He befriended Nelson when both were attending Ings Road secondary Modern School, in their native Wakefield, making their musical live debut at a school Christmas concert, as a guitar duo. Later, they formed The Cosmonauts, later to become The Strangers.
Later, he and Nelson founded Flagship, later to become Be Bop Deluxe,. However, Parkin played only on the first album of the band, Axe Victim, released in 1974, quitting shortly afterwards. He continued with the music business, married and had three children.
He died on 1 July 1995, aged 45.
- Simmonds, Jeremy. The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press, 2008. ISBN 1-55652-754-3, ISBN 978-1-55652-754-8
- "The Story of Be Bop Deluxe's Bill Nelson and How His Record Label Ripped Him Off". Retrieved 2011-10-09. "The amazing thing about this is that these three people were NOT on any of the Be Bop Deluxe albums except the very first one, 'Axe Victim.'"