Episode #17 – Burn

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Show Updates:

  • Comments from social media.
  • Rad from Russia wrote an email to tell us that I got a fact wrong when I referred to Ian Hansford as an Elf roadie when he was in fact, as Rad says, the very first DP roadie.  Thanks, Rad!

Thanks to Our Patrons:

Lead Up To Album & Writing:

  • At this point when Coverdale/Hughes come on board both versions of “Smoke on the Water” are in the American  top ten at the same time.
  • Glenn Hughes says he was one of the first to arrive at Clearwell Castle to begin writing Burn.  He picked a bedroom and unknowingly Ritchie had set up speakers in his closet so in the middle of the night Glenn was awoken to sounds of ghosts.
  • They wrote and rehearsed.  Coverdale lost his nerve and froze up.  Jon Lord took him aside, gave him a few drinks, and said they played a Beatles melody for two hours.
  • On September 1, 1973, Coverdale was back up north celebrating his new gig.  Hughes, Paice, and Lord got together for a jam session with Hughes playing lead guitar.  They recorded two songs, “Don’t Know Yet” and Grand Funk Railroad’s “Some Kind of Wonderful.”  These have never been released.
  • On September 23rd they announced their new lineup at a press event.
  • On October 4th Hughes accompanied Lord to perform on his Windows album.  Yvonne Elliman, Peter York, Ray Fenwick were also present. Ritchie went as a spectator.
  • In the same month Gillan had bought De Lane Lea studios and renamed it Kingsway.
  • In November they returned to Montreux – Burn was recorded in Montreux in November of 1973 again using the Rolling Stones mobile unit.
  • Hughes contributed to songwriting but wasn’t able to be given credit due to unexpired contractual obligations.  The 30th anniversary release included Hughes in the credits for all track except Sail Way, Mistreated, A 200, and the bonus track “Coronarias Redig.”
  • Jon Lord got more into experimenting with synthesizers on this album.
  • Lord and Paice agreed to give Ritchie more creative control in this lineup.
  • Martin Birch was very patient and supportive of Coverdale in the studio.  Coverdale was inexperienced and had only recorded demos up until this point.
  • Coverdale’s mind was blown by the quality of the musicianship around him.  He felt very self conscious and would stay up all night working on his lyrics and making alternate versions for the band to choose from.
  • They set up at the top floor of the convention center in Montreux.
  • Glenn had lots of experience in the studio but Coverdale had only recorded a few tracks with The Government and The Fabulosa Brothers.
  • Lord says: “David has always been a very self-confident man and if he was overawed to be working with us, it only showed when we were talking between ourselves over a beer later,never during the actual recording.”
  • Birch: “It was a much happier session than “Who Do We Think We Are.”
  • Coverdale, hopped up on diet pills, was an emotional wreck and considered leaving the band as he wasn’t thinking clearly.

Album Art & Booklet Review

  • Design by Nesbit, Phipps, and Froome who did “In Rock.”
  • Shot by Fin Costello.
  • Candles were specially commissioned but never commercially available.  A second unused set was later auctioned off.
  • Nigel Young talks in the Burn booklet about how this was just meant to be a mock up for the band to see the idea he had.  It ended up being picked up and used for the sleeve. Years later he relit his candles and shot it again and it was released in Kerrang! Extra Magazine No. 5 in the May/June 1985 issue.
  • Thanks again to @JoergPlaner for coming through with these great scans.

Album Details and Analysis:

  • All tracks by Blackmore, Coverdale, Hughes, Lord, Paice except where indicated.
  • Burn
    • Written in the dungeon of the castle.
    • One of the last songs written for the album.  Hughes wrote the middle parts, the parts he sings.  They knew they were going to divide up the vocals from the beginning but had to sort out who was taking each part.
    • Hughes said there was no competition for vocals and described it by saying it was more “you take this part, no after you.”
    • Coverdale wrote several sets of lyrics for this song and Blackmore chose his favorite.
      • One was called “The Road.”
      • Lord: “David had some trouble with Ritchie because he wanted a certain type of lyrics.  He wanted songs about demonology, mythology, that type of thing.” You can see why he ended up in a band with Dio.
      • Coverdale: “I had some problems in finding the lyrics, I wanted them to have a modern setting yet give a surrealist flavor.  Ritchie and I wrote “Burn” but Jon put the classical progression in, which to me is brilliant.”
    • Hughes talks about taking PCP (Accidentally) for the first time during recording Burn.  His girlfriend sent him a letter. Blackmore recalls Hughes crawling around behind the drumset asking Ritchie why his head was expanding in size.  Ian took him out for a walk.
    • Jerry Bloom reports that the riff for this song was inspired by the 1936 song “Fascinating Rhythm”
      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRSmEMc8vvA
      • Blackmore: “I came up with the riff on the spur of the moment while we were jamming.  Jon took a tape home a few days later and his wife at the time pointed out the similarity.  Maybe subconsciously I was playing that but it worked very well.”
    • At the end of the song there’s a big mistake where Ritchie accidentally hit his fingers on the strings.  Everyone said it sounded natural so they left it in.
  • Might Just Take Your Life
    • Song started by Jon Lord laying into this organ riff.
    • Written at Clearwell with different lyrics and a chorus about “rock and roll.”
    • Lyrics tell the story about how Coverdale and Hughes ended up in Deep Purple.  Talks about people who laughed behind their backs when they talked of joining the band.
    • Single released three days before the album on Feb 12, 1974. Did not chart
    • B-side was “Coronarias Redig”
    • First UK single since “Never Before”
    • Riff reminiscent of Woman From Tokyo
    • No guitar solo!  So the last 2 out of three DP tracks have no guitar solo!
    • Steve Pilkington says in his book on Track Deep Purple and Rainbow:
      • This lyric is the first example of what would become something of a Coverdale trademark of the ‘drifter without a home and needing no friend’ song.  There would be many variations on the theme over the years.
    • Coverdale says this song was influenced by “Chest Fever” by The Band.
  • Lay Down, Stay Down
    • Original title of “That’s Alright.”
    • Paice says it’s his favorite on the album.
    • Blackmore wrote the riff.
    • First song recorded for the album.
    • Ian Paice is just doing a drum solo the entire song.
    • Coverdale says this was how he was broken into the band and this was one of the first lyrics he’d ever written.
  • Sail Away (Blackmore, Coverdale)
    • Wanted to release this as a single but record company said “Might Just Take Your Life” was more commercial.
    • Starts with backwards cymbal.
    • Shows the direction Blackmore was looking to go.
    • Talks about “getting old.”
    • Tune Ritchie had been holding back from the Mark 2 lineup.
    • Verse lyrics were changed in the studio.
    • David holds it up as a sign of them going into a more funk/rock direction.
    • David did it in a lower register but didn’t think it sounded right.  Jon and Ritchie convinced him that it sounded great.
    • Blackmore’s solo is using a Synthi Hi-Fi guitar synthisizer with slide on the fade out.
  • You Fool No One
    • Paice came up with the drum pattern.
    • Ian Paice was dripping with sweat after four takes and reportedly upset that others in the band weren’t keeping up.  He threatened to walk out and they got it on the next take.
    • Successor to “The Mule” in the live set.
    • Coverdale/Hughes together on verse, trade choruses.
    • This was a long jam number live going 15 minutes.
  • What’s Goin’ on Here
    • Hughes describes this as something they put together in the studio as a throwaway bit of fun.
    • Jon on piano.
    • Steve Pilkington says: “Lord is also clearly having a good time but, with his rather unfortunate barrelhouse honky-tonk piano solo, that enjoyment fails to extend to the listener.”
  • Mistreated (Blackmore, Coverdale)
    • Hughes announced this song live as a song Ritchie had written a couple of years ago.  Another that he held back from the Mark 2 lineup though it was considered for “Who Do We Think We Are.”
    • Only track where Coverdale sings alone.
    • Recorded from 11pm to 7:30am.
    • At first playbacks Coverdale thought it was terrible.  It was so bad that he sat down and cried because he wanted it to be good.
    • The next night they had another session and nailed it on the second take.
    • Coverdale: “It’s like a progressive blues.  I wasn’t raised in a shack by the railroad tracks but I’ve still had emotional hassles and that’s the only kind of blues I can interpret.  I tried very hard because I knew it was essential to get the strong emotive quality the song needs. The thing I wanted was for somebody who was listening to the song to thing ‘I know what he’s talking about’ and the feeling, then the song would be worth it.  It’s essentially a physical feeling. The reason it didn’t come off straight away was simply that I was trying too hard.”
    • Longest track on the album.
    • Coverdale and Hughes were very proud of their multi-tracked harmonies at the end of the song.  When Blackmore showed up he said, “You can’t hear the guitar solo for the voices…”
    • Coverdale said you could hear a pin drop after the volumes were lowered.
    • This would be played by Rainbow, Dio, Whitesnake, Glenn Hughes, 
    • Coverdale and Hughes spent all night crafting vocal harmonies in the studio only to have Blackmore come in the next morning and say they were overpowering the guitar and lower them all in the mix.
  • ‘A’ 200 (Blackmore, Lord, Paice)
    • Originally titled “Touching Cloth.”
    • Written in the studio.
    • First time an eighth track would appear on a Deep Purple album in years.
    • A 200 was the name of a cream used to treat crabs and apparently the band was familiar with this particular ointment.

Reception and Review

  • There are only three dates on the reels, 11/8, 11/12, 11/14.  Was this completed in only three sessions?
  • They recorded for two weeks before returning home.  Album was mixed at Kingsway Recorders which was a studio owned by Ian Gillan.
  • Martin Birch did the mix and reportedly Ian Paice to his side watching the drum levels.  All others were coming and going.
  • Glenn: “It was too basic rock for me.  I wasn’t into that kind of material. I had to work with Jon and Ritchie to really get into that kind of music.”
  • Lord: “It had been worked on in rehearsal and thought out beforehand instead of albums where we just jammed in the studio until a song arrived.  The only track where that happened was the instrumental and that was only because I wanted to use a synthesizer.”
  • Album was released on 2/15/74.  Was almost late because of a worldwide shortage of vinyl.  What??
  • Album hit #3 in the UK, #9 in the US and #1 in 4 European countries.
  • Mostly positive reviews.  Two standout bad reviews:
  • Rolling Stone Review: Burn by Ken Barnes April 25, 1974
    • Deep Purple’s first album since last year’s departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist/composer Roger Glover is a passable but disappointing effort. On Burn, new lead singer David Coverdale sounds suitably histrionic, like Free’s brilliant Paul Rodgers (rumored to have been Purple’s first replacement choice). But the new material is largely drab and ordinary, without the runaway locomotive power of the group’s best work.
    •  The title track is a notable exception, attractively energetic, with appropriately speedy instrumental breaks. And “Sail Away” is a Free-like mesmerizer. “Mistreated” again sounds like that lamentedly extinct group, but is flaccidly lengthy (7:25).
    • They fill out the LP with the relentlessly mediocre single “Might Just Take Your Life,” the stodgy blues-rocker “What’s Goin’ On Here,” the commonplace Cream-like funk riffs and harmonies of “You Fool No One,” and with a tedious Moog/bolero instrumental retread applying the coup de grace. Much of the LP is skillfully wrought and likable, and the new line-up has potential. But the Gillan/Glover spark that created “Highway Star” and other memorable Purple smokers is regrettably absent.

This Week in Purple History . . .

August 19 through August 25

  • August 19, 1945 – Ian Gillan is born
  • August 21, 1951 – Glenn Hughes is born
A side-by-side comparison of Glenn Hughes and his resemblance to Bob Hope as outlined in Glenn Hughes’s autobiography.
  • Glenn Hughes and Bob Hope for reference
  • August 25, 1970 – Concerto for Group and Orchestra was performed for the last time at the Hollywood Bowl

For Further Information:

Listener Mail/Comments

  • Comments about the show? Things you’d like us to cover?  We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at info@deeppurplepodcast.com or @ us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Episode #16 – Before They Were Purple (Part 3 – Hughes & Coverdale)

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  • Comments from social media.

Thanks to Our Patrons:

  • Clay Wombacher – $5 tier
  • Steve Seaborg – $5 tier https://www.alltheworldsastage.net/
  • Peter Gardow – $3 tier

Glenn Hughes:

  • Grew up as an only child.
  • Had a very good, happy, and comfortable childhood.
  • His first instrument was a trombone but he wasn’t very interested in it.  Then his parents got him a cheap guitar and he was hooked.
  • He saw the Beatles on TV and saw the girls screaming.  He was on 12 but he knew that he liked that.
  • He wasn’t as into Elvis and was more into Doo Wop and soul music.
  • Glenn’s mother talks about the girls being very interested in him.
  • The Hooker Lees (named after John Lee Hooker) in 1965
    • Changed their name to The Intruders
  • New Band “The News” where he was lead guitar and vocals
  • Finders Keepers (1968):
  • Band broke up in 1969.  Mel Galley, Glenn Hughes, and Dave Holland went on to form Trapeze.
  • Trapeze:
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapeze_(band)
    • Live in 1969: “Meet on the Ledge” (British Folk Song) and The Nazz “Open My Eyes”
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Jv8UhtQ56j0
    • Recorded live at Club Lafayette in Wolverhampton, UK on Saturday, July 5th, 1969
    • Mel Galley guitar
    • Dave Holland drums
    • Glenn Hughes vocal, bass guitar
    • John Jones vocal
    • Terry Rowley guitar, keyboard
    • Lineup through their first album.
    • Second album “Medusa” stripped down
    • They were on a show on BBC 2 called Colour Me Pop.  The morning after this aired they were contacted by George Martin to join The Beatles’ Apple label. The band opted not to join Apple because the direction George MArtin had in mind would have taken them in a different direction than they wanted to go.
    • Their first album “Trapeze” was released and played track-by-track on BBC Radio 1, something they’d only previously done for the Beatles.
    • They had huge success in the US.
    • Glenn talks in his book of the abundant drugs in this time period but how he stayed away and how he was scared of the drugs.  He didn’t even like taking Tylenol.
    • Trapeze – Suicide written by Jones/Galley
    • The new three piece played 15 shows in 15 days and ended up in LA without money to get home.  They wanted to play NY but they’d just played there so they set up a show in Houston so successful that they demanded a second night.
    • Playing Medusa one night John Bonham came up and took the sticks out of Dave Holland’s hands and played the song without stopping and it turned into a 15 minute long version.
    • Mesudsa written by Hughes
    • Third Album “You’re The Music . . . We’re Just The Band”
    • “Coast to Coast”

Acquiring Hughes:

  • Ritchie said he wanted to get a new bass player and singer and do more melodic content.
  • Gillan had given nine months notice but the band and management had done nothing until after Gillan left in June to look for a replacement.  Maybe they didn’t believe he’d go through with it.
  • Jon Lord quoted as saying that their routine was “getting tired.”
  • Lord had also toyed with leaving the band at this point and wasn’t entirely happy with what they’d done to Glover.  He’d also gotten offers to work on his Windows project with Eberhard Shoener.
  • Two singers were being entertained: Paul Rodgers and Glenn Hughes.
  • Paul Rodgers had a reputation of being a control freak and would likely have clashed with Blackmore.  He wanted to start his own thing and formed Bad Company instead.
  • Rodgers was offered the job.  He turned it down, allegedly not happy with it being leaked to the press that he was being offered the job.
  • Ritchie: “Jon is going to go with Tony Ashton and I said I’m off to make a rock band like Deep Purple and Paice is coming with me.”
  • Blackmore: “I wanted a new band.  I didn’t want to get a new singer in and carry on where we’d left off.”
  • Roger took over as head of A&R at Purple Records and focused on production.
  • “I was writing about 80% of the stuff but the credit was being split up five ways.  I got tired of not getting the respect. Then I decided that we were stagnating. I told Ian, the drummer, that I wasn’t happy with the way things were going.  He didn’t want any trouble within the group, so he calmed me down most of the time but it gradually got out of hand, and I decided to leave and form my own band.”
  • Glenn Hughes in late 1972 played a few nights at the Whisky a Go Go and noticed Ritchie, Jon, and Paice in the audience, all separately on different nights.  He thought they were just really big fans of Trapeze. Same thing again happened at the Marquis in London. He said, “I had a feeling they were there for another reason.”
  • They asked him to join and he said no.  Eventually, after about a month, he changed his mind.
  • Ritchie invited Glenn to his house in South London where they jammed on what would eventually turn into “Mistreated” and talked about Ritchie’s vision for the band.
  • Glenn joined under the assumption he’d be replacing both Glover and Gillan. They debated moving forward as a four piece.
  • When they entered the band there were huge write ups about Deep Purple being the number 1 band in the world with a huge picture of the Mark 3 lineup.
  • Glenn Hughes talks about getting plaques, and watches and saying, “These should be Roger’s!” engraved for the sales of “Made in JApan.”  Hughes: “It’s a bit embarrassing receiving a gift for something you didn’t play on.”
  • Roger was upset at this being taken away from him but didn’t hold it personally against Coverdale or Hughes.
  • Hughes claims Coverdale was the only one auditioned.  Coletta said they auditioned multiple other people at Scorpio Sound.  It could have been that they were auditioned before Hughes joined.
  • Coletta recalls that the people coming in to audition didn’t realize they were auditioning for Purple so it must’ve been a shock.
  • Sheila Hughes states in Hughes’ biography that he had also been courted by ELO and agonized over the decision before choosing Deep Purple.  In “Smoke on the Water” Dave Thompson says that had turned down the gig in ELO previously.

David Coverdale:

  • Also grew up as an only child.
  • Started performing professionally at 14.
  • Was in a few bands:
  • The Skyliners
  • Vintage 67 (1966-68)
  • Magdalene
  • Denver Mule
  • The Government (1968-72)

Acquiring Coverdale:

  • Blackmore: “Glenn we saw at the Marquee, and Ian and Jon said we must have him, but we still needed another singer, a more masculine voice.  I was off to form a band with Ian Paice, I thought it would be an adventure, but Ian Paice said it would be silly to abandon all our efforts.  Probably in three years the band will have a reshuffle again; maybe David and Glenn will be getting in new members!
  • Blackmore: “I could put Ian down, but I don’t think I want to get into that, because he’s never put any of the band down.  I thought Ian was a very good vocalist and he had a great face and image. He got a lot of people interested in Deep Purple.  But then his vocals began not to do anything to me. I used to say, ‘I think that vocal is a load of shit’ and this is why Ian and I fell out.  I wasn’t quite satisfied. The band was always a bit poppy. It was quite nice but it was too poppy.
  • They went through many demo tapes including a lot of Gillan impersonators and even a fifteen year old with no experience who was looking to start big.  Who they would up with wouldn’t be too far off.
  • They were so desperate at one point they considered being a four piece with Hughes oas the lone vocalist.
  • Coverdale had supported Deep purple on 11/22/1969 at Bradford University and had given Lord his number.  In 1973 he was an unknown 21 year old (meaning he was 17 when he supported Purple??) It was here that Coverdale gave Lord his 
  • He was working at a “Stride In Style” clothes shop in Redcar.  Coverdale read the Melody Maker advertisement during his lunch break and decided to audition.
  • Roger Barker, a local promoter for the Redcar Jazz Club where Purple had played, helped him send off his application and demo tape.  Coverdale didn’t have any pictures so he got a picture from his mother of him dressed in his Boy Scout Uniform.
  • Coverdale’s demo featured his band, The Fabulosa Brothers, playing funk rock covers and recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.
  • Ian Paice from “Smoke on the Water”: “David’s tape was rubbish except for four bars where he actually sung really hard and I thought there was something in his voice that was really good, so I said let’s get him down here.  He had these incredibly awful glasses on and this strange, not quite straight hair, and he had an eye that wandered around. I’m sure it was a nervous thing and he was massively overweight but we got him in the studio and he sang very well.  But part of the deal was, if you are going to come into the band, you’ve got to look a bit different to that, because he looked exactly what he was, a chap from a clothing store who really didn’t give a toss about himself. He agreed to everything because he wanted in and became the glorious David Coverdale that everybody knows and loves today.”
  • Coletta: “He was very overweight with pimples all over the place.  We got his eyes fixed, put him on a diet, and gave him the right food to eat.”
  • They gave him contact lenses “diet pills.” Rob Cooksey, their road manager, says: “He was wired out all the time when they made the album but he weathered the problem because he is a such a strong personality.”
  • A few days later Barker received a call to bring David Coverdale to London for an audition at Scorpio Sound Studios.
  • Coverdale says he arrived with some “Dutch Courage” inside him meaning Bells Whisky.  There he met Jon and Ian:
    • “Paicey and Lordy were already at the studio when I arrived. Mr. Lord was exceptionally charming and welcoming, doing his best to put me at ease…whilst Ian messed around on his Ludwig drum kit. Ritchie arrived next with his then wife, Babs, and their two wolfhounds whom Ritchie obviously doted on. He completely ignored me, other than a quick surreptitious look to check me out…a brief nod when we made eye contact. Without missing a beat I was off to the whisky for a quick, nervous sip…er…make that a gulp!”
  • He felt very self conscious about his looks and borrowed clothes from the boutique back home.  Coverdale says he felt more at ease when Glenn arrived.
  • They jammed with Coverdale improvising.  Coverdale said that he’d learned “Strange Kind of Woman” which they played slow and bluesy (would love to hear this).
    • Blackmore: “Ok, you can sing rock, let’s see what you can do with a ballad…anything you want to sing?”
    • Coverdale suggested “Yesterday.”  He says this is what got him the gig.
  • Coverdale met with John Coletta who Coverdale says “interrogated” him about if he had any criminal convictions or an “unsavory past” that could embarrass the  band. He passed the test and Coletta gave him 50 to get a new haircut and some better clothes.
  • Ian Paice drove Coverdale to the train and Coverdale used the money to buy himself a first class ticket on the train.
  • Coverdale didn’t hear anything for a week before he got the call from Tony Edwards to come back to London.
  • When he met with management they told him he’d be paid 80 a week to sign the contract.
  • Coverdale said he was earning almost this from working at the clothing store.  They then told him that 80 was for him and that everything else (clothes, equipment, living expenses, travel) would be paid by the band. On top of that he would be a one-fifth member of the band.
  • Coverdale said he’d take the contract to look it over and Coletta lost his mind saying that he could get Mick Jagger if he wanted to and that he needed to sign it or he’d be out.
  • Coverdale was intimidated and scared and signed a ten year deal.
  • Coverdale confided in Jon Lord years later about this meeting and Jon Lord was furious and told him he never should have signed.
  • Coverdale was invited to Blackmore’s house for a writing session.
  • Blackmore wanted to pursue a solo career and only agreed to stay in Purple for more creative control.
  • Coverdale returned home with a cassette tape of Blackmore’s music and began writing lyrics.
  • The band then met at Clearwell Castle in Glouscestershire and set up a studio in the cellars.
  • Coverdale was extremely nervous and Lord jammed Beatles tunes with him to get him warmed up.
  • According to Coverdale the songs were put together with input form Lord, Paice, and Hughes but they all deferred to Blackmore for the final decision.
  • Coverdale was in disbelief:
    • “What a band. What an unbelievable, powerful collective this was. It was easy for me, as the singer, to stand back and watch and listen… and it was incredible! I couldn’t believe my luck in being involved with this enterprise. Please… if this is a dream… don’t let me wake up!”
  • The band flew to Hamburg and checked into the Atlantic Hotel for a long weekend off from rehearsals.
  • While at the clubs Blackmore told Coverdale to watch what tempos the girls were dancing to the most and to apply it to his songwriting:
    • Coverdale: “I learned an immense amount from him [Blackmore].”

  • At the castle the new band was announced to the world.  The press was invited and all of them asked questions similar to “who is this guy?”  The band was very supportive.
  • Blackmore, on new lineup: “You could say a Beatles feel with a hard rock backing in the basic thing.  We expect a vocalist to take on the part of a lead instrument . . . Who knows? After th eLP I might be saying he’s [Coverdale] a shitty vocalist as well.  I’m not going to say he’s the best vocalist int he world but when we heard him we thought, “Christ he’s good” . . . There are now two other guys involved so it makes it more or less a new band to me.  IT’s not Deep Purple anymore although it’s still the same name. Really, it’s a completely different band.”

This Week in Purple History . . .

August 12 through August 18

  • August 15, 1950 – Tommy Aldridge is Born
1 CD Packshot
  • August 15 & 16, 1972 – Made in Japan Live Performances
  • August 16, 1980 – Cozy Powell’s last Rainbow gig

For Further Information:

Listener Mail/Comments

  • Comments about the show? Things you’d like us to cover?  We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at info@deeppurplepodcast.com or @ us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Episode #15 – Who Do We Think We Are (The End, Part 2)

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Lead Up To Album & Writing:

  • In “The Road of Golden Dust” Jerry Bloom lays a little more blame at the feet of Ian Gillan for the break of of Mark 2. In the book he states that Gillan insisted on traveling with his girlfriend, Zoe Dean.  The rest of the band were enjoying all the stereotypical perks of the 70s rock star including many, many groupies.  Zoe reportedly would phone the wives and girlfriends of the other band members and report in on what was going on in the road.
  • Jon Lord said to Mike Eriksson (trinkelbonker!) in 1981: “Ian was a primadonna.  On stage he played a primadonna and offstage he was a primadonna.”
  • Gillan soon felt isolated from the band and began traveling separately.
  • One source says this was because the band gave Gillan an ultimatum of leaving Dean at home or traveling separately. This hasn’t been corroborated by anyone in the band but the rumor is out there.
  • Ian Hansford, roadie for Elf, says during a song one night Ritchie took his guitar off, threw it on the stage and walked off after Ian Gillan told him, “Look at me you c-word.” Blackmore told Hansford that he’d had it with Gillan
  • Gillan had started working on his Cherkazoo project on the side but the tour schedule gave him little time.  He’d gotten in the studio with Glover, Lord, and Fenwick and completed some songs. Gillan also worked on producing an album by the band Jerusalem.  That band broke up and members formed another band called Pussy which Gillan also produced.
  • He’d been in talks with Disney to develop a movie with Cherkazoo which he described as a “an animal/space/musical travelogue fantasy”
  • Back with Deep Purple Glover had the job of serving as a liaison between Gillan and Blackmore.
  • Blackmore claims he never spoke to Gillan during the entire recording of Who Do We Think We Are.  Blackmore said he started holding back, not sharing all his ideas as he was saving them for a potential future project such as Baby Face.
  • Martin Birch says he never saw any confrontation, just Gillan and Blackmore purposefully avoiding each other.
  • Blackmore said everyone gave their worst and called the album rubbish.
  • Glover was much more positive on the final result.
  • The record label was starting to cash in and released “Purple Passages” compilation album around this time.  It included 4 tracks from the “Deep Purple” album which was out of print at this time. This was good for Rod Evans giving him probably better royalties than he’d made with Purple in the 60s.

Album Art & Booklet Review

  • Album art removed the bubble of text.  Simon Robinson: “The cover was in attempt, using an image from a NASA satellite, to have the heads of the five band members floating above the landscape. It was only partially successful and was altered for the US And Canadian version in an attempt to improve on the effect.  Any subtlety they did manage with the complex overlaid color transparencies was lost by the cheap looking title lettering (which we’ve omitted on this edition).”

Album Details and Analysis:

  1. Woman From Tokyo (‘99 Remix)
  2. Woman From Tokyo (Alt. Bridge Version)
  3. Painted Horse (Studio Outtake Version)
    • The sessions on produced two songs, Woman From Tokyo and “Painted Horse” which Ritchie hated and would not allow on the album.
    • Allegedly only Jon Lord may have been happy with the vocal performance and Gillan refused to redo it.
    • Each verse about death in a different form, a child, a carpenter, the narrator himself.
    • It wasn’t released until 1977 on  the “New Live and Rare” compilation.
    • Gillan refused to do a second take, unhappy about having to redo the Machine Head formula.
    • Their process was to work in vocals later after recording music.  This process didn’t work here because when Blackmore heard the vocals he didn’t like them and Gillan refused to do it again because of their relationship.
  4. Our Lady (’99 Remix)
  5. Rat Bat Blue (Writing Session Version)
    • Shows Ritchie’s guitar solos being worked out before ultimately handing all the solo over to Lord.
  6. Rat Bat Blue (‘99 Remix)
  7. First Day Jam (Instrumental Version)
    • First day was a write off.  Roger got stuck in traffic in Rome and they recorded this instrumental with Blackmore on bass.

“Smelly Botty” and Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe” were nixed by Lord for the special edition as he thought they would be a little distracting.

Reception and Review

  • Lord: “Ian’s timing of leaving was terrible. The band was just on the edge of becoming absolutely massive.  And indeed Burn as an album actually did take advantage of that. IT was a tremendously good album.”
  • In 1973 they had 11 different entries in the billboard charts – when Ian Gillan left.  #1 selling artist in the US.
  • John Lord in Melody Maker told Michael Watts on the last day of their US tour before flying to Hawaii then Japan.
    • “He told us nine or ten months ago that he wanted to leave this summer,” said Lord. “He feels he wants out of the business entirely. What do you call it? Re-evaluating? He may sing some more: in fact, knowing Ian as I do, I don’t think he can give it up completely.” Lord said that when the group returns to England they are to re-examine and re-evaluate their music.
    • “We want to get into regular rehearsing rather than just playing together to make an album which is what we have been doing during the last eighteen months.
    • “The only moves forward have come when we have gone to sound checks in the afternoons before gigs and sorted a few things together.
    • “I would like Deep Purple to develop into a freer group. We are a very tense band and orgasmic solos are our trademark. We actually want to become more vocal.”
  • Gillan: “We had just come off 18 months of touring, and we’d all had major illnesses at one time or another. Looking back, if they’d have been decent managers, they would have said, ‘All right, stop. I want you to all go on three months’ holiday. I don’t even want you to pick up an instrument.’ But instead they pushed us to complete the album on time. We should have stopped. I think if we did, Deep Purple would have still been around to this day.”
  • Ian Paice was going back and forth between leaving with Blackmore to form a new band and staying.  The money rolling in with Purple convinced him to stay and convince Blackmore of the same.
  • Ronnie Jame Dio toured with Elf and DP for their last tour with Gillan.  He said: “ Ian would stay in a different hotel to the rest of the band; he’d turn up at the gigs in a car, two or three minutes before the gig started, go onstage and do his bit, then as soon as it was over, he’d go back to his hotel again.  We couldn’t understand that. This isn’t how bands should be! For me that was the most unusual thing that ever happened on the purple tours, seeing a side of things that I just didn’t know existed. I thought bands got on really well and stayed together forever.  Boy, have I learned that lesson well over the years.”
  • A year later in Japan things weren’t as great for the band.  One of their last shows at the Budokan ended with a riot after Ritchie walked off stage and refused to do an encore.  The famous image of the chairs piled up and the place destroyed is from that show. Gillan got in a fight and was bloody and confronted Blackmore back at the hotel asking what the F that was all about.  Blackmore reportedly said: “The audience sucked. They didn’t deserve an encore so F ‘em.” 
  • On December 9th 1972 Gillan wrote a letter after a show in Dayton OH on stationery from the hotel they were staying at that he would be leaving the band after their tour obligations were complete on June 30, 1973.
  • He used the paper from the hotel which had printed on the top: Where every guest is king!”
    • Dear Tony, 
    •          Thank you for your telegram. Perhaps in my letter to you, the word ‘affiliations’ misled you. I must now make it clear that my doubts lie in the direction of my own desires to perform as an artist. I am so depressed with my occupation at the moment, as well as the circumstances and attitudes I have to work with that I felt it very necessary to put on record my intentions to leave the group on 30th June 1973. This decision is not impulsive, but is made after at least six months of thought. 
    •         I am certainly not considering moving to any other companies for management, etc. It is quite simply that if, after three months complete break I decide to continue in this business, I shall find a new way of expressing my ideas, or at least a more varied way. I suppose I could sum up by saying that I think D.P. has become a boring, stagnant machine, far removed from the refreshing, innovative group it once was. I think this was inevitable and that we should ‘quit while we’re ahead’. 
    •          Another advantage to deciding upon a date at least six months in advance is that nobody will be able to take an unfair advantage of the situation. You must admit that this is almost a probability, were matters allowed to follow an unguided course. 
    •          I have already formulated a basic pattern for the future and I shall obviously make you aware of my intentions when I reach London. 
    •         Yours Sincerely, Ian Gillan
    • Scan of this courtesy of @JoergPlaner’s tweet on Twitter.
    • From Chris Charlesworth’s book Deep Purple: The Illustrated Biography.
    • This would have been just about the time “Made in Japan” was released.
  • Ian Gillan writes in “Child in Time” that neither John or Tony asked him to reconsider or told him to take a break and think it over.  He speculates that had he and Ritchie and the rest of the band simply had some time off instead of being worked like dogs that perhaps their relationship could have improved.
  • The next incarnation of Mark 2 shows this may not have been the case.
  • He admits he didn’t want to leave.  The letter was a cry for help but no one was listening.
  • Ian Gillan decided that the band had gone as far as it could with that kind of rock.  There was too much talent in the band for it to remain static. Felt band was losing integrity.
  • Ian wrote a letter stating he would leave on June 30th, 1973.  
  • Jon Lord said this was a cry for help that management didn’t understand.  It broke his heart.
  • They thought it would be Ritchie who would leave as he was toying around with a band with Phil Lynott.
  • Management had meeting Tony Edwards, John Coletta summoned Jon and Roger to restaurant and asked if they could convince Paice to stay and get a new guitarist and new vocalist and stay.
  • Management asked Blackmore what it would take for him to stay.  Ritchie said he wasn’t into what Roger was doing but it wasn’t fair to him because he’s done nothing wrong.
  • Paice says he was just a kid, partying and living day to day, not worrying about what would happen next.  He left that to Ritchie and Jon.
  • In early 1973 they agreed to fire Roger if Ritchie would stay.  Ritchie felt awkward saying he’d rather leave and start something new.
  • Roger went to Tony Edwards to find out what was going on.  Felt like no one was talking to him. Tony finally gave in and told him they wanted him to leave the band.  Ritchie said he’d stay on the condition that Roger leaves. Roger says, “Pretty hurtful thing to hear.”
  • Roger asked why no one  told him before. Tony said because they wanted to finish the tour and they didn’t want him leaving in the middle.  Glover said, “F them, I’ll be the gentleman, I’ll fulfill my duties and then I’ll be gone.”
  • Roger sat next to Jon on the flight and Jon said he felt bad for what had happened.  Roger said he felt more let down by Jon and Paice more than Ritchie.
  • On the final night Ritchie said to Glover, “It’s nothing personal, it’s business.”
  • Blackmore was really starting to withdraw and become more remote from the band.
  • Roger Glover: “It had gotten to the point where Ritchie wasn’t interested in doing anybody else’s ideas. I remember in particular coming up with a chord sequence which I thought would be an interesting idea for a song. I’d written this out on a piece of paper – four or five chords or whatever, nothing much, and a certain rhythm. I said to Paicey: ‘Start this rhythm, about this time.’ Jon started playing. I started playing. But Ritchie just looked over my shoulder at this piece of paper and didn’t put his fingers on the strings even once – so the jam quickly fizzled out. “Instead, he started playing another riff. It may have been Mary Long or perhaps another one – something mid-tempo – as a lot of his riffs were starting to sound the same, nearly all variations in G…”
  • Gillan’s Last words in Osaka.  June 29, 1973: “All I want to say to all of you is thank you very much, you’ve been great. Thank you for everything you’ve given us in Japan and thank you . . . really you’re the representatives of the whole world as far as we’re concerned. Thank you and God bless you for everything you’ve ever given us. This is the last night. The end. God bless you. Thanks a lot. Good night.”

In The News . . .

  • Three performances:
    • Contractual Obligation #1: Live In Moscow (On Blu-ray)
    • Contractual Obligation #2: Live In Warsaw (On 2CD & digital)
    • Contractual Obligation #3: Live In St. Petersburg (On 3LP)
    • Still fresh from the success of the studio album “NOW What?!”, and just a few months before the release of the latest and equally successful album “inFinite”, Ian Gillan accepted the offer to tour for a month in Eastern Europe with a full rock show, accompanied every night by a different local orchestra.
    • Gillan decided to recruit the Don Airey Band, which features the guitar talent of Simon McBride.
    • All shows were truly unique, with Airey and McBride delivering perfect performances night after night. Deep Purple material (including rarities like “Razzle Dazzle” or “Anya”) went hand in hand with Gillan solo songs and surprises for those into the deepest catalogue.
    • The title is a humorous reference to Ian Gillan’s notorious reticence to pay any attention to his own or Deep Purple live releases (as he explains in the album liner notes). This live album and video might well be one of the nicest chapters in Gillan’s solo production ever and a reminder about how great his solo music and concerts have been over the years.
    • Curiosity: The last Deep Purple album was named “Infinity” (which later turned into: “inFinite”) during the afternoon preceding the Warsaw show that ended up being immortalized for its CD release.
    • 1. Hang Me Out To Dry
    • 2. Pictures Of Home
    • 3. No Lotion For That
    • 4. Strange Kind Of Woman
    • 5. Razzle Dazzle
    • 6. A Day Late ‘N’ A Dollar Short
    • 7. Lazy
    • 8. Rapture Of The Deep
    • 9. When A Blind Man Cries
    • 10. You’re Gonna Ruin Me Baby (with Grace Gillan)
    • 11. Ain’t No More Cane On The Brazos
    • 12. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth)
    • 13. Anya
    • 14. Perfect Strangers
    • 15. Hell To Pay
    • 16. Demon’s Eye
    • 17. Smoke On The Water
    • 18. Hush
    • 19. Black Night

This Week in Purple History . . .

August 5 through August 11

  • August 8, 1942 – John Gustafson is born
  • August 8, 1980 – Gillan releases Glory road, their third album
  • August 7, 2002 – Ian Paice releases instructional video “Not For The Pros”

For Further Information:

Listener Mail/Comments

  • Comments about the show? Things you’d like us to cover?  We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at info@deeppurplepodcast.com or @ us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.