A few people have been batting about the subject of best and worst support acts for Deep Purple, after we’d all been puzzling over the latest announcements for tours this year (and I hadn’t heard of any of them – German melodic metallers EDGUY?). Some were saying they couldn’t manage two songs from Cheap trick, and I remember watching The Planets through those round port-hole type glass inserts in the entrance doors from the upstairs foyer and wondering what on earth it was all about.
Some support for Lynyrd Skynyrd from Mike Richards (and others) and Tim Summers suggesting they’d be hard pushed to beat the supports for the 1999 Royal Albert Hall shows! On this logic I suppose the best ever support would be DP at the 69 Concerto.
I wish I could say more about the supports in the 70s but we were usually too busy skulking around by the stage door trying to get Ritchie’s autograph when he sneaked out to watch (and succeeded). My old ticket stub suggests Bullet (aka Hard Stuff) did the honours back in 1971 but if so I cannot recall watching them; I expect we were all far to keyed up seeing Purple for the very first time.
1972 – Glencoe? Nope, nothing (though I do still have the stickers they gave out!). See above. I may have heard Nazareth in 1973 but we were buzzing around backstage most of the time (oh to have had a camera!) they were on, watching Jon Lord doing his keyboard warm-up.
Elf of course in 1974, I did see a bit of their sets. I do recall being unimpressed by Strapps on the 1976 tour though, very arrogant and expecting us all to be bowled over.
It would taken an age to even list all the reunion supports and increasingly it became more fun to stand around in the foyer chatting with other fans than braving whatever act the promoters had been paid to put on. At least first time around the group had some input and connection at times – Hard Stuff being on their label, Nazareth with the Glover production, Elf even more so and Strapps being Blackmore’s old sparring partner Mick Underwood on drums.
Anyhow, let us know of any highs or lows in this area. And by the way if you keep tickets, do keep an eye on them, I notice looking at some of mine the inkjet print is fading. I don’t know if it is possible to stop this or not.