– We may not have been angels but we always avoided the hard stuff. We toured with Deep Purple in the States in 1976 and I worried about Tommy Bolin. He was a beautiful man and a good guitarist but he did not want to listen to people that warned him about that shit. I tried to talk to him and he said “Jimi Hendrix did it and look how good he was”. I said, “But Tommy, Jimi is dead!”. I actually saw Hendrix early on and it was way better than the last time I had a chance to see him. Tommy Bolin was one of these guys that this business just eats up. It was a good tour for us, we did better than Purple really.
Sleepfan on YouTube points out that “Sunset Ride” was NOT a Tommy Bolin album!
Bolin writing credits on James Gang’s “Bang” album – accidentally credited him as having writing credits on four tracks when actually he wrote/co-wrote eight tracks.
Jim Massa on YouTube says, “Hey guys, I noticed you haven’t done a Machine Head episode yet!”
Chris Schild on Twitter mentions that he heard that Tommy Bolin’s picture of his head has been copies into an older shot of the band for the cover of Jame Gang’s “Bang” album.
A LOT of love for Stormbringer and for Tommy Bolin!
The work that Bolin did on the album had it carried to the live shows could have put fans’ longing for Blackmore to rest. However, their live set was instead disjointed and inconsistent.
“Come Taste The Band” is often forgotten or dismissed.
Hughes says during the live set they’d be on stage for an hour and 45 minutes and Coverdale would be off stage for about 45 minutes with the band jamming and Hughes singing.
Coverdale states that he thought the band members had all become spineless. They could see the wheels coming off but they felt powerless to do anything about it.
In an interview with Tony Stewart in 1976: “I refuse to stand on stage with Glenn while he’d doin his bloody ‘Georgia On My Mind,’ and I’m standing there in the dark saying, ‘C’mon, get it out of your system. Where’s the band? C‘Mon, Tommy, get it out, c’mon Jon do your classical bits’ – and I’d go off and have a cigarette. Where’s that at? That ain’t no …. Band. Then Ian turns round and says ‘Dave, stop bellowing so much.’ I got that gig on the strength of my talent. Nobody did me a favour. Those cats wanted me to work. Like, I’ve got the good to do it, and up to now people have only heard one facet of my talent.”
After recording the album Hughes went to rehab for the first time but it wasn’t successful.
The band’s management was very worried about Hughes going on tour with his problem. They decided his test gig to see if he was ready was the live performance of The Butterfly Ball. If he could make it through that he’d be allowed to tour with the band.
He gave a good performance then says he got loaded immediately after the show.
They then went off to New Zealand on the “no drugs” tour and Hughes says for six weeks they were clean and everything was great.
They flew to Jakarta where they were received by tens of thousands of fan. Two nights playing to crowds of 10-15,000 turned into 125,000 per night in a venue the size of Wembley Stadium. The band would have made ~ $1million for two nights.
The promoter for the gigs had as security the Indonesian military. Capacity for the venues would have been well below the total number of tickets sold, less than half. People were crammed in.
Two girls showed up at Hughes’ room sent by the promoters of the show.
Hughes in his book: “Thank God Blackmore wasn’t still with us or there would have been a riot.”
Very scary scene with military and dogs keeping the fans at bay. Band was very nervous and decided to do shorter sets.
After the show Patsy Collins, one of the road crew, got in an altercation with one of the girls in Glenn’s room. Glenn says he walked out of the room after Patsy stormed out and it was silent, no one was there.
The next morning people came in Glenn’s room at 7:30am. They said Patsy had fallen down an elevator shaft, stumbled into the lobby and died. Glenn, along with other road crew were taken into custody.
He was let out for the second show, handed his bass by a security guard with a gun and watched during the entire set.
The army let dogs loose on the crowd during the set and the band ended up playing a short set.
They went back to jail and were going to be held when all of a sudden a couple of girls came forward and told the authorities that they’d seen Patsy open the wrong door. They were off the hook and free to go.
Hughes suspects that the girls send to the room were sent to get Patsy out of the room to cause problems for the band.
The theory the management had is that the band was being discredited as a way to get out of paying them for the shows. The band was never paid.
When they went to leave the country the tires of their plane had been slashed. They needed to pay extra money to get new tires but the airport people weren’t allowed to help so they had to use the co-pilot and some roadies to change the tires.
Years later, in the late 90s, they had an offer to play in Indonesia. Jon Lord refused to go because of the painful memories.
In Japan Tommy Bolin “slept” on his arm and pinched a nerve and was barely able to play.
They recorded “Last Concert in Japan” and in they were all really drunk on mai tais and pina coladas. Hughes says you can see him about to throw up on the video.
Hughes in his book talks about how ashamed he was of the performance. They were all drunk and Tommy couldn’t even play.
They couldn’t return to UK because they couldn’t be in the country for more than 30 days a year for tax purposes.
They rehearsed for an american tour and took a DC9 from LA to North Carolina. It was the same DC9 that killed Lynyrd Skynyrd members.
At a point Tommy didn’t even want to get high with Hughes anymore. Hughes was finding dealers and getting high alone because he was so paranoid.
Bonzo pulled a gun on Hughes after a show because he’d heard that he was involved with his wife. Luckily they ironed things out and then went and got wasted.
The last time Bonzo saw him he snuck up on Glenn and said, “So you fancy your chance, do yer?” and punched Hughes in the mouth chipping a tooth.
The next night someone tried to give Hughes some coke and Bob Cooksey (who’d been hired to keep Hughes straight) punched him out. The next day Hughes said he realized how good he could performa if he was in shape.
Hughes was using uppers to lose weight and dealing with full blown cocaine psychosis. Tells story of calling a hotel manager to say there was a man in a yellow hat trying to break into his room. His room was on the 24th floor.
Hughes said everyone expected him to die. His parents expected that every phone call would be someone telling them he’d died.
They played their last US show with Tommy and Glenn tried to skip out on the flight back to the UK but he was essentially thrown onto the plane.
Hughes tells story of sleeping for 3-4 days straight, waking up in a cold sweat, eating whatever he could, and going back to sleep.
Hughes could stay awake for up to a week at a time. From March 10 through March 15 1976 he didn’t sleep.
March 15 was the day that Deep Purple broke up. Hughes says he couldn’t play well. Lord had to drag him on stage on the 15th. Hughes says it was his lowest point in Purple. The band had abandoned him. He was staying by himself. He says it was a miracle that he made it to those gigs at all.
At one point during the show, Glenn said to the audience, “I’m sorry we’re not playing very well, but we’re very tired and jet-lagged.” And I remember spluttering to myself, “Speak for yourself.” I was working like a Trojan to try and make this work … Paicey was playing like a madman just to keep it all together … Coverdale was singing his socks off. So to hear this guy who was extremely high on various substances telling the audience, “I’m sorry, We aren’t playing well” kind of rankled me a bit. I came off stage and went straight to my dressing room, which I was sharing with Ian Paice, and I said, “Ian … that’s it, isn’t it? That’s absolutely the end of this band as far as I’m concerned. Why are we doing this to ourselves?” So he and I shook hands and said, “It’s over. Thank God.” About ten minutes later, Coverdale came in, big blustery guy that he is, and he said, “I’m leaving the band!” And we said, “David, there’s no band to leave.”
Hughes says he didn’t want to continue making the music that Purple was making. He wanted to work on his solo album, Play Me Out. His relationship with Vicky Gibbs had broken up (Jon Lord’s wife, and twin sister of Ian Paice’s wife Jacky). The album is mostly about her.
Coverdale was talking to Hughes at Ian Paice’s wedding about working on a solo album too. Only Glenn didn’t know that he’d left Purple. Management hadn’t told him.
There was no talk of trying to press on. It was over.
Glenn gets back with Trapeze.
Bolin introduced Tommy to Linda Blair.
Trapeze kicked him out because he was so messed up.
He ended up moving in with Karen, Tommy’s ex-girlfriend. They later married
On December 4, 1976 Glenn got a call that Tommy had died. He and Karen had received a post card from him the day before saying he’d see them at Christmas.
Mark 3 & 4 Bonus Tracks:
Review of unreleased Mk 3 & Mk 4 materia.
Highball Shooter (Instrumental)
Same in L.A.
Mark 1-4 Wrap Up
Chrisl @inkpen111 on Twitter asks:
What is the Purple song you could happily never hear again?
What if Paul Rodgers had actually joined the band?
What if there had been another Purple LP after CTTB?
@StratCars on Twitter asks:
What was the best song DP (all lineups) used as a concert opener?
Why the Hammond Organ was such a vital part of DP.
Tim @trzasa on Twitter asks:
What if Glenn Hughes had been in Mark 2?
@murray_bulger on Twitter asks:
What if Hughes and Bolin didn’t do drugs?
What if Hughes played more rock than funk?
What if Mark 2,3,4 didn’t break up and one line up kept going to last 70s into 80s?
What if Ian Paice played more double kick?
What if Peter Grand (legendary Led Zeppelin manager) was manager of Deep Purple?
What if Ian Paice could sing? And sang a song like Bill Ward Sang “It’s All Right.”
What if Blackmore liked funk going into the late 70s? Would Purple have turned to a disco-rock band?
@Dannymd71 on Twitter asks:
I’ve heard that Roger Glover really happened to be brought into the band by chance because he tagged along with Ian Gillan for his audition/jam. What do you think would’ve happened if he weren’t in the band (at least initially)? Would Nick Simper have stayed longer?
Ian Paice: “It should have stopped then, but there were certain pressures from behind. To me and Jon it was a staggering blow to lose Ritchie. While there was a majority from the original band it was a viable proposition to carry on, but when we became a minority it wasn’t. What really happened is that we just got talked into continuing.”
In the book “Sail Away” Hughes says that Bolin had been living with him for three months prior to joining Deep Purple. He also states that the band knew Tommy was addicted but didn’t know how deep it went into morphine and heroin.
Jon Lord: “In hindsight, and with no disrespect to Glenn and David, we should have finished it then and there.”
Jon Lord says they’d come a long way in seven years and that they were wealthy and living in LA. For he and Ian they didn’t mind ending the band but Glenn and David were hungry to move on.
Lord felt that they were a strong band and could be successful if they could keep Hughes in line.
In “Smoke on the Water” Thompson talks about Lord and Paice not wanting to go through a lengthy audition process as they did not enjoy it.
Colin Hart and Rob Cooksey rented a rehearsal space at Pirate Sound Studios in Hollywood.
When Ritchie left Hughes said he was ready to call it quits and just go back to L.A.
The common thought was how were they going to replace Ritchie Blackmore?
Hughes, Bowie, and Ronnie Wood were all in “kind of a cocaine club” according to Hughes.
At this point, Glenn graduated from only every accepting free coke to actually going out and buying it.
This begins the first of the Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde thing with Glenn as his addiction began to take over.
Hughes moved next to Paice as they were dating the twin sisters (Hughes with Vicky, Paice with Jacky).
Hughes was having auditory hallucinations and was becoming very paranoid.
Hughes says he didn’t really sleep. He took cat naps here and there, sometimes being up for 72 hours without sleep.
Vicky eventually left Glenn.
Bowie ended up moving in with Glenn, unclear if it was to be with him to make sure he was okay.
Coverdale’s first choice was Jeff Beck, then Rory Gallagher. Neither were interested.
Hughes wanted to replace Blackmore with Clem Clempson from Humble Pie. He auditioned but didn’t have the charisma they were looking for. He also nearly got into a fight with Bowie.
Colin Hart mentioned that the owner of Pirate Sound, Robert Simon, had done some work with The James Gang and was impressed with Bolin. Coverdale already knew him from Spectrum. They played Spectrum for Lord over and over and he was convinced.
The next guy auditioned was Tommy Bolin. When Hughes saw him he said, “Whether or not you get the gig you’re coming back to my house tonight.” He looked like the kind of guy Hughes would want to party with. Tommy accepted a bump of coke from him. He would party with Coverdale but Coverdale always knew when to call it a night. Hughes felt he had found someone he could party with at the same level.
Lord on his audition: “He was just . . . marvelous. He plugged into four Marshall 100 watt stacks and I swear to God it was as exciting as any time we played with Ritchie. Ian just lit up on his drums and David came over saying, ‘what did I tell you?’”
Bolin: “I knew they’d been successful but all I’d heard was Smoke on the Water and Hush. I didn’t think that they would be as good as they were at all, or as funky. Jus tto test them, to see where they were at, I started off with something very funky, and they immediately caught on. In the first song I knew I wanted to join them.”
Bolin nailed the audition and they told him the next day.
Bolin had just signed a solo deal so there were some legal issues they needed to sort through.
The band took a short break for Tommy to finish his solo album and then returned to Musicland studios with Martin Birch.
Birch: “Tommy was a great tuitarist but he really didn’t know what he was doing half the time. He played totally on feel and he got involved with Glenn quite closely so the funk thing now came from both of them.”
Paice tells a story that they’d gotten off the plane in Europe and it was Tommy’s first time in Europe. They’d laid out some sleeping pills so they could all get a good rest and beat the jet lag. Tommy came over and swallowed all five then asked Ian, “What do these do?”
Hughes and Bolin started writing songs for Come Taste the Band immediately, some that wouldn’t be released until the “Play Me Out” album.
Hughes said he would drink to take the edge off the coke and as he puts it in his autobiography: “not for the fine art of tasting the grape.”
Hughes decided for Come Taste The Band that he was going to cut back, not quit.
AT one point he stole some coke from Tommy Bolin’s stash. After doing it he felt bad and gave it to one of the road crew. After coming down he was banging on the guy’s door to give it back.
On Tommy’s birthday they went out to a bar and asked for coke. After doing it Glenn freaked out because it had never had that effect on him. They’d been given heroin which Hughes had never tried before. But by Tommy’s 24th birthday he was very familiar with it.
For Coverdale this overt drug use was the beginning of the end for him.
Hughes talks about how he’d be up for 24 hours playing a Fender Rhodes. He’d have them delivered to his hotel room or wherever he was. One night Ritchie’s guitar tech, Rob Cooksey, was delivering a piano for Glenn when he had an accident and was killed.
The band divided into three camps: Glenn and Tommy, David alone, and Jon and Ian.
Album Art & Booklet Review
First album with a gatefold since Who Do We Think We Are.
Bolin: “Jon who knows every song in the book, started playing Cabaret and I was really drunk and I started singing by mistake ‘come see the band, come taste the band’ so that’s how the title came . . .”
“Some people want a serious title like New Born or New Breed. I think we should have an amusing title. People take things to seriously anyway.”
Designed by Castle, Chappell & Partners.
Photo shot once again by Fin Costello (who did Burn). Though another source says Peter Williams did the photography. It may have been the layout.
Jon Coletta got the mock up and showed it to Coverdale but they’d gotten it wrong and it said “Come & Taste The Band” so they had to redo the artwork.
Hughes was so messed up on cocaine that he couldn’t make the shoot and they had to use an old photo of him.
Inner sleeve with lyrics.
Album Details and Analysis:
Bolin was the main contributor on 7 of the ten track (including This Time Around/Owed to G) as separate. Astonishing given the fact that he was hired as a replacement.
Coming Home (Coverdale, Paice, Bolin)
Last song written and recorded on the last day of the sessions because they realized they were a little short on time.
Coverdale remembers going off with Bolin to write it: “We’d discovered we were a few minutes short for the album and we couldn’t have a fifteen minute side so Tommy Bolin and myself went off and wrote it in the studio. I just rediscovered recently that Paicey’s there on the credits — I dunno what he did apart from play the drums! Anyway, it’s still got that hundred miles an hour tempo, that’s still intact. It’s still like a Tobacco Auction trying to sing the bloody thing!”
Opening lyrics reminiscent of Speed King.
Talks about “grooving to American Bandstand.”
Bolin on backing vocals.
Bolin also laid down bass on the track as Hughes had already left to go to the UK to start rehab.
Rarely played live.
Lady Luck (Cook, Coverdale)
Written by Coverdale and Jeff Cook who was the singer in Energy, Bolin’s old band)
They used to perform this track and when Bolin played it for the band they wanted to play it.
Coverdale wrote a new lyrics because Bolin couldn’t remember the original ones with the blessing of Cook who got writing credits.
Hughes refutes this to Steve Pilkington: “Absolutely not. To me, and this was what was in my mind when I wrote the song, “Getting Tighter” was about how good can this groove get, how tight am I with that bass drum – it’s about how tight he music can be, and getting as great a groove as we possibly could. It was a celebration of that, really, “We’re tight, we’re grooving, we’re ready to go to a club, let’s go.”
This was a live number.
Dealer (Bolin, Coverdale)
Bolin takes lead vocal at end of the song.
Hughes: “This was David’s song to me I guess; he cared for me a lot and always had his head screwed on.”
Bolin: “It’s about junk. It’s the best thing in the world when you have it, and the worst thing in the world when you don’t.”
Hughes states in “Sail Away” that he sang this song, came back to the studio and Coverdale had taken over on lead. He says that he must’ve been voted off the track by the rest of the band.
I Need Love (Bolin, Coverdale)
Was played live on the Asian dates in 1975 but soon got dropped.
Drifter (Bolin, Coverdale)
Standard Coverdale lyrics.
Again played in Asia then dropped from the set.
Love Child (Bolin, Coverdale)
Lord’s funky solo.
Stayed in set list until the very end.
This Time Around/Owed to “G” (Hughes, Lord, Bolin)
These were two tracks recorded separately but sequenced together on the album.
The band always played them back to back live.
Lord plays all the instrumentation on “This Time Around.”
Hughes heard Lord playing some chords told him to stop and says they’d written it in an hour and then recorded it after that.
Hughes said he laid down the vocals at 2am alone in the studio with Birch.
Hughes, in an interview with Steve Pilkington: “What happened there was that the very same week I wrote that song I found myself getting a bit deeper into trouble with the drink and too many drugs, and all those problems and I was beginning to think “What if this is the end” , you know. So I was kind of writing about that, being on the edge, with the world hanging in doubt, but trying to bring some love into it. I was in a pretty dark place then.’
Lord: “I actually remember playing that theme on the piano one day all by myself when I was alone in the studio. Well, I thought I was alone and then Glenn came and said: ‘What’s that?, I told: “Well, I don’t know yet, it’s the beginning of an idea. And he said: ‘Let’s work on it!’ I think we did it in a half of hour. That’s one of my favorites.”
One reviewer called this: “the Purple song Stevie Wonder will wish he’d written a year from now.”
Bolin said in an interview that they’d toyed with calling the first part of the song Gersh and the second part Win.
Owed to ‘G’ written by Bolin.
‘G’ is Gershwin.
You Keep on Moving (Coverdale, Hughes)
The only Coverdale, Hughes collaboration in all their time together.
Was one of the first tracks they wrote in 1973 but they never got to show it to Blackmore so it didn’t end up on Burn.
Hughes: “Yes, that was written by David and I above a Wimpy Bar in Saltburn-on-Sea, which is where he was living at the time, in August of 1973. But Ritchie Blackmore, bless him, didn’t like “You Keep on Moving” so we had to wait until Tommy came in before we could use it. I love it, it’s one of my favorites for sure.”
Coverdale: “Jon wrote the chords around the ‘where angels fear to tread’ bit.
Bolin joins in on the line “and the cry, still returning”.
Released as a single but not successful.
Was briefly in their live set.
Reception and Review
The work that Bolin did on the album had it carried to the live shows could have put fans’ longing for Blackmore to rest. However, their live set was instead disjointed and inconsistent.
“Come Taste The Band” is often forgotten or dismissed.
After recording the album Hughes went to rehab for the first time but it wasn’t successful.
Steve Peacock summarized the album in the weekly publication “Street Life” with the following:
“Riff, squark, solo, squawk . . .”
“Solo, riff, fade . . .”
Fanfare called it ‘the best since Machine Head.’
NME: “probably their best since, let’s say, In Rock . . .”
Circus magazine suggested that CTTB was a concept album “about the psychic dislocations of the rock lifestyle.”
Hardcore Deep Purple fans were the most critical.
Some people really loved it, unfortunately by the time fans became aware of it, it all came crashing to an end.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa on August 1, 1953 to Rich and Barbara Bolin.
Started playing drums then later keyboards before starting guitar. His dad got him one at Sears.
His father took him to see Elvis and he said one day he’d be on stage like that.
Played “Heartbreak Hotel” on “Kids Corner” and they wanted him back.
Painted a school bus blue and started a band called “Patch of Blue” and the parents would accompany them because they weren’t old enough to play at bars. Tommy’s dad would drive the bus wherever they would go.
First band was at thirteen The Miserlous.
Brad Miller, another school kid from Denny & The Triumphs recruited him to join. Then he played in a band called Patch of Blue.
Rule of the school was to have hair at the collar. They had him cut it. He did and went back and they said he needed to cut above the ears. Tommy didn’t want to cut his hair. His parents fought it and Tommy decided just to drop out.
Dropped out of high school at the age of 16 and moved to Denver to join a band called American Standard, later called Crosstown Bus.
Jeff Cook tells story of them jamming and hearing him tap on the window and asking to jam. He was 15. They almost told him to get lost but he played “Purple Haze” note for note and they let fired their guitarist and let him join the band.
Eventually he started a band called Ethereal Zephyr which would later rebrand as just Zephyr.
Tommy was annoyed with Candy and David wanting creative control. He was furious how they mixed the “Going Back to Colorado” album and he quit in 1972.
Tommy Bolin and Bobby Berge quit Zephyr to form Energy. Tommy vowed never to be in a band with a female singer again.
Energy had no vocalist at first. Very freeform. Shunned commerciality. Were constantly being given advice about how to appeal to more people, play covers, turn down the volume, etc. They stayed true to what they wanted to do.
Instrumental based on Tommy’s bad taste from Zephyr vocalist Candy Givens but eventually Jeff Cook joined on vocals.
Energy broke up in 1973 after failing to get a record contract.
Jeff Cook in Tommy Bolin “The Ultimate” documentary tells story of how they were playing two shows in one night. They saw the first show and the band was incredible. They told them they were as good as signed, they had a deal. The band began celebrating between sets, drinking grain alcohol. They bombed the second show not knowing the executives stayed. They blew it.
Billy Cobham heard of Tommy Bolin and recruited him for his Spectrum album.
Tommy was worried because he couldn’t read music but Cobham just wrote him out some charts and he played along.
He was completely broke after Energy. Joe Walsh called Tommy Bolin to ask him to replace him in The James Gang. Jeff Cook wrote songs with him that were used in The James Gang.
Bolin then replaced Joe Walsh in The James Gang
Tommy told his friends he was embarrassed by the gig but if he stayed with them for a year he’d have enough money to make his own album.
Bolin, in “Touched by Magic”: “They were tight among themselves, but it was like I was on one side of the river, and they were on the other. For instance, if I would be doing a guitar solo, be getting inti t and all that, they would almost at points look . . . bored, y’know? They were straight-laced rock players, whereas I wanted to go out and explore other places.
After Miami came out it began charting but Tommy was unhappy with the group and quit.
Bolin: “I also did the ‘Mind Transplant’ album with Alphone Mouzon. I really like the L.P., but every tune is about a minute too long.
Mouzon: “Tommy was a pure genius at what he did. No one played guitar like Tommy. Tommy was always funny and making jokes. He was really happy and sincere — it all showed in his guitar playing. He didn’t read music but it didn’t matter, because he had a special gift that allowed him to memorize melodies and chord changes immediately. He would add harmonies to the melodies because Tommy had great ears.”
Organ [Hammond], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Jerry Peters
Earl Johnson was supposed to do all the guitar on the album but got in a huge fight with the produce who kicked him out of the studio. Bolin was hearby and Moxy’s manager asked him to fill in. The manager, Roland PAquin, had been The James Gang’s road manager as well and knew him.
Earl Johnson: “Regarding Tommy — I loved his playing, but never met him personally, and wish I had. I wrote about 95% of Moxy’s first album as the guitar player.”
On getting thrown out of the studio: “It actually made me a better player, as I felt challenged, and knew I had to improve my playing. Tommy had a great feel and style, and I admired him for that.”
Coverdale loved Bolin’s work on Spectrum and Mind Transplant and wanted him in the band.
Coverdale: “I was really impressed with his work, and I had no idea if he was a 70-year-old African American–I had no idea.” Everyone was impressed with him so they sent out the word that they wanted to meet with him and audition him.
Tommy Bolin had seen The California Jam and knew Smoke on the Water but was otherwise unfamiliar with the band.
Bolin’s approach was the complete opposite of Blackmore being much more laid back, not needing musical control. However he was given almost total control over the album.
Blackmore: “Tommy Bolin is very good. He’s one of the best. I think Purple will probably be quite happy with him. He can handle a lot of stuff, including funk and jazz. Maybe they’ll turn into a rather different band, but I really don’t think so. I think they know that if they did they’d be just another funk band . They’ll still keep to the rock side of things, I’m sure of it. In fact, the next album will probably be a lot rockier than my last record with them, Stormbringer.”
A fascinating insight into the golden-age of 1970s and 80s rock and roll told through the eyes of music legend Bernie Marsden and, most notably, his role in establishing one of the world’s most famous rock bands of all time – Whitesnake.
Bernie Marsden is a musical treasure…I don’t think people know ALL he has done and just how much he was a part of the early British rock scene to present day. It’s all in here. READ THIS BOOK!’ Steve Lukather, Toto
Touring with AC/DC. Befriending The Beatles. Writing one of the world’s most iconic rock songs.
This is the story of a young boy from a small town who dreamt of one day playing the guitar for a living – and ended up a rock n’ roll legend.
It follows Bernie Marsden’s astonishing career in the industry – from tours in Cold War Germany and Franco’s Spain, to meeting and befriending George Harrison and touring Europe with AC/DC. It’s a story of hard graft, of life on the road, of meeting and playing with your heroes, of writing iconic rock songs – most notably the multi-million selling hit ‘Here I Go Again’ – and of being in one of the biggest rock bands of all time. At age 30, Bernie left Whitesnake due to serious conflict with his management, something he explores in this memoir for the very first time.
Packed with stories and encounters with the likes of Ringo Starr, Elton John, Cozy Powell, Ozzy Osborne, B.B. King and Jon Lord, this is not just a remarkable look into the highs and lows of being a true music legend, but an intimate account of the revolutionary impact rock and roll music has offered to the world.
This Week in Purple History . . .
September 2 through September 8
9/5/1945 – Mick Underwood is born
9/4 & 9/6 1986 – Nobody’s Perfect Live Performances
In the early 2000s at Abbey Road two studio techs took down a box of unlabeled tapes and loaded them into the tape machine to see what they were. Upon listening to them they still didn’t know but guessed it was “Earth, Wind, and Fire.” What they’d found instead was the lost masters for Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer” album, specifically the song “You Can’t Do It Right.”
June and July of 1974 were actually set aside as free time for the band, something that may never have happened before outside of someone getting hepatitis.
Once again the band squandered that time off they had.
Coverdale: “Theoretically we had a couple of weeks of peace and quiet to write in but inevitably they turned into a couple of weeks of revelry and we found most of the writing was actually done while we were in the studio.
Jon Lord used this time to work on two projects: First of the Big Bands with Tony Ashton and his Windows album.
Ritchie Blackmore did session work for Adam Faith’s album “I Survive” but only appears on the first 30 seconds of the first song.
They spent their time organizing football games, shooting air rifles, and Blackmore did some more seances.
In an interview Jon Lord told reporters that they had written fourteen or fifteen songs. Obviously a large number didn’t make the album.
Roger Glover was producing Elf, Nazareth, and continuing work as an A&R guy for Purple records.
Glover also began work on The Butterfly Ball and Hughes/Coverdale would both play a part in the recording.
Gillan was working on his Cherkazoo project at his new recording studio.
The band went back to Clearwell for two weeks of rehearsals ahead of recording Stormbringer. Again, like with Fireball and Who Do We Think We Are the band went into rest mode.
For the first time since Fireball they also decided to go into a studio to record, the Musicland studios in the base of the Arabella hotel in Munich.
Lord had used the studio to mix his Windows album.
Martin Birch was also very impressed with the studio and called it: “one of the best equipped and technically advanced studios I know.”
Whitesnake, Rainbow, PAL would all record there. Years later a subway was constructed nearby and the studio had to shut down.
Coverdale: “We went to Munich with very little worked out. We had been working so hard on promoting the new band and convincing people of its worth that we never had any time to write.”
“The Road of Golden Dust” doesn’t mention it but in “Smoke on the Water” the picture is painted of this great rivalry between Coverdale/Hughes and Hughes diving into drugs partly to curb the frustration he had at not being the lead singer. Most of the quotes I’ve found were about how they never argued about who sung what and how well they got on.
Lord got to work on Windows and Blackmore was beginning work on a solo project.
A concept had been suggested earlier that this new album would be divided up amongst each member with each of them able to share their own ideas.
Ritchie didn’t bring much to the sessions. His marriage was in the process of breaking up. Hughes compliments Blackmore’s playing on his material calling it brilliant. The band didn’t realize he was thinking about leaving at this point.
As Coverdale and Hughes got more interested in soul/funk direction, Blackmore was beginning to get more interested in classical influences.
Blackmore: “1974- that’s when it hit me . . . That’s what set my mind thinking. But I used to love just listening to it — that was enough. Play rock n roll, listen to Renaissance music.”
For the first time since 1969 there were songs where Blackmore didn’t get a writing credit.
“Musical differences” are almost always brought up in a breakup but in this case it was absolutely true.
The band was jockying to get their own songs on the album now for financial reasons. A big difference from the song crediting process used by Mark 2.
Blackmore worked with Coverdale trying to turn his lyrics away from normal Rock and Roll things like groupies, hotels and rock and roll. Blackmore wanted lyrical imagery about literature and art. In “Smoke on the Water” Dave Thompson writes: “Nobody paid good money to listen to plumbers discuss plumbing or bank clerks talk about banking. Beyond whatever vicarious thrills might be derived from another life-on-the-road song, why should rock’n’rollers be any different?
Blackmore’s interests were in dragons, and fantasy worlds.
Birch: “The funk thing started to creep in, it wasn’t going the way Ritchie wanted and by the time it came to the mixing stage he’d lost interest completely.
In Mozambique they opted for an orange and black almost sketched look to the cover.
Korean version was called “Soldier of Fortune” and did not include the track “Stormbringer.”
The original title and design for the album was “Silence” based on a sign in the control room at Musicland. The cover featured a picture of a young woman with her finger over her lips.
Blackmore told a reporter at the studio he wanted a girl on the cover because “we’re fed up having to look at our own faces.” He suggested that the woman would be holding a phallic symbol.
The second idea was to call it Stormbringer but the original cover was of the aftermath of the riot in Japan after Who Do We Think We Are. They decided against this because they didn’t want to encourage more rioting.
Album cover is based on a photo of a tornado on July 8, 1927 near Jasper, Minnesota. The photo was taken by Lucille Handberg and was edited for the album’s cover.
The same photo was used for Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” album in 1970 as well as Siouxie and the Banshees album “Tinderbox” from 1986.
There is a book “Stormbringer” by Michael Moorcock about a magical sword which was successful in the 60s and 70s but Coverdale denied knowledge of this book until after recording the album. Coverdale says and claimed the name was from mythology.
Interview with Moorcock as outlined in “Smoke on the Water” by Dave Thompson: “I saw an interview a while back with [David Coverdale] . . . There’s an interview in NME that goes, ‘Why did you take Mike Moorcock’s title for your album?’ and he says “Well, I didn’t. It’s just a general name, it’s a mythological name.’ And the interviewer says, “No it isn’t.’ And it’s going back and forth, and he says, ‘Well I think it is.’” In fact it isn’t, but Moorcock shrugged, “You get used to that after a while. I’m not hugely sensitive about that.”
The cover design was given to Joe Chabalka who commissioned the painting by Joe Carnett. He gave him the black and white photo by Lucile Handberg. Joe Garnett explains in a 2014 interview: “. . . I was briefed to do an oil painting using the photo provided, only adding a horse with wings and rainbow lightning. The result is the cover and back of the album, “Stormbringer.”
“Sadly John Cabalka passed away last September. He was the creator of more than 175 album covers. I miss my old friend a lot. I only did about 35 album covers over a span of 24 years. I rarely got to meet any of the recording artists, including members of Deep Purple.
Joe Garnett did album covers for Captain Beyond, Cheech & Chong, Jethro Tull, and REO Speedwagon.
First album cover not to feature faces of any of the band members.
No gatefold for some reason.
Lyrics were printed on the back cover.
This was the first time the Deep Purple logo would be used once more for “Made in Europe” and then wouldn’t be used again until it was brought back it in the nineties.
Album Details and Analysis:
Recorded in Munich in August of 1974.
Coverdale says the album was written mostly in the studio.
All tracks by Blackmore, Coverdale, Hughes, Lord, Paice except where indicated.
Stormbringer (Blackmore, Coverdale)
Glenn Hughes claims the slurred gibberish by Coverdale is the same backwards dialogue that Linda Blair’s character utters in the film The Exorcist. C**ksucker, Motherf**ker, Stormbringer.
Hughes says it’s “Your mother sucks c**ks in hell” after having seen a private screening of the movie.
Hughes says he is saying the words when Linda Blair meets the priest.
Lyrics written in the fantasy realm at Blackmore’s request.
Coverdale insisted that “Stormbringer” was a heavy metal song. “I know because I wrote the bloody thing.”
Love Don’t Mean a Thing (Blackmore, Coverdale, Hughes, Lord, Paice)
Hughes says Ritchie found a busker who was singing a song similar to this. They brought him on to the Starship, had him play the song, and paid him some money and decided to do a take on it.
Ritchie: “Some coloured guy came up to me at a party and said I’ve got a song for you.’ So I said, ‘Right, leave me alone.’ But he insisted, so I told him to sing it. He started snapping his fingers and it sounded great. I figured it sounds this good just with him snapping his fingers, then it’s got to be a good tune for the band. We rearranged it, added some parts and recorded it.”
Hughes confirms this story and gave more information: “It was written on our private plane, The Starship.” He says Blackmore encountered the busker in Downtown Chicago singing a song about money and then invited him back to their plane.
Hughes: “Blackers, David, myself and the busker started jammin’ away on the song. It took about twenty minutes to write. I added the music to the bridge and vox bridge and David and I , with the help of our guest, wrote the lyrics.”
Afterward the busker disappeared and no one could remember his name.
I read elsewhere (can’t remember where) that they tried to contact the busker but couldn’t find him.
Holy Man (Coverdale, Hughes, Lord)
Coverdale had written some of this presumably before Deep Purple. He remembers Jon and Ian saying “there’s no way on earth you’re going to get Ritchie to play that.
Glenn wrote the chorus lyrics and Jon wrote the synth parts.
Some people said “Called to Madonna” was a reference to cocaine.
Hughes refutes this and says he never put drug references in songs.
Holy Man was about having the strength to continue to be on the road.
Hughes: Holy Man was actually written about the endurance of being on the road, and having to find inner strength to cope with things. It’s calling to Madonna to give me some help, or advice, that’s what it is. It was never, ever about cocaine, because while I may have taken drugs one thing I never ever did was to glamorise it in a lyric. It was a song about spiritual support and strength, basically.
First song on a DP album since “Chasing Shadows” and “Blind” on the “Deep Purple” album to not feature a credit for Blackmore.
Hughes says Blackmore didn’t want anyone in the room with him when he recorded the solo but Hughes stayed with him. Hughes suggested he play the solo with a slide. There was a slide across the room but there was a screwdriver six inches away from him so he grabbed that and played it with the screwdriver with one take.
Came from an idea Jon Lord had on the organ. Everyone liked it except for Blackmore who hated it.
Coverdale: “The song was Jon’s idea. Everyone loved it except Ritchie. I sat with him while he did the solo, sitting in the control room with the speakers on. He played it so casually, said he couldn’t be bothered, but it was fantastic.”
Paice: “Ritchie’s ideas about what he will and won’t play are quite firmly stated.”
He claims to have played the solo in one take using only one finger, his thumb.
Never played live.
David Bowie loved the track and considered covering it.
Simon Robinson says the organ opening may have been inspired by work with Tony Ashton. It does sound like Paice Ahston Lord.
Hughes tells a story in his autobiography about being in the studio recording ‘High Ball Shooter’ and ‘The Gypsy’ and he went to the bathroom and bumped into Stevie Wonder. He introduced himself to him and confessed that he was trying to imitate Stevie’s style with this new song. Stevie said he had to hear it so Hughes got him a tape.
Stevie touched Glenn’s face and hair and called him “Leo” because of his mane of hair. He said, “You’ve been listening to my records!” They talked for about an hour then he brought him over to meet Coverdale while Coverdale was recording the vocals to “Hold On” with Martin Birch. Coverdale sees someone in there and gets angry telling Hughes to get out and that he doesn’t want anyone there while he’s doing his vocals. Hughes explained that it was Stevie Wonder and they had a bit of a laugh and they said they hung out all night listening to Stevie play and sing.
While Hughes was doing vocals David Bowie stopped by and was dancing next to Hughes while he sang the vocals.
Lady Double Dealer (Blackmore, Coverdale)
You Can’t Do It Right (With the One You Love) (Blackmore, Coverdale, Hughes)
Mostly Hughes written showing his Stevie Wonder influence.
Divisive among fans showing the funky direction the band was headed.
In the liner notes for the special edition, Simon Robinson states that he believes the Eagles may have been influenced by this in writing “Life in the Fast Lane”
High Ball Shooter (Blackmore, Coverdale, Hughes, Lord, Paice)
Blackmore said he was so disgusted by “High Ball Shooter” that he didn’t even know the title or lyrics until the album was released.
Blackmore: “I didn’t stick around to find out the title of the song, although I recall it is in the key of A . . .”
Hughes: “The great fill that Paicey kicked off the song (with) says it all, I guess playing as a rhythm section was finally paying dividends… he was on fire.”
Third song to make it to the live set.
Steve Pilkington: “some of the worst lyrics ever to grace a Deep Purple song — even counting some of the horrors Gillan had visited upon us.”
Hughes mentions they were two songs short and this one was added at the end.
The Gypsy (Blackmore, Coverdale, Hughes, Lord, Paice)
Tells a more interesting narrative story.
Hughes says this was the other song added because they were short on the album.
Soldier of Fortune (Blackmore, Coverdale)
Blackmore states that the other three members of the band hated this song and it was difficult just getting them to play on it.
Blackmore and Coverdale recorded their own demo with Blackmore playing bass. When the band heard it they liked it and they re-recorded it.
Blackmore: “David and I wrote that song. It’s one of my favorite songs. It’s got a few of those medieval chords. You will be surprised how difficult it was to convince the others to play that song. Jon fairly quickly said okay, but Ian and Glenn didn’t want to know about it. So I said “I’ll play your funky song if you will play mine. Glenn hated that song he thought it was shit. Ian quit after two takes as well. Not enough for him to do in that song to prove himself.”
Coverdale says he and Blackmore wrote it at Clearwell Castle while the others were playing soccer.
They recorded a demo of it together.
Coverdale states that he and Blackmore shared a love of early Jethro Tull and incorporating bits of Bach, English folk music, etc.
Blackmore was reportedly disappointed that the lyrics were not more literal about an actual soldier returning home.
This would be the last time that Coverdale and Blackmore wrote together.
Reception and Review
This album did not perform as well as past albums. Went gold in America in a few weeks and was certified gold on Jan 9th, 1975.
Peaked at 6 in Britain and was top 10 in most other European countries. It reached number 2 in Norway. In America it reached #20 and stayed there for 20 weeks.
Coverdale handled all press about the album.
I an interview with NME, Coverdale said, “There’s a whole lot of new ideas going down. It isn’t contrived rock’n roll.”
With Burn and now Stormbringer, Deep Purple has attempted to prove, firstly, that replacing the departed Ian Gillan and Roger Glover with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes has in no way weakened the highly successful and profitable D.P. sound and, secondly, that to continue to sell albums the band need no longer rely on the unique but overdone speedo-riff rock that made the five albums from In Rock to Made in Japan quadrillion sellers. While the two newcomers are just as competent as their predecessors (as witnessed on the title cut, one of the few real throwbacks to Machine Head days), the attempts that the band has made at diversifying its sound have been only partly successful. While the group-?? “Hold On” should rightly be considered one of the neatest, most accessible and rockiest songs they’ve ever done, slower paced stuff like “Holy Man” or the Uriah Heep-like “Gypsy” hardly rate above the commonplace. Stormbringer still exhibits a few points of flash — the occasional familiar Blackmore riff or Lord organ wail — but in total it’s a far cry from the band’s peak.
Lord, in an interview with Mick Burgess: “David and Glenn certainly did have more of an influence on Stormbringer for the simple reason that Ritchie took his eye off the ball as he had his idea in his head about Rainbow. He could’ve been stronger during the making of Sormbringer and if he had been stronger then Stormbringer could have been a better album, not that it’s a bad album but it could’ve been a better one. It’s quite a confusing album. At the time our fans got a little confused by it. With Burn we picked up the torch and ran with it, I just wish we could have stayed with it. I think Ritchie lost a bit of energy trying to deal with the runaway train that was Glenn Hughes. At the time he was a bit of a loose canon and hard to deal with and I think Ritchie just had enough.”
Blackmore, on why there wasn’t as much guitar on this album: “There wasn’t as much guitar because in a way I was going through some personal problems and I didn’t have the people there that I wanted to record with. I was thinking about other things when I should have been thinking about the music.”
Blackmore, in an interview in Sounds: “I don’t like . . . funk. It bores me to tears. But this is as far as it goes no, it’s the end of that. Back to rock and roll next LP.”
Blackmore quoted in Neil Priddey’s Purple Records 1971-1978 put it very simply: “Stormbringer was crap.”
Hughes in Martin Popoff’s “Sail Away”: “… when David and I came in, the band started to become more, and I’m going to say, soulful. Because we grew up in the North of England, we grew up listening to American R&B. Rather than try replacing Gillan and Glover with two look- and sound-alikes, they replaced them with two totally different commodities, and it showed very strongly on Stormbringer what it was all about. And I like change in music. I don’t want to make Burn II. Led Zeppelin did a really good job in their careers of making different records every time. So that’s how I feel about Stormbringer — it’s a different record.”
Ian Paice: “David was the new kid on the block and he was very malleable. He was just enjoying the vibe of being in a big rock ‘n’ roll band. Glenn’s influences were so different, although on the first album, Burn, they were kept under control. When it came down to getting down to the second one, Stormbringer, I mean, Glenn can’t help it. He likes the music that he likes and that was starting to change it. So it was starting to change from being a hard rock’n’roll band to something that was becoming a little more funky, which Ritchie hated.”
Coverdale: “Oh my God! I wrote two songs which could be termed heavy metal or whatever. I’ve never embraced the term ‘heavy metal’ because all my themes are emotional. But I wrote two songs to keep Ritchie Blackmore happy which were Burn (which I still think is a classic) and Stormbringer which basically if you look at the lyrics, they are more or less sci-fi poems. But it never felt comfortable for me to have those. In fact, I think that’s where he got the name Rainbow from, the hook in “Stormbringer.” “Burn,” I can enjoy any time of the day but I don’t really go for “Stormbringer.”
Coverdale: “The year that I joined Deep Purple my most played records were Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘There’s a Riot Goin’ On,’ Steveie Wonder’s ‘Music of My Mind’ and Donny Hathaway’s ‘Live.’
Hughes: “The crazy thing about Ritchie’s disliking of what he calls “shoe shine music” (a term I find to be less than amusing) is that on songs like ‘Hold On’ and ‘You Can’t Do It Right’ and ‘Love Don’t Mean a Thing’ which he played on, the only word for it, or description of his style is . . . funky. Check out his picking, he astonished (us) with the way he used his right hand. He played wonderfully and appropriately.”
Blackmore really wanted to do a cover song on this album, “Black Sheep of the Family” by Quatermass.
Mick Underwood had popped in during the In Rock sessions to show him a tape of this new song beginning Blackmore’s obsession with the song.
The band refused to do it.
Blackmore didn’t like his ideas not being used.
Blackmore claims he brought it to the band and they didn’t want to do other songs because they wouldn’t get writing credit. Lord and Paice were the most against the idea.
Lord remembers it differently saying that Blackmore would play them things during the sessions and then when they said they liked it and wanted to record it he would say, “No, I’m saving that for my solo album.” Much like previously with Who Do We Think We Are.
The band were making so much money on tour reportedly bringing in well over 100,000 pounds after four shows in the US.
Their accountant told them to move abroad to avoid paying the tax rate in the UK that was well over 90%.
Blackmore moved to America first.
Lord was annoyed that he had to move away from his home country despite liking America. He says that his first marriage fell victim to the move to California.
Coverdale claims that he was being taxed 98%.
Their contact with their management became less frequent due to the distance.
Traveling they all had their own routines.
Their live set changed. Lay Down, Stay Down and Might Just Take Your Life were replaced by The Gypsy and Lady Double Dealer, and Stormbringer.
They did a very short tour with the feeling that they’d come back and work on some solo projects.
Blackmore first approached Coverdale in joining him to leave the band and form Rainbow. Coverdale declined.
Blackmore got Dio drunk one night and convinced him to go to the studio and record “Black Sheep of the Family.” Blackmore liked the working relationship so much they did a B-side then started talking about when to record an album.
After Elf’s “Trying to Burn the Sun” was released Blackmore flew in Mickey Lee Soule, Gary Driscoll, and Graig Gruber to Munich to work on the album. Blackmore’s wife, an opera singer, also did tracks for the album. The album was completed on March 14, two days before Purple’s European tour began.
All of Deep Purple had no idea this project was going on.
This is shocking considering Martin Birch and a lot of DP’s road crew were involved. Was Blackmore trying to keep this secret or was the rest of the band just not paying attention?
Bowie asked Hughes to fly to New York to work on Young Americans but Blackmore refused to let him go. He was very firm and put his foot down.
Blackmore, Paice, and Coverdale headed to Yugoslavia to meet up with Hughes and Lord for two shows which would be the first shows DP would play in an Easter Bloc country.
At one of the shows a woman in the audience attempted to hand a note to Blackmore and was punched in the face by a security guard. Blackmore, seeing this, kicked the guard in the back of the head.
After the Yugoslavia shows Jerry Bloom reports in “The Road of Golden Dust” that an exhausted Blackmore said to Pete Makowski, a journalis with Sounds, who was reporting on this glimpse behind the Iron Curtain, “See these hands? I probably own two fingers if I’m lucky. The rest belongs to the management. All of my life I’ve been ripped off and undervalued and I”m just sick of it all.”
Blackmore was now traveling promoting an album he wasn’t happy with after finishing a project he had much more passion for. The only songs he allowed on the tour were three he had writing credits for on the album: Stormbringer, Lady Double Dealer, The Gypsy.
Reviews of these concerts seemed to all report the same thing: Blackmore played well but seemed disinterested.
Glenn Hughes, in his autobiography, states that by the end of the year there was really no communication between Blackmore and the band.
Midway through the tour Blackmore informed management that he was quitting. They kept it secret from the band. The band, of course, figured out something was up.
They recorded the last few shows Blackmore could play concluding in Paris where Coverdale thanked the crowd after the show and said, “We hope to see you again in some shape or form.”
Coverdale wanted to press on.
On the last show where they had been recording “Made in Europe” Hughes says he was doing a line in the bathroom and came out to see Ritchie standing there and smling. He told him it had been great working with him but he felt ashamed and dirty of his habit at that point.
Hughes states that the cocaine up until this point was under control and he was just dabbling with the drug. But things were starting to change.
This Week in Purple History . . .
August 26 through September 1
August 27, 1960 – Neil Murray is born
August 30, 1950 – Micky Moody is born
September 1, 1973 – Bang by James Gang is released
August 27, 1978 – Gillan plays their first show at the Reading Festival
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.
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”
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.
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
August 15 & 16, 1972 – Made in Japan Live Performances
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:
Woman From Tokyo (‘99 Remix)
Woman From Tokyo (Alt. Bridge Version)
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.
Our Lady (’99 Remix)
Rat Bat Blue (Writing Session Version)
Shows Ritchie’s guitar solos being worked out before ultimately handing all the solo over to Lord.
Rat Bat Blue (‘99 Remix)
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!”
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.
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.”
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
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)
14. Perfect Strangers
15. Hell To Pay
16. Demon’s Eye
17. Smoke On The Water
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”
They began recording in July of 1972 just a month before performing “Made in Japan.” Only Woman From Tokyo would make the album. They completed the album upon returning from Japan in October.
Woman From Tokyo was written before they’d ever been to Japan.
In the US they were more interested in the next studio album.
They recorded Who Do We Think We Are but since Made in Japan was “The ‘Machine Head Album’ they decided to release that first (in December) while Who do we think we are was released a month later in January of 1973.
Eventually Warner Bros. released it internationally because Deep Purple’s management was importing copies into the United States and they were losing out on not releasing it.
The band flew to the States four times in the first six months of 1972 as well as doing European dates. Almost everyone in the band had suffered from fatigue and serious illnesses.
When they stopped touring in July to begin recording they rented a villa near Rome.
Roger Glover says they had a supply of good cheap local red wine and hundreds of bottles were delivered at the start of recording.
The villa had a living room, dining room, five or six bedrooms, a patio, a swimming pool. They recorded in what Glover called “the feasting room.”
The first problem was that the mobile wouldn’t fit through the archway to the villa so they had to go out and buy extra long cables.
They had to walk a third of a mile to listen to the takes.
The equipment was all late so the first day was spent drinking wine. There was an old piano in the room that they used to have a singalong.
The first night there Glover writes about the cook bringing in the meal: “As evening fell, the cook, a dentally challenged woman who would soon be known affectionately as Fang, served the pasta and we all continued dipping into the copious supply of wine and grappa, confident that we were in good shape and that when the gear eventually arrived we would have a lot of fun making this album.”
They spent three weeks doing not much other than playing cards, drinking wine, swimming in the pool, and eating meals prepared by Fang.
Blackmore refused to stay in the house with the others and often didn’t come to the sessions at all.
Gillan: “I remember the joys of the local red wine, the underwater swimming championships in the pool and the eternal frustrations of trying to perform as a band while 20 per cent short in number…”
The sessions on produced two songs, “Woman From Tokyo” and “Painted Horse” which Ritchie hated and would not allow on the album.
Gillan write in “Child in Time” about a third song “Smelly Botty.” This was supposedly sung by Jon Lord.
Ian Gillan also did a cover of Conway Twitty’s “Its Only Make Believe.” with the band singing backup vocals.
Blackmore was trying to recruit Paul Rodgers to replace Gillan and trying to launch Baby Face who had done some demos. There were even rumors that Blackmore was trying to get Rodgers to front Baby Face.
Thin Lizzy would release a Deep Purple tribute album in 1972.
Glover, in an interview with Steve Pilkington, quoted Paul McCartney’s line about the album “Let it Be.” “It was 90% enjoyable but everyone wanted to focus on the 10%.”
Glover: “That’s how it was with Ritchie — a lot of the time it was fine, we had a great time, and it was a really good dynamic, it wasn’t these constant arguments that people imagine. The thing with Ritchie though is that while he’s a great, gifted musician, he’s not a natural team player.
Glover talks about starting up a riff and they’d all join in and say let’s do it but Ritchie would say he was saving that for his solo album.
I wonder if any of that was stuff that ended up on Burn.
Italian journalists showed up and saw Glover, Lord and Gillan set up to record in one room with Blackmore and Paice in a garage. There were fights that were witnessed and one Italian paper wrote, “if Deep Purple are always like this, a split cannot be far away.”
Album Art & Booklet Review
Title of the album. Ian Paice said: “Deep Purple get piles of passionate letters either violently against or pro the group. The angry ones generally start off “Who do Deep Purple think they are…”
Another such letter was criticizing Paice for kicking over his drums at the end of a performance. Ian said: “I bought it so I’ll bloody well boot it!”
Cover designed by Roger Glover with John Coletta. Photography is by Fin Costello.
Cover described as a “stormy sky” which is fitting given the state of the band.
It’s actually an image from a NASA satellite that was used.
Original idea for the cover was cardboard cutouts of all the band members propped up like mannequins as if fame and fortune had somehow turned them into “merely images.”
Roger said he didn’t care for the cover design they wound up with.
Gatefold of album features news clippings about the band to keep with the theme of the album title.
Ad to promote the album ran in Melody Maker on February 17, 1973. There were also teaser ads throughout the magazine. The record company seemed to be making more of an effort to promote the album. Theory is that they knew Deep Purple was doomed and they wanted to make sure they got the maximum back on their investment.
Album Details and Analysis:
Album was more of a turn to blues-based music.
It took longer to record because they had to arrange schedules to record parts when certain band members weren’t present.
Woman From Tokyo
Gillan heard the guitar and sang “TO-KY-O!” to match and he and Glover finished the rest of the lyrics imagining what it would be like on their upcoming trip to Japan. An imaginary love affair with a woman in Tokyo that Ian and Roger hoped they would meet.
Glover states: “The lyrics spoke authoritatively about something we knew very little about at that time.”
Only song on the album recorded at the villa in Italy.
Written in advance of going to Japan (where they recorded Made in Japan) though many people think it was inspired by their trip to Japan as this album came out after Made in Japan.
Refers back to another song, “Black Night”
Single was a hit. Achieved gold status faster than any previous single in the US (three months). Was not released in the UK. It was scheduled for release but was never released.
They never played it in Japan. They never played it live until Deep Purple reformed in the 80s.
Was their most well known song off this album.
Song cost £8000 for the whole session, as much as the entire Machine Head album.
This song was in their live set which is odd given the absence of “Woman From Tokyo.”
Was recorded in October using the mobile unit near Frankfurt.
Combination of names: Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford.
Glover said they got the newspaper delivered at the studio:
“We had English papers delivered at the studio so we kept up with the news and those were the two people that got up our noses. It seemed that it was all getting much too pro-censorship and pro-do-gooder.”
Whitehouse’s pregnancy was announced in the newspapers. Glover: “Ian Came up with a great line: ‘We really didn’t know you’d had it in you’ — ever the master of the double-entendre!”
English social activist who felt that the liberal media had encouraged the youth of Britain to be more sexually promiscuous.
Founder and president of the NAtional Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association.
Opposed feminism, gay rights, and the sexual revolution.
She was against Doctor Who, Benny Hill, and the series “Till Death Do Us Part” A particular favorite of Ian Gillan’s. “Mary told Johnny not to write such trash . . .” reference to Johnny Speight, the creator of the show.
He was instrumental in decriminalizing homosexuality in the UK but later became a staunch opponent of homoosexuality calling it “utterly wrongful.”
He was kind of incompetent, being moved around from one position to another by his own party.
Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson said that Longford had the “mental capacity of a 12-year old.”
He was discovered attending strip clubs thus the “porny lord” reference and claims of hypocrisy as he was very vocally speaking out against all forms of adult entertainment.
Gillan recalls: “Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford were particularly high-profile figures at the time with very waggy-waggy finger attitudes. On reflection, it’s a little bit unfair because the generation before – in the post-war period – were extremely generous to us. But it’s just natural to rebel.
“Mary Long grew out of the whole idea of dealing with an imaginary person. It was about the standards of the older generation, the whole moral framework, intellectual vandalism – all of the things that exist throughout the generations.
“I had a lot of issues with the religion that I grew up with, but as I found out later, those issues exist in all religions, so Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford became one person – fusing together – to represent the hypocrisy that I saw at the time.
“So there I was slinging names about and accusing them of all sorts of things – dastardly deeds and vile occurrences! The idea was that we are young, we are naked and therefore we are truthful. I never met a 20-year-old who didn’t think they were immortal and didn’t lack an opinion on everything – it was that sort of time.”
This is the only song from the album the band performed live. The band projected pornographic images to convey the message of the song. This was only played live for about two dozen shows.
Even Blackmore said this was one of the best tracks on the album.
A Deep Purple song under 3 minutes!
Titled after the name of the big spotlights used at the time.
Glover had been thinking of Freddie King’s song ‘Going Down’ when he wrote the riff.
“I was a young man when I died.” Inspired by deaths of Jimi Hendrix and other rockers at a young age.
Gillan: “I admit taking my anger out on Ritchie in particular, and did so in the only way I knew best – hidden in the lyrics. ‘Smooth Dancer’ is an example of this, with frequent references to black suede, his favourite clothing. Unfortunately, I don’t think he saw the subtlety, which made me even more angry!”
Black suede is a reference to Ritchie’s “man in black” persona.
References Blackmore’s attempts to force Ian out. Ian declares that instead he’s going to “Walk to freedom.”
It’s actually a pretty touching song when you read the lyrics. Both angry and sad.
Glover: “It’s illuminating to read those lyrics and realise what was going through Ian’s mind. He wasn’t going to take what Ritchie was handing out but at the same time he wanted to be friends with him again.”
Rat Bat Blue
Reportedly about Gillan’s misogynistic tendency to “use and discard” groupies.
Organ/key solo is a stand out.
The title of the song may be from the name Ian Paice gave a drum fill that he used to warm up. The words “Rat Bat Bat Bat Blue” match the hits on the snare drum.
Glover’s favorite track of the album. Glover: “About picking up a loose chick for the night.”
Refers back to “Hard Loving Man.”
Roger Glover says Ritchie was bored with their normal solo structure and just gave the solo to Jon.
Place in Line
Straight blues number.
About the rat race of the music business.
“Nine long years” could be his reference to the music business and his desire to leave.
Inspired by a concept in a sci-fi novel which Glover read and passed to Gillan. It’s about the repetitive life they lead at the time.
Heard it compared to “I Am The Walrus.”
No guitar solo.
Ian Paice believed and was quoted as saying the band was “finding it harder to come up with killer riffs.”
Blackmore came up with the title for this song after walking by a church of the same name.
Lord: ““Our Lady might be quite surprising, for a start it’s very slow and concentrates more on the tune and the lyrics and there are no solos. It’s just a song, which is not normally the way Deep Purple seems to work.”
Reception and Review
Ian Paice viewed the album as the band moving forward: “there’s more melody and more electronic effects without losing any of the guts.
Lord was also happy: “If you don’t do what they expect people cry ‘cheat’ and if you do what they expect they should ‘formula; at you. There’s obviously a nice middle passage between those two and that’s what we’ve tried to get on this album.”
Glover tells a story of The Wasp being a karate student. He was practicing his punch when Ian Gillan decided he’d show Martin how much harder he could punch. He ended up breaking his hand. They had to re-break it and set it in a cast and to this day he has no knuckle on the little finger of his right hand which Glover describes as “an odd legacy of the album.”
Now if I really wanted to get picky, I could point to the “join the crowd” moog solo on “Rat Bat Blue.” What a cliched instrument the synthesizer has turned out to be — even boogie monsters like TYA’s Chick Churchill are playing around with it. And speaking of Churchill, Lord manages to sound just like him on the Purple blooze, otherwise known as “Place In Line.” It’s sorta like a sound sleep imitating a coma. And then (then) there’s “Smooth Dancer,” where they rhyme “dancing” with “pregnancy” in a chauvinistic power play that curdled every drop of Women’s Lib blood in my veins.
Well, at least “Super Trouper” ain’t half bad, but how can you possibly fault a song with such a nifty title? For that matter, how can you slam a group that makes an album like In Rock? It’s easy when their three follow-ups get you wondering if it’s the same group — real easy.
Talks about remastering “Slide it In” 35th anniversary edition
“What was the most amazing thing for me, was while we were remixing this in the studio, I felt the presence of [guitarist] Mel Galley, [drummer] Cozy Powell and [keyboardist] Jon Lord,” he recalls. “Half the band that made that record have passed away.”
“Chris turned ’round to me, he said, ‘Are you okay?’ I said, ‘My God, I can so feel their energy in here.’ And he goes, ‘Oh my God, I hope it’s positive.’ I went, ‘Oh, it’s absolutely positive.’ And I just felt them — I could see them standing here, behind us, like, hands on his shoulders and my shoulders as we were mixing. Hearing the individual performances, like from 24-track analog transfers to digital … hearing Jon Lord’s sound on its own, and then hearing Cozy Powell’s immense drum sound — …. It was wonderful. It was touching. It was rewarding. It just made the project fresh and exciting for me.”
This Week in Purple History . . .
July 29 through August 4
August 1, 1951 – Tommy Bolin is Born
August 2, 1951 – Joe Lynn Turner is born
August 3, 1975 – Deep Purple begin recording Come Taste The Band
August 1, 1977 – Captain Beyond release their third and final album “Dawn Explosion” without Rod Evans. They tried to contact him but couldn’t find him. Willy Daffern replaced him. Was in a band called “Hunger.”
Audio/Video issue on last episode – the one time there’s no copyright issues!
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
Machine Head original concept was to be a studio album, with a live performance after.
Machine head was a hit but it wasn’t really until “Made in Japan” came out that people really registered it.
Was supposed to be a Japan only release initially.
The band didn’t like the idea of live albums. Agreed on condition it would only come out in Japan.
H-Bomb bootleg being sold illegally. This was a bootleg of a show they did on July 11, 1970 in Aachen, Germany. Virgin Records. Richard Branson. This was later released in 2001 as Space Vol 1 & 2. 20 minute wring your neck, 33 minute Mandrake Root.
Deep Purple had been heavily bootlegged for years.
Live albums were thought to be budget albums.
Glover (in Sounds magazine): “There are so many bootlegs of us going around, if we put out our own live set, it should kill their market.”
Japanese record company wanted to record it and the band kept saying no.
Finally they agreed to do it under certain conditions:
It only comes out in Japan.
It doesn’t come out at all if they don’t like it.
They mix it and record it with their own engineer.
Enter “The Wasp” Birch!
Control room was backstage, no eye contact with the band.
In the United States “Made in Japan” was a huge hit and introduced a lot of the US to their hits.
Ritchie and Ian weren’t getting along offstage but on stage the chemistry was great.
It was truly live, no overdubs which was a big deal as there is controversy over other live albums.
They recorded three shows (Osaka on August 15 & 16, Tokyo on August 17) and selected from them.
Interplay between Ritchie and Gillan was something you didn’t see on the records that had developed in their live show.
Jon, Roger, speak about this being the peak of their abilities and their best moments.
When they got back to England they listened to the tapes and were really impressed and decided they’d like to put it out.
In the US they were more interested in the next studio album.
Album Art & Booklet Review
Title was a joke – if something was made in Japan it was thought to be second rate.
Scene between Marty and Doc from “Back to the Future III.”
Cover was designed by Glover. Featured a color photo of the band. With the famous font.
Japanese release featured an overhead shot of the band at the Rainbow in London.
Phil Collen of Def Leppard was at the show and can be seen on the album cover.
Album Details and Analysis:
Recorded three nights, August 15 in Osaka (band was jetlagged thought to be the least impressive of the three nights)
August 16 in Osaka where the bulk of the album is from.
August 17 in Tokyo which was a good performance but was thought to have inferior sound quality.
Osaka – August 16
Child in Time
Osaka – August 16
“You’re only about four foot six, but don’t worry about it. There’s always somebody smaller than you.”
Suggestions that this remark was a reference to Ronnie James Dio as Elf would have been opening for Deep Purple at this time.
Smoke on the Water
Osaka – August 15
The August 16 recording’s opening riff was too crazy for the record company
Only track from that night
Blackmore’s improv opening.
Blackmore talks about how he originally wrote it with this really medieval style lick between the chords but the band didn’t like it so he went back to the chords. Sounding just like something out of Blackmore’s night. 95% sure Blackmore is pulling our legs with this.
Song extended about another minute.
Tokyo August 17
Only a minute and half of the main riff before going into drum solo.
Track preceded by Ian Gillan asking for a bit more volume in the monitor. Blackmore can be heard saying “everything louder than everything else.”
Strange Kind of Woman
Osaka August 16
Hearing Ritchie and Ian trade off, which they would do in later years as well.
Very long version at almost ten minutes
Tokyo August 17
Extended opening. Vocals don’t come in until about 6 minutes in.
Osaka August 16
20 minutes, four times longer than original
They’d perfected this with their 20-30 minute versions of Mandrake Root and Wring That Neck.
Blackmore throws in “Jupiter” from Holst’s the Planets.
Reception and Review
The album was an immediate success.
The band really didn’t give it much thought. Glover and Paice were the only two who showed up for the mixing sessions.
According to Martin Birch Gillan and Blackmore have never heard the finished album. (From “Smoke on the Water”)
Release was delayed in the US until April (January in the UK) because they didn’t want too much overlap with “Who Do We Think We Are”
Warner Bros released the Smoke on the Water single coupling it with the live recording.
Gillan was critical of his performance on the album (despite having never heard it?). Paice thought it captured the spirit of the band at the time.
Jon Lord says it’s his favorite Deep Purple Album: “The band was at the height of its powers. That album was the epitome of what we stood for in those days.”
The critics were very kind to the album as well.
Both versions of “Smoke on the Water” (live and album) were in the American top ten at the same time.
The album redefined Deep Purple and live albums in general.
Expanded edition released with performances not included on main album.
Rumors went around for years that the shows had been filmed. In 2009 they discovered an 8mm film of about 40 minutes from Tokyo that they were able to sync up to the music. This can be seen on the “Deep Purple – History, Hits, and Highlights” DVD.
Notes that there are hints of “Speed King” and “Hard Lovin’ Man” in this song.
Some speculate DP was playing this live and that Warpig stole it from them.
DP don’t exactly have a clean track record to support this.
Notes From The Field:
John’s Ace Frehley show review.
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
The day that “Fireball” was released, it appeared in the press that Deep Purple would be recording a follow up album in Switzerland using the Rolling Stones’ mobile unit.
They were now under the newly formed “Purple Records.”
Management wanted to avoid the disjointed recording sessions that lasted forever like the previous albums.
They had the month of August off to prepare for a three month tour schedule after which they would record “Machine Head.”
Fireball didn’t have as many songs that worked well in a live setting. (i.e. “Anyone’s Daughter”).
They went to America for a month and were headliners for the first time.
Two shows in Gillan became very sick and they did a third show with Glover on lead vocals. It didn’t work out and the band went home.
While Ian recovered Blackmore and Paice went into the studio to work on their Baby Face project with Phil Lynott. This never panned out.
Glover was really happy to have the break. “I got most of my ideas during the four weeks off just because I was able to relax.”
They also wanted to try recording outside of a studio and they picked the casino in Montreux. The idea was to record on the stage as if they were performing a concert.
The Rolling Stones had this hugely expensive mobile recording studio that allowed them to record in more interesting locations. It was so expensive to operate they’d begun renting it out to other acts to offset the cost.
They worked with Claude Nobs on the Montreux Jazz Festival and Claude, who was involved in running the Casino.
There were plans that after they recorded the album they would perform it live and record that as well to release a double album with one half in the studio and the other half live.
Machine Head title is about the part of the guitar. Roger Glover came up with it. “Struck me as a good title. It had the word head, of course, which is always a good word to have.” Roger Glover said the term “has a certain menace to it.”
Went to Switzerland to use the Rolling Stones’ mobile unit.
Taxes, you can avoid paying taxes if you make it outside the country.
Recorded in two weeks.
Everything had been worked on in rehearsal except “Smoke on the Water.”
They got shut down recording “Smoke on the Water” a The Pavilion and had to find a new place. They they’d only be able to record during the day.
Since the casino was destroyed (more on that later) Claude had to help the band find a new location to record.
Found an old hotel (The Grand Hotel) that was closed for the season. Found the end of a corridor of the hotel.
Because of how the mobile unit was set up it was very difficult to record/listen.
Mobile parked outside front entrance, cables run in
The had to go out of the area they were recording, into a bedroom
On to a balcony, climb over to another balcony
Down the balcony, back through another bedroom
Though two doors, onto the landing
Winding staircase, through hall, to front door
Across the courtyard, to the truck
Up the steps to the truck to hear the playback.
This was in winter, in the snow.
Martin Birth set up a CC TV to monitor things.
Estimated that the album cost £8000 to record, £5000 just for the mobile unit.
Album Art & Booklet Review
The cover image was made by taking a sheet of polished metal and die stamping the type right onto it. It was then propped up and used as a mirror with the band reflected in it.
If you look closely you can see the camera man, Shep Sherbell.
Born in New York City. In 1960s London he photographed musicians including the Beatles, The Who, Keith Moon, Cat Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, Badfinger, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Frankie Valli, Humble Pie and Grand Funk Railroad. In the mid 70s, Sherbell moved to Washington and became a photojournalist covering the White House and Capitol Hill.
After the photoshoot he sold the camera he used to Roger Glover (his first Nikon!)
Shep passed away on August 18th of last year (2018)
Gatefold includes everyone who worked on the album.
The montage on the gatefold were simply cut up and put together.
Tony Edwards called Roger Glover to the office to suggest which image to use on the album. The rest of the band ignored Tony’s request and that’s why there are more shots of Roger than anyone else.
The original album came with a lyric sheet written in calligraphy.
Album reached #1 on the UK charts as well as many other countries. Did not chart in the US.
Has since received 2x Platinum in the US selling over 2 million copies.
Lord: “the apex of what we started to do with In Rock. I think we should try and go around a few corners with the next one. Some people say we don’t seem to have progressed very far since In Rock. Where some of that justification lies is in the fact that we haven’t really deviated from the set lines and I think it’s time we started to shoot for the stars a little bit more.”
Blackmore: “I think Machine Head is a good LP. I think the ideas are better and the group were playing well when we recorded it. Two tracks especially – Highway star and smoke on the water – i like. The whole album is a lot better than the last one.”
Started to show some stress about writing credits. Agreed in 1969 they’d credit everything to everyone.
Blackmore: “On this LP I wrote six tracks and Roger wrote two.”
Glover: “Sometimes I feel I’d like more credit for some of the stuff I do. I think it avoids friction this way, though I can’t say it won’t in the future. As soon as money comes into it people change; some for better, some for worse.”
Glover: “Machine Head was the beginning of the bad period. It was coming because as far as the writing side of it was concerned we’d agreed at the outset that we were going to share everything five ways, because everything we wrote was part of a jam, and in those days we had nothing to lose. It’s only when you realise how much money is involved in publishing that people turned around and said ‘he had nothing to do with that and yet he’s getting a lot of money for it.’ Those kind of things cause tension.”
By the time the album hit record stores in April of ‘72 Blackmore was telling journalists the the end was near. “”I suppose we’ll see the year out if we’re lucky.”
One morning Blackmore was late to a hotel reception on the tour. Their roadie, Colin Hart, went to get him and found him in the hallway of the hotel in tears. Blackmore had no memory of what had caused this nervous breakdown but he was able to get it together enough to complete the tour.
In The News . . .
Joe Satriani’s “Squares” album released today (July 12)!
This Week in Purple History . . .
July 15 through July 21
July 15, 1956 – Joe Satriani is born
July 16, 2012 – Jon Lord Dies
July 17, 1968 – The album that started it all, “Shades of Deep Purple,” is released