In town (shopping) tonight

February 27, 2021

£5.00 in 1980 WAS £5.00. But what do you do when you spot your guitar hero popping to to Burton’s the Tailors in Chester? Andrew Elsden braved the burly bodyguard who was with him and approached Ritchie for an autograph, but the only paper he had on him was this five pound note, which as a student he could ill afford to set aside. It must also be one of the few collectables that’s actually gone down in value since, given the drop in our currency (it’s worth about £1.25 today, I looked it up!). Ritchie was due to play Deeside Leisure Centre that evening (Feb 27th, the Down To Earth tour) and was just out killing time in the local shops. Though as far as I recall, Burton’s never did sell black spandex anythings.

Ronnie Dio writes

February 19, 2021

And the book will be out at the end of July. The publishers are promising all sorts of sensational stuff but it does mean we might get to learn more about the ins and outs of Rainbow 74 / 78 which has always fascinated fans of the band. What’s good is that Ronnie had done most of the early work and completion has been overseen by his widow Wendy and rock writer Mick Wall, so it is in good hands. It is published by Permuted Press and we’re looking forward to reading it (having now just about exhausted our lockdown book purchases!). Thanks to Tom Dixon for the news.

If you’re concerned about not adding to the coffers of you know who ($46 BILLION profit last year and still dodging taxes and treating staff like crap) then we can recommend as a reliable online supplier during lockdown who act as a clearing house for UK bookshops and support them. do a similar job in US and donate to bookshops for every item sold (and have also now opened over here).

In town tonight

February 12, 2021

Deep Purple Birmingham Feb 1971

Were you one of the 1,000 people packed into the town hall fifty years ago for the band’s British tour supporting Strange Kind of Woman?  Let us know!  Read more about the show on our 1971 diary page.

In Concert

February 3, 2021

This is a nice collectable which Jeff Breis snapped for me recently.  Collectors of BBC rock and pop broadcasts will probably be familiar with the early Moody Blues live set aired in late 1969, which many regard as the first ever BBC Radio In Concert. Certainly it made for a dry run, with Jeff Griffin as producer, and inspired the show which started properly in January 1970.   This one however went out at 5.00pm on December 27th 1969 as The Moody Blues show, and featured two more Threshold acts, Timon and Trapeze. The latter were still a five piece with Glenn Hughes and this brochure was apparently issued to everyone who attended the recording, and was probably specially produced by the label rather than the BBC who do not get mentioned.  It’s a six sided fold out affair and quite smart, with a whole page given over to Trapeze.  There were tickets also printed for the event though these did not have Trapeze’s name on. The BBC are actually marking the 50th anniversary of the show at the moment though the list of 50 shows they have chosen has very little from the classic era.

Speedy King

January 26, 2021

Another group tackling the Deep Purple back catalogue, this time Saxon who have an album of cover versions due, featuring the tracks which inspired them as metal mad kids in sunny Barnsley all those years ago (I had a targeted email advert for retirement flats there only this morning – somebody at DHSS has been selling my personal data!). Speed King is amongst the set, taken at a blistering pace and with more extreme American style guitar histrionics than is perhaps good for you. It’s not my cup of Yorkshire tea that’s for sure but might find some admirers out there and some nice vintage rally footage slung together for the on screen video. What it proves if nothing else is that you can’t do Deep Purple without Jon Lord’s sound. Thanks to John Tucker for the heads up. SR

Micro Machines

January 12, 2021

It’s been a long time since this little collectable was featured in Darker Than Blue magazine! Steve Grover found it when he was on holiday in Australia in 1992 and brought it back as a souvenir (and teased me with it as soon as he got back). He has recently been trimming down his collection and decided this could go. He and I were both flabbergasted when it sold on ebay for over £900!
It turns out that MicroWheels are now becoming quite collectable as a brand; enough time has passed from their launch in 1987 for kids at the time to have reached that age when they enjoy collecting toys they had as a kid.
But what Steve didn’t realise is that this was very much a limited run, a series called Rockin’ Wheels, which was test marketed only in Australia. There were six bands featured, including Deep Purple and Whitesnake. As well as these six groups, a few more exist only as prototypes (Billy Idol being one, who thought that was a good idea?). Needless to say Steve rather wished he’d grabbed a few more, but it’s easy to be wise after the event, and the money will certainly pay for his next road trip (if we’re ever allowed such things again).
The Deep Purple set was licensed during the Joe Lynn Turner era from Bruce Payne, and so features graphics from the Slaves & Masters era. As the price Steve got shows, they are impossibly rare today. Even beat up played with examples fetch money and every collector’s site I visited out there has these in their ‘most wanted’ section.
Me, I shall stick to my early Matchbox toys. Though even there some of the prices are now out of my reach.

Bananas £50 a….

December 31, 2020

Record Collector get the 2021 Deep Purple media run off to a nice start with a ten page feature in their latest issue, on the news-stands on New Year’s Eve (if we’re allowed to go out). It mainly centres round new interviews with IG and RG, the former saying “We’ll carry on until we physically cannot make it onto the stage any more”! Being RC they also throw in a valuations section of the main editions (a few of which may surprise people – £50 for the vinyl edition of Bananas?) and a few nice pics, some images supplied by Simon. “Disappointingly they decided NOT to give the band the entire front cover in the end, feeling they’d been on too many magazines recently! I did moan about this but to no avail,” he tells us. No money changed hands, but he did get a plug for the In Rock biography!

As this is our last posting of 2020 can we says thanks to everyone who has contributed to the site in any way whatsoever over the year and helped keep things going. It’s been an awful year for so many people, but like everyone we’re hoping things will pick up during 2021. Simon adds “Can I add a special thanks to DP fan Gary Critcher who decided to emigrate this year and sent us lots of envelopes with old DP related bits and bobs he turned up while preparing for the move. Most touching perhaps was his original teenage scrapbook full of cuttings and adverts he’d clipped out over several years, and reminded me of similar efforts I made during the 1970s. I’m going to see if the music collection at the British Library could find room for this, it’s too good to break up!”

Sunday lunch

December 18, 2020

So many people have sent me a link to this clip that I figure there won’t be many Deep Purple folk out there who haven’t already downloaded it to their secret hard drives. But just in case, seeing as Gareth Toms tricked me into watching it the other day by embedding it into an email, l I don’t see why others shouldn’t suffer / enjoy / hide behind the sofa as well!  Toyah and hubby Robert Fripp have been doing little lockdown cover versions for several weeks and decided it was time to do Smoke On The Water, in front of their own lake, dressed as a cheer leader. Toyah not Bob.  I wonder if she realises it was this song which indirectly financed her first big record deal with Safari?!  I’m going to have to go and play Happy Family to get this out of my brain.  Will Ritchie and Candice reciprocate with a cover of Epitaph?


December 11, 2020

And here is the equivalent advert from the Germany music press (see post below for the British version). Third time in a row they have had the #1 Album in Germany (Now What?! – inFinite – Whoosh!). Thanks to Lutz Reinert for the image.

A little bit of history repeating

December 9, 2020

Some old gimmers out there might remember Deep Purple printing a nice full page Merry Xmas advert in the British music papers back in 1971. Here they are repeating a similar idea in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine this Xmas! Thanks to Tom Dixon for alerting us to it, and John Tucker for the snap.

Speaking of magazines, the next issue of Record Collector magazine (they are finishing up the layout as I type* so probably early Jan street date) will feature a big Deep Purple special centered around two new interviews with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. (*We only know as Simon has been helping them with photo research).