Colin Hart – A Harts Life
Despite what seems to me a misfired pun of a title, Colin Hart’s book, as you might imagine from a guy who spent thirty years at the centre of Deep Purple and Rainbow’s careers, contains some fascinating material. It is also the first book the come from anyone beyond the band themselves (and even there the official pickings are slim). Colin has broken down the tale roughly into four sections, the first covering his early years with local groups up until getting the DP gig (he was working with The Faces at the time when Purple went out as support). It was Purple’s managers who spotted his abilities and offered him the job with Purple. His early stint with the group is a bit frustrating, it’s quite short and some of the stories seem to cover stuff which is already out there, though you do get Colin’s take on it all (and some astonishing new snippets). It’s clear that in places co-writer and friend Colin Allix has done a bit of background research and dropped in context which helps structure the tale.
When Colin moves on with Blackmore into Rainbow, the book picks up and from there on into the reunion, fans will find lots of interest in the saga, and plenty to provoke other reactions I’m sure. It’s not all sex and drugs and rock and roll by any means though, and Colin does take time to explore the way the band interacted and worked on the road, and the various personalities.
I’m not going to get into recounting the many anecdotes, but the story of his dismissal from the band following a heart attack in 2001 is woeful – and yet from the stuff I’ve seen fairly typical of the way the band and managers have operated at times.
Roger Glover’s introduction is short and strange, but Paul Mann’s is really nicely written (Colin is his uncle and recommended him for the Concerto anniversary project in 1999). There is a selection of photos, including a lot of personal shots from Colin’s own collection. These are not always of the best quality but it’s nice to see them.
In all then not the most detailed book you’re ever going to read, but one which rattles along and certainly throws light on many of the important moments in the band’s history, and as such will prove useful to future researchers.
Happily Colin managed to get through his illness and I’m sure every fan who ever got a tour pass off him will want to wish him well for the future and enjoy this.
Available at the DTB Online Store