Episode #200 – Deep Purple – Purpendicular (Part 1)

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Listener Notes:

Deep Dive Podcast Network:

Lead up to the Album:

  • After a run of three secret gigs in Mexico and Texas Morse was officially given the job as Deep Purple’s new guitarist in late 1994.
  • The band decided to set up in Greg Rike Studios in Florida. The band was very comfortable there. They’d recorded Slaves and MAsters there and it was close to Steve Morse’s home.
  • At the end of day 1 (January 16th, 1995) they had their first song started. It was tentatively titled “Vavoom” but was not the song that became “Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic.”
  • According to Jon Lord’s diary at the time: “We worked on a number which appears for the moment to be called ‘Vavoom”, then we all had dinner together in a fairly awful Mexican restaurant which had fairly good Margueritas. Dinner TOGETHER! The WHOLE BAND! Yes indeed. 

Core Band:

Additional Personnel:


  • Engineer [Tape] – Adam Barber
    • Worked on production for a ton of boy bands including N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, and O-Town
  • Mastered By – Greg Calbi
  • Mixed By [Assistant – Parc Studios] – Joe Smith, Roger Glover
    • Worked on a number of acts through the 90s including Underground Nation and Hy-Vue.
  • Mixed By [Parc Studios], Engineer [Greg Rike] – Darren Schneider
    • Worked with Deep Purple starting in 1993 on The Battle Rages On and later with Living Loud.
  • Mixed By [Parc Studios], Engineer [Greg Rike] – Keith Andrews
    • Worked with a number of group sin the 80s and 90s including Ian Gillan’s “Naked Thunder” album.
  • Producer – Deep Purple
  • Production Manager – Charlie Lewis (4)
    • Worked with a number of Deep Purple family projects including Rainbow, Roger Glover (Mask). Also worked with UFO and Dream Theater. 
  • Tour Manager – Colin Hart (2)

Album Art & Booklet Review

  • Artwork – M.C.W. (2)
    • Only credit on Discogs.
  • Concept By [Original] – Peter H Bird
    • Only credit on Discogs.
  • Ian Gillan: “The word Purpendicular had been around for a few years, and was actually an album title I suggested at the time of The Battle Rages On, but it didn’t seem to fit the occasion then. We knew we wanted to call the song a something-or-other Waltz and Roger and I were sitting in the studio throwing suggestions at each other, mostly idiotic ones, when the word Purpendicular was uttered and we both leapt up and just knew it was right. It felt good.”
  • On July 21st Bruce Payne and a PR consultant, Peter Bird Meet. Peter insists that the name for the project has to be decided immediately. Ian Gillan suggests Purpendicular and it’s decided upon being the only suggestion.
  • On August 26th Bruce Payne and Peter Bird reconvene in Orlando to discuss the album’s artwork. Peter shows his idea for the broken match and everyone approves it.

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Album Tracks:

All songs written and performed by Deep Purple.

  1. Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic
    • This song had gotten out early as they played it live. Bootlegs of the recording from Korea and Florida  were often mistitled “Ken the Mechanic.”
    • This song was written early on on January 26th . It was initially called “Ted The Mechanic” but later had “Vavoom” added to the title. More on that later.
    • Steve Morse: “One of the best things about writing with this band is how everyone nurtures an idea, instead of just rejecting it. I felt this right from the start, it was great. You know, when you first play an idea you don’t know how people will react, but when everyone starts jamming along and Roger turns on his DAT recorder and especially when lan Gillan starts dancing and singing to himself, you know it could definitely be a song.”
  2. Loosen My Strings
    • Written on the fourth day in the studio (January 19th).
    • Recorded on June 16th.
    • From Roger Glover’s Journal: “So to work and yet another magic day happened. I was tuning up and started doodling on the bass, Steve joined in and made it sound really good. Everyone joined in and it wasn’t long before the semblance of a structure emerged. Within an hour it had turned into a very promising song. I was amazed by the ability of Steve to enhance what he heard. The atmosphere around the writing sessions is perfect; relaxed, calm, exciting, happy. The music is flowing from all of us like it hasn’t done since Machine head, though to me is more reminiscent of Hanwell in ’69. Steve is always deferential and modest, but it really feels like he is totally assimilated into the band. We ended the day feeling exhilarated.”
    • Reference to Hanwell Community Center in 1969: http://www.deep-purple.net/archive/a-z/hanwell.htm
  3. Soon Forgotten
    • One of two ideas that began on February 14th. The other being “A Touch Away.”
    • Steve Morse: “| really got into that demonic, heavy feel, that huge juggernaut effect. lan Gillan started playing this idea on an acoustic and no one understood it at first but eventually it worked. It was the kind of thing that invited dramatic chord changes, to break up the E to F pattern, and it was fun finding out how many unrelated majors could be introduced.”
    • Ian Paice: “Couldn’t understand it at all total confusion for me – not a great deal of love either at first but lan persisted and I eventually gave in and gave it a shot, and I’m very pleased I did.
    • Jon Lord. “It took me a while to understand the idea but once ‘d settled into an organ riff over the F diminished 5th thing, it clicked. When Steve started what can only be described as a churning guitar figure, a smiling Roger started exploring the bass possibilities, Paicie found one of his indefinable feels’, and IG started dancing and singing, it all fell into place.
    • On February 17th the lyrics were written.
    • Ian Gillan: “It’s great working with Rog but there are some songs on this album that I really felt needed to be expressed in a very personal way. Sometimes you just have to do that, it can only be done without compromise. This was one of those.”
    • Soon Forgotten was the first song mixed for the album on September 17th.
  4. Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
    • On June 1st a jam occurs where they start to map out a new song. By the end of the day they put down the first recording mostly so they can remember the arrangement The working title of the song is “Chicken.” The story goes that two people had asked two questions at the same time: 1.) What is the working title of the song? And 2.) someone asking about dinner options.
    • The title was changed to “’Missing You” just so the title wouldn’t be quite as ridiculous.  Later it would be changed to the final title of “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming.
    • Title wouldn’t be officially changed to the album title until August 18th.
    • Steve Morse: “Some ideas come more easily than others, this one came easy. I was trying to play something where every note was an artificial harmonic, I had a lot of distortion on the amplifier so by necessity I was picking out a melody that was sparse – when Jon started playing it all made sense.”
    • The next day the demo jam they recorded is kept as the master recording after Steve says, “Wouldn’t it be neat if the first song we record for the album is a first take?”
    • Ian Gillan: “It was one of those sentimental greeting cards, there was one sitting right in front of me, and all it said was missing you’ but the words seemed to sum up the mood of the song, at least the first part of it. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Roger and I had a memorable conversation a while back and we were talking about writing lyrics; we agreed that the only way to deliver what might possibly be seen a corny line is to really mean it – why should certain things be not acceptable just because they sound corny?”
    • Roger’s journal: “Struggled with the theme for a while, then suddenly it came to us at exactly the same instant- one of those indefinable moments when we seem to be thinking with one mind. Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming. We were both uplifted by that.”
    • In the Purpendicular Yearbook it’s written on October 3rd: “3rd The final mix of ‘Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming’. The OJ Simpson verdict is reached. No coincidence.”
  5. Cascades: I’m Not Your Lover
    • Written on February 6th.
    • Recorded on June 19th.
    • In a review on The Highway Star Trond J. Strøm writes:
      1. “Cascades: I’m Not My Lover” is the first typical Deep Purple fast paced rocker on this album. Even containing a organ/guitar twin solo a la “Gypsy’s Kiss/Dead or Alive”, the lyrics make me wonder if it’s the sequel to “Smooth Dancer”. * If it is, it’s surely not hateful, just resigned. Powerful stuff musically.
      2. Roger Glover responds:  “Nothing is about RB, not that it didn’t cross our minds that that it precisely what people would think!”
      3. Full review here: https://www.thehighwaystar.com/reviews/purptjs.htm
    • Jon Lord Writes: “..something we’re calling ‘Cascades’, which has a nice bit of arpeggiated tomfoolery between Steve and me. Sort of ‘Highway Star’ tempo.”
    • Steve Morse: “Years ago I had a reel to reel tape player and I don’t know which Deep Purple album I was listening to but they were the first band I ever heard do tunes that had organ and guitar playing triplets together, and playing them faster than any other rock band at that time. To me it’s a characteristic of the band and I wanted to continue that tradition without copying the past. It’s a little hard to play but a neat way to push the song along.”
    • SM: “| love some of the lyrics, especially the line, ‘You really must be going now, my god is that the time?’
  6. The Aviator
    • An early title from bootleg recordings refer to this one as “The Highland” which was the working title for this song.
    • It was written on January 30th.
    • Recorded on June 26th where it is still being called by its working title.
    • Steve Morse: “I didn’t exactly make it up on the spur of the moment, it was a tune I’d had hanging around for a few years. You know those movies where each character has its own theme tune, like Peter and the Wolf? Well this was the tune that I used to play when my son Kevin was crawling around on the floor.
    • He’d laugh and respond to it so it became his theme. just played it one day in the studio and everyone liked it. I had no idea what the band wanted of me when it came to writing and I told them to let me know if they didn’t like any of my ideas, or if they weren’t right for the band, but I was amazed to see that they really wanted to be different and they just kept on encouraging me.”
    • Ian Paice:IP: “I love that. I loved it from the first time that I heard it even though at first I didn’t think it was anything we could use. It didn’t sound like Deep Purple to me. Now we’ve done it however, I’m really happy with it. It’s just got a mind and a groove of its own and regardless of whether anybody likes it or not it’s a great four of five minutes of music with a wonderful build at the end.”
    • On July 11th Steve Morse transferred some acoustic guitar parts he recorded at his home studio onto the master tape.
    • It’s mentioned that Roger Glover and Ian Paice had a drum loop idea they worked on to put over the top of the track in mid July.

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