The Doug Anthony Allstars, comprising of Tim Ferguson (the pretty but vacuous one), Richard Fidler (the guitarist) and Paul McDermott (the short, nasty one) first appeared on the Canberra busking scene in the mid-1980s. Paul was not originally a part of the trio, but the third member was forced to leave the group, so Richard approached Paul to join, after seeing him perform with Gigantic Fly, a group who parodyed 30s films.
DAAS gained attention on the streets of Canberra by performing outrageous stunts, such as Paul setting himself alight and jumping into a clothing bin. Eventually, the group made it to the Adelaide Fringe Festival, where they won the pick of the fringe. After this, they made their way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (the first of six for the Allstars).
They released their first album, "Let It Swing", around this time, which was a short collection of covers and original songs. It was only sold at their gigs, and was later released through the Doug's fanclub, Hateline.
They enjoyed great success in the UK, making many television appearances and gaining a lot of recognition. In the late-80s they returned to Australia, where they were still relatively unknown. That was until Ted Robinson approached them to appear on a new stand-up show for ABC-TV, called "The Big Gig".
From their first appearance on the show, their popularity began to rise, seeing them release their first book, entitled "Book", in 1989. It was a dark collection of short stories, which was quite different to their stage shows.
Continuing on from the relative success of Book, they released an album in 1990, "Icon". Icon was a collection of original DAAS songs, with Bottle being the single which was released to promote the album. As well as this, they released a video of one of their live shows, "Live At The National Theatre", which was recorded over the course of two shows, in Melbourne (not New York, as the video cover states!).
They continued to appear on the Big Gig every week, until 1991, when their own series, DAAS Kapital, premiered on ABC-TV. It was a half hour sitcom, set in the future, which focussed on the boy's adventures on the underwater museum of history, Titanic II, where they were supposed to be cataloguing artefacts. They were joined by performers such as Bob Downe (Mark Trevorrow), Flacco (Paul Livingston), Psycho Bob (Michael Petroni) and Khym Lam (who was later to marry Richard) in their misadventures. Each of the episodes were named after one of the seven deadly sins.
A second series of DAAS Kapital was commissioned, and to accompany it, a book of scripts from the first series was released. In the second series, the submarine had been blasted out into space by a nuclear explosion, which was designed to destroy the ship, along with all traces of human history. In this series, the episodes were named after the seven virtues. In 1992, they also recorded a television special for the BBC in London, entitled "DAAS Love".
1993 was a big year for DAAS. They released their film, The Edinburgh Years, which followed Paul in his quest to discover the truth about the murder of his ancestor Jose Phillipe McDermott, but it happens to coincide with the Fringe, so his efforts keep getting interrupted by Tim and Richard being more interested in the goings on in the city.
They also released an official bootleg of one of their shows through their fanclub in 1993, "Live In Edinburgh", as well as releasing their "Dead & Alive" show on both CD and video.
They spent a lot of time in London during their last years together, hosting their own show on Channel 4, called "Viva Cabaret", which was a live variety show, in a similar vein to The Big Gig, but with more music. They also did some work for Channel Nine's "Today Show" during 1994.
In the months before their break-up, they recorded Blue in London. It was never officially released for various reasons, but it has been extensively bootlegged over the internet. It is an album of 'serious' songs and covers.
They released one final book, "The Farewell Songbook", which was was sold at their last gigs, containing lyrics and guitar tabs to some of their most popular songs, as well as a couple of extras thrown in. ABC-Radio aired four of their farewell gigs in 1995, two of which were released on cassette and CD.
After over a decade of terrorising audiences all over the world, lying to the media about what they were up to and pushing the limits of good taste, the Allstars disbanded, due to a difference of opinion over which direction the group should take, performing their last show in Perth in December 1994, but their fan base has continued to support their work, even gaining new fans, through the screening of DAAS Kapital and The Big Gig on Pay TV.