Yngwie does Smoke

July 5, 2019

I sort of feel I ought to mention this, being Deep Purple’s most famous track, but DTB accept no responsibility if you press play!  It’s a new album from Yngwie of cover versions.  I’m all for people having a go at putting their own spin on things but this is just so stiff and lifeless (the video is an edit).  The album also has a cover of Demon’s Eye on it.  It was my damn brother who flagged this up for me, thanks Nick!

 

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Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.

June 28, 2019

Bath Festival 1970

Or Doctor John to most of us!  His recent death at the age of 78 has been widely reported but it is perhaps worth noting amongst his more illustrious career highlights (he made his live debut as The Night Tripper in the UK at one of the legendary Bath Festivals, check out the flyer above – what an amazing bill), and some two thousand sessions and guest appearance (!), there are connections with the Deep Purple scene.

Some will know that Tommy Bolin worked with Dr. John at one point, although details are a bit sketchy. Three tracks are known to exist, and also feature Alphonse Mouzon on drums. They have not been issued officially but do circulate on whatever the modern version of a cassette is these days (Tommy Taylor where are you now!?). The songs were cut in 1975 after the Mind Transplant sessions in Los Angeles and while the tapes are lousy and are regarded as demos, they do suggest the tracks were pretty much finished up wherever the quarter inch masters are.

I must admit I had forgotten that when Ian Gillan and Roger Glover wanted some funky piano on their Accidentally On Purpose album, they also turned to Dr. John.  He plays his fingers off on two of the covers,  Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave and Purple People Eater. This album was cut in 1988 and came close to cracking the American charts at one point. Well worth checking out (there have been umpteen reissues) if you don’t know it, there are some great songs on there. I wasn’t alone in feeling there was a career choice to be made there instead of slogging it out with the increasingly fraught reunion!

Thanks to Matthew Kean, Tim Summers, Timothy Campbell, Mark Maddock.

Another man in black

June 21, 2019

Tim Summers managed to get across to Munich the other day and dodge tennis ball sized hail stones to catch Rainbow’s latest short live outing:

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The Olympiahalle is a bit of a legendary venue, with Rainbow’s ‘Rockpalast’ footage from 1977 being filmed there of course, so I was very interested to see it in person.  Set in the Olympic Park created for the 1972 Games, the venue has the air of a sort of permanent circus tent from outside – well, sort of that crossed with the Millennium Dome (as was).  Inside it’s pure arena-style music venue – almost a let-down after the exterior views, but amazing when considering its age (1972 is NOT old. DTB Ed).  We paused at the merch stall to grab the tour-only-don’t-sell-this-anywhere-else-on-pain-of-death 3-track CD of recent Rainbow (re)recordings (they were flying off the shelves faster than the staff could re-stock them – 10 Euros each, or 40 Euros for one’s signed by Ritchie…).   The support band came and went and eventually ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ drifted across the ‘halle.

Set-wise there weren’t many surprises, but I would say the trend to gradual improvement as more shows are played has continued.  I didn’t notice any obvious fluffs, and the band even looked like they were starting to stretch out a little – there were jamming moments before Man on the Silver Mountain and Perfect Strangers – and a bassist-sung RJD-style improv link into the Woman From Tokyo snippet.

And despite saying in a pre-tour interview that holding a heavy Stratocaster for a full gig was tough on his bad back, Blackmore did just that, no sitting down and no acoustic guitar (I think the only time he was off stage was during the keyboard solo in Difficult to Cure).  Munich was the only indoor gig this tour (the others all being outdoor festival dates), and we were rewarded with a tour-exclusive airing of a moving Carry On Jon – a nice touch, with it being soon after JL’s birthday (and I don’t mind admitting that the pics of Jon on the big screen fair moistened my eye – heart-warming that each new picture was greeted with approval by the crowd too).

Ritchie seemed in very good mood throughout, down on one knee, fist-pumping the air, etc.  Oh, and the pre-encore ‘audience activities’ that showed up on one set-list posted online were (in our case, at least) the guitarist throwing merchandise out into the crowd – frisbee-ing CDs out at quite an alarming velocity.  Overall, whilst modern day Rainbow might not be for everyone, I enjoyed it – there were moments of the old magic (particularly during Mistreated and Carry on Jon).  Apparently Black Sheep of the Family was played during the soundcheck, but that’s as far as it got.  Ritchie seems to have had a go at recreating the cover shot of Finyl Vinyl at the soundcheck too (see attached) (I have attached, but don’t know who took this, so if it infringes copyright let me know and I will remove. DTB Ed).

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Elsewhere, the Olympic Tower in the Park, has as well as the usual things you might expect up there (a small café, viewing platforms with pay-per-view binoculars etc), a small ‘Rock Museum’ – which as luck would have it is currently hosting a display of Didi Zill’s Deep Purple themed photography.

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Set list

Spotlight Kid / I Surrender / Mistreated / Since You Been Gone / Man on the Silver Mountain (+ Woman From Tokyo snippet) / Perfect Strangers / Black Night / Difficult to Cure / All Night Long / Stargazer / Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll / Carry On… Jon / Burn. Encore: Smoke on the Water.

Thanks Tim.  The local paper had a shot of the current line-up (above)…  I must admit the first tour at the NEC in 2016 was probably enough for me, but it’s nice to see the man can still draw a decent crowd.  As for Tim, the billboard was confiscated at the airport before he was allowed to go on his way.

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Men In Black

June 7, 2019

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Ish. One of the nice things about Deep Purple having a bit more time off this year is it means they can do other things, and some of them have been treading various red carpets over the last couple of weeks, albeit not getting quite the coverage in Grazia that others do as a result.

Deep Purple Mk 2 were given a nice International Achievement Award at this years Ivor Novello Award ceremony in late May, with little statues for the five (Jon posthumously), and three of the band (above) were able to go along and accept these. Thanks to Tom Dixon for the heads up.

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Ian Paice has been busy at his Buddy Rich Ronnie Scotts gig but apparently the buggers would not allow photography so nuts to that.  Ian Gillan was in the audience and Russell Taylor who went along says it was a great experience being so close to the world’s greatest drummer on stage. This photo was taken backstage and shows the current Rich Band drummer on the right, Rod Stewart, Paicey and Buddy’s daughter.  I have to say Rod has gone up in our estimation after sending a decent donation to that model railway club who had their show smashed up by twats a few weeks ago.

Lastly in our celebrity red carpet round up, Ian Gillan, posing by the open-air Marine Theatre not far from his house in Lyme Regis. He’s not nicked an inter-city 125 sign off a train, but to mark the 125th anniversary of the theatre, IG, a patron, sponsored their web site overhaul.  Nice to see him looking so well and what a cracking spot it looks to be. Thanks to Geoff Quade, who is on their mailing list, for the information.

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In Town Tonight • Woodford

June 4, 2019

June 4. 1969. Episode Six – Ivy Lodge Club, Woodford, North East London

Ivy Lodge Club where Blackmore and Lord went to check out Ian Gillan, June 4. 1969

Fifty Years On! This former Victorian lodge was owned by the church next door and turned into a youth club, which began hosting discos and live music in 1965. These got so popular that the two living rooms were knocked through to make a bigger concert space, and an old billiard table made into a stage by sawing the legs down!  Episode Six were still doing lots of one-nighters in and around London, and this was just another show for them.  However their drummer Mick Underwood had recommended Ian Gillan to Ritchie Blackmore as a possible replacement for Rod Evans in Deep Purple, so Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord drove over to check them out that night.  Ritchie even got up for a jam towards the end of the night.

As a result Ian Gillan was offered the job, and the following day Episode Six met up at their manager’s office in London to discuss the situation. They accepted that Ian was going to leave but would honour any current bookings, while they would look for a full-time new singer.

The Ivy Lodge club youth evenings ended in 1970 and the building has since been demolished.

There’s a page from Roger’s diary of the day on the site here:

https://darkerthanblue.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/forty-five-years-ago-today/

The book about Deep Purple In Rock covers this time in the band’s history in detail.

New and old

May 24, 2019

Glenn Hughes’s promoters have been swift to reorganise his cancelled UK tour, with some dates rescheduled, and some alternatives where venues were not available.  Dates are on the 2019 concert diary page.  Thanks to Tim Summers.

Vorwärts mit Ritchie

May 22, 2019

Fans moaning about the recent new Rainbow tracks only being issued as downloads can sort of calm down as they now plan to round the iTunes MP3s up on a CD EP called Rainbow Vorwärts.  BUT so far it will only be sold at upcoming Rainbow shows, which rather rules out a large chunk of any potential market. Hopefully they will make some available via mail-order for those who cannot get along, an ebay shop is only $15 a month to set up…  Otherwise you will need to befriend someone who is going and get them to grab you a copy!

The EP will have four tracks so far as we know, Black Sheep of the Family, Waiting For A Sign, I Surrender and The Storm (a beefed up cut which I think Blackmore’s Night did some years ago). Waiting For A Sign was apparently written for Stranger In Us All (apparently a demo with Doogie on exists), but this is also a new version. Although we did think these new tracks being slipped out indicated a new Rainbow CD might be on the horizon, Ritchie has said not as he ‘doesn’t write those sort of songs any more….’

Thanks to all who have been keeping me updated on this.

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Glenn delays

May 14, 2019

Glenn Hughes has delayed the second leg of his “Plays Deep Purple” British tour due to begin on May 14th (tonight) as he needs medical treatment, but a statement from his website says that while this is urgent he should be back on the road again before very long, and the tour will be rescheduled.  Anyone with tickets will probably be contacted by their agency.  The latest is that some of the shows will be rescheduled for November, but some have had to be pulled as the venues are not available then. Best wishes from everyone here to Glenn for a speedy recovery.

It’s strange, as I was only watching a home made video of some amateur slides from the first show I ever saw him at in Sheffield back in 1974 just yesterday!  A guy has found some old slides  (I only took black and white myself, colour film was too expensive back then!) he took from what we would now call the mosh pit, so they’re a bit blurred but full of atmosphere and brought the excitement of that night right back to me for one.  I was a rabid Mk 2 fan but those shows were blistering. Thanks to Mark Maddock for flagging this up for me and to Tim Summer for tour info.

Back in the USA

May 10, 2019

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Deep Purple are currently hunkered down in Nashville working on their next studio album, using the same set-up as for Infinite (released in April 2017).  The band had a pre-recording writing session in a big studio in Germany in February (see photo above; no idea what they used the cherry picker for!)).  It’s early days yet but given how rapidly things are moving, and with more shows being lined up for the later part of 2019 (see below) one suspects an Autumn release might well be on the cards. Like the writing session they are keeping the recordings top secret, so here’s a photo of a local bus instead.

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More shows?  They have just announced a decent tour of America starting in September and running right through to the third week of October.  This has to be one of the bands biggest tours there for a long time, some thirty-three dates listed so far.  No wonder they’ve been taking it easy for much of the year.

Thanks to Tim Summers, Lutz Reinert and others for the details.  Full dates are on our diary page.  This includes the European shows in December.

 

Liverpool Stadium

April 30, 2019

I do like it when people take the time to write with their recollections of seeing Deep Purple in the olden days (if anything it doesn’t make me feel so old!); recently I was exchanging emails with a woman who saw them at Walthamstow Tech in 1970 who told me of fans being passed back over the crowd after fainting, while a lad who spotted Jon Lord sneaking through the foyer at The Rainbow and coming back with a crate of beer for the dressing room had been adding his thoughts to help bring some nice detail to another show.  A few people have recently been recalling what turned out to be Mk 2’s last ever UK show at Liverpool Stadium in 1973, a poorly documented event (so far no photos or tickets from it have surfaced, and a guitar which went into pieces that night is still missing!).  As a result of their contributions we’ve put together a small feature on this on the concert diary pages.  Liverpool would prove to be the band’s last show of all three years later. And if you have tickets or memories of any of the shows back then do get in touch, and add to our archive.

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