Darker Than Blue news update • May 18.2011

Nigel Young pointed out to me that over the weekend of May 14/15th no fewer than nine Purple people were gigging somewhere on the planet, and wonders if this were a record? Deep Purple, Blackmore’s Night, Whitesnake, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Joe Lynn Turner. Even back in the between Purple years, had Rainbow, Gillan and Whitesnake all been playing the same weekend, it would only have reached around six (depending on line-up), so I think he’s probably right!

Roger Glover dodged a number of Deep Purple shows in May so he could be home for the birth of his second baby by his new wife. Fans at the gig in Crete saw his stand-in Nick Fyffe playing bass; Nick is the partner of one of Ian Paice’s daughters (and we assume the son of his old roadie Willie Fyffe) and now joins the hallowed ranks of temporary Deep Purple (live) members. Nick has commented on the experience on his website: “It has been an amazing experience so far. We started off in Crete at the Pankrito Stadium, Heraklion. I’d had a few weeks to learn the set but no actual rehearsal so the first show was a real baptism of fire! Thankfully, doing my homework paid off and the gig was amazing. There are no monitors on stage, only side fills. Monitoring comes from the backline which in my case consists of 4 8×10 SWR Megalioth cabs powered by 4 x 1200w SWR heads. Loud is an understatement!” Nick also did the two Israel shows on May 14/15th.

Blackmore’s Night are now on the road. Greg Prato, writer of the Bolin Bio, spoke with Ritchie recently and got a few questions answered for the website ugo.com. He certainly doesn’t seem to have much time for the idea of playing with DP again (given the recent Mk 3 stories which have been doing the rounds)…

UGO:  Would you say that “Renaissance rock” is a fitting description for Blackmore’s Night?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  Yes and no. With a bit of folk and classical and medieval thrown in.
UGO:  Who are some of the band’s musical influences?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  Mine were Des Geyers in Germany. David Munrow and the early music consort of London. Nero and the Gladiators – a band I saw in 1961 playing rocked up classical tunes. They always used to wear Roman Centurion outfits.
UGO:  Is it true that you both met on a soccer field?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  We both collided on the soccer field. She was playing for WBAB, a Long Island rock station, and I was playing for the wheel chair 5.
UGO:  Ritchie, do you see a lot of comparisons between Long Island, NY and England?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  Yes. Congestion, pollution and over taxation. But there is a great vibe here if you can afford to live here.
UGO:  Ritchie, what is your favorite Deep Purple album and Rainbow album, and why?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  I don’t know, it was too long ago and I don’t listen to records that I have recorded.
UGO:  Ritchie, would you consider playing with Purple one last time if the band was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  I wouldn’t consider playing with them although I haven’t really thought about it. As far as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame goes there are too many people that have been voted in there that have absolutely nothing to do with Rock and Roll for it to mean anything to me. Besides it’s too pretentious.
UGO:  How was it working with William Shatner on his upcoming album, Searching for Major Tom?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  Serious but not hopeless.
UGO:  What is the tastiest delicacy one can buy at a Renaissance fair?
RITCHIE BLACKMORE:  Codswallop soup.

don airey all out new CDWe’ve got a recipe for that somewhere… The titles of Don Airey’s new CD has been announced, called All Out. As previously noted it features a guest performance by Joe Bonamassa, who is also working with Glenn in Black Country Communion. A very old school vintage Hipgnosis type cover to it as well. You can pre-order this at the DTBOnline store. It’s due late August.
Original Whitesnake members Micky Moody and Neil Murray have teamed up with Laurie Wisefield guitar, vocals (Wishbone Ash), Harry James drums, vocals (Thunder), Adam Wakeman keyboards, vocals (Ozzy Osbourne) and Chris Ousey lead vocals (Heartland) to form a new band Snakecharmer (formerly they were booking out as Monsters of British Rock). They’ll be doing the Whitesnake back-catalogue and more.

With the EMI Made In Japan project ticking along, I dug out a very old VHS tape which has been kicking around in the archives for years, and got it professionally transferred. The idea was to compare with the other 1972 silent clips and see if it was any different. It was. By twelve months. Turns out to be from one of the final 1973 shows in Japan. It was all shot from the edge of the balcony, and runs for just under ten minutes or so. It’s clearly 8mm stuff, but not too bad considering, at least on a computer iTune-size screen window. Might look a bit fuzzy if enlarged any more. Ritchie is in his pointy hat and starry topped t-shirt and giving it loads. We’ll try and get a couple of freeze frames done but if anyone knows where the original reels might be lurking do get in touch. I think later generation copies of this are about on the ‘collectors’ market but would be interested to hear more.

Gareth Toms says he was told a joke by a seven year old the other week: Q: “What’s long and purple?” A: “A caterpillar holding his breath!”
And he erroneously thought the answer would be the next DP tour of the UK!

The DTB stock of Phoenix Nights is on the way for everyone who pre-ordered and we will ship over the weekend, going to take us a while as we like to take extra care to protect the items, particularly the vinyl.

Lastly, is it me or has anyone else seen the pictures of Cliff Richard advertising his latest tour and seen a strange likeness to a certain Mk 3 singer?

PS – Trust you’re all catching up on that fab Icelandic comedy show NIGHTSHIFT which BBC4 are airing – yes it’s got subtitles, yes they’re screwing up the scheduling, but still way funnier than anything else on TV right now. Let’s hope they get a deal to show the follow-up series before the Americans wade in with a threatened remake!

Thanks to David Browne, Tim Summers and Nigel Young


6 Responses to “Darker Than Blue news update • May 18.2011”

  1. T Says:

    Blackmore’s diction can be a little revealing: “I wouldn’t consider playing with [Deep Purple] although I haven’t really thought about it.” The “although” clause does not exclude the possibility.

    At least he didn’t say, “No.”

  2. Finnbogi Says:

    if you like the Nightshift – you should know that same people did Dayshift next, when they ran a hotel during a summer … and then Prisonshift – and that one is .. very very funny. Dvd anyone?

    • simon robinson Says:

      Thanks for this! I’m hoping the BBC will air the two follow-ups, but if not I’ll have to search Amazon Iceland if there is such a thing and hope the DVD has subtitles… I quite enjoy struggling through foreign language online order sites and seeing what happens.

  3. Mike Galway Says:

    JLT wasn’t in Deep Purple- Tommy Bolin was last in if I’m correct.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Now you know this isn’t true, because I was stood next to you when we both saw Deep Purple fronted by a man in leather trousers and cowboy boots at Manchester Apollo. Or have my fantasies become even stranger of late?

  4. purpledaniel Says:


    Please try to include the Japan 73 footage…even as a small window like on the Hi*to*y-H*ts dvd. If not released now, where and when will we get it?
    Also what´s the latest news on the BBC sessions release?
    And lastly, will we ever see a remastered Made in Europe-Saarbrucken or any more of the soundboards like Paris 70 and Scotland 74?

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