Shades of

April 13, 2016

I could not resist putting up this photograph of some of the guys at their table during the evening. As far as I can recall the last time you could have taken this shot was back in 1975 at the Butterfly Ball concert.  I can sort of understand all the aggro and stuff which goes on between artists but it is nice to see them together like this.

Rock & Roll conference

And for people who collect Deep Purple and related programmes, there was one produced for the evening, shown here.  There isn’t much about the band in, and just a small montage of the 8 inductees.  But people are disposing of them online if you want to try and grab one before they all vanish.

Rock-&-Roll-programme-DTB

 

“A legacy without end.”

April 11, 2016

Well the dust has settled. If you read Rolling Stone’s online report, Steve Morse was not invited, Don Airey was overlooked and Jon Lord made it. I guess we can excuse their confusion, if not their ignorance.
In fact it was Ritchie who opted out (you’re not seriously telling me he would have let Bruce Payne keep him away if he’d really wanted to go?!); those cod-pieces don’t clean themselves you know. Jon’s widow was there, but we had nobody to represent Tommy, while Nick Simper was not inducted and Rod Evans didn’t turn up even though he was.
The Purple’s who did go got dressed up. Lars Ulrich did the introduction honours and as you might expect from someone who has never missed an opportunity to praise the group, did them full justice. I particularly liked his ‘legacy without end’ line (and Roger thanking him for reading out his prepared speech!). You can sort of watch it here (or at least listen to it!).

It does seem daft that we’re having to watch poorly filmed audience footage, and that they couldn’t prepare some decent official clips. There are a wealth of videos from the audience to watch online, but otherwise HBO will air the official version on April 30th.
The band did four tracks, opening with Highway Star ( and full marks to Don Airey for giving more than a nod to Jon Lord during the solos) and Hush, then a short burst of Green Onions as a way of remembering Jon. A closing take of Smoke On The Water was not filled with guests as had been expected. David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes did their shorter speeches, but didn’t join in which does on the face of it seem a shame. And you did sort of get the feeling David was feeling his chance of Whitesnake ever making it to the nominations were now slim though he did give them a good plug!
All in all though looking at the immense coverage this has brought the group (even Paice’s local rag did a story) it can do them no harm and might up their profile in some areas as well, in the run up to the next album.
Which leaves us only to finally name the guilty party; those shoes in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibition were Glenn’s. He gave them away some time in the distant past, but got them back so he could be photographed with them for the Songs In The Key of Rock CD cover shoot!

Glenn Hughes' shoes

And then there were Eight

April 7, 2016

Deep Purple Rock & Roll Hall of Fame display

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have revealed their display for the Class of 2016, a small collection of memorabilia relating to the groups who are inducted this week.  The display is written up in the local press at

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/04/rock_roll_hall_of_fame_class_o.html

but the two snaps show the Deep Purple artifacts – a pair of stage shoes, I’m not sure whose as the picture is too small, and more excitingly Ritchie’s original Gibson, which I think is still privately owned. And a copy of Jerry’s fanzine by the looks of it.

Deep Purple Rock & Roll Hall of Fame display

The ceremony is this Friday (8th) and apparently you can watch it via some sort of ticketed broadcast,  but there will be a public TV edit of the evening at the end of April.
I do know one fan who is going (thought you’d sneak it past us eh Andy!) and if you’re local tickets are still available.
The rather crass montage of the band shows just 8 of the 10 members of the original band, so it’s still anyone’s guess who will be there!  Ah well, if they can “forget” to invite Mick Taylor to the new Rolling Stones exhibition then they’ll be in good company.

Nashville teens

March 21, 2016

Deep Purple have finished primary recording on the new album, according to information sent out by Roger Glover via their label Edel. Recording began on January 28th in Nashville, with a thirteen day pre-production period of jamming and writing, and then 13 days full on recording. Roger and Ian Gillan will now have a week completing the lyrics and vocal lines, which will be recorded in Toronto in April.
Rog has also posted a shot of the large open studio they’ve been working in. Well strolling about in at any rate!

Deep Purple Nashville 2016

Meanwhile those last two live albums (Setting and Rising) are coming out again but at mid-price.

Deep Purple and ELP

March 18, 2016

Thanks to Vince Chong who reminded me of this tour early on in the post-Blackmore era, 1998 to be exact. And opening act Dream Theater who were for a time managed by Bruce Payne I think. The flyer is for a show in Canada

Dp-and-ELP-1998-flyer

Azrael

March 14, 2016

Another Monday, another obituary.

Keith Emerson with The Nice

Some people will I’m sure remember the hotly contested Sounds Poll which the music paper ran each year. You got a little printed form, clipped it out and filled in the various categories and then sent it off.
Inevitably the top three names year after year in the keyboard vote were those of Jon Lord, Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson, who died late last week. I have a suspicion that my brother, who was a big fan of The Nice, went for Keith, I went for Jon, so our votes effectively cancelled each other out and we could probably have saved ourselves the 2.5p second class stamp.
But the point is that these three were the rock keyboard triumvirate, and while other names would figure further down the poll, they dominated the keyboard scene at that time for many of us. And certainly dominated our musical listening in the early Seventies.
Hearing of Keith Emerson’s sudden death left us feeling very miserable and, like many I suspect, we kept returning to the subject of his career over the weekend, as well as the manner of his passing.
I count myself enormously lucky to have seen all three players as their respective bands reached an artistic peak. The Nice Album (their third) was one of the first rock albums I ever heard, and inevitably Keith made a great impression. The arrival of ELP was a very big deal in the rock world; The Nice had issued top five albums and it was a bit of a puzzle to us as to why Keith would want to end that to start a new group.
It didn’t take long to see the wisdom of his move, and the first ELP album remains one of my favourite rock albums, while Tarkus is one of Ann’s, and we still play them regularly. I saw ELP just the once, on tour in 1972, when they headlined the City Hall circuit. It was a great experience, and there was a real buzz around town for the show. We skived off school to watch the soundchecking and wander onto the stage to gaze in awe at the massive synthesiser rig, then marvel at the equally impressive drum kit. It was like nothing any of us had ever seen before. After that tour ELP only played a few times more in the UK, so I never got the chance to see them again.
By the time of the show Trilogy and the Pictures at an Exhibition album had also been issued (I think my brother bought the former, I certainly got the latter as I still have it), Pictures adding to the small but important clutch of classical / rock works. It was Keith’s pioneering recordings in this area which enabled Jon (and then others) to follow with his Concerto ideas, mainly as it showed Deep Purple’s manager that such work could be commercial as well as interesting.
There was no doubt that the three musicians kept an ear out for what each other was up to either; there’s a nice little nod on the old Deep Purple Kilburn album when having introduced Ritchie, Ian and “the new boys” someone shouts to Jon and asks him his name.  “I’m Rick Emerson” he deadpans back. I know some of us always hoped Jon and Keith would get it together musically (as we used to say) and there were clear areas of musical experimentation common to both players, but sadly it never came to pass.
Their paths did cross, both Keith and Jon were on the same bill with their respective bands at festivals, Sunbury in 68 and Essen in 69, and Berlin in 1970, one of the last gigs by The Nice. With Purple , Keith and Jon jammed together on a piece before doing Lucille with Keith as an encore. A low-fi cassette of the occasion does circulate.
Of course ELP and Deep Purple had a bit of a run-in at the 1974 California Jam event, but despite Ritchie’s show-stealing efforts, from watching the video of ELP that night they still managed to close the evening in considerable style.
People have been reminding me of other connections over the last 48 hours; the interesting (and quite promising as I recall) Boys Club set with Keith, Glenn Hughes and Mark Bonilla; the Rock Aid Armenia single; even albeit more tangentially Emerson, Lake and Powell.
That aside, it’s to his glory days that people inevitably look back and I’m sure Keith’s playing with The Nice and ELP will continue to inspire and influence fans and musicians for generations, and I know will continue to be much played at DPAS Towers, albeit with a certain amount of sadness from now on.

We all came down

March 9, 2016

Ian Gillan has caught up with the 2016 gig list and added them to his site. There is one new addition to our own listing, which is their now mandatory show at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 16th 2016. I know some people like to make this trip so stick it in your diary! Worryingly we have one date Ian doesn’t, an opening show in Japan on the 9th, so either it’s off or he needs to change his flight plan. Thanks to Mark Maddock.

On the Rock and Roll hall of Fame scenario, thanks for all the comments on this which are now live (been a bit busy lately with a publication deadline to meet so a bit slow moderating) and make great reading. Unexpectedly the organisation has been in touch needing a bit of help on the presentation, so will do what we can.

And lastly we have had questions about Record Store 2016 but as far as we can find out (I have checked the official RSD European listings for this, and been in touch with Universal and Warners) there are no Deep Purple offerings this year.  To be honest the last few DP RSD releases have been uninspired, and perhaps the uncertainty surrounding the catalogue has put labels off. If anyone spots anything do let us know.

Shy and retiring?

February 26, 2016

David Coverdale on Whitesnake tour bus

David Coverdale has suggested that he might be calling time on Whitesnake as we know it in a press release announcing a June best of tour of America. “…what will be our ‘Greatest Hits World Tour’ & most likely my personal ‘Farewell to Arena Rock’ after over 40 years of writing & performing rock music.”
He doesn’t elaborate and clearly the statement leaves doors open but perhaps David is going to try and take a break and give himself options which don’t require his voice to be pushed quite so hard on the road.  There are lots of people who would like to hear him do stuff like the Into The Light and Northwinds albums on-stage in a less frenzied atmosphere (hint hint!).
Meanwhile he and Ian Gillan have spoken to iron out issues over the Hall of Fame event and IG has posted what we assume is the last word on the subject (this week!).

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Statement

February 20, 2016

With respect to all:
We were faced with a hard decision when we heard about the Hall of Fame inductions. It was shocking to us that Steve Morse and Don Airey – who have been with us for 22 years and 14 years respectively – had been excluded, according to HoF ‘rules’.
Ian G. Ian P. and Roger G. – decided upon the offer of a compromise which has been agreed with the HoF and enables us to turn up on the night.
DP Inductees will accept the awards and then the living breathing Deep Purple will perform. Inevitably, this will mean excluding Ritchie, David and Glen from the live performance, but, given the circumstances, there is no other acceptable option.
It should be stressed that there is no slight intended nor any desire to upset anyone regarding this decision; it is purely a mark of respect to Steve and Don. In fact, we would love to perform with Ritchie, David, Glen et al on Smoke on the Water in the encore jam.
I spoke with David Coverdale last week and he expressed complete understanding of the way it was being handled; thanks David you’re a Gent.
Outside of this event there are no circumstances under which a ‘reunion’ could or would take place and so it is unconscionable that our guitarist and keyboard player should be pushed aside after all those years (on the road and six studio albums) of total personal commitment and musical contribution to the band, just to satisfy pressure that has been, in the past, easily resisted.
So, let’s all get up there, shake hands, smile for the cameras and get it done with dignity and respect for all the existing and past members of a very special family.

ig

Thanks to Tom Dixon and Tim Summers

The BBC weigh in…

February 22, 2016

Deep Purple rock and roll hall of Fame

as imagined by Tim Summers!

No, no, no

February 22, 2016

Ritchie has now posted that after discussing attending, he will not now be going to the Hall of Fame do as Bruce Payne had told the President of the institution “No.”  Perhaps they asked him to cover the cost of the table! “We can’t wrestle people to the ground and make them perform together,” says Hall of Fame President Joel Peresman.  Might liven up the evening though Joel.
What was it Ian Gillan once memorably wrote?

People say that we’re to blame I say
No no no it’s just the game
Is it getting better no no no
Do we love each other no no no
Must we wait forever no no no

If anyone is still interested, the new twist in the story is written up in more detail on Rolling Stone Magazine’s site. In the meantime Ian Gillan has rowed back a little on his previous hard-line postings and suggested they are all up for a Smoke encore with everyone taking part.


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