Monday, 14 December 2015
Something Wonderful/We Got Love/And Things Unsaid/I Can't Hear You
The Questions had been formed as a Shadows-style instrumental band, which was typical for groups of the early-mid Sixties. They recorded one album for Festival (in the ‘Herb Albert' vein, described by one critic as 'unreservedly awful') and one single, Karelia / Wheels which came out in October 1966. Although the members were musically competent and already very experienced as live performers, The Questions was a relatively undistinguished group and might well have remained so. But Doug Parkinson's arrival at the end of 1966 precipitated a major change of musical direction. They went on to record a series of impressive Singles that showcased Doug's outstanding vocal talents and which Ian McFarlane describes as 'minor psychedelic pop classics'. Their new lineup and style quickly took The Questions into the first division of Australian bands. Their debut single "Sally Go Round the Roses" (backed by a cover of Donovan's "Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)" was a substantial hit in Sydney, reaching #14 in July 1967. It was followed by "And Things Unsaid" / "I Can't Hear You" (October) and a psych-pop interpretation of "Something Wonderful" (from Rogers & Hammerstein's The King And I) (February 1968), plus the an EP Sally Go Round the Roses.
During Doug's tenure with the band the lineup included guitarist Ray Burton (The Executives, Innersense, Friends, Ayers Rock, Crossfire), bassist, engineer and producer Duncan McGuire (The Phantoms, The Epics, King Harvest, Friends, Ayers Rock, Windchase) and guitarist Billy Green (King Harvest, Fanny Adams, Gerry and the Joy Band, Friends). Some members later linked up in various combinations in the aforementioned bands -- McGuire and Green returned to work with Doug at several later stages in his career, Ray Burton contributed to Doug's 1973 solo album No Regrets, and McGuire and Burton reunited in the 70s in Ayers Rock.
The Questions entered the 1967 Hoadley's Battle Of The Sounds and eventually came in second behind The Groop. They almost didn't make it into the competition, because they missed the deadline for entry into the Sydney heats, and had to qualify via the Queensland country heats. However this initial oversight had the beneficial side-effect of providing them with their first interstate gigs. Their profile increased with a residency at The Can disco in Sydney and they gained invaluable national exposure with a support spot on the controversial January 1968 Australian tour by The Who and The Small Faces. Just before the tour, Green and McGuire left, and they were replaced by Ray Burton and Les Young. The solid performances by this short-lived lineup impressed audiences around the country but The Questions disbanded the following month.