Pennies for the guy

October 14, 2016


Here’s the cover art for the upcoming Rainbow live set, which is actually better than I was expecting.  It’s out on November 18th, compiled from the two German shows only.  Which hasn’t gone down too well with people on the DTB Facebook page!

Fantasy Camp

October 12, 2016

Ian Paice Glenn Hughes Rock n Roll Fantasy camp

Three members of Deep Purple have been booked to help celebrate the twenty first anniversary of Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp next year; Ian Paice, Steve Morse and Glenn Hughes. The four day event enables people to jam with, learn from and listen to the musicians and rock star councillors, and the final night will be hosted at the Whisky A Go Go, a show by Glenn Hughes and some of the attendees. March 2-5, 2017 in Hollywood, California if you’re feeling flush. It is being billed with a “Celebrate the Music of Deep Purple” theme this time, and “in memory of Jon Lord”. Glenn has done this event before, but I think it’s a first timer for the other guys.  There is no indication that they will perform on stage together, but you never know. For additional information, visit

Thanks to Tim Summers.

Message In A Bottle

October 7, 2016


The death of Steve Byrd reported earlier this week, first by a social media message from bassist John McCoy, was something of shock to say the least.  Sheffield born, we might have been in the same class at school.
Steve’s long career reminds us how a musician with only a relatively small role within the Purple universe can have a huge impact. If pushed to list my favourite Gillan albums in some sort of order then the Japanese Album (as it tends to be known) would always come a safe first, while I would probably juggle the rest depending on when I was asked. I was more than proud to be able to work with Ian on the first ever (and only authorised) reissue of the album (on RPM), and listening to the tapes in a studio only strengthened my admiration of the record and the band.
Steve was offered the job when Colin Towns spotted his new-wave group Neo recording in Kingsway (my younger sister had their single!) and his contributions in 1978 helped define Ian Gillan’s new sound after the dalliance with jazz-rock. And while the album was never actually issued outside Japan, Australia and New Zealand, it acted as the best possible calling card and enabled the band to get a new deal in Europe and embark on a very successful few years both on the live front and in the charts, starting with the Mr. Universe album.
We were lucky enough to catch the Steve Byrd line-up on a wintery day in Salford in 1978 when they played there before an indifferent crowd of uncomprehending students and some hard core fans, and still remember it well (I would show a photo from the gig, but had my camera confiscated after five minutes before the dry ice had even cleared…). Others may have caught them at the Reading festival in August that year. By early 1979 though the moment had passed, Byrd went and Bernie Torme arrived to complete the best remembered Gillan line-up.
Steve eventually ended up working with Kim Wilde for over a decade (and can be seen in some of her videos) and she has posted a great photo of Steve from those early days on her website which I’ll show here, but he also played with many other big name acts in a session capacity, as well as worked on film and tv music.
Steve was in recent years getting back out there doing his thing on stage, working on his own production company and label, and connecting with fans regularly. He was always trying to get me to connect to his Linked In profile (I had to explain I’d joined that particular social media group early on but left almost as quickly!), and I know others he was regularly in touch with too (he and my brother were even discussing trying to get a gig going in Steve’s hometown of Sheffield earlier this year.)
I hope Steve took some pride in his contributions to the Gillan story and the fact that we should all recall the album so fondly almost forty years on. RIP.

The DPAS family tree gives more information on this part of the Gillan story

Purple Power

September 29, 2016

Deep Purple Purple Power poster

This poster and others in the set were researched recently during work on the upcoming book Fire In The Sky; the Making Of Machine Head. You can read more about them (and find out why the example above had to be photographed in a disco in Canada!) on this site. The publishers say they will be releasing the first page spreads from the book very soon, so if you have not yet joined their newsletter service for this title, now is the time to do so as they will get to see the images before they go public.  You can find the link on their website.

Glenn CD, tour, vids…

September 23, 2016

Glenn Hughes promo photo 2016

The GLENN HUGHES roadshow is getting into gear with his new studio album Resonate due in late October.  A promotional video – all arty monochrome – was posted this week on his site for the track ‘Heavy’, and is… just that, although Glenn is filmed separately from the band who are all in the studio, with Chad Smith featured prominently.  I quite enjoyed it while it was on, a touch vintage Purpley in some ways. There is a special edition of the CD with a three track promo DVD, and it looks like the Japanese get a bonus track. A vinyl edition is also promised. The tour reaches the UK in November, supported by Living Colour.

Glenn Hughes Resonate
Pat Thrall turned up for a couple of Hughes / Thrall numbers at Glenn’s Las Vegas show in August, and if you can’t wait for the tour there is a professionally shot video of Glenn’s gig in Buenos Aires doing the rounds online.
And it also looks as if Black Country Communion will be returning to the scene next year, despite all the brickbats they were throwing at one another not so long ago. Glenn, Jason and Joe are it seems now back on message.

New album scheduled?

September 19, 2016

It looks like the new Deep Purple studio album has been scheduled for February 2017 according to Ian Gillan, and he expects them to be touring to support it from then onwards “for two years”.  I assume they have sensibly decided to hold it back into the new year in order to let Ian Paice have a damn good break; he has been relaxing down at his villa, so hopefully will be fit and well.  At least this gives us something to look forward to after some of the less than crucial releases this year.
Talking of which, Ian has actually been doing a number of phone chats supporting the new Gillan vinyl box set, one of these heavyweight hard-cased affairs which are currently all the rage (I was trying to lift the Rammstein boxed LP set up only a couple of weeks ago and decided I need to break the vinyl reissue habit, and started right there!)

Gillan vinyl box set 2016
This is the fourth or fifth UK vinyl edition for many of these albums; Demon themselves did them as picture discs not many months ago.
IGB are not included, one assumes they’re preparing another set for them, and most of us who still hang on to their collection will have at least one vinyl copy and quite likely the original first pressings as well, so I’m not sure who they expect will want this. At least those nice vinyl hardback editions from a year or so back tried something new and put a bit of effort into the pressing, packaging and presentation.
The set consists of LP1: Mr Universe, LP2: Glory Road, LP3: For Gillan Fans Only, LP4: Future Shock, LP5: Double Trouble., LP6: Double Trouble, LP7: Magic) and is out early October, coming in at around £80 – £90.  Needless to say the artful dodgers Amazon have got the world by the throat (or somewhere) and if you go to them you get a hard vinyl pressed 7″ version of the old flexi disc Spanish Guitar (which they couldn’t even be bothered to do a picture sleeve for) not available to anyone else. Nice one Demon, why not personally go round and shut every remaining indie record shop in person while you’re at it? Talk about turkeys wishing for Christmas.

The Man In Black’s due back?

September 16, 2016

Rainbow Blackmore live 2016Lots of chatter suggesting that Blackmore will confirm five more Rainbow shows in Europe during 2017, as was mooted back when the first shows were taking place.  His new singer Ronnie Mk 2 has also been talking about looking forward to this.  Let’s hope they can spend a little more time rehearsing to allow them to develop the potential shown in some of the set.  Blackmore has apparently taken on board, probably not without a little satisfaction, people’s preference for the next set to be more focused on Rainbow’s own catalogue.  Meantime there are rumours that once Coverdale and Paice showed him the door, Blackmore tried to get Hughes on board with similar results.  Looks like he needn’t have bothered!  Still no news at our end on the projected DVD/CD of the 2016 show, has anyone else spotted a release sheet?

Dylan Blue

September 14, 2016

Deep Purple Concerto Versace perfume

We posted an item about a French perfume launch which used Deep Purple’s Child In Time as their backing music not long ago, and now Versace have raided the band’s back-catalogue as well.  Quite whether Jon Lord would ever have imagined a section from his Concerto For Group and Orchestra being used to promote men’s fragrance is hard to know,  but whoever came up with the idea certainly earned their fee, as it fits really well.  As with the way of these things, the company have treated this like some sort of new Hollywood blockbuster with long cuts, directors versions and goodness knows what else, so I’m unsure how it will work as a 30 second TV advert.  Nor can I find any reference to the music whatsoever on Versace’s long-winded self-congratulatory puff pieces on their web site.
They forked out for everyone’s go to homoerotic photographer Bruce Weber to film it, who has obliged with lingering monochrome clips of fit guys rolling around in wet t-shirts or less, so one suspects this may be a post-watershed commercial if it gets shown.  Still £66 is little enough to pay for 100ml of perfumed alcohol if you’re going to end up looking like that I guess!

Some wag (hello Tim!) suggested that we see what other products Deep Purple tunes might suit, but the results were largely unprintable.  If you have any to add to the list let us know!  Strange Kind Of Woman for a Henry Moore sculpture exhibitions?  Kentucky Woman for a KFC recruitment ad?  Hard Road for the local tarmac surfacing consultants…

Howie’s Kick Off

September 12, 2016

howies-kick-off-logo-hero-image-shiny-head-productions-275x300Sunday was a day for me and Ann to remember Howie Kehl, a long time Deep Purple fan who kept us and many other Darker Than Blue people up to date with goings on in Australia when the band first reformed. We’d hooked up some time before that happened in the late ’70s, and in those far off pre-internet days used to correspond regularly, and sometimes phone when either of us was feeling flush. Howie was a good drummer, and he and Ann would chat about Ian Paice, a big influence on his work.
Piles of Australian cuttings would turn up along with a sheaf of biro written notes, and be eagerly read. We reprinted many of these cuttings in the DTB magazine, with people eager to glean what they could from the early Australian tour while waiting for the first glimpse of the band live over here.  Like ourselves, Howie followed the ups and downs of the reunion with fascination and bewilderment.
We co-operated together on the Australia release of the live album Total Abandon in the late Nineties, and his name appeared on the sleeve which he was very proud of (although I did all the packaging and design, mine didn’t for ‘political’ reasons!).
Howie died suddenly in 2015 but his friends and fellow musicians have been working towards a way to remember him and his contributions to the music scene, and have formed a co-operative called Shiny Head Productions (no need to know where the name came from!) to launch ‘Howie’s Kick Off’, which they plan will be a regular annual event to showcase local music and raise funds for upcoming bands and musicians. The first show took place on Sept 11th in Adelaide.
Howie will also get a dedication in the upcoming biography of Graham Bonnet; typically of the man, once he’d heard about the project he was in there helping with information about Graham’s extended periods working in Australia in the Nineties.
Sadly we never met Howie in person, but it’s been cheering to read how much people in Adelaide thought of him and want to keep his memory alive. You can read more about the launch here and we will be in touch to see if we can help in any way for future events.

Spoilt for choice

August 4, 2016

“Dear Mr. Brackmore, we understand you will be releasing a CD of the recent Rainbow shows, and would love to pitch some cover designs to you. Please see our ideas attached…”

Rainbow 2016 bootlegs

In fact, this is a selection of bootleg CDs from the three shows churned out in just a month by labels in Japan  (hence my sad stereotyped opening few words.) They all seem to be different too.  Astonishing. Not seen anything quite this frantic since the early Purple reunion era, and even then it took them several months to get up to this sort of level. I think I like the one best second up on the right which uses the lighting to good effect, and also because that’s about the view we got!
Maybe best just to wait for the official one after all?

I don’t know who took the photo, but assume they would wish to remain incognito in any case…