May 18, 2015
Ian Gillan in his Glam Rock days in Birmingham
There’s a rubbishy new Ian Gillan double vinyl collection just been pushed at us, “The Definitive Ian Gillan Live”. The word ‘definitive’ in this instance means anything we can license cheap from Angel Air (the dull cover features the G from the famous Gillan logo on a black background). However it was the somewhat desperate sales notes which made us smile; “this collection from glam rocker and former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan finds home to dozens* of classics!” Leaving aside their notion of classics (Twin Exhausted? Money Lender?), or that he seems to have suddenly quit Deep Purple…. Ian Gillan, Glam rocker?!
But then I thought back to some of those weird and wonderful late era Episode Six promo shots, and the satin bomber jackets and striped trousers of the IGB period – maybe they have a point and we all just missed it!
More stripey trousered pictures at the DPAS archive website
* actually 18 tracks, so one dozen and a half.
May 15, 2015
It turns out the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale, likes Deep Purple and went to see them on their 2011 UK tour (he’s also into Judas Priest and Motörhead.) Fellow MPs reckon he’s been known to do karaoke versions of Smoke On The Water after hours too.
Mind you Tony Blair was also a fan, and that didn’t stop him letting all us lefties down big time. So before getting too excited I checked up and found John was a merchant banker and worked as Margaret Thatcher’s political secretary before becoming an MP (and I don’t recall reopening all the closed libraries being high on their manifesto list either…).
Thanks to Richard Whitehead for the info.
May 11, 2015
Why? Well The Grauniad newspaper online reran a picture story about finding famous album covers on Google ‘street view’ (sort of like that Sleeveface craze from a few years back) some time ago (see link below). Anyway, Tim Summers decided they’d missed one crucial shot so had a go himself which we thought was worthy of reposting. Anything to cheer the other 70% of us up in the aftermath of last thursday…
May 8, 2015
The death of bassist Craig Gruber has been announced at the age of just 63. Craig formally entered the Deep Purple Family Tree forty years ago, when Rainbow began recording their debut album in Germany. He had been a member of Elf in 1974, the band then (having been spotted by Messers Glover and Paice), supported Purple on American, UK and European shows.
Craig appeared on the second and third Elf albums, after Ronnie Dio decided he wanted to relinquish his bass work and concentrate on singing. Both these albums are well worth a listen.
Ritchie Blackmore then invited the band to help him on some session work and later (less their guitarist) form the first official line-up of Rainbow. They recorded the first Rainbow album in early 1975 but by the time it was released the following Autumn, Ritchie and Ronnie had dispensed with the rest of the group and assembled a new line-up to tour. Nevertheless Craig’s skilful bass work remains on the album, and his role in the formation of Rainbow is now part of the band’s history.
Following these changes, Craig continued to work as a musician with a number of bands, including a spell with Gary Moore, work with Black Sabbath , and even designing a range of custom made bass guitars. He is the third member of Elf (and the first Rainbow album line-up) to pass away. Drummer Gary Driscoll died in 1987 and Ronnie Dio in 2010.
This early photo shows the four members of Elf at the time they joined Rainbow, with Craig to the right of Ronnie.
You can follow the early Rainbow family tree on our archive site:
And while the death also of Hot Chocolate’s Errol Brown might not seem to be newsworthy on a Deep Purple site, in fact their first single, a version of Give Peace A Chance, was produced by Derek Lawrence in 1969. Derek had worked with Tony Wilson for some time (using Ritchie Blackmore and others on some of these sessions) including on a soul version of I Am A Preacher, which Deep Purple also cut. Derek had connections with Apple and sent them the demo of Give Peace A Chance to make sure Lennon was happy with having a few of the lyrics changed. Lennon liked the demo so much, he offered to put it out on Apple, and Hot Chocolate were on their way.
April 29, 2015
Simon has just finished editing author Steve Wright’s Graham Bonnet text and this has now gone out for proofing (hello Tom and John!). “As I came to Graham mainly through the Rainbow connection (and having seen him live a couple of times in recent years) one thing which did strike me was just how many guitarists Graham has worked with over the last 35 years. How about this for a list? Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Chris Impelliteri, Steve Vai, Taz Taylor, Ray Fenwick, Micky Moody, Jan Akkerman, Mario Parga, Slash, Bob Kulick, Danny Johnson, Viv Campbell, Dario Mollo, Axel Rudi Pell, Uli Jon Roth, and Gary Moore! I wonder if any other singer can match that? But I have to say reading it through has inspired me to go looking for a few bits of his later catalogue which I missed at the time, and to me that’s always the sign of a good book.” Anyhow, the book is now into the design stage so anyone interested who has yet to join the mailing list for this is urged to do so, and get early details of any pre-launch offers, etc.
April 28, 2015
A very mint copy of that rarest of Deep Purple UK singles, Hush / One More Rainy Day, in an original and very good picture sleeve, has sold for a grand at auction, according to George Costantini (himself a keen singles collector). I’m fairly sure this makes it the priciest regular (i.e. not acetate or test pressing) release single from the band now. Pretty much rules it out ever being added to the DTB archives I’m afraid! It tops the £700+ paid out for a factory condition mono Shades a few months back too.
April 24, 2015
Hot on the heels of Coverdale’s Purple Album, and Blackmore’s rumoured Purple Rainbows, comes news of a sort of reverse tribute offering, from the Deep Purple covers band Purpendicular.
They’ve gone in the other direction, and ditched their covers in favour of an album of all new material BUT with contributions from Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Don Airey, Steve Morse and Neil Murray!
It’s a concept album entitled This Is The Thing #1 and available through through their own website.
Nick Simper has also gone the same way and cut a new album with Nasty Habits, the band he did the successful Mk 1 tribute shows with for some time. This time he’s doing all new material, contemporary rock. The CD is titled De La Frog Conspiracy (don’t ask us why!) and it’s available through the band. Email them at email@example.com
Thanks also to Tom Dixon for the info.
April 23, 2015
Deep Purple may keep being “overlooked” by the rock and roll hall of fame (they don’t deserve capital letters!) but Modern Drummer magazine have just named Ian Paice as their Hall of Fame / Rock Drummer of The Year 2015, as voted for by their readers. Good to see his name in there amongst younger players too. He joins some amazing drummers on the Hall of Fame list including two of his own heroes, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. You can read more on the Pearl drums.com site.
Thanks to Alan Greene for the news.
April 22, 2015
Lots of guesses for the Mistreated cover version competition we posted a few days back (and apologies for being late giving the answer – the internet connection here was crawling along last week, making it impossible to do any meaningful work online.) Some were wildly off, others just having a bit of fun. And lots of correct answers as well. ONLY people who answered via the blog correctly were entered as someone apparently just stuck the answer on the DTB Facebook site (Fud. I will make sure any future comp do not get posted there as well.)
Anyhow, it was actor Alan Cumming doing the singing (or “the culprit” as Steve put it!). It was from the official soundtrack album to one of those animated films, a “madcap fairy tale musical” called Strange Magic, directed by George Lucas (four words now guaranteed to send a shiver down any film buff’s spine.) Pretty dreadful viewing by all accounts. Alan starred in The High Life, a great (well we love it) sit-com based around a low-budget Scottish airline company (came out on DVD a while back at last), which was the clue.
We made a list of all the correct entries, then Ann blind picked Craig McGovern, and we’ve contacted Craig for a mailing address for his vinyl prize. We’ll have to be even more careful in future with competitions, as someone pointed out that you could throw the MP3 at Shazam and get the answer that way…
While on about comedy I must show the flyer for the upcoming Enfield & Whitehouse comedy tour later this year, which Paul said was a tribute to Deep Purple recently! Thanks to Annie Graham for sending this on. Personally I regard their history of BBC2 as one of the cleverest and finely crafted comedy pieces I have ever seen on TV, both very funny and also very damning at the same time. I dashed off to see about tickets for the live show, and found they wanted us to part with £45 a go… for two people on stage, a few props and a selection of wigs. Hmm, maybe more of a tribute than they realised!
April 21, 2015
A few more dates added to the Deep Purple tour list for 2015, including two more shows in Canada spotted by eagle-eyed Gary Poronovich, including this massive ten day event in Québec (Purple play there on the final day.) Quite tempted by Full Flex Express With Jack U featuring Skrillex & Diplo myself…! The Mexican one-off we mentioned before is actually a tour now, while the Russian show turned out to be some promoter there over-hyping what is actually a Glenn Hughes concert…