These days the anniversaries seem to be coming thick and fast; I just had a journalist enquiring about photographs I took at the Butterfly Ball show as he was planning a 40th anniversary feature on the album… could it really be that long ago?
But interesting as that album was, perhaps for many the event we should be looking back on was the UK debut 40 years ago of Deep Purple Mk 3, on a massive and what proved to be very exciting UK tour. I was reminded of this thanks to this great photograph taken from up in the gods looking down on the group rocking out in front of a clearly appreciative crowd. It was taken by photographer Barry Plummer and I’ve been helping him sort through his images for a series of books. He worked for The Melody Maker and as such was often sent out to cover the band, the first time being in 1971, photographing both live shows and the musicians off-stage during interviews. The paper would use one or two photos, and Barry just filed the rest of his negatives away. Anyhow, one of the books is devoted just to Deep Purple and we’ll have more on the book (which is due in early 2015) soon but I got permission from the publishers to reproduce this shot. For anyone who caught this tour (I was lucky enough to see two shows) it will really bring the gigs into focus. It’s also fascinating just to look at the little bits of detail – the roll of gaffer tape on one of the amps, the support band’s drum kit shoved behind the back-line, Jon’s effects unit taped to the top of his Hammond, Ritchie’s Revox, Ron Quinton holding on to the Marshall stack, the left-handed Strat, and so on. I’m back there blissed out on the blues solo once more!
The book is one of a series from Barry’s archives coming out on ST33 books (the others feature more big names from the era), you can read a bit more on their site. We’ll be getting more details soon and discounts for Darker Than Blue readers are on the cards.