Posts Tagged ‘machine head’

C’mon, let’s go…

August 3, 2017

If Galaxy Quest is one of your rainy Sunday film treats, you may enjoy the trailer/s for a new 2017 US Sci-fi parody series called The Orville.  You may even recognise one of the Machine Head classics used as the music for the first one!  Thanks to Karl-Heinz Baier for the heads up. Will certainly be waiting for a DVD release (unless of course BBC2 could find a gap in between perpetual repeats of Dad’s Army to squeeze it in?).

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office cock up 45 years ago?

February 13, 2017

I know it’s Monday morning, but can we try and solve a conundrum?  Put simply, has anyone out there got a genuine U.S. Warner Brothers white label promotional copy of Machine Head?  Working on the discography for the upcoming book on the album and talking to collectors like Pericle in Italy, nobody seems to have seen one.  We know W.Bros did white labels for all the other Deep Purple albums in the Seventies up to Burn (for the last two they used regular Burbank Tree labels and overprinted the promo text.). These have a white label with the regular text details in black and the wording “Promotional use Only”.

MHead-US-promo-sticker.jpg

Often the front sleeve also has a large rectangular sticker across with the track information and times (to make life easier for DJs). So unless someone has a copy like this for Machine Head, then it does raise the possibility that somebody just forgot to order up a run in time, which is what Pericle, who has been on the lookout for a copy for ages, thinks might explain the mystery. As he says, the only U.S. promo copies of Machine Head which turn up are the regular U.S. green label pressing but with a largish pink and black circular promo sticker on the back sleeve.  We do run a risk that by mentioning it here, if a few copies do exist they will suddenly climb in value, but Pericle reckons it’s a risk worth taking to get to the bottom of the mystery!

Below is a white label Warners did for Concerto when they took the release over. The Machine Head one would be similar. And possibly ever rarer!

Concerto white label.jpg

Nouvelle Review

December 4, 2015

Deep Purple Montreux fire Smoke On The Water

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

Up in Smoke

September 23, 2015

claude nobs during montreux casino fire

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!

Today’s mystery object?

February 9, 2015

Researching for the upcoming Machine Head book (more details…), the subject of that box of tricks gaffer-taped to the top of Jon’s Hammond organ for a number of years cropped up again.  So for anyone not familiar with the Maestro (rather than the maestro’s!) Ring Modulator, first heard by most fans on the Made In Japan (and ringed on this great photo, taken at the Rainbow Theatre at the end of June 1972), here’s a special DTB featurette.

Deep Purple ring modulator 1972

Who’s the bassist in the black?

January 16, 2015

Ritchie Blackmore playing bass, Montreux, 1971

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!

Ritchie Blackmore pink bass guitar

Machine Head shout out

December 9, 2014

Deep Purple rolling stones mobileIt being that time of year (Christmas? No, much more important – the anniversary of the Machine Head sessions! 43 years ago this week) I’ve been reminded to mention the ‘looking back’ feature we did some time ago which some will have missed. A sort of glance at events day by day in December 1971.  It’s been updated a little, we now know for example that Jon drove down in his E-Type Jag (nice), but fun to look through and think back.

We are working on the Machine Head book (Fire In The Sky), which will follow the In Rock title early in the new year. More details of that on the publisher’s website (where you can also join a newsletter service to keep up to date on progress). In connection with this, if there is anyone out there who knows people who worked at The Grand Hotel or the other venues the band used / stayed in, please try and put us in touch.  If you worked for the Stones Mobile crew back then (in the office perhaps) we’d love to ask some questions. We have found a few people who went to the actual Zappa show too and witnessed the fire, but it would be interesting to get more reports.

 

Box sets

August 28, 2013

Deep Purple Complete 1970 1976

America seems to be getting a bit box set crazy these days, all part of trying to squeeze a few more sales out of back-catalogue, and often these can represent good value for money but only if you don’t have the titles already.
Rhino are jumping in with The Complete Albums 1970 – 1976 (cover shown above), 10 CDs, which runs from Concerto through to Come Taste, with MIJ and MIE as extras.
Meanwhile Audio Fidelity are planning their first box set with Gold CDs of In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and Who Do We Think We Are in a metal box.  These have all been out separately, and got good reviews from audiophiles for the remastering.
Thanks to http://www.musictap.net/ (which is a useful American site for upcoming archive rock and pop titles and plans) and Leslie Hanagan.

Never say Never Before

January 9, 2013

A promo copy of the original 1972 edition of the Never Before single as released in Japan was sold last November for just over £250 by a dealer there. These copies carry a plain blue label with text, logo and details in silver. Otherwise the paper fold over sleeve and bag are as normal, though the back normally carries a small sticker marking it as not for sale. This is the most we’ve seen one sell for in a while, but shows there is still interest in these slightly out of the ordinary pressings. Tracked by Tonny Steenhagen. Who does point out that future copies are very unlikely to reach the same giddy heights, so I’ll not bother checking my collection out!

Never Before Japan promo

Claude Nobs

January 8, 2013

Claude Nobs died on January 10th 2013. He had been in a coma in hospital following a fall during a skiing holiday on Christmas Eve.

While the media are rightly concentrating on his amazing work for the town of Montreux over the last fifty years, not least the founding and running of the town’s famous Jazz Festival, within the world of Deep Purple, he will forever be ‘Funky Claude’, immortalised by Ian Gillan in the lyrics of their best known recording Smoke On The Water. Without Claude’s expertise and local knowledge, Deep Purple would probably have had to abandon their December 1971 recording session, which produced the Machine Head album. Having organised time in the Montreux Casino, following the fire which destroyed the building, Claude (snapped helping man the fire hoses during the inferno) put aside his own immediate worries to help them make alternative arrangements within the Grand Hotel. Smoke On The Water was penned by Gillan to document the whole experience. In recent years Deep Purple have been regular performers at the festival, which grew to encompass all genre’s of popular music. Claude reminisced about his experiences during the Machine Head period in the Classic Rock Machine Head special recently.

February 4, 1936 – January 10, 2013

SR. Thanks also to Tim Summers and Martin Ashberry. Photo courtesy of the official history of the Jazz festival.

claude nobs during montreux casino fire