Howie’s Kick Off

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.

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