As someone is always quick to point out if I so much as dare to mention politics in a passing comment, this is first and foremost a Deep Purple site. But we are all a product of the times we lived through and the music we grew up with, and I am sure I’m not the only one here who will feel sad to learn of the death of Yes bass player Chris Squire. With money always in short supply as a teenager, a fair proportion went on live music. My and I brother were fortunate enough to get a couple of the last tickets for the Yes Tales From Topographic Oceans tour, our first experience of the band live. It was one of those show you will remember forever, and we sat transfixed by the whole evening – despite not owning the album (something we soon rectified, it remains one of my favourite Yes albums to this day). And Yes certainly shared a similar history and timeline to Deep Purple, all the musicians being a product of the mid-sixties beat boom. Co-founded by Chris Squire, Yes also emerged from an early line-up into what many regard a their classic incarnation, and hit their stride at much the same time as Purple too. The paths of the two bands even crossed on the live circuit in the early days (check out the advert below), different styles of music for certain, but in the late Sixties and early Seventies there was very much a progressive or underground scene to which both bands were equally valid (though whether Yes felt much of that spirit after the events at Plumpton in 1970 when they were supposed to follow Purple, despite Blackmore setting the stage on fire, I’m not sure!). Yes underwent far more extreme changes of line-up and direction than Deep Purple over the years for sure (something I have learned more about while working on the publication of a book about Yes in recent months), but that bass (and those jackets) remained throughout.
Posts Tagged ‘deep purple’
As most fans know, the studio / live edits of Smoke On The Water were issued as a (more or less) contemporary single almost everywhere but Britain. It first appeared in North America in the spring of 1973, and it was the success of the single there (top five in US and Canada) which inspired most other countries to follow suit.
A lot of the success in North America has been put down to it being taken up by radio stations there and heavily played. However 40 plus years on there is little documentary evidence to back this up. Researching for the upcoming Machine Head book, we are hoping fans in the U.S. and Canada (or anywhere else) who might have any knowledge of the song’s presentation on the radio stations there might be able to shed some light on it. Perhaps you have recollections of hearing the song played a lot on certain stations; maybe you worked in a radio station and can shed light on how it was programmed, or know someone who did, and can give us a bit of an insight into Smoke On The Water on U.S radio back in the spring of 1973. Do get in touch.
A blue plaque marking Jon Lord’s first home has been placed on Number 120 Averil Road, Leicester. The story has been reported in the local paper, the Leicester Mercury, from which we quote (you can see more pictures by Will Johnston and the full story in their site.)
His family didn’t want a big event, so a small group including his widow Vicky, his two daughters, Sara and Amy, grandson Reggie, his brother Steve and some old friends and neighbours who knew Jon, marked the event on June 7th. Jon spent the first 20 years of his life in the house. He went to Humberstone Junior School and Wyggeston Boys School, where he passed five O-levels and two A-levels. And it was here his dad Reg, a factory worker, would play the saxophone, instilling a love of music in his elder son and his brother Steve which would last a lifetime. “He sent us both for piano lessons,” says Steve. “But it only really worked with Jon. I’m very proud that he is being recognised by his home city.”
A young Jon was regularly dragged along to classical and jazz concerts at De Montfort Hall in Leicester. But it was a Buddy Holly show in 1958 which changed everything. “That gig turned my head around,” he told the Leicester Mercury a few years ago. “It was the birth of rock and roll. I was one of the lucky ones to be in on it.”
Lord had piano lessons every week from a classical pianist in Leicester who lived in University Road. “I’d get a bus into town and walk across Victoria Park to his house. He was a troubled man but a musical genius,” Lord said. “He pushed me constantly and made me the player I am, there’s no doubt about it.”
A couple of his childhood friends, now in their seventies, were also invited. Jack Wootton, 73, grew up with Jon and was there to see the blue plaque unveiled. “Jon was a lovely lad,” he said. “I remember going to call for him one evening, we were playing cricket down the field, and he said ‘I can’t come, Jack – I’ve got piano lessons’. “‘Aw, don’t bother with that’, I remember saying. ‘Come and play cricket with us’.”
Bryan Wood, 76, was raised in Averil Road and still lives there. “I used to play with him all the time – we played football, cricket, in the brook under the bridge. I lost count of how many times we were chased off by the local bobby. “I remember, as kids, we would hammer the piano my mum had in the old front room. I didn’t know what I was doing – but Jon did.”
The house Jon grew up in now belongs to the Dhillon family. Daughter Simran, 21, had no idea about the house’s history. “We searched for Jon Lord on the internet and we could see what a good musician he was and how well-known and well-loved he was, too. We like the plaque on the house. It feels special and we feel very proud to live here.”
Some fans will want to visit to have a look, and I’m sure if they do they will respect the fact that this is a private house.
Thanks to local journalist Lee Marlow, who interviewed Jon at length some years ago, and has been pushing for this recognition for Jon for a long time, and to Tim Summers.
Unlike famous musicians, who we expect to be able to recall what they did on every day of their career (because we have to know!), I haven’t got the foggiest notion what I was up to on Friday June 5th 1970, beyond getting through another day at school. Friday was usually sports all afternoon, an occupation I loathed. We’d be bussed up to some wind-wept fields on the edge of the Derbyshire moors and, after digging out the dried on mud and grass from between the studs on our boots, expected to somehow know the rules of rugby or cricket and get on with that until it was time for a freezing communal shower in what seemed like a converted WW2 bunker, before being bussed back.
If we were lucky it was cross-country running. Lucky because this sport was largely unsupervised and there was a ramshackle corrugated iron cafe near the mill pond half way round. So if nobody was stationed at the far end of the course with a clipboard (and we’d survived the mysterious air-rifler who took pot shots at us on occasions), we could get a cup of hot-chocolate and doss about for half an hour or so, then set off back and try to make ourselves look exhausted on arrival at the changing rooms.
I’d probably be thinking about trekking round town the next day to “do” the record shops, an occupation which usually meant doing very little beyond just pestering assistants in various shops to stick an album on in the listening booth. I may have spotted Deep Purple In Rock on display, but it would be a couple of weeks before I got to hear Black Night on the radio, and start to make the connections between this, snatches of sessions I’d heard, and the coverage in the music papers. I could hardly miss this front page advert (above) which appeared on the NME dated June 13th (it’s been on the site before but what the heck). The single bought, it was the flip of Speed King which had me saving up for In Rock, an awesome track the likes of which I’d never heard before. It had everything you’d want in a rock record, and I played the single to death until I’d got enough to buy the album. Until then b-sides had usually been a bit of a disappointment, but here was one which was far better than the hit.
45 years have now passed since the single and album were released, indeed it’s been 20 years since I was involved in the remaster of the record, checking through old tapes on a mission my teenage self could only have dreamed about.
It may just be a piece of ancient history to the five musicians who created it, but for those of us it has given such listening pleasure to over the years it remains 35 minutes in time which we continue to marvel at.
I’ll treat myself to a couple of tracks to mark the occasion before I get on with the rest of the day. It does occur to me that the old cafe we bunked off to is still there, and the sun is out, so when I’ve finished filling in, scanning and emailing off some boring “supplier contract forms” (which apparently enable me to supply stuff even though I’ve already signed a contract to supply it, but without which I might well not get paid) I might sneak off for a cuppa there afterwards and ponder on where the time went.
I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence but Geoff Barton has done a piece on Mk 2 vs Mk 3 on the Classic Rock magazine site this week, which lauds In Rock – thanks to Tim Summers and Tom Dixon for spotting this.
Deep Purple have added another date to the US tour (and given the gaps in this, I expect more may follow), and will be playing the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City, Iowa on Friday August 7 with Black Oak Arkansas (including Johnnie Bolin) opening for them. The day before (Thursday Aug 6th) there is a free admission Tommy Bolin Fan Jam with Kenny Passarelli, Alphonse Mouzon, Johnnie Bolin, Russell Bizzett, Bobby Berge and more at the Toddie Tap. On the Saturday (Aug 8th) it is the Bolin Fest, 10 bands for $10.00. Sounds like an opportunity for a trans Atlantic mini-break! Thanks to Trace Keane for the details.
It turns out the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale, likes Deep Purple and went to see them on their 2011 UK tour (he’s also into Judas Priest and Motörhead.) Fellow MPs reckon he’s been known to do karaoke versions of Smoke On The Water after hours too.
Mind you Tony Blair was also a fan, and that didn’t stop him letting all us lefties down big time. So before getting too excited I checked up and found John was a merchant banker and worked as Margaret Thatcher’s political secretary before becoming an MP (and I don’t recall reopening all the closed libraries being high on their manifesto list either…).
Thanks to Richard Whitehead for the info.
Why? Well The Grauniad newspaper online reran a picture story about finding famous album covers on Google ‘street view’ (sort of like that Sleeveface craze from a few years back) some time ago (see link below). Anyway, Tim Summers decided they’d missed one crucial shot so had a go himself which we thought was worthy of reposting. Anything to cheer the other 70% of us up in the aftermath of last thursday…
A very mint copy of that rarest of Deep Purple UK singles, Hush / One More Rainy Day, in an original and very good picture sleeve, has sold for a grand at auction, according to George Costantini (himself a keen singles collector). I’m fairly sure this makes it the priciest regular (i.e. not acetate or test pressing) release single from the band now. Pretty much rules it out ever being added to the DTB archives I’m afraid! It tops the £700+ paid out for a factory condition mono Shades a few months back too.
Deep Purple may keep being “overlooked” by the rock and roll hall of fame (they don’t deserve capital letters!) but Modern Drummer magazine have just named Ian Paice as their Hall of Fame / Rock Drummer of The Year 2015, as voted for by their readers. Good to see his name in there amongst younger players too. He joins some amazing drummers on the Hall of Fame list including two of his own heroes, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. You can read more on the Pearl drums.com site.
Thanks to Alan Greene for the news.
A few more dates added to the Deep Purple tour list for 2015, including two more shows in Canada spotted by eagle-eyed Gary Poronovich, including this massive ten day event in Québec (Purple play there on the final day.) Quite tempted by Full Flex Express With Jack U featuring Skrillex & Diplo myself…! The Mexican one-off we mentioned before is actually a tour now, while the Russian show turned out to be some promoter there over-hyping what is actually a Glenn Hughes concert…