@Perro666 shares story of Concerto and meeting Ian Gillan.
@SchildChris shares vintage Tommy Bolin articles.
@CoolOldSwag – original 1984 Deep Purple Promo Poster for Mk II reunion/Perfect Strangers LP
Notes From The Field:
Ronnie James Dio Hologram show review!
Album Art & Booklet:
Covers history of the end of mk1, beginning of mk2.
In Gillan says he almost laughed when meeting Ritchie, Ian, and Jon because of their bouffants. “They seemed dated to me, didn’t bear any relevance to what was going on in London at the time.”
They were appalled by the choice of Hallelujah as a single.
Talks about Ian and Roger playing remaining Episode Six gigs as well as Deep Purple gigs, including one where both bands were on the same bill.
Roger Glover celebrated signing the official contract with Deep Purple by putting a £2 deposit on a Spanish guitar.
Story about Roger Glover breaking down his own gear and the roadie yelling at him.
Glover talks about being heavily in debt so they were playing shows for money between recording sessions.
Paice talks about how the band didn’t think “Living Wreck” was good enough for the album. They shelved it then returned to it later and really liked it. Ritchie’s guitar sound was through an octave filter.
Roger talks about Jon making a really bad mistake while playing the organ intro to Speed King but he paused and made it work and they kept it.
Ian Gillan talks about bj in hallway.
Paice about Martin Birch saying you ended up getting his sound instead of your own but it was such a good sound that you didn’t mind.
Production madness with all of them all over the mixer touching faders. Gillan said he couldn’t hear the vocals and Blackmore says: “Who do you think you are, Tom Jones?” Ian Paice talks about moving the faders up during his good drum fills and moving them down when he messed something up.
Things put on hold for a couple of months while the band figured things out after Tetragrammaton collapsed.
Album Details and Analysis:
Black Night (Original Single Version)
Title taken from song “Black Night” by Arthur Alexander in 1964
They rushed to record a single at the end, prompted by the record company.
Ritchie told Roger in the studio that he lifted it from “Summertime” and Roger told him he couldn’t use it. Blackmore replied, “Why not? Have you ever heard of it?” Roger said, “No.” Ritchie said, “Fine!”
New Patron: Clay Wombacher, joining us at the $5 monthly tier. Thank you so much, Clay!
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
In six months (between August of 1969 and January of 1970) Deep Purple had released three albums: Taliesyn, Deep Purple, and Concerto.
Jon Lord was writing Concerto while the rest of the band was working on In Rock.
The band just played together and jammed,Gillan would riff on vocals, and some of those things stuck and turned into songs.
Usually one of them would have an idea that would lead to the others joining in.
They decided, as opposed to previous albums, that they’d credit every song to all the members of the band.
This ended up being a bit of a sticking point in later years and by Mk 3 they reverted to crediting only the songwriters.
Roger Glover felt like Episode Six hadn’t taken his songwriting seriously and now in Deep Purple they took his ideas much more seriously.
Roger Glover In Ultimate Guitar: “We didn’t write, we played.”
Ritchie in Disc: “My main failing is composing. I can come up with riffs and I’m good at improvising, but I’m not very good at putting a song together.”
Jon Lord in Wait for the Ricochet backs this up: “80% of the songs on our album came from somebody with an idea and with jamming it . . . Ritchie was full of ideas, teaming with ideas.
Paice in Wait for the Ricochet: “I contribute nothing lyrically or melodically, I just suggest rhythms and arrangements. And in any type of music the arrangement is important. It’s always a five way thing for us.”
Gillan in Music Now in January of 1970: “Since those albums were released [talking about the mk 1 albums] the group’s changed. Our music now is much harder, our next album will be purely a group sound.”
No one really seems to remember who came up with “In Rock” as a title.
Tony Edwards came up with the idea for the album cover.
Took it to London design company Nesbit, Phipps & Froome.
He worked for hours trying to source pictures of Mt. Rushmore. In the early 70s this was much more challenging than today.
They used a transparency of Mt Rushmore. It was sort of rushed so you can see the background of the mountain was blurry.
Not sure why they didn’t just have someone paint it.
They used headshots of the band from earlier in the year.
Roger may have been reshot as he had sideburns in the original shoot.
The hair was painted over to try to join the two images.
Gatefold contained lyrics and “moody” black and white shots of the band.
Album Details and Analysis:
Album was recorded at three different studios:
De Lane Lea
Recording time only took up a couple of weeks, revolving around their intense gig schedule.
They gigged a ton during this time trying to recoup some money and tighten up the material.
The IBC studio sessions were the first time they worked with Martin Birch.
Martin Birth, also known as “the Wasp” was like a sixth member of the band in future years working on all their albums until the band broke up in 1976.
1.) Speed King
Recorded at IBC Studios
Beginning was cut off in the US release, I hadn’t heard the UK intro until I picked up the 25th anniversary edition recently.
Honors songs from the 50s:
“Good golly, miss molly” and “house of blue light from Good Gooly Miss Molly
“Tutti frutti and to the east and west” from “Tutti Frutti”
“Wen she didnt’ do her daddy’s will” from Lucille changed to “sister’s will”
“Saturday night and I just got paid “ from Little Richard’s “Rip it Up”
“Hard headed woman, soft-hearted man” changing the line “been the cause of trouble ever since the world began” to “they been causing trouble since it all began from Elvis’s “Hard Headed Woman.”
In an interview with Modern Keyboard in Jan 1989 Jon Lord said, “Speed King is speed metal, no question about it.”
At the live shows they would go on stage and make a point of making a loud, noise of instrumentation before launching into the song.
Jon Lord says in “Wait for the Ricochet”: “They had no time for sound checks on shows so they’d go onstage dry, make as much noise as possible so the soundman could set his levels, then start playing.”
Originally titled “Kneel and Pray” then later “Ricochet”
It was modeled to be a sort of start & stop like Hendrix’s “Fire.” – chorus is very reminiscent.
Roger Glover also noted that it sounded similar to “I’m a Man” the Spencer Davis Group hit.
Glover started the riff off and they all based the song around him.
Earliest recording of Speed king was August 11, 1969 being called Ricochet
Recorded again live on August 29 being called “Kneel and Pray” at this time for another BBC session
Version from same show in Montreux in October.
Last live version was on a live TV special in Holland recorded in January of 1970 but didn’t air until July, after the album was released. This is the last version where Ian, Jon, and Roger all harmonize “see me fly.” They dropped the harmonization before recording.
The title was changed after Roger saw a chain of laundromats called Speed Queen and simply reversed the gender. The Speed Queen company is still around and it’s the world’s largest laundromat company.
They used this song to open their live shows until 1972 when it was replaced by Highway Star and Speed King was saved for an encore.
Recorded at Abbey Road
Roger and Ritchie wrote it at Ritchie’s flat
Lyrics were about Ian Gillan’s run in with the band’s management. He’d asked for £ 20 advance and it became an issue. This was early 1970.
Also been stated that lyrics were referring to women in a rather rude manner.
Incomprehensible lyrics put through an echo effect. Stuttering effect.
Song never played live. Resurfaced in 1998 on Abandon as “Bludsucker.”
Roger Glover writes about it in his diary about how they were doing that “Bombay Calling” song.
Nick Simper said they had kicked around this jam before and they’d toured with A Beautiful Day in 1968.
Roger, Ian Paice, and Ritchie took a boat tour of the Thames and took this album with them (among others) and they listened to it on the boat.
Gillan developed lyrics about the cold war after they jammed it just weeks after Ian/Roger joined the band.
Jazz saxophonist named Vince Wallace claims he wrote this song and taught it to A Beautiful Day’s vocalist/violinist David LaFlamme. LaFlamme played this in a band called The Orkustra in the mid sixties before bringing it to It’s A Beautiful Day.
Ian Gillan’s lyrics writing on his website:
“I started singing and the words came easily because we were all aware of the nuclear threat which hovered over us at this time, which was probably when the “cold war” was at its hottest . . . through the medium of Radio Free Europe this song and many other reached the ears and hearts of like minded people behind the iron curtain as i found out many years later.”
People wondered how Ian did the screaming. From Wait for the Ricochet:
Melanie on the Isle of Wight wrote in to Meoldy maker with the quesiton: “How does Ian Gillan produce the very effective screaming effect in Child in Time from the LP Deep Purple In Rock.”
Ian’s response: “Thanks for the compliment but I haven’t the faintest idea how I manage it. Although lots of people regard it as incredible and ask me how it is done. It’s simply a vocal effect and I do it every night on stage, considerably endangering my health. I’ve never had any special training but I think that it helps that I wear tight trousers.”
Ian in later years says that he always took the highest harmony parts in Episode Six and practiced that way.
Ritchie praised Ian’s vocals on Child in time: “Child in Time is a great song. Ian Gillan was probably the only guy who could sing that. It was done in three stages, sort of like an operatic thing. That’s him at his best. Nobody else would have attempted that going up in octaves.” Guitar World December 1996.
Ian Gillan: “Child in Time is not a song against war, it is about stupidity. One is inevitable, the other is not. A missing comma from the title gives a false impression and — as happens so often — rhyme defeats reason.”
“Sweet child, in time, you’ll see the line.”
Ritchie uses the Gibson on this one.
Was released as a single in Belgium with one verse to each side.
Live the song was known to reach as long as 20 minutes.
Was replaced by the song “Mary Long” after Who Do We Think We Are in the live set.
Played on and off live after they reformed in 1984. Sometimes it was depending on whether Ian was up to singing it or not, sometimes Lord played his vocals on the organ.
They developed the frantic ending in the van.
Song ending mimics “A Day in the Life”, the chromatic ending. JL states: “We liked the sound of it, so we nicked it you might say.”
There are three live recordings of this songs before it was laid down at the studio:
The Paradiso concert in Hollad on August 23rd, 1969
At the Concerto – 12 minute version, solo structure not laid down yet,
At the casion in Montreux in October of 1969, 10 days later
Four weeks later they’d go into the studio to record it
Bombay Calling on next album – “Don and Dewey”
stealing from “Wring that Neck”, comes in around 0:30
4.) Flight of the Rat
Recorded at De Lane Lea
Written in the studio.
Jon used to play Flight of the Bumblebee as fast as he could during warmup. Ritchie played over it.
Percussive Guitar interlude
A cautionary tale about drug abuse.
The band were hard drinkers but not into hard drug use.
They never played this live because Ian Paice refused to, saying he couldn’t keep up the pace (pun intended).
They had a policy where if one member was strongly against playing a song live they wouldn’t do it.
5.) Into the Fire
Recorded at IBC Studios
Ritchie and Roger talked about wanting to do a song with a riff involving a chromatic scale and Glover just played the first thing that came into his head.
Lyrically Gillan’s lyrics are a warning about drugs.
Based off of King Crimson’s “21st Schizoid Man” released in October of 1969.
Candice Night retweets our mention of “Shadow of the Moon”
David Coverdale with two retweets!
MKI to MKII Transition:
Hallelujah/April released as single/B-side.
Ian Gillan and Roger Glover had left Episode Six officially in July. The Concerto was recorded in September.
Sheila Carter-Dimmock viewed the break up as inevitable. In “The Road of Golden Dust: The Deep Purple Story 1968-1976” she’s quoted as saying:
“Sooner or later someone was going to see this good looking guy with a great voice, oozing charisma and snap him up.”
Legal battle between Gloria Bristow and Deep Purple management. Allegedly settled for £3000.
Simper, who was furious, began legal proceedings which he ended up settling for £10,000 in lieu of a royalty deal which ended up being a bad move.
Rod Evans just sort of vanished, though this isn’t his last involvement with Deep Purple or their lawyers.
New sound, reporters were calling “progressive rock”, reminds me of how they called things “alternative” in the early 90s.
In the book “Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story” Jon Lord says in an interview: “We believe in experiment and excitement. We were trying to develop unnaturally before. We would grasp all sorts of different ideas at once, like a child in a garden full of flowers — he wants them all at once. When Ian and Roger joined something very nice happened with the group.”
History of the Concerto:
Released in December of 1969 in the US by Tetragrammaton and in January in the UK.
Jon Lord had been taken by this idea when he’d heard “Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein” while he was in the Artwoods. He noted if they were doing this sort of thing with jazz then why not with Rock?
When he was with the Artwoods they planned to perform with an orchestra in Germany but the band broke up before they could realize this.
There had been a lot of bands who’d fused classical and rock. In 1961 Nero & The Gladiators had done a version of “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” In 1965 Blackmore had even done a version of this with his group The Lancasters.
Dave Edmund’s band Love Sculpture had done an arrangement of Kachaturian’s “Sabre Dance.”
Malcolm Jones at the new Harvest label was encouraged with the release of the “Hallelujah” single. While he said it did nothing in sales it had received a great number of positive reviews. He felt the band could do no wrong and gave the Concerto the green light.
Lord had talked about doing this for a while while in Deep Purple and Tony Edwards told Jon Lord in April that he’d booked the 24th of September 1969 at the Royal Albert Hall.
Jon Lord had wanted to do this sort of thing for a while and claimed that while he’d been thinking of this kind of idea for five years he had never been with a band he thought could pull it off until now. This is despite having previously tried with The Artwoods.
Malcolm Arnold was tasked to conduct. More than than Arnold helped Jon Lord along the way with the composition and taking on the task of how to deal with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Born in 1921, would have been 47 when conducting this, Jon Lord would have been 28.
Inspired by Louis Armstrong he took up the trumpet at age 12. By 1943 he was the principle trumpet in the London Philharmonic
During WWII he registered as a conscientious objector but and as a condition was put into the National Rifle Service.
The army ended up putting him in a military band and he shot himself in the foot to return to civilian life.
He remained in the LPO until 1948 before retiring to become a full time composer.
He ended up being one of the most sought after composers in Britain.
According to an article from the Daily Mail by 1961 he had a reputation for being frequently drunk and highly promiscuous.
He had two failed marriages and ended up hospitalized after two suicide attempts.
He overcame depression and despite being given 1 year to live he surpassed that by 22 years before his death at 84 in 2006.
Successful composer having composed for many, many movies such as “The Bridge Over The River Kwai”
He would be knighted in 1993.
The Lead Up to The Concerto:
Ian Gillan was not happy with the project. He was quoted as saying: “Roger and I, being the new boys, were thinking, what’s going on here? Are we in a rock band or a classical rock gimmick band?”
Blackmore was also against the Concerto wanting to see the band go in a harder direction.
Malcolm Arnold had been showed some pages of the score and was excited about the project. The members of the Philharmonic, not so much. They scoffed at the idea of this. Since classical music is very much a dictatorship Malcolm arnold apparently cursed at them and they calmed down about it.
The fact that it was decided that this would be broadcast on TV ended up being a very good move for the band.
Roger Glover in “Roger Glover – Made in Wales” talk about being “out of [his] depth.”
“Deep Purple” was being released in the US just at the time they were going record the Concerto. It got bad distribution because of the naked people displayed on the cover. Some places refused to display it and it did poorly.
This was the same label that had released John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Two virgins.”
A new label, Harvest, had been created by EMI to distribute more “prog” style acts and the Concerto was slated for release under this new label.
Jon Lord had to work on the Concerto nonstop, getting little sleep, while the rest of the band was a little more well-rested between gigs, rehearsal, and writing for “In Rock.”
Blackmore was the most adamantly against the Concerto. While they worked on material for “In Rock” they had a little resentment toward Lord who was being perceived as the “leader” of the band.
There was very little time to practice as renting a symphony orchestra is not trivial.
The initial runthrough was, according to Jon Lord, “an unmitigated disaster.” Lord was nearly in tears, convinced the whole thing would be a disaster.
One of the cellists reportedly stood up and denounced the project as performing with a “second rate Beatles.”
I’ve read a few versions of this. It’s usually phrased as Malcolm Arnold giving the orchestra a “talking to” but in “The Road of Golden Dust” he’s quoted as having screamed at the orchestra members and calling them “You’re supposed to be the finest orchestra in Britain but you’re playing like a bunch of [c-words]!” and soon after that they got their act together. He’s also quoted as saying “Tonight, we’re going to make history so we may as well make music at the same time.”
Jon Lord quoted as saying “the musicians were obliged to play and some of them hated it! And even the people in the audience weren’t all that thrilled. But it was 1969! But I think everything one does is a product of its time. Some things in this “Concerto” were really very much dead weight – I’d be the first to admit it but it was only an experiment. I only wanted to try and break these boundaries that separated rock ‘n’ roll from classic. On the other hand I don’t want to reject anything I once did afterwards; I can now only look at something from an, if you like, ‘wiser’ perspective. I mean, the fact that it was important at the time. And, to be honest, I still like it p the melodies, Gillan’s singing, Ritchie’s angry guitar, the whole atmosphere. I wouldn’t distance myself from this.”
Some tensions in the band. Lord missed a lot of rehearsals in the lead up to completing the Concerto’s score.
The band had a string of live shows lined up leading to the release of the Concerto. Not sure that the band gave him credit for the pressure he must’ve been under.
Gillan: “I must admit that my attitude was all wrong. Roger and I had only just joined the bana nad we didn’t really appreciate what working with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra at the time could do for us. We were already writing for the album, and this seemed like an unwanted interruption. Deep Purple have always tried to be challenging, yet here we were with something truly challenging and different, and we couldn’t appreciate what we had.”
Album Details and Analysis:
Official release contains the three movements of the concerto, the second being split into two parts on either side of the record.
The cameras were not rolling as they played their three original songs.
The entire concert consisted of:
Symphony No. 6, a composition by Malcolm Arnold
Wring That Neck
Child in Time
Parts of the Concerto’s Third Movement as an encore
First Movement: Moderato – Allegro (19:23)
After an extended orchestral introduction, the group and orchestra work as separate blocks, trying to get dominance over the main theme and working as antagonists to each other. There are cadenzas for electric guitar and clarinet.
Second Movement: Andante (19:11)
This movement is based around two tunes that are played in various different arrangements by the orchestra and the group, individually and together. After a combined pop / blues version of the second tune, there is an organ cadenza followed by a quiet ending by the orchestra.
Third Movement: Vivace-Presto (13:09)
Apart from Ian Paice‘s drum solo, the music combines the orchestra and group together in a “free for all”. The movement alternates between 6/8 and 2/4 time signatures.
Reception and Review
Ian Gillan mentions in “Child in Time” that Jon’s first child was born that night to “complete his triumph.”
In six months (between August of 1969 and January of 1970) Deep Purple had released three albums: Taliesyn, Deep Purple, and the Concerto.
Went off really well. Lord noted a few minor sections he would have improved. There was only one major problem which is where Ritchie was supposed to play a ninety-second solo but he never stopped. Arnold was frantically trying to get Ritchie’s attention and Ritchie seemed to be ignoring him Finally Ritchie came out of it and they hit the cue perfectly.
Everyone was so pleased with the show that they demanded an encore which they were not prepared for.
This generated a huge amount of publicity for the band.
The masterstroke is in John Coletta’s masterful control of the publicity around this event.
Deep Purple got more press in the month surrounding the concert than they had in the previous two years combined.
Roger Glover in an interview: “The next day the papers were full of us and Jon Lord suddenly became the main composer of the band, which really got up the noses of everyone else in the band, and Ritchie in particular felt very bitter about it.”
Tensions in the band were so strong that Jon Lord almost quit. Somehow it all got smoothed out.
Now a lot of people were introduced to Deep Purple as this band that plays with Orchestras.
A monthly later the band showed up to play a gig in Ipswitch. The promoter had apparently been unable to book an orchestra so booked a brass band thinking they could play alongside Deep Purple. Instead the brass band opened and Deep Purple followed.
Some classical music critics panned it being derivative.
Rock critics also thought it to be derivative. The host of Top Gear, John Peel, was so appalled he refused to play Deep Purple on his show.
It was popular on the BBC and they commissioned Jon Lord to write another which he did with the follow up “Gemini Suite” which was performed almost a year later in September of 1970. This was not billed as Deep Purple and didn’t see an official release until 1971. This is credited to Jon Lord instead of Deep Purple.
The Concerto was performed three more times (some sources say one more time), in Vienna, Zurich, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster at the Hollywood Bowl on 25 August 1970, after which the score was lost.
The score had to be recreated to perform it again in 1999.
Malcolm Arnold, interviewed in 1970:
What strikes me about Deep Purple is their tremendous musical integrity. This is so refreshing in a commercial world. I loved working with them. They’re thorough musicians. They’re not trying to prove anything. They just like to play now and again with a Symphony Orchestra. They’re not trying to prove any deep philosophical problem. They just want to write music that’s enjoyable.
Ritchie Blackmore in a 1979 interview:
I was not into classical music then. I was very very moody and just wanted to play very very loudly and jump around a lot. I couldn’t believe we were playing with orchestras. We kept getting lumbered playing with them. We started off in ’68 – this is my opinion – as a relatively competent band with a lot to say but saying it all at the same time as each other. In ’69 we went into the classical stuff because it was Jon Lord‘s big thing to write a concerto for group and orchestra. He was very sincere, but I didn’t like playing it or respect the fact that we were doing it. The orchestra was very condescending towards us, and I didn’t like playing with them, so it was one big calamity onstage. But Jon was happy with it and management was happy with it because we had a press angle, which I resented very much.
In 1970 I said, ‘right, we’re going to make a rock and roll LP. If this doesn’t succeed I’ll play in orchestras for the rest of my life’, because Jon wasn’t too into hard rock. Luckily it took off, so I didn’t have to play with orchestras any more.
I love orchestras, chamber music—unaccompanied violin is my favourite. But I respected them too much, and we just weren’t in the same calibre. I’d been playing 15 years at the time, and stuck next to some dedicated violinist who’s been playing for 50 years just to give an angle to the press—it’s insulting. That’s why it started and ended very abruptly.
1999 performance included the same lineup swapping out Blackmore for Morse. Huge set including performances of songs from Deep Purple’s catalog over the years, the Butterfly Ball, Ronnie James Dio, The Steve Morse Band joins in, and the Kick Horns doing Wring That Neck.
Performance is scheduled for November 19, 2019 in Quebec featuring Bruce Dickinson for 50th anniversary.
Asked if he was listening to any younger bands, Gillan replied: “No, I steer clear of all that. And for a good reason. When I was in my formative years, I rejected Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and Dean Martin. I now realise they were all great artists but at the time as a young man, you have to clear the decks. There’s this sort of psychological vandalism that takes place for yourself.
“I’m in that position now. I need to step aside. My uncle was a jazz pianist, and I remember that when we did ‘Deep Purple In Rock’ he ran from the room screaming saying ‘I can’t hear anything, I can’t hear any instruments’. I was rubbing my hands going ‘Great’. I had upset the previous generation and a man I respect highly. I don’t think it’s right to pass comment.”
Gillan added: “The only advice I can give is to absorb as much as you can from as wide a spectrum as you can. If you’re in a rock band and only soak up Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple kind of beginnings then you’re not going to have much leeway. We soaked up everything from Beethoven to Chopin to Jimi Hendrix to Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
“If you do that then it will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.”
This Week in Purple History . . .
June 10 through June 16
June 10, 1982 – Rainbow releases straight between the eyes
June 11, 1953 – Mark Nauseef is born
June 12, 2006 – Live in Montreux 69 is released
June 12, 1967 – “Hallelujah” is secretly recorded
June 13, 2006 – M3 (formerly Company of Snakes) release “Rough and Ready”
June 13, 2006 – Rainbow releases “Live in Munich”
June 13, 2008 – Judas Priest releases Nostradamus with Don Airey on keyboards
June 14, 2011 – Black Country Communion releases second album “2”
June 15, 1951 – Craig Gruber is born
June 15, 1973 – Tony Edwards notifies Roger Glover that Blackmore wants him out
Deep Purple Deep Track:
Fancy – Touch Me
From the album “Wild Thing” released in 1974
Ray Fenwick (guitar) – Ian Gillan Band, Spencer Davis Group, Jon Lord’s Windows
Mo Foster (bass) – Wizard’s Convention, Butterfly Ball (Finger pops)
Helen Caunt – former Penthouse model for studio work
Annie Kavanaugh – replaced Helen when they toured live, former chorus member of “Jesus Christ Superstar”
Les Binks (drums) – Wizard’s Convention, Judas Priest,
Welcome to our new listeners from Korea, Germany, and Japan! Over 20 countries (23)!
Thanks to Kiss Podcast 2.0 @PodofThunder on Twitter – latest episode is “Gettin’ Tighter.”
Lots of great viewer feedback
Ian Gillan’s History
Roger Glover’s History
History of Episode Six:
Formed in July of 1964 from two bands, the Lightnings and the Madisons.
Both bands formed at the Harrow County Grammar School.
The carried on as the Lightnings but decided it was too old fashioned. They based the name on a novel called “Danish Episode.”
Frontman Andy Ross joined the band as singer.
Shortly after agreeing on “Episode Six” they went pro and found a lot of work.
Episode Six played gigs all the time earning a reputation as a great club act.
In April of 1965 they went to Frankfurt, Germany where they would play from 7pm to 3am.
Episode Six had their eyes on the singer of Wainwright’s Gentleman, and Ian Gillan joined in May of 1965
Ian Gillan states in “Child in Time” that they were to get £30,000 a year with a royalty agreement of 75 percent of 1 percent, rising to 75 percent of 3 percent after twenty-five years. Probably ended up being a good deal as Episode Six likely made most of their money after being released on CD in the 90s.
The band recorded their first tracks after that after being signed by Pye records.
First unreleased track:
My Babe (Demo featuring Andy Ross)
First single was “Put Yourself in My Place” a cover of a song by The Hollies.
They toured all over, ending up in Beirut where they spent Christmas and landed three singles in the Lebanese Top 10. It was great press but further research revealed this was based on sales from two record shops.
Ian Gillan meeting Angel Machenio
The band started to do more originals with Glover writing a lot of them.
They played regularly on Radio One on a show called Radio One Club.
Another single came out, “Love-Hate-Revenge.”
Glover on watching these recordings when they were released in the early 1990’s as quoted in “Smoke on the Water” by Dave Thompson:
“I love it. I unashamedly love it. I cringed a few times, but it brought back so many memories. Episode Six had more or else disappeared for me — yes, I remember the singles, and yes, I remember that we spent twenty years on the road over the period of a few months, but it brought a lot of lovely memories back.”
They began to plan recording an album in 1967 which would use this concept of having a group side and a “solo” side. There was pressure from the label that they needed a more successful single before they could do an album.
The single “Morning Dew” came out with Shields singing at the beginning.
Harvey Shield got unhappy with the group and quit to form a due with his Israeli Girlfriend. John Kerrison joined for a short time after performing with the Javelins and with Nick Simper in “The Pirates” formed after Johnny Kidd had died.
When it came time to do Graham Carter’s single he decided he wanted to use the name “Neo Maya.” Because of this it didn’t sell very well. “I won’t Hurt You”
They then began to work on the long-delayed Episode Six album.
One day, Underwood received call from his old friend Ritchie Blackmore (from “The Outlaws”) asking if he knew any singers.
Mick Underwood, knowing Ritchie, recommended Ian when he heard they may be looking for a new singer.
Lord and Blackmore dropped by the Ivy Loge Club in Woodford to watch Episode Six. Blackmore even joined them on stage.
Lord asked Gillan if he’d like to join Deep Purple and asked if he knew any bass players that may be interested.
Gillan and Glover played their remaining gigs with Episode Six.
Glover had a harder time leaving the group having played with them for much longer than Gillan.
They met with Lord and Blackmore and showed them some of their songs. Glover in an interview said:
We nervously played our songs . . . they were all about monkeys and lions. Monkeys always appeared in our lyrics in those days. But there nothing that interested him. And then he pulled out a demo of ‘Hallelujah’ and said ‘What do you think of that?”
The duo went on to play out the last few shows with Episode Six while Rod Evans and Nick Simper didn’t find out until later, playing a few more shows with Deep Purple even after this single had been recorded.
History After Ian and Roger Leave:
John Gustafson replaced Roger Glover on bass.
Sheila Carter even formed a group with John Gustafson, Mick Underwood, and J. Peter Robinson.
They were later billed as Episode Six with Sheila Carter, later the Sheila Carter Band. She was the constant until going into doing session work.
Graham Carter became a booking agent for hotels in the middle east.
Tony Lander went into business as a decorator after a sting with his own band.
Gloria Bristow was upset at her band being broken up and reached a settlement with Deep Purple’s management. She then used that money to support her new band Quatermass!
Episode Six 50th Anniversary Celebration
On December 6, 2015 they held a 50th anniversary celebration in north west London.
Award is from the Ivors Academy presented to Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord (posthumous) & Ian Pace of Deep Purple who have won an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement
Malcolm Arnold won this same award in 1959 for his composition of the in the film “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”
Joe Satriani’s first band “Squares” to release an album on July 12