Episode #115 – Eddie Hardin – Wizard’s Convention

Link to video on Cocoscope here: https://www.cocoscope.com/watch?v=89163

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      • I was born in 1975, and became a huge Purple fan since in 1990.
      • Sometime in the early 90s, a man came to my parents’ house to do a paint job. He was in his late 30s, so was born in 1955 or so. 
      • When he walked in the house, he heard me playing “Made in Japan” on my bedroom stereo, and so he told me that he was a huge Purple fan back in the day and had seen them in the 70s in Québec City.
      • I asked him how the show was, and he said he was disappointed because Deep Purple had tried to “do the violin thing” at some point, and somehow screwed it up, which ruined the show for him.
      • I didn’t process this right away but it stayed with me. What could he possibly mean by “doing the violin thing”, and how could thet possibly screw it up ? 
      • I thought of Jimmy Page playing with a bow in that “Dazed and Confused” 1969 TV performance, and that perhaps, this painter had mixed up his Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin show memories; after all, there were many drugs of choice in the 70s and he looked like he had been on a few of them.
      • I kept paying attention to whether Blackmore ever used a bow on stage, in everything I read on Deep Purple. and when I got online several years later, I asked the question on some newsgroups, and learned about Randy California playing that infamous Québec City show in 1972.
      • So perhaps Randy California had used a bow on stage ? Or something that looked like it.
      • So when Robert Lafontaine’s Québec City bootleg came out on YouTube I was really psyched to finally hear this “violin thing”. It never happened. However, in one of the newsclippings, a journalist says that Jon Lord pulled some violin sounds from his organ during The Mule (collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/2639102). I listened to The Mule over and over again, and I do hear indeed all kinds of sounds, but nothing that stands out like violins. I also listened to your podcast on the subject.
      • This will forever remain a mystery – unless you heard of anything along those lines.
      • A buddy of mine (also a DP fan) and I have kept this as an insight joke all these years, so it has remained very well alive.

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Social Media Update:

A Note From Jeff Breis:

  • Butterfly Ball & Wizard’s Convention CD release from “Darker Than Blue” in 1989:
    • Originally Simon Robinson had considered doing a double album of the CD and the live concert.  The challenge was that with so many performers the royalty payments to them all would have been “financially impossible.”  He also stated that this was also an album that would have very limited interest.
    • It was decided to add “Little Chalk Blue.”
    • The decision was made to get rid of four tracks from Wizard’s Convention and feature the six tracks that featured members of Deep Purple.

Lead up to the Album:

  • The album was written or co-wrote almost entirely by Eddie Hardin.
  • The idea was to bring in a lot of friends and session musicians and make the album feel like a jam session.
  • Eddie wanted to have a lot of different people involved to help him record rather than making this like a traditional solo album.
  • In his book, ALAB, Eddie Hardin writes of the Purple Records management putting them all up on a Yacht and hanging out in Dijon and Cannes.
  • Eddie had developed a close working relationship with John Craig during the making of The Butterfly Ball and he arranged a deal with John to begin work on a solo album.
  • Eddie had hoped to work with Steve Winwood (who he replaced in Spencer Davis Group many years previously) on the album.  Eddie confesses that Steve didn’t have any idea of this and thusly he never ended up appearing on the album.
  • In “Darker Than Blue” magazine in 1994, Eddie said:
    • “During a meeting . . . I announced that I had Steveie Winwood busting to sing the first of the songs. I can only put this down to a mental aberration since at this stage I had no new songs, and hadn’t spoken to Steve for nearly eight years.”
    • He goes on to state that Purple funded these initial recordings and that he recorded the backing tracks as he wrote them.
    • He also states that he and Roger would work about three months on the album ending each evening with a party on a yacht he had purchased which was docked nearby at St. Katherine’s Dock.
  • Eddie says that the name of Winwood seemed to snowball and get other interested until the point that you get this final product.
  • In ALAB Eddie talks about recording at Kingsway, Ian Gillan’s studio (formerly De Lane Lea) and speaks very highly about Ian as a person and as a singer.  He says, of Ian: “I really liked Ian, though always found it hard to ascertain whether he actually liked me in return.”
  • Eddie describes the album as having all the instrumentation laid down and bringing in the vocalists after the fact to lay down vocals.



Album Art & Booklet Review

  • In Eddie’s book he talks about having preconceived the cover: “… something along the lines of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, with rolls of informal shots of all the musicians and singers involved. With this in mind I employed and up-and-coming socialite photographer called Corinthia [sic] West . . . who subsequently filmed the goings-on from beginning to end for a fee of £250.”
  • Eddie describes Carinthia as “Amazonian woman” who wore outrageous clothing but very little. Eddie says, “…she contorted herself into the most unusual positions to get the shots she was after. She was so sensual and frighteningly striking in appearance that not even the die-hard lecherous musicians working on the project dared make an approach.”
  • Photography By – Carinthia West
    • http://carinthiawest.co.uk/
    • Actress, model, photographer.
    • “Seventies IT girl, model, actress, journalist, photographer.”
    • Looks like she briefly joined social media (Twitter and Instagram) in 2016 then never posted again.
  • Photography By – Richard Bush (5)
    • A few other Discogs entries.
  • Original album cover
  • German reissue with wizard on front
  • 1986 (85?) UK release “Money to Burn”
  • CD reissue in 2003 remaster with new cover

Recorded at Kingsway Recorders, London. April/May 1976 (despite excess alcohol)

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Album Tracks:

Side One:

  1. The Craig Song
    • From Eddie’s site here: “The first song to be recorded was ‘The Craig Song’, this was about John Craig, a friend of mine, who assisted from conception to fruition, though I think he had reservations as to when or even if the album would ever be completed.” This is contradicted in “ALAB” where he mentions that “Swanks and Swells” was the first track recorded.
    • Lyrics seem to 
    • Vocals, Piano, Written-By – Eddie Hardin
  2. When The Sun Stops Shining
  3. Loose Ends
    • He says he convinced Roger to play bass on this track but he was “extremely put out by the presence of Corinthia [sic] West . . . who was by now literally hanging from the ceiling in her quest for an interesting and unusual angle.
    • Bass Guitar – Roger Glover
    • Drums – Les Binks
    • Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Ray Fenwick
    • Piano, Backing Vocals, Written-By – Eddie Hardin
    • Vocals – Jimmy Helms
  4. Money To Burn
    • Eddie wrote this with Ray Fenwick.  He sent David Coverdale a demo and he agreed to come and sing it.  Eddie says that “Unfortunately, he re-rwote bits of it on the plane over what started out as a melodic piece turned into Barry White kind of thing.  Still, it has proven to be one of the most popular songs on the album, so what do I know?”
    • Hardin says Coverdale demanded “mood” lighting and that he wanted to hold the microphone while he sang rather than have it on a stand. From his book: “Unfortunately, the mood lighting was so moody that he couldn’t see across the room (his eyes not having been fixed at that stage). HE careered round the studio while he sang and landed in a pile of mike and music stands during the course of the performance. In case anyone doubts this, I have it on tape! Nevertheless, David had a fine voice and the results speak for themselves.”
    • He also tells the story of Louie Austin gluing grommets and rubber things onto plate with intricate designs and threading recording tape around them.  Then he’d give them names such as “Hyperbolic Thrumplethrottler Vocal Tansducer.”  These items didn’t do anything but on one occasion he was able to convince David Coverdale who’d been unhappy with his vocal sound to use it after which Coverdale was satisfied.
    • Bass – Mo Foster
    • Drums – Henry Spinetti
    • Guitar, Written-By – Ray Fenwick
    • Percussion – Mark Nauseef
    • Synthesizer, Written-By – Eddie Hardin
    • Vocals, Written-By – David Coverdale
  5. Who’s Counting On Me
    • Eddie says Mike Smith had a great voice for rock songs and he wished he’d used him on a song of his own.
    • He said Mike D’Abo took over the reproduction and began fiddling with all the faders on the mixing board which John Acock had all set up and they lost an entire day of work.
    • Backing Vocals, Guitar – Ray Fenwick
    • Backing Vocals, Written-By – Eddie Hardin
    • Bass – Mo Foster
    • Drums – Henry Spinetti
    • Piano, Percussion – Eddie Hardin
    • Vocals – Mike D’Abo, Mike Smith (16)
  6. Make It Soon

Side Two:

  1. Until Tomorrow (Parts I-IV)
    • Eddie lists the two Glenn Hughes tracks as his favorites on the album.
    • He describes working with Glenn in his book: “Glenn was undergoing treatment in Birmingham for cocaine, alcohol and just about every other addition one could imagine. As far as I could make out, the cure consisted of simply keeping him asleep and constantly supervised during his few waking hours.
    • The  Purple office was terrified of letting him loose on a session outside of his isolated world, especially with me
    • Eddie says he was given a hard time by the office and it was suggested that he ought to find someone else to sing the tracks but he had his mind set on Glenn.
    • Eddie felt that Glenn was being totally manipulated.  He also said the irony of the situation was that Glenn was allowed drugs if it would get him through a show.
    • Eddie said that Glenn demanded whiskey and fish and chips which Eddie thought an odd combination but gave it to him and Glenn drank the shiskey straight out of the bottle.
    • He played the track for Glenn a few times and sang the melody with him.  Eddie said he sounded so good he decided to use him on the next track “Light of my Life” as well.
    • He said the sat in amazement watching him record the vocal tracks.
    • Part I
    • Part II
    • Part III
    • Part IV
  2. Light of My Life
    • Eddie lists this as one of his favorite tracks on the album.
    • Eddie says that Glenn was really happy with his performance and decided to do some harmony tracks but he’d had so much whiskey that they talked him out of it.
    • Percussion – Mark Nauseef, Pete York
    • Vocals – Glenn Hughes
    • Vocals, Written-By, Instruments [All Except] – Eddie Hardin
  3. She’s a Woman
    • Eddie describes this as a “monstrously complicated song to record.”  There were tons of edits, which you can hear if you listen.  There were several piano solos and Jimmy had vocal bits stitched together.
    • Jon Lord recorded his solo “aided by a bottle of Bells whisky.”  Tony’s solo was done with “two bottles of Bells plus a few lagers.”
    • Hardin says Ashton’s solo was a little too abstract so he brought in Rick Van Der Linden of the band Focus and they two of them shared a solo.  HE says he flew in from Holland with piles of keyboards seemingly not aware that he was only doing a sixty second solo.  However there were some interesting keyboard sounds they used on the rest of the track.
    • Bass – Mo Foster
    • Drums – Leslie Binks*
    • Guitar – Ray Fenwick
    • Synthesizer, Written-By – Eddie Hardin
    • Vocals – Jimmy Helms
    • First piano: Jon Lord
    • First piano solo: Rick van der Linden
    • Second verse piano: Eddie Hardin
    • Final piano solo: Jon Lord
  4. Swanks & Swells (Parts I & II)
    • In Eddie’s Book, “ALAB” he mentions that this is the first track they recorded for the album though he contradicts that on his website here.
    • “The second to be recorded was ‘Swanks and Swells’, this was reported at the Marquee Studios in Wardour Street with an entire Chris Barber Band and Tony Ashton’s vocal was later added at Kingsway Recorders.”
    • He describes things as having gotten a little “tetchy” between him and Pete at this point who’d joined the Chris Barber Band full time.
    • Since he used the band for the album he wanted to use a picture of Pete who asked for £1000 for permission.  Since no one else had asked for a penny Eddie left him off the cover. He says they were just happy to have Carinthia look at them even from behind the camera.
    • Eddie says he co-wrote the lyrics with Selwyn Roberts who was a close friend of Robin Nedwell, an actor on the show “Doctor.”  Selwyn came up with the title but Eddie said he’s have preferred to leave it there. He says they didn’t use much of Selwyn’s lyrics.
    • He says when he first played the backing track to Tony Ashton that “he was even more confused than usual, but after a bottle of whiskey, he threw himself into the song and came up with a unique performance.”
    • Part I
    • Part II

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Reception and Review

  • After all the vocals were done Eddie and Chas Watkins had to stitch it all together.
  • The album was released in December of 1976 and was lost in the Christmas rush.
  • There was very little promotion and it was quickly relegated to bargain bins.
  • The inclusion of so many Deep Purple related performers made it a collector’s item.
  • In Eddie’s own words:
    • I think a point to note is that all the artistes involved are still around and working, and that counts for over a quarter of a century! EACH! Think of the bands and singers over the past few months even… who were they?
    • I look back of these sessions with great affection, it was this time that I met John Acock, the engineer, who came in the last minute replace Louie Austin who went off to engineer for The Sweet… far more important. I still work with John to this day, and have just completed two new albums with him.
    • Ray Fenwick, my friend now for nearly 30 years, plaid guitar and assisted on songs then as now. We have a tremendous bond in writing songs together though on this particular album most of the compositions are my own. You can always spot Ray’s influence when the words ‘sunshine’ or ‘stormy weather’ appear! Sorry Ray.

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