After listening to the podcast for such a long time, I thought it was time for me to put my money where my mouth is. I’ve just enlisted at the Fielding Fowler level as I thought he could use the company !
I do listen to other podcasts too (none are quite as enjoyable) but one of the other podcasters told me it’s a bit like sending a message in a bottle, which is a good way of putting it. You probably only hear from a fraction of the listeners but I’m sure there are a lot like me who look forward to their Monday DPP episode and your chats about food, drink etc. Oh and the music too.
As an avid Purple fan and connoisseur of their extended family, this podcast is a treat for looking in depth about things I know about and introducing me to new wild bands and meeting of minds that I never would’ve even thought about. (Thought I could wait as long as it takes for the Hughes Turner Project episode to come around because I have no clue how that band was even conceived to be a good idea) But ramblings aside, the hosts are perfect in encapsulating that feeling of listening to a record you heard about for a while but could never find in your stores or just buying a new record and listening to it for the first time and I love that. On top of that THEY’RE HILARIOUS!!! My highlights are Nate’s story about the dog that had muffins fall on it and the James Gang song about being Norwegian. Keep up the god’s work you two are putting in, it’s so dearly appreciated.
Social Media Update:
Sent by Marcelo Soares via Twitter:
The guys from @DeepPurplePod hardly know @GalCosta , but I love her singing since I was a teen and heard this. For me, there was an immediate reference.
The Gibson ES-335 was the world’s first commercially available semi-hollowbody guitar.
Selmer London began distributing Gibson in the UK. The list of prices for tohe Gibsons were listed in guineas. Converted to pounds the ES-355’s list price was £306.60 ($420.93). That would convert £9.924.71 (or $) in today’s money.
From: (https://meandguitar.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/hush-money/): When Blackmore bought the guitar used in 1962 , its stock stop tailpiece had already been replaced by a Bigsby B5 tremolo, which is actually designed for solidbody guitars. It also still had a short pickguard typical of early Sixties Dot neck ES-335 guitars, although Blackmore remove it a later date, as well as its original black metal-top control knobs, which were swapped for gold knobs sometime after he stopped playing the guitar.
Blackmore used this guitar to record everything from Screaming Lord Sutch’s 1965 cover of “Train Kept A-Rollin” to “Child In Time.
History of Ritchie’s Gibson ES-335:
Ritchie bought the guitar used at Jim Marshal’s music shop in London in 1962. Gibsons had only become available in England in 1960 when they lifted a ban on importing American guitars.
Right from the start of the Deep Purple Mk1 era in 1968, Ritchie Blackmore used his trusty 1961 cherry red Gibson ES-335 TD as main guitar alongside his Vox AC30 and a Hornby Skewes germanium fitted treblebooster. Midway sixties Ritchie modified this guitar with a Bigsby-Vibrato. The Gibson guitar was usually fitted with 2 Gibson PAF Humbucker pickups. In one of the Humbucker’s coils there are 6 adjustable screws installed, one can balance the volume of strings among each other via varying the height. Ritchie now turned the screws uncommonly high so as to get a more P90-like sound. The coil with the screws picks up more voltage than the other. Ritchie will use this guitar on stage until midway 1970. In the studio the guitar stayed with him even longer, at least until the December 1971 “TOTP” TV session.
At the end of 1968, Deep Purple Mk1 was the opening act on the “Cream” tour in the USA. At this time Deep Purple was well known in the USA, but not in their home country England. It was the last tour for “Cream”, before the band felt apart. For Eric Clapton the situation was hard to handle, after Ritchie opened the concerts with his aggressive guitar show, the guitar orientated audience wanted to hear more Blackmore. So after only a few shows, Deep Purple were paid out to leave the tour. During these days, a retired Fender Stratocaster from Eric Clapton was given to Ritchie, and he soon fell in love with the sound. Especially the tremolo caught his eye, Compared to the Bigsby on his Gibson ES-335, this was a real enhancement. Not that Ritchie wasn’t satisfied with his ES-335, even Dave Edmunds (Love Sculpture) the shooting star of the upcoming Hardrock scene played an ES-335 with a Vox AC30. Edmunds by the way left behind most English Hardrock-guitar players with his ultra fast and enormous fluidly played version of “Sabre dance” in 1968.
The combination of ES-335 and Vox AC30 was a “top act”. But since Hendrix arrived on the scene, everyone knew what could be done with a vibrato-system. In spring 1969 Ritchie bought a stock 1968 black maple neck Stratocaster. The 68 Strats still had the two-piece old tremolo construction with the steel inertia bar and the stamped vintage steel saddles. For this tremolo, Ritchie used a special custom-made ¼” (6.3mm) heavy weighted steel arm, to attack the tremolo real hard. The value of the tonecap was stock 0.1uF.
With the entrance of new members Ian Gillan & Roger Glover (better known as the Mk2 formation) as replacements for Evans & Simper Deep Purple’s rise to stardom began. Approximately for a year ES-335 and Strat were sharing equal rights. Typical live songs for the ES-335 were for instance the new “Child in Time” or the old “Wring that neck”. Midway 1970 the ES-335 disappeared from stage. The legendary “Child in time” was recorded in the studio using the ES-335.
At the end of 1970, early 1971 the worn-out frets of his Strat were replaced with the higher Gibson jumbo frets. The maple fretboard was not lacquered afterwards, so it became noticeably darker with time.
2:00 solo trading off with Jon and sweep arpeggios
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Where is the guitar now?
After attending a Hednrix concert in 1970 Ritchie made the decision to try using a Fender Stratocaster, purchasing one from a former roadie for Eric Clapton.
Live Ritchie continued to play the guitar live when they performed “Wring That Neck” until the summer of 1971 when that song was replaced in the set with “Lazy.”
According to Jerry Bloom he did use it once last time to perform “Fireball” on Top of the Pops in December of 1971.
Ritchie claims that his ex-wife Babs stole the guitar from him.
Barbel sold it at an auction at Christie’s in 2004 to a vintage guitar dealer named Laurence Wexer.
Ilhan Akbil purchased the guitar from FrettedAmericana (David Brass) in Calabassas, California. They may have purchased the guitar from Wexer at some point previously.
Huge appreciation to Ilhan for joining us on the show to tell his story of his passion for Deep Purple, Ritchie, and about the guitar.
Blackmore: “The 355 was a good guitar, but it didn’t have the same sound: it was warmer, fuzzier. It would gloss up the notes a bit. With the Strat, if you played a wrong note, everybody heard it. Ultimately, it was a beast well worth taming.”
I found out about this excellent podcast by accident and I absolutely love it. It’s a great fun listen. I’ve only played a few episodes so have loads to catch up! The House of Blue Light review was interesting. I saw Purple on this tour at Wembley London UK. On that eve Blackmore refused to do an encore! So Lord and Glover played lead. It was definitely an interesting version of Smoke on the water! Having seen Gillan in mind blowing vocal form (the band) live in 81, it was noticeable Ian had sadly lost some of his range/power by 87/88. Overall he was still great. Keep up the great work, thank you!
Lead up to the Album:
This album saw the departure of Ged Peck on guitar with Pete Parks joining the band. Peck left to pursue classical guitar playing.
We talked on our last Warhorse episode about how Rick Wakeman was very briefly in the band but did not make it to any of the recordings. Rick left in April of 1970 to join the Strawbs.
The Warhorse Story Volume 2 liner notes states that the album was released (or as Nick Simper puts it “escaped”) in 1972. There were no singles from this album.
The head of A&R for Vertigo gave the band a 1,500 budget and said “Take your time, do what you want.”
At the end of 1971 they headed to De Lane Lea to record the album.
Part way through the recording Robbie Beck came into the studio to tell them they only had 500 worth of time left. It turns out that the head of A&R had left and not told anybody the budget he’d promised the band.They were able to get a little more money to finish the recording.
The label wanted the album finished head of Christmas so they had to rush to get it done.
Nick apparently went into a tirade about the budgeting issue with some of the “big wigs” at Phonogram and were soon dropped after the album came out in June of 1972.
From The Warhorse Story liner notes: “Red Sea, as the second album was titled, also sported a Vertigo sleeve that was as poorly executed as the first one had been brilliant. The original concept of an ironclad warship had sounded great but the less than professional results look amateurish today.
WARHORSE: “Red Sea” (Vertigo). “. . . this second album cannot fail to establish them in the hierarchy of Europe’s greatest groups” pompously declare the liner notes. That’s a very hard tag to live up to — and Warhorse don’t quite make it, I’m afraid. “Red Sea” is like the curate’s egg: good in parts. But when they’re good, Warhorse are as good, if not better, than most of the bands working in the hard ‘nd heavy rock field. Their greatest asset is lead guitarist Peter Parks who works hard all the time to lift the ordinariness. He’s really missed on tracks like “Feeling Better” where he has to takes backseat. But his long solo in “Back In Time” is a treat; inventive and exciting, sounding at times like Richie [sic] Blackmore’s work on “wring That Neck” on Deep Purple’s “Book Of The Taliesyn” [sic] album. In fact, “Red Sea” does bear comparison with early Purple albums; hardly surprising, as bassist Nick Simper was on of the founder members of that band. Both he and organist Frank Wilson are content to provide backings which gives the other members of the band something to work on. Vocalist Ashley Holt has a hard, gravelly voice which sometimes doesn’t have sufficient punch to carry some numbers — like “Feeling Better” — on its own. Nevertheless, he can do it if he tries: just listen to “Confident But Wrong” and “Sybilla” — the stand out track, with everybody boogieing along like there was not tomorrow, Drummer Mac Poole provides a solid beat throughout, coming into his own on “Mouthpiece,” an extended solo which is just a little too extended for my liking. But that’s the only bit of self-indulgence on “Red Sea.” — M.O.
Soon after this Mac Poole left Warhorse to join a band called Gong. They recruited drummer Barney James and began work on a third album that was never completed. There are bonus tracks on “The Warhorse Story” that were destined for this third album.
This group played their last show in 1974 though original members would take the stage together a few more times over the years for one off reunion gigs.
Rick Wakeman would recruit Ashley Holt and Barney James for his solo albums “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.”
Nick tried to get them to stay with Warhorse, telling them that Rick Wakeman’s projects didn’t last too long, they left.
Two months later Ashley called back about getting back together and he didn’ty have the energy to pick up where they left off. Additionally it was the first time he’d been off the road since the age of 18.
Nick then (with Parks) started up Nick Simper’s Dynamite.
Nick said it was a little galling to sit and watch bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, UFO, and others who had all been opening for Warhorse go on to achieve success as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal really took off.
Simper: “I used to say tot he guys if we sick together long enough, we’ve got a stage act that wipes them out. We had some great times, which is why the band survived for four years, but there were always [problems with managers, publishers. Lots of support bands borrowed from us, both musically and some of our stage act. Judas Priest, all that leather studded arm band stuff, he took that straight of Ashley Holt. He borrowed the bull whip prop too which is fair enough, we nicked if off Dave Dee, they used one for Legend of Xanadu! That guy from Queen, Brian May, he saw us at the Marquee, was a great fan. He borrowed Pete’s solo from the track Back in Time for one of their albums.”
Simon Robinson writes: “Indeed dedicated Queen fans who have heard the Warhorse track agree that the solo on Queen’s Brighton Rock is uncannily similar!”
Robinson concludes: “It’s perhaps all too easy to day to forget just how important the live circuit was back int the ‘70s, both for the bands who played it and the audiences who came to watch and in some cases be influenced by what they saw. Warhorse can be proud of their part in it all.