The band ended their American dates with a couple of big concerts before starting a long British tour.
6 • California Jam Concert
Deep Purple did a stage check and short rehearsal the night before. The rest of the bill was Black Sabbath, The Eagles, Earth Wind And Fire, Rare Earth, Black Oak Arkansas, Seals And Croft plus show closers ELP. One of Deep Purple most famous concerts, due to Blackmore hitting the TV camera with his guitar, exploding a Marshall stack and trashing a guitar over the stage. Concert film now out on DVD and CD (at the DTB store) and also documented in a huge book The California Jam Photo Biography. Tickets for the show courtesy RS Publishing from the book. There were regular printed tickets and also computer printed ones, $10 in advance, $15 on the day.
This long UK tour was designed to establish the new line-up in their home country with a set largely taken from their new album Burn. The support for the whole tour was Elf.
Set list : Burn / Might Just Take Your Life / Lay Down, Stay Down / Mistreated / Smoke On The Water / You Fool No One / Space Truckin’. Encores : Highway Star (not at all shows) / Going Down
3,4 • Birmingham, Odeon Theatre
5 • Preston, Guild Hall, Grand Hall
6 • Sheffield City (Oval) Hall – support Elf
7 • Stoke-on-Trent, Trentham Gardens
9 • London, Hammersmith Odeon
10, 11 • Norwich, Theatre Royal
12 • London, Lewisham Odeon Theatre
This unusual hall was in an old fairground and zoo complex on the edge of the city centre. It has all since been demolished. Some of the band were interviewed on film before the show.
17 • Southend, The Kursaal Ballroom Cancelled, played on 27 June
18 • Southampton, Gaumont Theatre
19 • Bournemouth, Winter Gardens
20 • Bristol, Colston Hall
22 • London, Kilburn State Gaumont
This concert, the third different venue in London, was recorded by the BBC and broadcast on Radio 1 “In Concert”. Widely bootlegged it was later released as a single LP and later a double CD. There was some disagreement amongst the band and they did not play an encore.
23 • Swansea, Brangwyn Hall
24 • Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
26 • Cardiff, Capital Theatre
28, 29 • Coventry, Theatre
27 • Southend Kursaal • This was the group’s only live concert during June, played to replace a show they’d had to cancel on their British tour the month before (see above). The set was as the Live In London album. For the rest of the month they did various solo projects or took a break.
July was devoid of band concerts as they prepared for the next studio album, mostly writing and rehearsing for Stormbringer at Clearwell Castle. However one projected show was booked.
25-28 • Santa Monica Rock Festival
The California Jam was not the only big show Deep Purple were scheduled to play in 1974. There was a large festival planned in Italy not long afterwards. If you’ve not heard of it, that’s because it was cancelled at short notice. Recently a rare poster for the event was put up for sale (it went for over $200) through an Italian rock site which helps fill in some of the details.
The Santa Monica Rock Festival was planned for the Autodromo di Santamonica, in Rimini, over four days – July 25-28 1974. It’s a large race track which still stages the San Marino Moto Grand Prix. And it was a biggie, with stage management handled by ELPs Mike Lowe (fresh from the Cal Jam), and sound engineered by Eddie Offord, best known for his studio work with Yes.
Deep Purple were to headline the third day, over acts including Lou Reed, Refugee, Man, a number of big Italian rock acts and several smaller bands. The other three headliners were The Faces, Humble Pie and Ten Years After, though as you can see Purple were the biggest draw judging by the poster.
We don’t really know why it was cancelled, some say poor sales, others that the authorities clamped down, though with hindsight the festival was perhaps overly ambitious, and might have worked better had they got the bigger bands together on two days, instead of padding it out over four. It was also comparatively cheap, around £2.45p for a four day ticket. Frustratingly the organisers had also arranged for the festival to be filmed and recorded, which would have been a nice addition to the archives. The show was cross-promoted through Italy’s Ciao 2000 magazine.
Alex in Italy has sent us a nice full page advert for the show as well as well as helped supply some of the information.
20 • Long Beach Arena, California
“I found this stuff in the old memorabilia box. Guitar pickup and ticket stub from Deep Purple concert at Long Beach Arena. I was second row center, standing at the stage for this concert. I could put a hand on the stage. I grabbed this pickup from the guitar thrown into the crowd. Richie threw the guitar just to the right of me and I dove in, gotta handfull of strings and this and yanked. Strings cut my finger pretty good, but I got a part! A raging cluster ensued over the guitar and I backed off to save my viewing position.” Brad Peatross
6 • Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland, Ohio. [DP fee £8,583]
This flyer is for several upcoming shows in the Cleveland area, promoted by WMMS, the local (and very influential) commercial rock radio station. Stations like this could have such a major impact on breaking acts, but such were the sales for Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album locally thanks to the radio play that it prompted them to kick off the US tour there. The station also helped bring the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland.
WMMS had a big hand in co-promoting local rock shows as this flyer shows (and also had some bands live on air). These took place in a couple of venues, but Deep Purple were booked into the new Richfield Coliseum. This had only opened in October 1974 (with Stevie Wonder doing the honours), replacing an earlier arena. Like many US venues it was a multi-purpose building for sport and music, with a capacity for shows of 20,000 people.
Deep Purple were on what would turn out to be their final Mk 3 US tour, a lengthy series of large venue shows, supported by openers Elf and second on the bill ELO, which ran through November and into mid-December. It was on this tour that Blackmore began making plans to record a solo single with members of both groups.
The Coliseum venue itself only lasted twenty years, and was closed after a new arena closer to the city was announced, the old one then demolished. Amazingly the site was grassed over and returned to countryside.
The rest of the acts on the flyer show the stature of the venue, though the idea of Robin Trower (who was close to becoming a huge act in America) supporting Zappa seems a little incongruous – but perhaps no more so than ELO and DP!