Roger Glover turned up on bass with a local Swiss folk band a couple of weeks ago, and was snapped for the local paper.
Roger Glover turned up on bass with a local Swiss folk band a couple of weeks ago, and was snapped for the local paper.
Hotel foyers are the traditional place to meet up when you’re staying in one. However, you never really expect to bump into Roger Glover, and if you do it wouldn’t normally be in the foyer of the Grand Hotel in Montreux… nevertheless here we are. It’s a long story and as you might expect there was a little more to this than mere chance, and we will file a full report in a couple of days when we’ve had time to take it all in.
To put the location in context, this room is where Ritchie disappeared to from time to time to record some of his guitar work on the album (the black bag marks the spot).
I notice sandals are clearly back in fashion too. I have been asked by the owner to explain that this building is not accessible at any time except to residents.
It’s a while since we’ve made the trek to London, but as this was the only show we decided to make an effort. Finding the venue wasn’t too hard and as the drive down was done in good time despite the inclement weather up North we nipped in to the hotel to dump our gear and then set off for the hall. We got there around 3.00pm so decided to park up near the entrance and see what was happening. Half the fun these days of going to shows is meeting up with other fans and we passed the time chatting and getting the layout of the place.
Round about four thirty we saw Roger and Ian Gillan arrive, and they greeted a few old friends. Ian came by to say hello and we had a quick word with Roger, who had brought his wife and two kids along to enjoy the evening (the youngest certainly has a look of him in his youth!).
Ian said his wife had gone on ahead to their villa in Portugal and he would be joining her after the show. When Ann asked him about the 2016 tour dates he knew nothing about them, but suggested this wasn’t unusual!
Inside we met up with Tim who had travelled down from Hull and Tonny who had made an even longer journey up from Plymouth. Eventually the house lights went down to reveal a brightly lit stage and after a little while Roger Glover sort of ambled on stage to pick up a sunburst Fender bass. We hadn’t expected a support act, and there seemed to be some confusion over what key their first number was in, but after they’d sorted this out the guitarist came to the mic and asked us to put our hands together for … The Madisons.
Sat in our corner we all sort of blinked, were we really seeing Roger’s first band live? They did team up about five years ago for a get-together according to Roger so despite the lack of rehearsal tonight (6/- admission guys) they romped through a couple of rock and roll standards (My Baby and Put On Your Red Dress’) with ease and the room responded with applause. Harvey Shield on drums also handled the vocals and has clearly kept in trim – he lives in America these days, and has even done some acting for US TV. Tony Barham kept the lead guitar going and seemed as amazed as we all were at what was going on. As Deep Purple historians know, The Madisons were Roger’s first semi-pro group formed while he was still at school and led on to his first professional outfit.
After two songs there was a short break, before two more singers found their way on stage, Ian Gillan and Sheila Carter. It was time for the main event, Episode Six. While Roger had known about the evening for a while, Ian only realised it was happening the day before, and so rescheduled to be able to get along. Despite this last minuteness, as they launched into I Hear Trumpets Blow he managed to sing the words without a crib sheet, helped out by Sheila. At other times he had to busk it and help on the chorus, and at the end said a few heartfelt words to both the rest of the band and the audience. Considering he’d come off the back of a long Deep Purple tour and of course the big O2 Arena show two night before, it was good of him to juggle his schedule and his appearance was appreciated by everyone.
After a version of Morning Dew based on their single interpretation Ian left the stage and Roger then did Stand By Me with his daughter Gillian, who seems a natural.
We then had chance to see a guy called Pete Reglar. Pete was in at the very start of the Lightnings, working with Sheila and the others under the name Pete Jason and Shandy. He gamely tackled one of their stage faves, That’ll Be The Day. Incredibly Pete also brought along his old note book into which he kept details of all the songs they did live, and the dates of their shows, and who sang what.
It was now time for a proper break.
The reason for the event was to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Episode Six signing their original Pye recording contract, and their first Pye recording session (the single came out early in 1966). It’s not the first time they have met up like this, some will recall photos of an earlier reunion in Kerrang, but being such an important anniversary they decided to make this a bit special, hiring a hall and proper gear. Once that was arranged, they made efforts to track down as many musicians and people connected with the band as they could.
My invite came via the Episode Six CDs we helped collate and put together almost twenty years ago, and which got played to death during the evening. I have kept in touch with Sheila ever since and offered to provide an intermission slide show, which provided a lot of amusement for the audience. It was funny to see Ian’s reaction to a couple of particularly fey shots of him wearing just an open waistcoat and beads. We’d put the show together from our archives, with Tonny also supplying some interesting new images from a fans collection he picked up not long ago.
There was even a bit of film; Tony (he was known as Tony Lander while in the band) had managed to dig out the super 8mm silent film from the old Deep Purple family tree show, and we also had the Beat Beat Beat footage courtesy of Dave Browne. Although these are familiar to some fans, many in the audience were watching them for the first time. The band’s second guitarist Graham Carter (Sheila’s brother) now lives in America and couldn’t get across, but using skype he was able to see the hall and chat with the rest of the band.
Also there and enjoying it all was the band’s second drummer, John Kerrison. Although he couldn’t take part, he was pleased to be part of the occasion and it was good to meet up with him after so many years corresponding by email.
Tonny had the bright idea of getting all the band musicians together for an impromptu photo call and Sheila rounded everyone up. It was really funny to see what was a quite laid back and relaxed event suddenly turn into a mad frenzy of cameras, iPads and mobile phones as dozens of people made sure they got a souvenir image.
We made sure to spend some time going through all the photos and memorabilia which Sheila had collated, and admiring some wall panels full of new shots she has unearthed. We did discuss the idea of a limited production book of some sort in the new year.
Amazingly Sheila had managed to dig out her original WEM Telstar electric organ which was positioned in pride of place in front of the stage. She told me years ago that it was somewhere in the back of her garage, so it was great to see it has survived. Whether it can be got back to working condition is something we’ll have to see.
Eventually, despite the excellent running buffet, our energy levels began to flag. I’d been up until midnight the previous evening trying to sort glitches in the slide show (the software crashed after two hours processing!) and our friend Tim needed to get his transport connection, so we made our farewells. The musicians were made of stronger stuff and were persuaded back up for another short set towards the end of the evening. Tonny had also stayed put and can fill us in on the close of the evening; “Harvey turned ceremony master of sorts and various permutations of the musicians ended up running through some songs like Red House, sung by Gillian, Summertime by a young Claudia, Great Balls of Fire sung by Harvey, Roger singing ‘Too Much Monkey Business’, etc. They did about another half an hour.”
We would like to say a big thanks to Sheila and Tony for inviting us, and hello to Tom Joseph and Tonny Steenhagen for braving public transport to get there. The band have decided to open their own Facebook page to mark the occasion and act as a sort of gathering place for themselves and fans. This can be found here. The idea is to add a list of tour dates and material from their archives, and a new CD collection has also been set in motion about which more anon. Once the slide show from the event has had an audio track added it will also be uploaded to view.
Some people attending did take video enabled kit and I’m sure some of this will end up on the web (if it hasn’t already!). [I apologise that this has taken me a while to post but I stayed on in London for a couple of days of meetings (about which more anon) and when I got back had to clear a very full in-tray then get my print exhibition finished and hung at a local gallery…]
A curiously titled new documentary (neither of the puns really relate to his career) about Mr. B, due for release as a home video at the end of October, which has been in the works for a while. With a running time of over two hours, this one has for the first time the full co-operation of Ritchie himself for once, and the documentary has been produced by Eagle Rock who have a good track record in this area (they backed the excellent Making Of Classic Album series.) It is also a good move given his aim of playing some rock shows next year to remind people what he was all about. There are twenty year olds around today who have never seen him live in anything but Blackmore’s Night.
A list of participants includes four former member of Deep Purple, albeit only Roger Glover from the current line-up, plus some names you might expect as well as a few you wonder about – I hadn’t got Gene Simmons down as a massive Blackmore fan but you never know! It is noticeable that not a single person from his pre-Purple years is listed which seems a shame. Please don’t tell me they’re not including the fab footage of Ritchie wiggling with The Outlaws up on scaffolding…
Anyhow, if you can still find the music section of your local DVD shop, it could be worth a look. Eagle are very quick to get their titles onto TV so that’s an alternative if you can’t make your mind up.
Interviewed for the documentary are: Ritchie Blackmore, Candice Night, David Coverdale, Roger Glover, Glenn Hughes, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, Steve Lukather, Brian May, Joe Satriani, Gene Simmons, Steve Vai, Lars Ulrich, Phil Collen, Ian Anderson, Malcolm Dome, Martin Birch, Chris Welch, Chris Charlesworth, Jim Ladd, Pat Regan.
Keyboard player and singer Eddie Hardin has died suddenly at the age of just 66. Eddie’s connections with the Deep Purple scene spanned some 45 years, and he worked with members of the group directly across much of that time. After a spell as a teenager replacing Steve Winwood in the Spencer Davis Group with Ray Fenwick (not an easy task) they did some interesting if often overlooked work in the late Sixties for Vertigo. After a couple of album, Eddie went off to form what seems an unlikely drum / keyboard duo, Hardin – York, with drummer Pete York in 1969. They became one of the most successful bands in Germany during the early 1970s and also supported Deep Purple on a couple of tours (check out the poster for a big 1970 German festival below), both joining Jon Lord and Ian Paice at occasional jam nights in London (while Pete joined forces with Ian on drum duels at some live Hardin – York shows).
Eddie got bored repeating himself musically, and despite playing stadiums in Europe, back in the UK Hardin – York couldn’t get arrested. So after a couple of years he went off to do his own thing and Roger Glover worked with Eddie on a couple of his post-Hardin – York solo albums and the pair were heavily involved in the original Wizard’s Convention studio project in 1976, along with Jon, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Eddie became a big contributor to Roger’s Butterfly Ball project too, co-writing Love Is All and performing on the album (mainly keyboards but also vocals on one track), then playing keyboards at the one-off Albert Hall concert where I first saw him live.
It was a nice touch to see Eddie invited to be part of the fabulous Deep Purple Concerto evenings at the Royal Albert Hall in 1999 when he and Roger did Love Is All, along with Ronnie Dio and Mickey Lee Soule.
I got to know Eddie in the early Nineties when our label RPM worked closely with him on the first in-depth reissues of some of his back-catalogue including the Hardin York material, the Spencer Davis Group albums and other odds and ends which he kept turning up, amazed that anyone was interested really! Indeed to a certain extent that seemed to be how he viewed his career at times, happy to have the success when it came but with an easy come easy go approach to the music business in general. A typical example was a pile of postcards showing a palatial stately house which I spotted on one visit, and wondered why he had them. It turned out he’d bought the place with some unexpectedly large royalty cheques in the 70s, then had the cards made to send to friends. All too quickly he realised that he couldn’t afford to run or staff the place, and it had to go! Eddie did have his autobiography ALAB published a few years ago, and the house features on the front.
Apart from the stuff you probably know about (and people of a certain age mustn’t forget the theme tune to Magpie which Eddie co-wrote), do check out the early Hardin – York material, especially if you enjoy strong and inventive Hammond playing. It was a time when rock music experimented in all sorts of ways and Eddie was in the thick of it. And why on earth Catch You On The Rebop (on which Eddie again shares a writing credit) wasn’t a massive hit for Spencer Davis in 1973 must remain one of life’s great mysteries.
Hot on the heels of Coverdale’s Purple Album, and Blackmore’s rumoured Purple Rainbows, comes news of a sort of reverse tribute offering, from the Deep Purple covers band Purpendicular.
They’ve gone in the other direction, and ditched their covers in favour of an album of all new material BUT with contributions from Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Don Airey, Steve Morse and Neil Murray!
It’s a concept album entitled This Is The Thing #1 and available through through their own website.
Nick Simper has also gone the same way and cut a new album with Nasty Habits, the band he did the successful Mk 1 tribute shows with for some time. This time he’s doing all new material, contemporary rock. The CD is titled De La Frog Conspiracy (don’t ask us why!) and it’s available through the band. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Out goes the old bandana, in come the snazzy college headgear and gown. Has Roger Glover made a career decision and decided to audition for Blackmore’s Night? Happily not. Instead he is being made an honorary fellow of the University of South Wales (new college motto “hyacinthinas in petra”?) in recognition of his musical achievements. Who needs the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame? Congratulations is what we say and nice to see him looking so well too.
I would direct you to the article on the BBC Wales web site but it’s so full of factual errors Universal have probably got there first to sign the writer up for their next archive sleeve note…! Thanks to Tim Summers who pointed me at the story.
A phone call, June 5th 1969.
“Rog, it’s Ian. What did you think of it last night?”
“Are you really going to pack it in?”
“Well the band aren’t going anywhere, we’ve nattered about doing something new, this could be a real chance.”
“Yeah, but who ever heard of Deep Purple?”
“No, listen, I just been up to meet them today. I’d no idea they’d had such a success in The States, hit singles, albums the lot, and they want to get into something more rock and roll, you know. Mind you, the hair-dos!”
“Well, I dunno. I popped up to see Glo. She’s pissed off but we’ll probably get Pete in for now.”
“You can all sing, you’ll be fine. I want to try doing more rock and roll stuff , like I used to do.”
“Tony was well fed-up when that guy got up to jam, taking the piss a bit wasn’t it? I thought he was just a mate of Mick’s?”
“Ritchie? Yeah, he was a bit flash, but you know he’s not so bad once you get to know him. And Jon’s great. I met their drummer today too.”
“We weren’t at our best there, that Ivy Club is a real dump, I don’t know why Gloria booked us in.”
“Don’t worry about it, look they need a bass player – I said you’d be up for it.”
“I don’t think so, I mean what would the others think? I can’t leave them in the lurch like that. Sheila will kill me and Gloria, she’ll just flip.”
“She’ll calm down. I’ll do the shows ’til you get sorted. Look, we’re in Derby tomorrow, I’ll have a chat when we’ve got a moment to ourselves. They’ve asked me to do a session with them on Saturday, just see how it goes. I said we could go round to Jon’s place first and play him some of our stuff, see if they want to take any of our songs, might earn you a few bob.”
“I could use it. I’ve just had to flog one of my amps today.”
“Well if you want to, do the session with me on Saturday.”
“I’ll have a think, let’s have a chat tomorrow.”
“OK, Sheila and Mick will come round in the van about three, see you.”
Phone conversation courtesy the NSA, transcribed by Simon Robinson. Images from Wait For The Ricochet. Available at all good bookstores. Except Waterstones who would only take one copy for the whole of the UK as they don’t think anyone’s interested in Deep Purple anymore!
Messers Gillan and Glover have been brushing up their acting skills for bit parts in the final episode of a new Israeli TV series, Atlantica, centering on a Jerusalem based band who track the Deep Purple stars down and try to get on the bill as an opening band. The filming took place in between the bands two Tel Aviv concerts and will air locally at the end of the year. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter and Tourism Israel.