Production with The Rolling Stones, Brian Eno, and Bad Brains amongst other
Album Art & Booklet Review
Original cover had two Glenn Hughes heads, like a 70s portrait.
1995 Re-release went to one Glenn Hughes head.
40th anniversary moved back to original cover.
Photography [Cover] – Gered Mankowitz
Album Details and Analysis:
Recorded at Lee Sound Basing Street (Island) and Air Studios.
This Album is dedicated to my best friend Tommy Bolin.
(P)&(C)1977 Deep Purple (Overseas) Limited.
Made in England
I Got It Covered
It’s About Time
Tommy Bolin liked this song and suggested it should be recorded for Come Taste The Band.
Deep Purple rehearsed it but at the last minute Hughes decided to hold it back.
L.A. Cut Off
Your Love Is Like a Fire
Destiny (Galley, Holland, Hughes)
I Found a Woman
Last song recorded for the album.
The “woman” he’s speaking of is “my music.”
Album Review & Reception
After they had finished recording Hughes was flying with Terry Rowley from HEathrow to Chicago. He was coming down off the speed and he got off the plane to get a sandwich during a connection. The plane left without him. The masters of Play Me Out were on the plane. Luckily Terry was on the pane and kept them safe.
Geoff Barton did a positive review.
Pete Makowski did a positive review.
Rave reviews in the music weekly Sounds by Geoff Barton.
Record was solid with die-hard fans but didn’t get any live promotion, despite a Glenn Hughes Band tour being planned.
It was re-released in 1983 as interest in the band and its former members was growing.
Most DP fans were confused by the album.
After the release Ozzy told Hughes he wanted to form a band called Blizzard of Ozz with Hughes on bass. Hughes didn’t want to be in a band where he didn’t sing.
Everyone thought this was going to be a big thing and lead to great solo success for Hughes but the drugs held him back.
Editor commented: Oy vey! Poetic headlines already. – Ed.
ALTHOUGH THE Ian Gillan-Roger Glover incarnation of Deep Purple is the one most fondly remembered by fans, in many ways the superceding David Coverdale-Glenn Hguhes line up had as much, if not more, going for it.
OK, so Coverdale, Hughes, et al never succeeded in recording an album of the overall calibre of ‘Machine Head’ (due to the steadily growing disillusionment of one Ritchie Blackmore more than anything else one would suspect, however) but in terms of sheer vocal variety and heavy rock funkability the two were, I think, unbeatable.
While Ian Gillan is still regarded as the Purple vocalist, in my opinion the combined talents of Coverdale and Hughes succeeded in raising the standards set by the silver-throated screamer sky high: Voverdale’s deep, full-throated macho calls to battle were perfectly offset/supplemented by Hughess’ supremely soulful vocal excursions: the rest was shattering. The full extend of their titanic twin vocal abilities can be best witnessed on the ‘Made In Europe’ DP LP — on ‘Burn’ and ‘You Fool No One’ in particular, methinks. Then again, if you can bear to recall PUrple’s last tour with Tommy Bolin on guitar you’ll remember Hughes’ magnificent version of ‘Georgia On My Mind’ and know that he is one of our great singers . . . a fact that hits home immediately, listening to his solo album ‘Play Me Out’.
Now, this record has been out for an age I know, but it’s only recently that I’ve been able to get my hands on a copy. On the highly unlikely label of Safari records, as far as I know and for reasons I don’t understand it’s only been released in Germany and a few other weird places like Greenland and suchlike . . . what the hell, whatever the policy/marketing restrictions, this album must be granted a full release in Britain some time in the near future, simply must. For Glenn Hughes, it really is something of a triumph.
“White soul — pshaw” scored Al Lewis upon hearing this album in the office. Now, I’ve never found the idea of non-black funksters so objectionable as our esteemed Ed. — and it seems to me that when an artist, like Hughes has done here, puts such feeling, such effort into the making of an album, all barriers are transcended.
For soul album this definitely is. Hughes has given full rein to his ‘This Time Around’-type singing/songwriting leanings and the end result is guaranteed to bowl you over. Recorded with his one-time Trapeze sidemates Mel Galey and Dave Holland (and with whom Hughes was suppose dto be getting a band together shortly after PUrple’s demise — something that, mysteriously, never came about) plus guests Pat Travers, Mark Nauseef and others. ‘Play Me Out’ runs the gamut of soulful expression — from the proud, lip-pouting struf of ‘I Got It Covered’, through the warm, heart-felt ballad ‘Your Love Is Like a Fire’ up to joyous celebratory ‘I Found a Woman’.
Hughes is up front all the way, his infections bass lines rippling along, weaving though every song; his voice, whether backed up/counterpointed by raunchy chick singers or soft, solemn and solitary, is totally immaculate, possessing a seemingly endless range. Hughes knows that he’s got a great parr of ‘chords of course and occasionally this cockiness proves to be a disadvantage as he crams too many different vocal variations into a sings song; alo, he sometimes sounds too much like Stevie Wonder for comfort — unnecessary, unfortunate, but true.
But even so this is a truly magnificent album 00 and in ‘Space High’ Hughes has a potential big hit on his hands, if anyone has the influence/foresight to get it released as a 45. With the (albeit somewhat overrated) film ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’ currently hot news and ‘Space High’s’ subject matter (‘Thirty-two saucers over the land,’ run the lyrics, ‘should we catch them or should we let them land?’) together with its fidgety funkiness should guarantee its resounding success.
So all Purple fantastic out there: stop writing letters to SOUNDS praising garbage like ‘Powerhouse’ and instead muster your considerable collective might and see if you can do anything about getting this terrific ‘Play Me Out’ album released over here. I’ll back you every inch of the way.
Two German-language review provided less positive reviews. These are rough translations by the wonderful Jörg Planer.
The first translates basically as saying that it’s basically a “boring flop.”
The second is more harsh saying: “Glenn is trying to play guitar and sing solo and hearing the album he isn’t and won’t be good in both. His singing in ‘Soulution’ sounds like he’s imitating a love hungry cat.”
On a recent episode of the Ernie Ball: Striking A Chord podcast, Morse recalled one incident where a fan whipped a bottle at him — he ducked and the projectile hit co-founding keyboardist Jon Lord in the head. It was awful but even that wasn’t the worst incident.
“South America. In Chile, [a man] was spitting at me,” Morse said. “Every time I would come up front to do a solo, and my eyes were closed involuntarily…because I’m into the music. I don’t have any poses or any kind of idea what I look like…I was just playing and during the last song, he spit into my mouth.”
Morse still isn’t sure whether the way he looks onstage played into the fans’ vitriol or if it was solely the fact that he wasn’t Blackmore (Joe Satriani filled in for Blackmore a year earlier, so Morse didn’t understand what all the hate was about).
“Anyway, this [spit] lands in my mouth suddenly,” Morse continued. “If there was a movie soundtrack, you’d hear the needle being scratched across the record. …I finally made eye contact with the guy; he was pointing to himself all proudly, ‘Yeah, it was me!'”
Violated and enraged, when the song was over, Morse launched himself into the audience in an attempt to fight the spitter. He didn’t make it to the man’s neck like he wanted, but it created a pretty memorable scene for anyone who was watching.
This Week in Purple History . . .
October 28 through November 3
November 3, 1945 – Nick Simper is born
October 29, 1984 – Deep Purple releases “Perfect Strangers”
October 30, 1993 – Ritchie announced his resignation from Deep Purple
We covered the end or Blackmore’s tenure in DP in Episode #18 – Stormbringer. Stemming from his desire to cover “Black Sheep of the Family.”
He could not convince Coverdale to sing on Ritchie’s “solo” EP so he was able to get Ronnie James Dio who he paid flat fee of £1,000 to sing the track.
The chemistry between the two was so good that they ended up doing “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” as well.
Ritchie: “The way he sang was just perfect for what I wanted. I didn’t have to tell him — he just sang it.”
Dio: “Ritchie told me that we had to go into the studio in a couple of days to lay down a track and asked me if I could write a lyric for him byt he following day! We went up to his room, he played me those chords and I went away having to rememebr it. I went home and wrote the melody and lyric in my head, and it worked out fine.”
ELO cellist Mugh McDowell also played on these first two tracks as he was teching Ritchie the cello at the time.
After a break in Deep Purple’s Australian tour. He used the rest of the band Elf (except for the unfortunate guitarist, Steve Edwards) and recorded the album between February 20 and March 14 1975 at Musicland Studios in Munich with Martin Birch.
This recording gave Blackmore the confidence he needed that he could do this alone and he let Deep Purple Management know but not his fellow bandmates.
In his book “Deep Purple & Rainbow Every Song” Steve Pilkington says: “. . . such was the shroud of secrecy and deception around every line-up change the band had, it’s a wonder that an ex-member never turned up at a gig, like the famed JApanese soldier who didn’t know the war had ended some twenty or thiry years later! Maybe that’s where Rod Evans is now . . .”
Ritchie Blackmore: guitar
Ronnie James Dio: vocals
Mickey Lee Soule: keyboards
Craig Gruber: bass
Gary Driscoll: drums
Album Art & Booklet Review
The album cover is a painting by David Willardson.
The crescent moon and the castle supposedly represent the two great influences on Blackmore’s writing on the album – the middle east and medieval Erope.
The back cover has the lyrics to Sixteenth Century Greensleeves and a track listing.
Inside the gatefold is a photo spread in black and white with the center a photo of Blackmore on stage with Deep Purple though none of the rest of DP is visible. All the live shots are of the members in their respective bands, Deep Purple and Elf.
Album Details and Analysis:
Recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich.
Produced by Martin Birch, Ritchie Blackmore, and Ronnie Jame Dio.
Man on the Silver Mountain (Blackmore, Dio)
This was a staple of their live show throughout the band’s history.
Live it was a bit more high energy.
The title of this song is inscribed on Dio’s memorial in Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Was released as a single in October of 1975 with “Snake Charmer” as a B-side by didn’t do well.
Self Portrait (Blackmore, Dio)
Blackmore described this as a cross between “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach and “Manic Depression” by Hendrix.
The song was briefly performed live by Rainbow and was put away until being resurrected by Blackmore’s Night with a medieval flare.
Black Sheep of the Family (Hammond)
The song that created Rainbow.
It was recorded with the intention of being a single though it was never released as one.
This song also never made it to Rainbow’s live set.
Catch The Rainbow (Blackmore, Dio)
Similarity to “Little Wing.”
Backing vocals by Shoshana (Judith Feinstein) who was an American opera singer who was living with Blackmore.
Dio says this song is about a medieval stable boy who falls in love with a lady of the court but their different backgrounds lead to them growing apart.
Longest song on the album at over six minutes, would be closer to fifteen when performed live.
Snake Charmer (Blackmore, Dio)
B-side to Man on the Silver Mountain.
Strong similarities to “You Can’t Do It Right.”
Temple of the King (Blackmore, Dio)
Similar feeling to “The Gypsy”
Blackmore claims that he was inspired to write this song by the TV program “Yoga For Health.”
Lyrics about peasants being called to the temple by a mysterious “great black bell.”
Some interpretations of the lyrics include the story of Buddha to the appearance of “The year of the fox” in fantasy literature.
Was never performed live until the band reformed in the 90s with “Stranger IN US All.”
Blackmore says it wasn’t suitable for live performances.
If You Don’t Like Rock ‘n’ Roll (Blackmore, Dio)
Filler track, blues pattern.
Only played live once as an encore that is documented.
Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (Blackmore, Dio)
From the original session with “Black Sheep of the Family” as the B-side.
Standard medieval/fantasy Rainbow track.
Conjures up image of a black knight in an old castle being brought to justice.
Blackmore said he was inspired by the song Greensleeves that he loved which is supposedly written by Henry VIII.
Blackmore used to live near Windsor Castle and was inspired to write this song by that.
Steve Pilkington calls the opening line of “It’s only been an hour since he locked her in the tower” as Spinal Tap-esque. He says it’s a little better than “It’s only been a bit, since he threw her in the pit.”
This was commonly played in their live shows.
Hugh McDowell of ELO plays cello on this song.
Still I’m Sad (Samwell-Smith, McCarty)
An instrumental version of the song by the Yardbirds.
Was originally the B-side of “Evil Hearted You” in the UK and “I’m a Man” in the US. From the album “Having a Rave-Up with the Yardbirds.”
@jonatanhedlin on Instagram: “First episode I was worried going into, because I love this album so much. Luckily I was worried for no reason because you do get the magic that is Captain Beyonds first album.”
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
With Cherkazoo Gillan shopped it around to Disney. Gillan stated on his Caramba Web site:
“a meeting in the ‘70s with all the senior people at Disney. I did a presentation at their studios in Hollywood and they were very enthusiastic. However, it coincided with a sea change of company policy and they were in production with Robin Hood, having decided to go back to classic stories as the basis for their films, due to bad figures on some recent contemporary stuff.”
Fenwick remembered the Cherkazoo project (as written in Smoke on the Water by Dave Thompson, page 133-134):
“At the time, it was kind of strange. But it was one of those [projects] that you could see somewhere along the line, there was some connection.”
Fenwick along with Moran would later be in in Ian Gillan Band. Monster in Paradise was gifted to Hard Stuff, John Gustafson’s group, for their album “Bulletproof.”
The Ultimate Guitar has quotes from an interview with Michael Schenker, in which he explains why he refused to join Deep Purple, Ozzy, Thin Lizzy, and Motorhead (spoiler: he didn’t want to end up in somebody else’s band).
I didn’t go with Deep Purple, I didn’t go with Ozzy Osbourne, I didn’t go with Phil Lynott or Lemmy’s Motorhead – you name them, they all asked me to join them, but I did not think that I was the right person for that because there was a reason why I didn’t join the Scorpions, there was a reason why I left UFO.
Here endeth the fact and starteth the speculation.
One plausible theory is that his name was on the list of “acceptable replacements” for Blackmore, supplied to the band by Japanese promoters in order for the ’93 tour not to be cancelled. If so, it is quite possible that inquiries were made before the deal was struck with Joe Satriani.
ANTIHERO: Your rescheduled ‘Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live’ UK tour will be going ahead in November – do you envisage doing a tour of Trapeze songs too one day?
Glenn Hughes: I’d love to! I’m getting communications from promoters about that. I would love to do that – it would be bigger in America and I could find people who adore Trapeze, like Billy Gibbons who’s a huge Trapeze fan, so I don’t think I’d have a problem finding someone to play it with, but I’m glad you mentioned that band because that’s where it started for me and that’s where I found my legs. I’ve been doing this for fifty years now and it’s never going to really stop for me because I really love what I do and I love giving back to the people that follow my music.
This Week in Purple History . . .
October 14 through October 20
October 16, 1968 – Deep Purple play their first US show opening for Cream for their farewell tour
Video from show on October 18 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpmqIQlB4Lc
October 16, 1975 – The Butterfly Ball is performed live at the Royal Albert Hall
Great photo archive here: https://photofeatures.photoshelter.com/search?KW=Butterfly+Ball&I_DSC_AND=t&I_DSC=Butterfly+Ball+&I_USER_ID=U0000s1U9gi65hLg&_ACT=search
5 years ago, the finest bass player to come out of Liverpool (fight me!) passed away. John Gustafson went on to join Roxy Music, writing the infamous bassline to Love Is The Drug. But to me, he was just ‘dad’. Raising a glass of red to you tonight
Lots of erroneous info about David Coverdale turning 70 yesterday (September 22) as we record this. He actually is turning 68. @JoergPlaner traces this back to some incorrect newspaper articles from the 1980s crediting Coverdale as being two years older than he was,
Lead Up To Album & Writing:
Recorded from 1972 to 1974.
Essentially a collection of demos recorded by Ian Gillan in the 70s.
They’d been available as poor quality bootlegs for years until Gillan approved of them being released after being stored in his garden shed for the better part of two decades.
This song made it out on vinyl, recorded by Hard Stuff for the album Bulletproof.
At the time it was assumed this was a leftover track that Deep Purple didn’t record and gave to the group.
There were a number of odd versions with different singers doing cockney accents with spoken word bits.
This was going to be left out until they uncovered this version featuring Glover on lead vocals with Gillan on the chorus.
The Bull of Birantis (Gilan/Glover)
Liner notes state that the strings were performed by members of ELO.
Jon Lord is laughing at hearing Ian Gillan sing “My Name’s Professor Pig.”
Glover plays guitar.
Driving Me Wild
Donkey Ride Dream (Gillan/Glover)
Album Review & Reception
Full track list includes:
What’s New Finnegan
The Bull of Birantis
Driving Me Wild
Monster in Paradise
Donkey Ride Dream
Brother of Mine
High ‘n Mighty Woman
Described in the liner notes as “lacklustre country and western efforts” found at the end of one of the reels without Ian Gillan on vocals. Unclear if they were intended to be part of this.
The liner notes state that this wasn’t meant to recreate the Cherkazoo project, merely to present a collection of Gillan’s demos. They also state that completists will want answers as to why the other tracks were left off (other than a boring one like the lack of room!).
Liner notes state that Overture, Fight Scene, and Gentle Meadow are instrumentals.
Lady fair is an orchestral number with a choral refrain.
What’s New Finnegan has vocals but not by Ian and “didn’t really make the grade.”
On September 27, 2019 earMusic will continue the series of Jon Lord vinyl re-releases with “Windows”, an album featuring a cooperation between Jon Lord and conductor and composer Eberhard Schoener. Schoener, who was also involved in progressive rock masterpieces like “The Turn of a Friendly Card” by The Alan Parsons Project may also be known for being the creator of the main theme for the TV series “Derrick“.
“Windows” was recorded live at the Herkulessaal in Munich on June 1st, 1974 as closing performance of the “Prix Jeunesse International” festival under the “Rock meets Classic” banner and was broadcasted by German TV station Bayerischer Rundfunk to a potential audience of 300 million people.
The album consists of two parts, the 18 minute piece “Continuo on B.A.C.H.” and the name-giving 32 minute “Window” (without “s”), both composed by Jon Lord and Eberhard Schoener.
This Week in Purple History . . .
October 7 through October 13
October 10, 1975 – Come Taste The Band original release date (delayed)
October 7, 1977 – Ian Gillan Band releases Scarabus
Comment on the Stormbringer episode on our website from Paris
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Reinhardt and Dorman were wrapping up their time with Iron Butterfly in 1971. They knew that the band would be ending after that tour. They were in contact with Bobby Caldwell who was playing the same places as them with Johnny Winter who was going to be taking a six month hiatus so they talked to him about working on a project.
Lee Dorman financed the project and they were interested in going in a jazz/rock direction. They jammed together for a few weeks then began looking for a singer.
Through their old manager they found out that Rod Evans was available so they contacted him and recorded some demos together.
They got together and recorded the album in two days because they’re rehearsed it so much and gotten it so tight.
Rhino says in an interview: “Lee and I played with Bobby and it just clicked, we wanted to do something totally different and just the way Bobby plays makes it totally different. Chris Squire from Yes came one morning to me, when we were uploading the bus and said to me “you guys look like Captain Beyond!”
Lee Dorman: “… when we were on that european tour of Iron Butterfly in 71, we were travelling with Yes, with whom we did the tour and there was a strike by Lufthansa, so we had to chart a airplane by a company named “General Air”. A game of words started and suddenly, we were on a bus late one night, someone said “Captain Beyond”, we thought it sounded good and kept it…”
All songs are credited to Rod Evans and Bobby Caldwell.
The songs were actually written by the entire group but Larry Reinhardt and Lee Dorman could not be listed due to their contract with Iron Butterfly.
The Album contains of three medleys. The first three tracks on the first side, the first three tracks on the second side, and the last five tracks on the second side.
The album was dedicated to Duane Allman who had played with drummer Bobby Caldwell.
Take Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, for example. A self-professed classical music fan, many of his works in the ’60s were modelled on classical examples.
“I still listen to a great deal of classical music,” he said in 1985. “That’s the type of music that moves me because I find it very dramatic. Singers, violinists and organists are generally the musicians I enjoy listening to most of all.” If you listen to both Jon Lord’s keyboard solo and Blackmore’s guitar solo on Deep Purple’s “Highway Star,” both are distinctly Bach-like in harmonic progression and virtuosic arpeggio figuration.
This Week in Purple History . . .
September 30 through October 6
October 1, 1973 – Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum” is released
October 5, 1990 – Deep Purple’s “Slaves and Masters” is released
October 4, 1999 – Paul McCartney releases “Run Devil Run” featuring Ian Paice
It took me awhile to warm up to the podcast. I’m a big Purple fan but Mark 1 leaves me cold. However, when the show about the concerto popped up I started to get interested. Then Mark 2 and the five great albums. Now for the cream: Mark 3. The Burn episode was great and now I’m chomping at the bit to hear Nathan and John’s take on my favorite DP album, Stormbringer! Keep up the good work guys. Great format and knowledge. Good to hear real fans talk about this great band.
5 Stars! 08/27/2019 – A Deeper Purple….
These two guys are not held to the conventional notions of the band…..and that’s a very good thing! If you’re not afraid to look outside the more conventional realms of “Machine Head” and “Made In Japan”, this podcast gives another listen to some underrated periods of Purpledom!
LDeepBoogie , 09/07/2019 – Finally a Podcast on Deep Purple
I’ve been waiting for a podcast on this band forever! Great information by two old friends discussing classic albums by the band and discovering new material! If you have any interest in DP you need to check this out!
BLCKSBBTH , 09/07/2019 – They said something very important
This became my favorite podcast when they called attention to the fact that DP’s concerto was composed (by J Lord) as an organic interlocking of rock band and ochestra, whereas S&M is Metallica playing greatest hits with strings added. I can’t beleive it took 20 years for someone to call attention to this publicly.
Lo Axelsson on YouTube:
My feeling is that many older men are just as bad as teenagers. “Fun” story related to your podcast:
I was in a record store looking at a copy of Shades of Deep Purple when the owner comes up to me and goes “ah, Deep Purple with their ORIGINAL singer, he’s MUCH better than the other one!” (I’m assuming he meant Gillan, rip Coverdale etc.). Anyway, I got annoyed by his disdainful tone and answered that Rod Evans is great but that I much prefer him in Captain Beyond. By the bewildered look on his face and lack of response, I conclude he didn’t know of them. I sealed my victory in this pretentious record store pissing contest by buying Fireball. (I am a 30 something woman btw)
I felt he didn’t have to know I had actually only just learned about Captain Beyond through your podcast and found a record by them at my dad’s and think it’s fantastic :p
Ritchie fixing a TV.
@JoergPlaner comes through with the magazine article confirming it is a TV.
Ritchie spent time in his teens working as a radio technician at Heathrow airport.
Jim Massa on YouTube:
If you look at the cover of MIJ, look on the left side of the Hammond (Jon’s left), that is a ring modulator/phaser unit. It is that which created all those effects for Lazy, Space Trucking. . He did not add a synth (ARP Odyssey) until 1973 shows (WDWTWA).
Jim also tells a great story of meeting Ritchie and having drinks with him during the Rainbow tour and getting VIP tickets.
– 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