July 9, 2020

Edel has been promising another preview off the new Deep Purple album, a track called Nothing At All. Planet Rock got to play the first exclusive preview this morning, and are calling it the ‘new single’.  Which might account for it being so short! They have a play it again feature on their site so check out around 8.15 during Paul Anthony’s Breakfast Show, says Tim Summers (we were chortling over vintage Round The Horne on R4X so missed it!).  It’s clearly going to be a varied album if the four tracks out and about so far are any indication. I assume a more widespread preview will be out on Friday, release day.

Meanwhile copies of the Record Store day 10″ have been landing from all over the place, with the track The Power of the Moon as the ‘bonus’ as it were, i.e. the one we haven’t had trailed on video.  Keep up, there will be a test come August when the album is out! Simon has decided to wait…  we think he’s just sulking ‘cos the next Minions film has gone back to 2021.

Talking of going back, DP’s cancelled 2020 tour dates have officially been rescheduled for the exact same dates – only 12 months on, so in our case it’s October 2021. Obviously this is a case of hoping for the best, as the live concert scene is in a difficult state. If people aren’t rushing back to the high street, they’re not going to be so keen mixing it with the likes of us in a packed stadium any time soon.  But any sort of distancing would start to call the viability of shows into question – unless we’re all up for paying even more.  Still, we can all join the queue for extra loft insulation to keep our minds off it!


In Rock Hard

July 6, 2020

The latest issue of Planet Rock magazine (21) manages to get in a few Deep Purple releases as part of a bit Top 100 Live Albums feature. Mike Galway has spotted (in reverse order!) 50 – On Stage, full page with nice pic of Ritchie and Japanese ticket. 47 – Made In Europe.  30 – Live in the Heart of the City, full page picture of Coverdale. And best of all at No. 1 – Made In Japan with a four page feature.
Mike says it’s “a nice feature which somebody has obviously put some thought into – which makes a nice change”. The magazine is a tie in with Planet Rock radio but has never really found a niche that marks it out from other rock magazines, and this will be it’s final issue.

Rock Hard 398.jpg

Meanwhile in Germany Rock Hard magazine finally bow to common sense and go with what we’re told is their first Deep Purple cover feature (it’s taken them nearly 400 issues!), though they didn’t go very far for the cover shot, one of the most used of all time. Inside according to John Tucker they have a 12 page feature, interviews with Steve Morse and Ian Paice, a piece on books about the band, what looks like a retrospective and a section on ‘In Rock’ to mark the anniversary.

I’m afraid I had to look up the cover word, only to discover it has it’s own flipping wikipedia page! From un- +‎ kaputt +‎ -bar. The word – which means indestructable – “was used first in 1990 in an advertising campaign. It intentionally violates the grammar rules by using the suffix -bar with the adjective kaputt despite of the fact that this suffix is only used to build adjectives from verbs (e.g. unkaputtmachbar). This made the word sound somewhat funny with the purpose of drawing attention.” So now we know!

Smoke stories

June 29, 2020

Some more new additions to our growing collection of stories with a Smoke On The Water theme on the site.  The store front in this photo is now thought to be a fake but several businesses in America have used the song title to front Cannabis businesses, and it has been used on some outlets, more are illustrated:  Smoke On The Water Stories page 4.  Do let us know of any more such links with the song you come across.

smoke on the water

The sun’s coming out

June 23, 2020

(A day late – and a dollar short! My fault, Ed. This is what Tim Summers remembers…)

35 years since ‘The Return of the Knebworth Fayre’? How did that happen then? Deep Purple Mk 2’s first show in the UK since 1973 was a big, no, HUGE deal – certainly for me, a then 19-year old student living in a shared house in Leeds, still on a fanboy high from the previous year’s reformation. Whilst I’d seen all the members of Mk 2 previously (in Rainbow, Gillan, Whitesnake and Gary Moore’s band), the prospect of seeing THE band all together on one stage had always seemed like an impossible dream – various reformation rumours in the early 80’s having been shot down almost as soon as they’d arisen.

And yet here we were – I returned to my student digs one night after being in the pub (where else?) with some friends from my course to find my rock-loving housemate Alvy (a pseudo-cockney who called everyone ‘barsteads’) raving about a music festival which was to be headlined by Deep Purple and held at Knebworth (‘Where? Oh, that Led Zeppelin place…?’) – he’d already rung up and secured tickets and said that we could stay at his parents’ house in Essex when the time came. Essex is down south somewhere too, so it’s probably close by, right?

Knebworth weekend eventually arrived and I got up early on the Friday for the long coach journey down south – I remember that Radio 1 were (uncharacteristically) playing the Glenn Hughes-sung ‘Dance with the Devil’ from the first ‘Phenomena’ album as I snatched some breakfast. A good sign!


After what seemed like an all-day journey, I arrived at Victoria Coach Station in London, to be met by Alvy (he’d sensibly travelled down by train the day before) and we made our way to his house in Brentwood where his Spanish parents treated me like royalty. For our entire 2 years together at Uni, Alvy had gone on and on about his local beer ‘Ruddles County’, claiming that it was superior to the northern brews I was used to. He and a couple of his mates-from-home watched in anticipation as I tried a pint of the reddish ale in his local boozer that night. “It’s ok”, I proclaimed (it was nice actually, but I wasn’t going to go overboard…).

The next day we got up and after a huge breakfast, began our journey to Hertfordshire. Alvy mentioned that the singer in Bernie Marsden’s Alaska (who were due to open the show), Rob Hawthorne, lived in Brentwood too, and joked that we should go and ask him for a lift to the festival grounds (we didn’t). From memory, I think we caught a local train into London, and then there were special trains laid on to Stevenage (with buses up to the site itself, I think…).

Once there I bought a DP baseball shirt (with a sort of vandalised toilet design on the back) and a programme – and we made our way through the gate and into the showground itself, which seemed to be a h-u-g-e sloping field with a big tree or two, a couple of large mixing desk/lighting(?) structures , and then at the bottom (but raised up), a stage the size of a football field. None of those new-fangled giant screens that the kids today take for granted. We made our way down to a position reasonably close – there were already quite a lot of people there – and waited for the bands to begin (around midday, I think?).


Alaska duly opened proceedings and were…fine. It was good to see Bernie M, but I guess many would have rather seen a more Whitesnakey kind of band. ‘I Really Want to Know’ is still a good song though. Mountain put in a decent performance (I wasn’t familiar with their stuff at all at the time – beyond ‘Nantucket Sleighride’). Mama’s Boys were next – a fine Irish band who somehow never fulfilled their potential – a sort of perennial somewhere-in-the-middle of the festival bill outfit it seemed (I saw them again in ‘86 at Milton Keynes – although thinking about it, they opened the show there – unfulfilled potential). I was looking forward to Blackfoot, having followed them for a little while. Some fans felt they’d recently sold out their southern US rock roots by incorporating ex-Heepster Ken Hensley on keyboards, but I had no complaints at the time. UFO, again I was looking forward to, but again I was probably in a minority by being a fan of their latest – slightly AOR-y – direction. A fight broke out in the crowd just near us whilst they were on – and singer Phil Mogg wore a workman’s yellow hardhat for a bit. ‘Night Run’ sounded good though – and I think we were told to cheer loudly as we were briefly live on Radio 1.

Meatloaf was next. He felt like a slightly odd booking to be honest, and as he lumbered about the sodden stage (did I mention the abysmal weather yet?) with his broken leg in plaster, he was on a hiding to nothing really. Some (traditional) plastic bottles (filled with the customary straw-coloured liquid) were hurled at the stage, and the biggest cheer Mr Loaf got was when he slipped over. The Scorpions followed – Alvy and his mates-from-home were huge fans of theirs – more so than DP – whereas I thought they were just ‘ok’ (genuinely this time). Rightly or wrongly, I think I was slightly more impressed with their ability to form a human pyramid than I was with their music.

But then, but then… as darkness began to fall (proper night-time now, rather than due to black rain clouds) the PA blasted out some of Ritchie’s favourite songs (including Sylvia by Focus, as I recall), the roadies completed the changeover on stage (just the one stage in those days), a Hammond organ coated in plastic sheeting could be spied and then over the PA ‘Tocata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565’ blasted out. It might have been written by Bach, but there was no mistaking that this version was being played by Mr Jon Lord, and as the final note of its famous intro rose and sustained, there they were. Together. On stage. Playing ‘Highway Star’. I’m not crying, you’re crying! Just sheer magic to see and hear – nothing else mattered in that moment, not the rain, not the cold, not the mud – oh god, the mud – all forgotten for the next nearly-two hours as Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord and Paice did their thing. ‘The sun’s coming out in about 10 minutes’ joked Ian G at one point (it was properly night-time dark by then). A pleasing mix of the new album and the old Mk 2 classics, played by a band that seemed as happy to be there as we were to see them. And all too soon it was over, with a massive firework display at the finale (one of which went off early – it can happen to us all – causing Rog to point to the heavens as it whizzed over whilst they were still playing).

Random memories – watching as a fan somehow managed to climb up to the skyscraper stage, giving Rog the fright of his life, before being dived on, and escorted away by road crew; seeing Motorhead’s Lemmy trying to free his van from the mud on the way out (looking back, maybe it wasn’t even him); Ian Gillan telling us that we were ‘the greatest audience in the world’; using the makeshift urinal (before DP came on) which had formed between the back of the kebab stall and a fence – as it was too far to walk right to the back of the site to use the official ones – and seeing a drunken guy slide (in slow motion, it seemed) mid-pee, to the muddy, urine-soaked ground, only to be covered up with a sheet of cardboard by his mate (“He’ll be all right”). He’s probably still there; Ian G’s naughty intro to ‘Knocking at Your Backdoor’ (edited out of the radio transmission/official release); taking most of the night to get back to Alvy’s parents’ house on the train(s); waking up the next afternoon to find my favourite boots (which I’d assumed were ruined by the damp and the mud) shining like new, having been tended to by Alvy’s army-trained dad; Ritchie swapping his guitar for Rog’s bass (and vice versa) towards the end of the show; Alvy somehow spotting my mate-from-home, red-headed Dave (who he’d only met once) in the crowd of 70,000 – I returned from a trip to the kebab stall toilets to find, to my amazement, Dave with our little group. Apparently Alvy saw what he thought was him in the distance and just yelled (with a mockney twang) “Dive! Dive! Oi, Dive, ya ginger-haired barstead!” (and then when he turned round “Oh, thank god it IS you!”); Roger standing and saluting during the ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ part of ‘Under the Gun’ (which had been introduced in ‘German’); Laser-wig van Beethoven conducting along during ‘Difficult to Cure’; Ian G starting to sing the wrong verse to ‘Gypsy’s Kiss’ and inventing new lyrics on the spot (t’was ever thus); Ritchie walking across the stage to Jon, shaking his head during the intro to ‘Woman From Tokyo’ (did he think that one of them was playing it wrong?); the ‘Burn’ riff during ‘Speed King’; everyone singing along during ‘Smoke’ (attempting to lift the clouds), as Ian G told us “THIS is the highlight of the tour”; Deep Purple! I’d seen Deep Bluddy Purple!

Seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago. Forever etched in the rosy (and yes, muddy) glow of memory. Tim Summers.

My thanks to Tim. Photos from the show at, our archived site.

Simon’s condensed version is also on there (from DTB Issue 32 nostalgia fans).

He has also jotted his recollections down of preparing the 1991 LP / CD release of the concert for Connoisseur Records on his design site.

knebworth-festival 2

Rock in the charts

June 21, 2020

LP charts June 21 1970 Deep Purple

Contrived headlines of our times. But Fifty years ago today (June 21st) Deep Purple In Rock belted up to the number 4 slot in the British album charts. They had properly arrived.  And while the album didn’t climb any higher here, it was still in the top ten come the new year. And what was preventing it from getting higher? Well Bridge Over Troubled Water was just unstoppable with 33 weeks at number one alone, a figure it is hard to even get your head round these days. It had even usurped the Let It Be album from getting back to number one. Then Paul McCartney’s solo album which again was just firmly lodged at the top for weeks on end.  But interesting to see a top ten comprised such important and interesting albums, and great to see Deep Purple right there amongst them.

And while it isn’t brand new, here’s another nice In Rock themed cover, this time from one of those Japanese potted black and white paperback (and pocket sized) histories which appear quite regularly. It’s published by Kawade if you want to try and root it out online (we could not find an ISBN).  While we’re on it, if you remember a flashy Deep Purple Collection book issued in Japan many years ago, the author and owner of the collection is proposing an updated edition. As a collector myself it was an interesting book, and every release was illustrated (though the photos were very small) but equally it was far from complete (as few collections are!). More news on this when we have it.

Japan In Rock paperback


24 with a bullet

June 14, 2020


Fifty years ago today (June 14th 1970), Deep Purple In Rock entered the British album charts at 24. It was a significant moment. Although the Concerto had just sneaked in, peaking at 26 in January (and in doing so becoming their first ever top thirty album), this time sales were indicating to EMI that In Rock was set to do much better. The band had really done the groundwork on the road over the previous ten months and were continuing to support the album with a series of one-nighters here and in Germany during June. The single Black Night, released on the same day as the album, was however still struggling but that would eventually change.
People are still marking the anniversary in nice ways. The picture above is from a site called Now Spinning, and one of their editors Phil Aston has written fondly about his memories of buying the album on cassette back in 1973…

Another nice personal feature which I enjoyed is the one below written by Nedim Hassan:

More In Rock magazine covers are turning up; German magazine MINT (Magazin Für Vinyl-Kultur), issue No.36, 05/20, has used the anniversary as an excuse to devote 40 (!) pages to the band albeit ranging far and wide rather than focusing on In Rock, including an album guide, a feature on Machine Head, Ian Gillan discussing Vanilla Fudge, Steve Morse on The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, Ian Paice talking about Gene Krupa, a feature on the third album cover art by Hieronymus Bosch, etc! And an extra tick for their designer who sneaked in the issue number using Burn imagery. Anyhow, Lutz Reinert who alerted us to it, says we can get it direct by mail order (€8 inside or €9 outside Germany including postage and package):

MINT Nr.36, 05.20


June 5, 2020


I’d not forgotten that we have rolled around to an important anniversary, honest. Just shocked to realise we’d got the date wrong for all these years…! Seriously. It’s not so easy to find something new to say, particularly as I’ve been raving about this album for fifty years now myself. Many of us have studied the ins and outs of the band’s formation and marvelled at the moments of serendipity which led to these five guys being in the same room at Hanwell together where they started to create this amazing piece of work. But I still feel having had it there on the shelf as part of my music collection all that time has been such a privilege really.
Sometimes you play a bit of vintage music and it sounds fifty years old. It’s not a problem, you appreciate the track in the context of the times and go with it. I never feel that this album sounds old – it just feels of the moment whenever I play it. It’s a massively difficult trick to pull this off, and doesn’t happen very often in the world of rock.
So I was casting around for something to mark the occasion and thought it would just be good to throw in the opening screams of noise which herald Hard Lovin’ Man to deafen everyone who logged on today. Then I looked for a way to do this and found the audio to listen to while I had my thinking cap on. Now many are probably like me and ignore or avoid the below the line comments which people idly chuck into the white space below each YouTube clip. It can be a bit of a graveyard of futile ramblings at times but I started looking and then got stuck into it.
There it all was, people just coming together and sharing their admiration for this one track, together with many of the reasons why it continues to rattle round our heads so memorably. So I pottered through and just red penned some of my favourites. I didn’t save names as most people don’t use them when posting anyway. You’ll know who you are. I know who some of you are. But we share this wonderful appreciation together.
Thank you Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice and Roger Glover. And Jon Lord, don’t think you’re getting away. Imperious.

PS The fact that at the end it went right into an ad for funeral plans was a bit of a back to the real world with a jolt moment. Be ready with the mute button in case.

Simon • Darker Than Blue

In Rock is the best rock album ever made in my opinion. Hard Lovin’ Man is a killer track! Awesome!

Those organ notes are – brutal.

I’m quite sure that what Jon does to that poor Hammond is illegal in at least 30 States.

Ian Paice carries this track at 100 mph throughout. Brilliant drumming!

In Rock has to be one of my all time fav albums…beginning to end. And this tune was the baddest of em all.

15 years ahead of its time. This song is a slasher.

To me, this is and will always be Purple’s best album. Better even than Machine Head and Made In Japan. And that’s saying something.

In Rock was the very first proper heavy rock album before 1970; all the big names turned out albums with rock interlaced with blues tracks [but] Deep Purple threw down the gauntlet with this all killer no filler album. The first album I ever bought and played the grooves off it.

And it took until December 2015 to get them into the hall of fame?

One of the greatest rock songs ever.

Everything is said here, the rest is a footnote.

The first speed metal song in history – wonderful.

Absolutely unparalleled, beyond compare, nothing before or since has ever been anywhere near as good as these guys.

No comments. Deep Purple.

This is an example of the GENRE created by Mark 2 with this monumental album. A genre which only they ever played. Mark 2 was both the greatest and saddest story in rock. For the short time they were together these five were quite simply the greatest group of pure rock musicians ever.

Two words… Jon Lord.

I bloody love this track. Ritchie’s constant guitar work is outstanding.

This is beyond words.

And on for 300 more comments in a similar vein…. and you can of course read more in the book which tells the story of the album, Wait For The Ricochet.


Guitar alterations

June 2, 2020

Blackmore Newcastle 1980.jpg

This photo has been floating about on the web for some time, but thanks to Mike Richards we can locate this to Newcastle City Hall on the 1980 Down To Earth tour. This is mainly because he spotted a mate in the balcony in the pic he went to school with! It was taken by another friend, Andrew Sokell, so he says it’ll be nice to see the picture properly credited at last (Andrew did him a print as a souvenir).  Rainbow were in such demand by this time that they played two nights at the City Hall, on Feb 19 / 20. fronted by Graham Bonnet (we think this is where the story about Graham getting his hair cut to annoy Ritchie happened, details in his biography!).  Anyhow, it will bring back many memories of Ritchie’s often precarious end of show antics as he debates whether to trash yet another balcony (I think we’ve posted one of Simon’s photos of Liverpool Empire getting similarly knocked about in the past. We have, here it is). Interesting to note the PA speakers have been strapped together in anticipation. Our thanks to Mike for the loan of the pic.

The car in front is a Highway Star

May 29, 2020

Highway Star Nissan estate car.jpg

Our I Spy Car spotter days are behind us here at DTB so it’s taken us a while to catch up with this Nissan, badged the Highway Star.  It was launched back in 1997 but wasn’t sold in the UK, except as an grey import (wikipedia says imports were “mainly driven by car enthusiasts, or an unfilled need for a seven- or eight- passenger vehicle in that market”). Which is why we’d not noticed it before.  Anyway, if you fancy an 8 seater mini bus with all the trimmings, they are about for sale on used vehicle sites!  But sadly not in purple. Nice badge though…

We did also spot this one, which was probably inspired by First movement (Moderato – Allegro) by Jon Lord on his famous Concerto.

austin allegro.jpg

Signed off…

May 26, 2020

I assume we’re not the only ones to have used some of the current lockdown to do a bit of tidying.  Simon tells us he found three dust masks in his shed while he was having a good sort out over Easter, the first time he’s been able to tackle this for over a year, so a bonus for our times indeed.  However Steve D. wrote in to describe something a tad more interesting he found while he was giving his home studio a good fettling the other day…  and here’s the photo he sent!

Deep Purple signed guitar.jpeg

We had to ask him to explain how this all came about.

“This guitar has a good story behind it. On January 17th 2006 Deep Purple played the Astoria in London on the Rapture of The Deep tour (this was the first night of the tour and the band trailed a few new songs. Ed). I queued up at the door for 12 hours to get to the front. In the afternoon Roger Glover turned up to soundcheck, but no sign of the other band members at this point. I left my spot at the front of the queue (being minded by a friend) and asked Roger if he would sign my guitar if I fetched it from my hotel – he said fine, but couldn’t say whether the other band members would do the same.

In actual fact I had no guitar in my hotel! Instead I hot footed over to the nearby world famous Denmark Street and found a guitar shop in which I duly purchased the above guitar. I then ran back to the Astoria and thrust it into Roger’s hands and he signed it. A short while later a silver minibus with blacked out windows arrived and went around the back of the Astoria. It was Deep Purple’s and so I managed to get Ian Gillan and Ian Paice to sign the guitar. Up to this point I did not see Don Airey or Steve Morse, but now knew I had a mission to complete! However they did not appear at all (or maybe they did do the soundcheck but somehow sneaked passed me). 

Eventually we got in to the gig and I managed to get right in the centre in front of Ian Gillan for the show (and get my face on a bit of footage which later made that “Highway Star a Journey in Rock” Ian Gillan DVD released later).

During the show I held onto the guitar all the time and then at the end of the show I made my way into the foyer where a security guard was ushering everyone out. When she approached me I just said we were waiting to see the band as guests of Don Airey (I was improvising!). She said “OK hang on” – and made a radio call. A few minutes later a lady came downstairs and approached me and asked who had invited me, I said Don Airey. She told me to follow her and took me upstairs and into a bar which was full of people drinking and hanging around – including Deep Purple. Don Airey’s brother was there, Doogie White too and a few other familiar faces. I spent sometime chatting with all members of the band and finally got Don and Steve to sign the guitar. I remember Ian Gillan’s wife kept asking him to leave because they had to go shopping in the morning!  All the band were very gracious as we know they are. Sadly The Astoria is no more as we know, but some great memories. 

The story doesn’t end there as you can see from the photograph.  Steve managed to get it signed two years later at a convention by the band’s other two bass players Nic Simper and Glenn Hughes. While I was queuing Glenn announced “Stand back everyone – this guys a policeman,” to my high embarrassment – I had met him several times before (I am since retired).

I later attached two plectrums that were caught at gigs later on. I don’t play this guitar as I have others and don’t want to damage the signatures!”

Great story Steve, and that would look really good hanging on a wall. We recommend keeping it out of daylight as the felt pen might not be as lightfast as “permanent” marker always claims to be!  Let us know if you have any other nice souvenirs. We will not include your full name for obvious reasons, though in this case as Steve is a retired copper he probably knows all the dodges.