal experience working with him?
He is a very demanding character. I got on very well with him on and off the stage.
In ‘Strangers In Us All' I think you made the best Rainbow album since ‘Long Live Rock N Roll'. How were the songs written? Was it basically Ritchie saying here's a riff put some lyrics to this or was it more of a ‘band' thing?
Ritchie came up with a riff and the band joined in. I would wail along till it settled in to a format and then Ritchie would change it and we'd start again.
Was it difficult or intimidating to fill the shoes of Dio, Bonnet and Turner who had all sung in Rainbow before you?
Well the band had been over for a long time. So it wasn't as daunting as it would have been had I just stepped in as a replacement. But those guys were my heroes when I was a lad so I had the greatest respect for the history of RAINBOW and tried to uphold the tradition and give the audiences what I would have wanted to see.
Given Rainbow's history of great all round live performances, did you feel any pressure before your first concert as lead vocalist?
First concert yes. After that it was a different kinda nerves. We had a cracking line up of the band. People will always hark back to the 70s. But the truth is the guys rocked.
The live tapes I have heard from the ‘Stranger In Us All' tour showed an ultra powerful band brimming with enthusiasm and confidence, Blackmore's playing was infinitely more ‘involved' than on the ‘DP - Battles Rages On' tour. Did you get the impression that Ritchie was digging the ‘rock' thing again?
It was his thing again. And I agree that his playing on some nights was his best for years. As for the rest of us, it not hard to be inspired when you play with someone like him. Now on a bad night......
Did a second album ever get planned, any tracks written/recorded before Ritchie formed ‘Blackmore's Night'?
We were going to get together in March 98 to do a second album. There were some things left over from 'Strangers In Us All'. But if they were not good enough for Stranger then they won't make the next one. I have a few tracks should I get the call.
What are your favourite tracks from ‘Stranger In Us All'?
Ariel, Hunting Humans and Black Masquerade.
You recently sang vocals on Nikolo Kotzev's "Nostradamus", could you give us some information on which particular role you played?
I was a story teller. a narrator if you will. I co wrote 4 songs with Nik. I've yet to hear the final results. He has a big plan in the wings so I 'd better say no more other than it was great fun.
Last year you did some gigs under the name ‘XFM' with Andy Barnett (FM) and Benjamin Reid. I believe this was just a covers live band for fun - is it still a going concern?
We still get together as XFM from time to time.
What are you currently up to music wise?
I am busy putting the final touches to my first solo album. Then the work really begins trying to get it released.
Where do you see your music heading in the next few years?
Cruise liners would be nice
Any parting messages for your fans?
Mines a pint.
Doogie, thanks for doing this interview and I wish you all the best in the future.
You are very welcome
by Andy Craven, Rainbow Metal Flame Domain, August 2000