Posts Tagged ‘deep purple’

Smoke stories

June 29, 2020

Some more new additions to our growing collection of stories with a Smoke On The Water theme on the site.  The store front in this photo is now thought to be a fake but several businesses in America have used the song title to front Cannabis businesses, and it has been used on some outlets, more are illustrated:  Smoke On The Water Stories page 4.  Do let us know of any more such links with the song you come across.

smoke on the water

The sun’s coming out

June 23, 2020

(A day late – and a dollar short! My fault, Ed. This is what Tim Summers remembers…)

35 years since ‘The Return of the Knebworth Fayre’? How did that happen then? Deep Purple Mk 2’s first show in the UK since 1973 was a big, no, HUGE deal – certainly for me, a then 19-year old student living in a shared house in Leeds, still on a fanboy high from the previous year’s reformation. Whilst I’d seen all the members of Mk 2 previously (in Rainbow, Gillan, Whitesnake and Gary Moore’s band), the prospect of seeing THE band all together on one stage had always seemed like an impossible dream – various reformation rumours in the early 80’s having been shot down almost as soon as they’d arisen.

And yet here we were – I returned to my student digs one night after being in the pub (where else?) with some friends from my course to find my rock-loving housemate Alvy (a pseudo-cockney who called everyone ‘barsteads’) raving about a music festival which was to be headlined by Deep Purple and held at Knebworth (‘Where? Oh, that Led Zeppelin place…?’) – he’d already rung up and secured tickets and said that we could stay at his parents’ house in Essex when the time came. Essex is down south somewhere too, so it’s probably close by, right?

Knebworth weekend eventually arrived and I got up early on the Friday for the long coach journey down south – I remember that Radio 1 were (uncharacteristically) playing the Glenn Hughes-sung ‘Dance with the Devil’ from the first ‘Phenomena’ album as I snatched some breakfast. A good sign!


After what seemed like an all-day journey, I arrived at Victoria Coach Station in London, to be met by Alvy (he’d sensibly travelled down by train the day before) and we made our way to his house in Brentwood where his Spanish parents treated me like royalty. For our entire 2 years together at Uni, Alvy had gone on and on about his local beer ‘Ruddles County’, claiming that it was superior to the northern brews I was used to. He and a couple of his mates-from-home watched in anticipation as I tried a pint of the reddish ale in his local boozer that night. “It’s ok”, I proclaimed (it was nice actually, but I wasn’t going to go overboard…).

The next day we got up and after a huge breakfast, began our journey to Hertfordshire. Alvy mentioned that the singer in Bernie Marsden’s Alaska (who were due to open the show), Rob Hawthorne, lived in Brentwood too, and joked that we should go and ask him for a lift to the festival grounds (we didn’t). From memory, I think we caught a local train into London, and then there were special trains laid on to Stevenage (with buses up to the site itself, I think…).

Once there I bought a DP baseball shirt (with a sort of vandalised toilet design on the back) and a programme – and we made our way through the gate and into the showground itself, which seemed to be a h-u-g-e sloping field with a big tree or two, a couple of large mixing desk/lighting(?) structures , and then at the bottom (but raised up), a stage the size of a football field. None of those new-fangled giant screens that the kids today take for granted. We made our way down to a position reasonably close – there were already quite a lot of people there – and waited for the bands to begin (around midday, I think?).


Alaska duly opened proceedings and were…fine. It was good to see Bernie M, but I guess many would have rather seen a more Whitesnakey kind of band. ‘I Really Want to Know’ is still a good song though. Mountain put in a decent performance (I wasn’t familiar with their stuff at all at the time – beyond ‘Nantucket Sleighride’). Mama’s Boys were next – a fine Irish band who somehow never fulfilled their potential – a sort of perennial somewhere-in-the-middle of the festival bill outfit it seemed (I saw them again in ‘86 at Milton Keynes – although thinking about it, they opened the show there – unfulfilled potential). I was looking forward to Blackfoot, having followed them for a little while. Some fans felt they’d recently sold out their southern US rock roots by incorporating ex-Heepster Ken Hensley on keyboards, but I had no complaints at the time. UFO, again I was looking forward to, but again I was probably in a minority by being a fan of their latest – slightly AOR-y – direction. A fight broke out in the crowd just near us whilst they were on – and singer Phil Mogg wore a workman’s yellow hardhat for a bit. ‘Night Run’ sounded good though – and I think we were told to cheer loudly as we were briefly live on Radio 1.

Meatloaf was next. He felt like a slightly odd booking to be honest, and as he lumbered about the sodden stage (did I mention the abysmal weather yet?) with his broken leg in plaster, he was on a hiding to nothing really. Some (traditional) plastic bottles (filled with the customary straw-coloured liquid) were hurled at the stage, and the biggest cheer Mr Loaf got was when he slipped over. The Scorpions followed – Alvy and his mates-from-home were huge fans of theirs – more so than DP – whereas I thought they were just ‘ok’ (genuinely this time). Rightly or wrongly, I think I was slightly more impressed with their ability to form a human pyramid than I was with their music.

But then, but then… as darkness began to fall (proper night-time now, rather than due to black rain clouds) the PA blasted out some of Ritchie’s favourite songs (including Sylvia by Focus, as I recall), the roadies completed the changeover on stage (just the one stage in those days), a Hammond organ coated in plastic sheeting could be spied and then over the PA ‘Tocata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565’ blasted out. It might have been written by Bach, but there was no mistaking that this version was being played by Mr Jon Lord, and as the final note of its famous intro rose and sustained, there they were. Together. On stage. Playing ‘Highway Star’. I’m not crying, you’re crying! Just sheer magic to see and hear – nothing else mattered in that moment, not the rain, not the cold, not the mud – oh god, the mud – all forgotten for the next nearly-two hours as Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord and Paice did their thing. ‘The sun’s coming out in about 10 minutes’ joked Ian G at one point (it was properly night-time dark by then). A pleasing mix of the new album and the old Mk 2 classics, played by a band that seemed as happy to be there as we were to see them. And all too soon it was over, with a massive firework display at the finale (one of which went off early – it can happen to us all – causing Rog to point to the heavens as it whizzed over whilst they were still playing).

Random memories – watching as a fan somehow managed to climb up to the skyscraper stage, giving Rog the fright of his life, before being dived on, and escorted away by road crew; seeing Motorhead’s Lemmy trying to free his van from the mud on the way out (looking back, maybe it wasn’t even him); Ian Gillan telling us that we were ‘the greatest audience in the world’; using the makeshift urinal (before DP came on) which had formed between the back of the kebab stall and a fence – as it was too far to walk right to the back of the site to use the official ones – and seeing a drunken guy slide (in slow motion, it seemed) mid-pee, to the muddy, urine-soaked ground, only to be covered up with a sheet of cardboard by his mate (“He’ll be all right”). He’s probably still there; Ian G’s naughty intro to ‘Knocking at Your Backdoor’ (edited out of the radio transmission/official release); taking most of the night to get back to Alvy’s parents’ house on the train(s); waking up the next afternoon to find my favourite boots (which I’d assumed were ruined by the damp and the mud) shining like new, having been tended to by Alvy’s army-trained dad; Ritchie swapping his guitar for Rog’s bass (and vice versa) towards the end of the show; Alvy somehow spotting my mate-from-home, red-headed Dave (who he’d only met once) in the crowd of 70,000 – I returned from a trip to the kebab stall toilets to find, to my amazement, Dave with our little group. Apparently Alvy saw what he thought was him in the distance and just yelled (with a mockney twang) “Dive! Dive! Oi, Dive, ya ginger-haired barstead!” (and then when he turned round “Oh, thank god it IS you!”); Roger standing and saluting during the ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ part of ‘Under the Gun’ (which had been introduced in ‘German’); Laser-wig van Beethoven conducting along during ‘Difficult to Cure’; Ian G starting to sing the wrong verse to ‘Gypsy’s Kiss’ and inventing new lyrics on the spot (t’was ever thus); Ritchie walking across the stage to Jon, shaking his head during the intro to ‘Woman From Tokyo’ (did he think that one of them was playing it wrong?); the ‘Burn’ riff during ‘Speed King’; everyone singing along during ‘Smoke’ (attempting to lift the clouds), as Ian G told us “THIS is the highlight of the tour”; Deep Purple! I’d seen Deep Bluddy Purple!

Seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago. Forever etched in the rosy (and yes, muddy) glow of memory. Tim Summers.

My thanks to Tim. Photos from the show at, our archived site.

Simon’s condensed version is also on there (from DTB Issue 32 nostalgia fans).

He has also jotted his recollections down of preparing the 1991 LP / CD release of the concert for Connoisseur Records on his design site.

knebworth-festival 2

Rock in the charts

June 21, 2020

LP charts June 21 1970 Deep Purple

Contrived headlines of our times. But Fifty years ago today (June 21st) Deep Purple In Rock belted up to the number 4 slot in the British album charts. They had properly arrived.  And while the album didn’t climb any higher here, it was still in the top ten come the new year. And what was preventing it from getting higher? Well Bridge Over Troubled Water was just unstoppable with 33 weeks at number one alone, a figure it is hard to even get your head round these days. It had even usurped the Let It Be album from getting back to number one. Then Paul McCartney’s solo album which again was just firmly lodged at the top for weeks on end.  But interesting to see a top ten comprised such important and interesting albums, and great to see Deep Purple right there amongst them.

And while it isn’t brand new, here’s another nice In Rock themed cover, this time from one of those Japanese potted black and white paperback (and pocket sized) histories which appear quite regularly. It’s published by Kawade if you want to try and root it out online (we could not find an ISBN).  While we’re on it, if you remember a flashy Deep Purple Collection book issued in Japan many years ago, the author and owner of the collection is proposing an updated edition. As a collector myself it was an interesting book, and every release was illustrated (though the photos were very small) but equally it was far from complete (as few collections are!). More news on this when we have it.

Japan In Rock paperback


Signed off…

May 26, 2020

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.

Man Alive

May 5, 2020

Deep Purple have posted the second full track off their upcoming album (release date now August 7th), six weeks after the first appeared (where is time going?).  This one is a moody concept track titled Man Alive which sort of defies description (and is nothing to do with the memorable – to some oldies – Tony Hatch TV theme), complete with Richard Burton-esque spoken snippets from IG, and lyrics which you would assume were written after the virus broke not months before: “Don was experimenting with an oboe to do a haunting, repetitive little piece to illustrate the echoes of emptiness. So I just started speaking at the microphone and it fit perfectly. It just had to be something that wasn’t sung – it was almost like a voice bubble attached to the song. It just seemed to be the right thing to do.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this fits in the the album as a whole. And no crude remarks as to the colour of the oboe here you will note. Meanwhile as expected Deep Purple’s tour dates have ALL been put back to 2021, clearly a sensible move in the current uncertain times.

The best version of the video seems to be the one linked direct to YouTube, some others had poor audio. Thanks to Mark Maddock, Tim Summers and many more.

There’s a link to the earlier track Throw My Bones on the site below.

Split screen – tastic

April 29, 2020

Some fans have been enjoying this cover of Highway Star lately. It’s by the Kris Barras Band, which is basically Kris and … a keyboard player / drummer Josiah J Manning!  So they both did all the parts to camera (isolated), then mixed them together in a nice straightforward video.  I’m always wary of listening to DP covers (even when it’s Ian Gillan doing them on his remake album) but this is pretty good. It was a while before I even twigged it was just two guys.  And the thing I took away from it at the end is just what a bloody good track it is to stand up so well to this slightly modern take nearly 50 years on…  Thanks to John Tucker for the heads up. Bernie Marsden is a fan too and Mike Richards says they were so good when he saw them live in 2019 that he went again.



April 15, 2020

Ian Gillan posted out this rather nice shot taken in the plant where the album sleeves are produced.  It shows a neat stack of sleeves just off the printing press, prior to going onto the folding machine to be scored and made into sleeves.  The sleeves look to have been printed three up and then the sheet has been cut twice to prepare them for the next stage.  Ask Simon nicely one day and he will show you a sheet just like this for the Japanese cover of Live In Japan which he was inordinately pleased to be given on one visit to the Purple offices years ago…

Whoosh sleeve.jpg


April 7, 2020

Edel have reset their Whoosh counter for the new release date of  August 7th, so clearly anticipate we’ll all be back to normal by then.  Thanks to Stephen Clare for the update.



April 1, 2020

Pointless deep Purple.png

We do watch the BBC TV quiz Pointless from time to time, er, when time permits.  Several people spotted Deep Purple popping up in a question in April 2019 but which has since been repeated; Tim Summers has a freeze frame facility on his digibox and grabbed the shot for us. Contestants had to identify pictures of bands under the round titled ‘colourful bands’.  Nobody went for Purple, and only 3 of the 100 people the producers asked beforehand could name them! But then we saw an edition last year where two contestants didn’t even know who The Rolling Stones were…  Co-host Richard Osman reckoned this could have been a photo of a current band as “100%, all bands now look like this again”. 

As Tim adds, just a shame they can’t play like them…

Just Might nick your poster

March 30, 2020

concert poster.jpg

Always enjoy anything sleeve art related so appreciate Tonny Steenhagen’s eagle eyes spotting this vintage Fillmore poster recently.  Which was borrowed a few years later (circa 1977) for an early Deep Purple bootleg, Just Might Take Your Life, shown below.  Not really a surprise that a bootleg label would also steal the cover art, and a very strange image at that!  Still they did fork out for some Letraset for the title…