Signed off…

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.

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