Highway Star at 16 rpm

August 29, 2014
Yngwie-Malmsteen

It’s all rubbish, all you need to play the solo are these two fingers…

Mention of the Learn The Highway Star Solo in Two Years book (see below)  prompted John Tucker to send in this quote from another aspiring guitarist trying to get to grips with the solo, which comes from Brian Tatler’s autobiography (the guitarist of influential NWOBHM band Diamond Head – Dave is his older brother):

 “I would borrow Dave’s Linear Concord 30 watt amp and plug it into a three watt Cellestion speaker that I rescued from an old gramophone. I soldered a jack plug onto it, not having a clue about ohms or impedance, so the speaker would distort horribly, but I liked it. At fifteen I took up the guitar seriously and became obsessed with it. It took me about six months to master the basics, pestering Dave to show me how to play things I didn’t know. I would play every night after school and at weekends, Dave reckoning now that I would sometimes practice six hours a day. I really wanted to be able to play the guitar solo in Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’, but I had no idea what Ritchie Blackmore was up to. I would be upstairs in my own little world, slowing the records down in order to learn the licks. The record player had a 16, 33⅓, and 45 rpm turntable speeds so I could put an album on at 16rpm and it would be approximately an octave lower and half the speed. We also owned a reel-to-reel tape recorder so I could tape a solo at 16rpm then listen to it over and over again on the tape recorder, stopping and learning a little piece at a time. It did, however, take me years to realise that the ‘Highway Star’ solo was in fact double-tracked, and so was impossible to play with one guitar anyway!”

a song a day

August 27, 2014

Thinking of learning to play a solo from Blackmore’s glory days?  Wondering how long it might take, and whether all the hard work would be worth it?  Well now you can follow one man’s epic two year journey to nail the solo from Highway Star, as it happened, day by day.  And a unexpectedly riveting read it is too!  Our book review of Guitar Odyssey by Michael Rays is on the site now.

Cake all round

August 22, 2014

Two more birthday boys this past week, namely Ian Gillan (19th) and Glenn Hughes (21st). Steve Morse had a big one at the end of July too, turning 60. At which point some sod points out that he’s only two months older than me, so I’ll hastily gloss over that one!  Big Ian and Ritchie (seen below chuckling)hit the next milestone in 2015 when they’ll both turn 70. Maybe the BBC will have them both on the Great British Bake Off to celebrate?

ritchie-blackmore-smiling

Bernie Shines

August 21, 2014

Bernie will be a special guest on a local radio rock special tonight on GTFM, you can get the links on our page reviewing the new album. Copies of the CD to be won too. Thanks to Andy Fox.

USA set-list and review

August 19, 2014

There is the current set list for the August 2014 tour of America added to our 2014 date sheet, and Steve Hunt has sent us his thoughts on the show in California in front of over 7,000 people – so good to see they can still pull in a decent crowd when they do get to tour the U.S. properly. He and his wife enjoyed it so much they’re off to catch another show!

Something borrowed…

August 13, 2014

Roger Whittaker In OrbitCould we stand to think that the Fireball sleeve might not have been the storming 100% original concept we always thought it to be?  Should the design award it received be returned?  All these thoughts and more flashed through my head (along with a chorus of I Don’t Believe In If Anymore) as I spotted this album by well known South African warbler and whistler Roger Whittaker. 40p changed hands at the Help The Aged shop counter (given my advancing years maybe I now quality for a 50% money back on purchases there), and I studied the sleeve details back at home. Thankfully, the release is from 1974. So EMI designer Feref is the guilty party.  The sleeve has been nominated for some sort of award in a worst cover poll too on the tinternet.  And some joker is trying to get £12.75 for it on a well known website…

More holiday fun and merriment at our theme park Grollywood Paris

Something old, something new

August 11, 2014

News on the site of the latest in the then and now reissue programme, with the Verona 2011 show (with orchestra) appearing on DVD and Graz 1975 (without orchestra, or indeed encores if the sales info is to be believed) appearing on CD later this year.  Details are on the site along with track listings, etc.

The Hall of Fame

August 7, 2014
One question which has vexed Deep Purple fans a lot over the past few years is the band’s non-appearance in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. While it is very obvious that the committee behind this event work very much to their own musical agenda, Ian Gillan has shed light on the situation in a new interview done for Rolling Stone (and it must be said when did they last cover the band? Probably not since the days of Cameron Crowe!). It also throws some light on recent stories from Blackmore about him and Ian Gillan being in touch which has surprised some. The full interview is linked at the end of the story. My thanks to Peter Judd who flagged this up:
There was a lot of controversy this year with Kiss’ current members not wanting to play with their original members at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Would you be willing to play with the group’s founding guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, who had a bitter split with the band in 1993, at the ceremony if you were inducted?
Well, we are the living, breathing Deep Purple. This is the longest that any lineup has ever been together in this band.
And it would be unconscionable to think about bringing Ritchie in. I don’t have an issue with Ritchie, nor does anyone.
I’ve been in touch with Ritchie recently and everything’s cool, so there’s no bitter, personal problem. We’re too old
for that and everything’s in the past, but no. That would be out of the question. How insulting that would be to
[current guitarist] Steve Morse, for example? So if that’s the stumbling block, fair enough. Never the twain shall
meet.
Why do you say that?
I’m saying what I’m about to say not to wind Ritchie up, if he’s reading this. He knows that we’ve got to talk about
these things. So I say this with no rancor, and let’s get the record straight: I was just as much of an asshole as
Ritchie was. But Ritchie carried it on for a little longer. Had Ritchie stayed with the band, it would have been all
over. It would have just ended. Without any doubt in anyone’s mind – it was all over. So the day he walked out was
the day we had to rebuild. We had Joe Satriani for one year, and he got us over the crisis, and then we got Steve and
started to rebuild. Within a couple of years, we started playing arenas again, and it’s been fantastic ever since.
It’s good to go through those crises. It doesn’t do your heart any good, but that was the spirit of the band. So to
go back to the question of “Would we do the show with Ritchie?” I think that would be hugely disrespectful to what I
call the living, breathing, Deep Purple. There’s always been a living, breathing, Deep Purple, good or bad at any
stage of our evolution, and how it is now is particularly healthy and it wouldn’t be right.
For more go to: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/deep-purples-ian-gillan-its-unconscionable-to-reunite-old-lineup-20140805

Bolin Fest

July 29, 2014

tommy bolin deep purpleThat triple Zephyr CD set we mentioned back in May was pulled at the last moment, but is now going to be released as a simple 1CD disc, albeit with 4 bonus tracks.  It looks as if there must have been some contractural issues over the live set. This revised edition is available to pre-order at DTBOnline store. In the meantime the Annual Tommy Bolin Festival kicks off on July 31st in Sioux City.  While you can find out more details on the web, they are launching the event with a two hour radio special hosted by Ken Passarelli (Energy’s first bass player) on the Thursday evening.  This should be available via the web for fans round the world to listen to and we’ll add the url if and when we get it. The main live music event draws the festival to a close on August 2nd.

There will be some exciting news on a forthcoming publishing project for 2015 announced at the festival too and we will be able to say more about this next week.

The Skyliners

July 15, 2014

A few days away from the laptop and we get back to find the site awash with speculation about our mystery guitar player from an earlier posting here. So without further ado…
Skegness-advertDavid Coverdale was indeed in a band called The Skyliners from November 1968 for a few months (until they changed their name to The Government). The Skyliners we showed is a different (and older) outfit, which featured Graham Bonnet on guitar and vocals (and there were a number of people who did guess correctly), Bill Gardner on drums, Alan Vickers on brass, with band leader Peter Tomlinson on keyboards. Incredibly Graham was still at school when he joined them in 1963, and stayed with the outfit for around 18 months, playing hotels, clubs, Butlin’s, and coffee bars in Skegness and Lincolnshire. “We did all the songs you could imagine. ‘Take Five’, ‘San Francisco’, ‘Go Away Little Girl’, Sinatra tunes, Tony Bennett etc. and all the awful pop tunes that were around at the time. It was all mum’s and dad’s type songs. Lots of instrumentals, Joe Loss type things and jazz stuff.” Graham finally moved on to form a more contemporary pop group in 1964. The Skyliner’s photo (check here if you missed it) came from the forthcoming Graham Bonnet Biography, written by Steve Wright – who used to run Graham’s fanzine Under The Bonnet which older DTB people will remember I’m sure. As Steve says, it is not intended to be a dirt digging exercise, he’s more interested in properly documenting Graham’s career, but the singer has been very open and honest about his ups and downs in the rock business in a series of interviews over the last few years. Due out towards the end of this year, I’ve really enjoyed reading the story as it does provide a real insight into Graham’s background and upbringing. It will be published by Easy On The Eye books, and you can read more on their website. Format will be similar to the recent Wait for The Ricochet title, with lots of memorabilia and pics, and there should be an opportunity to get a limited version signed by GB as well. The publishers have opened an information service for anyone who would like to be kept up to date and get early news of publication, and also allowed us to reprint their publicity information on DTB in the book section.
Thanks to Steve and Easy On The Eye Books for the advance information. Steve has collected a lot of material for the book but if any DTB people have photographs or memorabilia which might be suitable, send me an email and I’ll put you in touch.

Graham Bonnet The Man Behind The Shades biography. Easy On The Eye Books


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,013 other followers