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

Records store day redux

July 7, 2014

Deep Purple Black Night Live record store day 2014 release.We have a small stock of the two UK 2014 Deep Purple Record Store day vinyl releases mentioned on an earlier posting for anyone who wasn’t able to queue. This is the Mono colour vinyl Shades LP and the monstrously table-mat thick pressing of the Made In Japan single.  As there are only a few, we’ve put them up on our new Deep Purple Collectors Store.

Lovin’ Wreck

July 4, 2014

Timothy Campbell was reading about early pressings of Led Zeppelin 2 recently during all the activity surrounding the reissues of the first three albums (no I haven’t given in yet, still have the original vinyl!). Amongst the mass of trivia about variations on the sleeves and labels was a story that one version from around 1969 lists ‘Living Lovin Maid’ as ‘Living Loving Wreck’ on the label. Quite how this came about is not known. Tonny Steenhagen had a hunt around and found the proof. Now we need to see if there’s a version of In Rock with Living Maid on it…

Led Zeppelin Deep Purple title misprint

mystery man

July 4, 2014

Come on then, who is the cool looking dude with the guitar in this vintage photograph?  He is related to the Deep Purple story.  Answer next week!

The Skyliners

Special guests

July 1, 2014

GH-California-BreedGlenn Hughes‘ new band CALIFORNIA BREED will be doing a handful of shows in the UK later this year, but supporting Slash! I’m struggling to think of Glenn supporting anyone in the UK on a tour since he left Deep Purple, so this marks a change of plan – and the new band will undoubtedly reach a much larger audience doing this than they otherwise would, as these are all large arena shows. Thanks to Mark Maddock for the news.

Nov 28 – Manchester Arena, Nov 29 – Leeds Arena, Dec 01 – Birmingham Arena, Dec 02 – Wembley Arena – London, Dec 04 – Glasgow Arena

The band will be promoting their debut CD issued last month, which is still available in the Ltd Ed digipak at DTB Online store.

June 30, 2014

Ian Paice is doing another Deep Purple tribute band show in Italy as part of a whole festival of copycat bands, details on the IP page. Thanks to Marco Casoni for the heads up. I saw ads for Phil Collins, Abba and loads more last week on holiday in Worcestershire – they seem to assume you know the real band would never be playing in these obscure towns so don’t even bother with the clever names any more, which is a shame.

The Mk 1 Box details

June 13, 2014

Deep Purple Hard Road Mk 1 box setFinal details of the upcoming Mk 1 58 track box set (scheduled for the third week of July) are now in. It’s something of a mixed bag as far as most readers of Darker Than Blue are concerned, and much depends on how desperate you are for mono mixes (new to CD). The box does get the stuff back on catalogue but an initial trawl through the content suggests so much more could have been done here. Anyhow, I’ve done a full break-down of the bonus tracks (there do appear to be a handful of new oddds and ends) on the review pages and it can be pre-ordered at the DTB Online shop.

In the sun

June 11, 2014

Deep Purple are taking a break in the Algarve right now doing some writing to get the follow up to What Now started. Looks like they have decided to strike while the iron is still fairly hot which seems a good move. The album is still getting mentioned; listing their top five albums of 2013 in Good Times magazine, Mick Box put Now What at second, and Andy Scott of The Sweet rated it fourth (thanks to Hubert Leonhard).
Deep Purple went ahead with their concert in Turkish occupied Cyprus on May 24 in front of 20,000 fans. Admission was free. The show made the local press on both sides, “The band landed in Nicosia’s Ercan Airport in a British Airways plane rented for the trip in a rare occasion for the airport, which is closed to international flights apart from those coming from Turkey. The band members were welcomed by the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry officials, as international celebrities make rare visits to the country due to the pressure from Greek Cyprus and the international community.”
Deep Purple Cyprus

Apart from a French festival this month the band are off the road until the middle of July when they play more European shows before their longest batch of North America / Canadian shows in ages.

Hotel Paradiso

June 10, 2014

Pheeb.

Rik Mayall had reduced me to helpless laughter so often that he could be classed as a health hazard. So excuse me going off topic and joining the chorus of dismay. Bad News blows Spinal Tap away as far as I’m concerned, being rooted in just about everyone’s experiences of being involved with a band in the UK (I remember a particularly desperate Bad News situation when I drove a band over for what we thought was to be a prestigious Manchester show and found an audience of three. And a dog.)  Rik (and Ade’s) TV work, on-stage shows (twice), and latterly DVD box sets (Filthy Rich & Catflap and Bottom in particular) have been a constant safety valve at DTB Towers after particularly stressed days at work.  And will I’m sure continue to remain so.

Pheeb.

 

 

Forty five years ago today

June 5, 2014
Ivy Lodge Club where Blackmore and Lord went to check out Ian Gillan, June 4. 1969

Ivy Lodge Club where Blackmore and Lord went to check out Ian Gillan, June 4. 1969

A phone call, June 5th 1969.

“Rog, it’s Ian. What did you think of it last night?”
“Are you really going to pack it in?”
“Well the band aren’t going anywhere, we’ve nattered about doing something new, this could be a real chance.”
“Yeah, but who ever heard of Deep Purple?”
“No, listen, I just been up to meet them today. I’d no idea they’d had such a success in The States, hit singles, albums the lot, and they want to get into something more rock and roll, you know. Mind you, the hair-dos!”
“Well, I dunno. I popped up to see Glo. She’s pissed off but we’ll probably get Pete in for now.”
“You can all sing, you’ll be fine. I want to try doing more rock and roll stuff , like I used to do.”
“Tony was well fed-up when that guy got up to jam, taking the piss a bit wasn’t it? I thought he was just a mate of Mick’s?”
“Ritchie? Yeah, he was a bit flash, but you know he’s not so bad once you get to know him. And Jon’s great. I met their drummer today too.”
“We weren’t at our best there, that Ivy Club is a real dump, I don’t know why Gloria booked us in.”
“Don’t worry about it, look they need a bass player – I said you’d be up for it.”
“I don’t think so, I mean what would the others think? I can’t leave them in the lurch like that. Sheila will kill me and Gloria, she’ll just flip.”
“She’ll calm down. I’ll do the shows ’til you get sorted. Look, we’re in Derby tomorrow, I’ll have a chat when we’ve got a moment to ourselves. They’ve asked me to do a session with them on Saturday, just see how it goes. I said we could go round to Jon’s place first and play him some of our stuff, see if they want to take any of our songs, might earn you a few bob.”
“I could use it. I’ve just had to flog one of my amps today.”
“Well if you want to, do the session with me on Saturday.”
“I’ll have a think, let’s have a chat tomorrow.”
“OK, Sheila and Mick will come round in the van about three, see you.”

Roger-Glover-diary

Roger-Glover’s-diary for June 7th and 8th 1969.

Phone conversation courtesy the NSA, transcribed by Simon Robinson. Images from Wait For The Ricochet. Available at all good bookstores. Except Waterstones who would only take one copy for the whole of the UK as they don’t think anyone’s interested in Deep Purple anymore!


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