What’s Goin’ On Here?

Deep Purple Blizen 1969 BlackmoreYou know how it is, book all proofed, checked and off to the printers, and then you take a second look at one of the last photographs which went in and… gulp; is Blackmore really using non-Marshall amps and speakers at an early show? Is the chapter covering his gear already needing a rewrite?
We had a low res scan of a great photo of Deep Purple at Blizen jazz festival in 1969, a very early Mk 2 shot which was quite important to the book. The photographer was asking a lot of money for us to use the image and wasn’t even sure if he wanted it in the book at all (as he was working on a book of his rock material from the sixties), so sorting it out took months.  We got there in the end, the high resolution version came winging through and was swopped over, but not before several hours spent cleaning up 40 year old dust specks (as you do). Generally this sort of work is done at some stupid size enlargement on screen to make sure nobody sees the restoration when it appears at normal size in the book. It’s fiddly work but I quite enjoy it.  That was until I realised the name on the amps clearly was NOT that of Marshall.  I could just make out the letters Dav…  This prompted a hasty round-robin to a few fans to see if anyone else could work out what was going on.
Deep Purple Blizen 1969 BlackmoreMy brother came back fairly quickly to say these were actually Italian speakers and amps made by Davoli, quite popular in Europe in the late sixties (as well as being collectable today; the amp has a really nice red fascia design). Others suggestions were that maybe Ritchie just had to borrow stuff as it was a multi-artist two day festival, which seemed reasonable. It was left to Tonny Steenhagen to restore sanity, by suggesting I check the old Bilzen video (which makes a change from him wearily having to point out I’ve spelt the festival name wrongly! And I must admit I’d not watched it for some years).  The Davoli amps and speakers were indeed there, but as part of the back-line for another band (see snap below).  The photographer had snapped Deep Purple with Blackmore near the front of the stage, so the foreshortening had made it look like they were his amps. The trusty Marshalls were there as always. Phew.
Hopefully we’ll get an actual delivery date for the book in the next few days, and can also point out that it’s been expanded in page count to incorporate extra material and photos. The publishers also have several more page previews on their site at easy on the eye books.

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24 Responses to “What’s Goin’ On Here?”

  1. Fedor de Lange (@fedordelange) Says:

    Could it be that Deep Purple was on to perform before Brian Auger & the Trinity, whose Davoli wall of amps was already set-up?

  2. Scott W. Says:

    Pretty impressive sounding band (Shocking B). Good vocal harmonies, definitely a Grace Slick J/Airplane influenced sound.

  3. Scott W. Says:

    My Faith has been tested before…Make me Believe !

  4. mark Nolde Says:

    Bananarama? :)

    You old dog!

    • simon robinson Says:

      OK, so I may have bought the 3D sleeve version of one of their singles, but just for the sleeve you understand!

  5. Tony B Says:

    Looking forward to book glad there’s a chapter about Blackmore’s gear as have developed an interest in amplifiers recently!

    • simon robinson Says:

      A healthy interest we trust!

      • Tony B Says:

        I hope so Simon, because I’ve been boring people on how great my hand-made valve amp is ever since I got it!
        It’s precipitated my anorak interest in how they are made, ‘classic’ designs including Blackmore’s crazy 200W Marshall Major.

  6. David Hobbs Says:

    Here is some video of a band called Shocking Blue at the festival – looks like they’re using said amps:

    Is this the band you are referring to?

  7. bernie Says:

    There are no instrument cables connected to the amp. It seems the amp was not in use.

  8. Jeff Breis Says:

    Thanks for the update. I’m glad that you are so stuck on details, I’m the same way. I figure that if the information is not correct, don’t put it out there. I’m really looking forward to this book, thanks again.
    (speaking of details, does anyone know the exact date of the release of Scott Walker’s 7″ single “The Rope and the Colt”? I’ve found three different dates so far…)

    • simon robinson Says:

      The problem with this is that is can hold things up too long, so tried to strike a balance in the book or it would never have got to press.

  9. Mike Says:

    Just seen the preview and it looks f****** amazing- I NEED IT NOW!

  10. ScottW. Says:

    Looks like we will not even have it by XMas.

  11. mark Nolde Says:

    It is probably gear from 1 of the other bands at the Bilzen festival?

  12. steebu Says:

    this is why we love you simon…

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