Episode #3 – Shades of Deep Purple

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Show Updates: & Feedback:

  • Video/audio changes made in episode #2.
  • @iandes76 on Twitter – “Nice discussion guys . . . keep the pods coming!”  Also, “Still can’t wrap my head around Stormbringer and CTTB.”
  • @joeblackrock on Twitter – “Deep Purple Podcast, who knew?”  Our calculations are correct, we may be the first!
  • @sabbathbloodypc on Twitter – “My prayers have been answered!!! Excited to go deep with this.  Welcome to the community.”
  • Bill Berry on the Website – “Good to see someone has started a DP podcast. The first show was a good start! A few tech glitches but mostly good, honest conversation about the greatest hard rock band of all time. Congrats Nathan and John, I look forward to hearing what you have up your sleeves for next time.”
  • @perroju666 on Twitter – “Grizzly Adams GIF” of approval when finding out about a Deep Purple Podcast.  High praise!
  • There were a few more, these were all received before episode #2 even released!
  • First week brings listeners from the US, Ireland, Canada, Chile, Brazil, the Philippines, Uruguay, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Estonia, and Serbia.

The Formation of Deep Purple

  • In September of 1967, Chris Curtis, former drummer for the band The Searchers, met with Tony Edwards (a London businessman) to found a band called Roundabout.  There would be a rotating cast with only Curtis staying on as singer. Edwards like this and financed the venture with Ron Hire and Jon Coletta (who would be Deep Purple’s manager through 1976).
  • Curtis’s roommate happened to be Jon Lord who was playing with Artwoods.  Art Wood, was the brother of Ronnie Wood. Jon Lord was also playing in “The Garden” which was the backing band for The Flower Pot Men with bassist Nick Simper and drummer Carlo Little.
  • They recommended Ritchie Blackmore who Curtis had been aware of while The Searchers played with The Outlaws in Hamburg.
  • Ritchie joined in December of 1967.
  • Curtis’s erratic behavior (citation) became a hindrance and HEC Enterprises dropped him entrusting Lord and Blackmore with the task of filling out the rest of the band.
  • Lord got Simper to join and Ritchie Blackmore got Bobby Woodman to join the band on drums.
  • Dave Curtiss, a friend of Woodman, was considered as singer but had other commitments.
  • Nick Simper is quoted as saying that Ian Gillan was contacted for an audition as singer but declined.
  • The band rented an old farmhouse in February of 1968 where they set up shop and continue to search for a singer.  Rod Stewart was considered as he was managed by John Coletta as well.
  • In his book, Deep Purple: A Matter of Fact, Jerry Bloom writes:
    • ” Another vocalist considered was the lead singer with the Jeff Beck Group — Rod Stewart.  The guys went to check him out at London’s Marquee club on 20 February [1968]. Blackmore was, and indeed still is to this day, a great admirer of Beck’s guitar skills, but none of the band was suitably impressed with Stewart to even offer him an audition.  It’s probably worth mentioning that Stewart had also been one of the many vocalists to enter Joe Meek’s studios several years earlier but the maverick producer was also unimpressed with the self-proclaimed ‘Scottish’ singer!”
    • “Another interesting fact concerning STewart happened shortly after this.  Simper recalled it was during Deep Purple’s tour in Denmark, but it possibly occurred at the 8th National Jazz & Blues Festival at Sunbury-on-Thames on 8th August where both bands were on the bill.  According to Simper, Blackmore was chatting to Stewart, and recalling the night at the Marquee earlier in the year, drew the singer in hook, line and sinker when he commented: “It was really great.”  Stewart apparently perked up, “yeah?” “Especially the beit when you went off stage for the band to do an instrumental.” Blackmore quipped, leaving BEck’s frontman somewhat deflated.”
  • They chose Rod Evans who was playing with The Maze.  Evans brought along Ian Paice who Blackmore remembered from Germany.
  • Woodman had been unhappy with the direction the band was heading and Ian Paice slid into that spot.

Shades of Deep Purple

  • Blackmore asked friend, Derek Lawrence, to be the band’s producer.
    • Lawrence had worked with the Outlaws previously
  • Band recorded demos to send to record label
Deep Purple’s first show in Tastrup, Denmark – April 20, 1968
  • Band went on a promotion tour and played shows in Denmark and Sweden through April and May.  They were booked as Roundabout but changed their name on the ferry ride to Tastrup, Denmark before their first show on April 20, 1968.  They were named after Ritchie Blackmore’s favore song “Deep Purple” by Peter DeRose.
    • According to the book Deep Purple: A Matter of Fact by Jerry Bloom, this could be disputed.
      • A concert poster from “The Floral Hall” lists a band called “The Deep Purple” pas a support band for The Maze, Evans and Paice’s band at the time.
      • There’s evidence of another band called Deep Purple in 1967.  Mike Wheeler was in this band which took its name from the 1933 song.
      • There is also evidence of several gigs being played elsewhere in England by a band called Deep Purple which cannot be attributed to either of these precursors or the Deep Purple we know.
      • Finally there was a fourth Deep Purple who was billed with Episode Six at “The Cobweb.”
  • They were signed upon returning by label Tetragrammaton.  Their backers, HEC, had spent most of their budget on promotion and equipment so they were relieved.
  • They had booked studio time while on tour and on May 11, 1968 they went into the studio to recorded their new material.  On Monday, May 13 they recorded “One More Rainy Day” and completed the album. They added sound effects from a BBC album as transitions and the album was mixed later that day.

Album Review: Shades of Deep Purple

Shades of Deep Purple UK Album Cover

Tracks :

  1. And the Address (Blackmore, Lord)
  2. Hush (Joe South)
  3. One More Rainy Day (Lord, Evans)
  4. Prelude: Happiness/I’m So Glad (Blackmore, Evans, Lord, Paice, Simper/Skip James)
  5. Mandrake Root (Blackmore, Lord, Evans)
  6. Help! (Lennon McCartney)
  7. Love Help Me (Blackmore, Evans)
  8. Hey Joe (Billy Roberts)


  • After the album was approved by the label they did a photo shoot.  The cover was designed by Les Weisbrich and allegedly (according to the book “Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Star” by Dave Thompson) cost half a million dollars. This does not seem possible.
  • “Hush” released in June and was a huge success peaking at #4 on the US charts.  It did not do as well in the UK. They did a lip sync’ed appearance on to the David Frost Show with Mick Angus standing in for Blackmore who was unavailable but this did not improve interest in the UK.
  • At the time of release the band focused on the US and their reception in the UK was a bit more critical.  
  • From the book Smoke on the Water British music journalist Mick Farren described Deep Purple’s music as “a slow and pompous din, somewhere between bad Tchaikovsky and a B-52 taking off on a bombing run.”
  • There were criticised for being “too American” and “the poor man’s Vanilla Fudge.”
  • In the US they introduced them as “the English Vanilla Fudge.”
  • History looks a little more favorably on the first album.
  • In an issue of Observer Music Monthly (2013) Rick Wakeman chose “Shades of Deep Purple” as his favorite British record of all time.

In The News . . .

This Week in Purple History . . .

May 13 through May 19

  • May 13, 1948 – Colin Towns (keyboardist for Ian Gillan band) was born
  • May 13, 1968 – Completed recording of “Shades of Deep Purple” after a mere 72 hours in the studio
  • May of 1970 – Quatermass issued their self titled debut
  • May 16, 2010 – Ronnie James Dio dies
  • We go a little deeper with these on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to highlight these landmark events

Three Degrees of Deep Purple:

  • I’ll play a snippet of a song that features musicians who are linked to Deep Purple in three or less steps.  You’ll need to narrow it down to:
    • The year
    • The members or band
    • The album
  • Googling is allowed
  • Will reveal the mystery song and what the connection to Deep Purple
  • Episode #3 Mystery Track (and more!!) revealed here [SPOILERS!!]

For Further Information:

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