There is something fascinating about old newspaper archives and seeing how people got the news about important events. One of the avenues of research for the upcoming Machine Head book has been to see how they covered to story in the country, and this front page is from the Nouvelle Review. As this did not have a Sunday edition, the story is from the Monday after the fire (which happened 44 years ago today) and clearly it is still big news. But not too big to squeeze some of the weekend sports stories off the front page! (And a reminder too of issues closer to home, with a brief report of an explosion in a Belfast restaurant as events there began to worsen.) Coverage of the fire and the aftermath continued across page two and as late as May the following year the debate was still going on, and journalists were trying to get to the truth behind many of the rumours about the causes of the fire. Read more about the book on the publisher’s sitehe
Posts Tagged ‘1971’
Work on the Machine Head book is proceeding, with Stephen corresponding with Jean Paul, who was at the Casino event the night the place went up. And he clearly wasn’t afraid to get stuck in either. This amazing photo we’ve seen before on this site, but we now know that is Jean himself on the right with Claude Nobs desperately trying to get one of the hoses round to tackle part of the blaze. Jean was one of Claude’s best friends, and has been able to help us fill in some of his early career and explain how the whole Montreux Super Pop and Jazz festival events came about.
During work on the book we’ve also found pictures of the blaze inside the casino roof which kicked the whole saga off (though you do wonder who would stop inside the hall to take such a picture…!), and a bewildered security guy on the stage with a megaphone trying to get people to take it seriously and leave. The more I see of the event the more I’m amazed everyone got out safely. Claude by the way reckoned the band only finished Smoke off for him as a thank-you tape given at a party before they left, and hadn’t intended it for the album…. We’re still trying to get the chronology sorted as photographer Didi Zill now thinks he snapped Ian writing the lyrics only a couple of days after the fire. As ever any info on the scene or events welcome!
Just a quick update on the Deep Purple photo book; the publishers say pre-orders will be open soon, so to make sure you get the news first, subscribe to the dedicated newsletter service as people who do will get the info direct, along with another bunch of visuals (with some great photos from the band’s 1973 Rainbow Theatre concert). Or you can subscribe and read our story on the project if you click here.
Well we know who the bassist is obviously, but couldn’t resist the header! It’s Ritchie Blackmore, caught by a 15 year old fan at the side of the stage with his instamatic back in April 1971. Apart from the fact that Blackmore has made a swop with Roger for the Precision bass, the extra interest is that the band are playing at the Montreux Casino just 8 months before they would return there with plans to record an album on this very same stage. I think it’s one of the earliest shots of Ritchie with a bass, there are a couple of Ritchie playing bass with Alex Harvey from 1974.
Jean-Lou who took the shot can’t recall too much about the show (and to be fair my recollections of first seeing the band that same year are a little limited), but he has hunted out his original photographs so we can get hi-res scans which will appear in the upcoming Machine Head book Fire In The Sky later this year. If there are any other fans out there who saw the band at the time, or went to the infamous Zappa show in December, please do get in touch.
Thanks also to Stephen Clare. Here’s a recent pic of him doing the same thing, 40 something years on; not sure about the pink finish though!
Brilliant project going on in Iceland called ROK, to document their rock and pop scene over the years. It includes pages on the many visiting bands too, including one on Deep Purple. Lots of cuttings and material, all of it written in Icelandic but fun to look at nevertheless. Here’s a cutting from Morgunbladid, June 3. 1971. Thanks to Tonny Steenhagen.
These days the anniversaries seem to be coming thick and fast; I just had a journalist enquiring about photographs I took at the Butterfly Ball show as he was planning a 40th anniversary feature on the album… could it really be that long ago?
But interesting as that album was, perhaps for many the event we should be looking back on was the UK debut 40 years ago of Deep Purple Mk 3, on a massive and what proved to be very exciting UK tour. I was reminded of this thanks to this great photograph taken from up in the gods looking down on the group rocking out in front of a clearly appreciative crowd. It was taken by photographer Barry Plummer and I’ve been helping him sort through his images for a series of books. He worked for The Melody Maker and as such was often sent out to cover the band, the first time being in 1971, photographing both live shows and the musicians off-stage during interviews. The paper would use one or two photos, and Barry just filed the rest of his negatives away. Anyhow, one of the books is devoted just to Deep Purple and we’ll have more on the book (which is due in early 2015) soon but I got permission from the publishers to reproduce this shot. For anyone who caught this tour (I was lucky enough to see two shows) it will really bring the gigs into focus. It’s also fascinating just to look at the little bits of detail – the roll of gaffer tape on one of the amps, the support band’s drum kit shoved behind the back-line, Jon’s effects unit taped to the top of his Hammond, Ritchie’s Revox, Ron Quinton holding on to the Marshall stack, the left-handed Strat, and so on. I’m back there blissed out on the blues solo once more!
The book is one of a series from Barry’s archives coming out on ST33 books (the others feature more big names from the era), you can read a bit more on their site. We’ll be getting more details soon and discounts for Darker Than Blue readers are on the cards.
Deep Purple’s first American tour during July 1971 is not very well documented visually, the band being support to The Faces for most of the shows and yet to overcome their days as chart toppers with Hush. On the 28th they played the Sam Houston Coliseum and reportedly went down a storm according to local fans. For some time now a set of low res pictures has been doing the rounds from this show and the originals recently came up for sale in America at a specialist music memorabilia auction. Because photographs from this first US tour are so rare, and these are very good (taken by a local enthusiast) we decided to try and secure them for the DPAS archives and happily have been able to do so.
You can see two individual shots on our concert date list.
from 1971, added to our gig list thanks to a site detailing the history of the Newcastle Mayfair (1961 – 1999). It’s amazing to think of Deep Purple playing in ornate dance venues like this, especially for 90p a ticket! If any of you went to the venue do check the link as there is a book coming out, and if you saw Deep Purple there in 1970 or 1971 please get in touch with us…
Were secretaries really faking Deep Purple’s signatures back in 1971? It certainly looks that way! Check this article out on the site before parting with your money…
There’s something about old tape reels boxes which sparks the archivist in me (it’s in the blood – my great Grandfather’s collections became the first Hull Museum). The batch on this shelf have been looked after for forty years by a former DJ and engineer who worked for a college radio station out in California. Long John Baldry… Chuck Berry… and Deep Purple?
As well as doing a radio show he also worked with one of the big local area sound companies Tychobrae (one of whose engineers later opened a studio where Mk 4 auditioned and rehearsed) and together with them recorded a few shows for airing locally, with the permission of the bands.
At the end of July 1971 a three band tour arrived in town and the DJ, Eliot, recorded them. His deal was that if the band’s cleared it, he could then air the tape on his show. The Faces wouldn’t play ball and asked for the tapes back (leaving Eliot $20 out of pocket for the cost!). Matthew’s Southern Comfort gave permission and so did Deep Purple.
The reels are of course the long lost Long Beach July 30. 1971 performance. Southern Comfort opened the show, with Deep Purple on second. Legend has it that they worked their socks off and gave The Faces something to think about. Even though the tour was in support of the newly issued Fireball album, the band only did one new track, the single Strange Kind Of Woman (just out on Warners and included on the new album). Speed King and Child In Time came either side and they ended with a lengthy Mandrake Root.
After some of the show was aired American bootleggers produced the Hard Road bootleg, and other titles since have used tracks (one even appeared officially albeit cleaned up off vinyl on the CD New Live & Rare) but we always wondered how the show came to be taped and hoped that someone might have kept the broadcast reels. And what’s more, there is also a stereo mix.
Eliot has dug back through his written archive. “My last radio show at KPPC FM was a 1-hr. show at midnight in early 1973. I’ve been going through my garage and found and old calendar book. This is what the show consisted of: It opened with Dr. John; Deep Purple live; Sunny Terry and Brownie McGee; Jimmy Hendrix doing Dolly Dagger. ..”
Sounds worth staying in for to me! Negotiations are going on to place the various bands he has (we wish him luck with Randles Island!) but we’re hoping a deal can be done to secure the Deep Purple reels for release (and for this reason we have not given out Eliot’s full name as we don’t want to pre-empt this).
While we’re looking at archives, there has been some progress on soundboard tapes of Mk 4 captured by an engineer including US and UK gigs. And that Mk 1 show from 1969 has also fickered into life again as well. We will try and bring you updates on those. Needless to say whether any of these will appear on CD soon is another matter, but we live in hope.