28 Mei 2012

California Jam Book Announced

On April 6th, 1974, DEEP PURPLE appeared on stage at the California Jam festival at the Ontario Speedway in California.Taking top billing at the all-day event, and with great weather, Deep Purple and the other bands drew a crowd of around 165,000 people. It became the largest single-day paid attendance in US rock concert history. 

Deep Purple's standing at that time was enormous thanks to the massive success of Machine Head and 'Smoke On The Water' and the festival came towards the very the end of a lengthy American tour with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes (joining founder members Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice). This show was special though, to be televised across the country through the ABC TV network, and the band pulled out all the stops, cancelling all other shows on the west coast to stoke demand. 

Today their California Jam performance is rightly regarded as a classic by this line-up, but at the time pre-performance arguments almost saw them thrown off the bill before they'd even got on-stage. After Ritchie Blackmore's pyrotechnics (when he ignited trays of gasoline and almost blew himself, drummer Ian Paice and various roadies off stage) there were worries that the group would never work in America again. The show also saw the guitarist's legendary attack on an intrusive television camera with a Stratocaster. All thoughts of an encore went out of the window as roadies bundled musicians into waiting limos to get them over the state border before state police could be called in. 

This astonishing concert is now the subject of a new documentary book, Deep Purple at the California Jam, published in autumn 2012 by Rufus Stone Limited Editions. Collecting together hundreds of black and white and colour images from a number of photographers who had all area access to the concert (and rehearsals), the large 12" by 12" format presentation allows these images to shine. Most of the photographs have never been seen before and are being fully restored and colour corrected. 

 Backing the images up is a detailed and lengthy essay on the concert and the build-up to the performance, from the first meetings by the promoters through to the completion of the PA towers. The text is supported by an impressive collection of rare memorabilia including internal documents, set-lists, passes, posters, tickets and even the repair bills for the TV camera.


06 Mei 2012

WhoCares (Gillan and Iommi) To Release An Album

The project also includes members and former members of Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and Metallica.

Joined by Jon Lord, Nicko McBrain, Jason Newsted and HIM guitarist Mikko ‘Linde’ Lindstrom, they’ve recorded a charity single, with all proceeds to go to the rebuilding of a music school in Gyumri, Armenia.

The single, released in digital and CD formats on May 6, is to feature the songs Out Of My Mind and Holy Water. The CD edition will also have the video for the first song, plus a 40-minute documentary chronicling Gillan and Iommi’s work for Armenia. This goes back to 1988, when an earthquake devastated the country and the Purple frontman and Sabbath guitarist launched Rock Aid Armenia.

Gillan talks exclusively about the WhoCares project – and the future of Deep Purple – below.

Interview: Geoff Barton

The original Rock Aid Armenia Project started in 1998. What prompted you to revisit it?

A lot of it went on behind the scenes with managers and Max [Vaccaro] at the record label [Edel], saying: “Why don’t we do a charity compilation of stuff with you and Tony?” So that’s how the WhoCares thing was born, and we immediately started throwing ideas around. Every time you start one of these projects you think: “That’s it, there can’t be a single track left that hasn’t been used or released somewhere.” But there always is.

You’ve dredged up some real gems for the album, some of which we’ll talk about in a minute.

I think the fans will like it. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it and playing it through.

You’ve also recorded two brand new tracks: Out Of My Mind and Holy Water. How did they come together?

It’s amazing what you can do without twisting any arms when people are having fun. I remember when I used to play football in charity games. It was just amazing – I was playing with George Best, Paul Mariner, Bobby Moore and people like that, having a whale of a time, pretending I was a professional footballer. But the thing I noticed was, all the footballers wanted to be musicians and hang out with the bands. So there was no hidden agenda, we just had a damn good time. That’s why people tend to enjoy these benefit things.

It clicked as soon as we got on the plane coming back from Armenia. Tony and I had been back there to receive an award for the original Rock Aid Armenia project. The absolute key to all this is a conversation I had with the mayor of Spitak, which was at the epicentre of this earthquake that killed 25,000 people, and made a quarter of a million homeless. He said: “You know, there’s been no music in the churches, no music at weddings, no music on the radio… even the birds have stopped singing.” It was terrible, really. So I said: “When you’re ready for music again, maybe we can do something.” So that’s how the focus came about. That quote was remembered. The original Rock Aid Armenia wasn’t aimed at a particular project; it was just generally to raise funds and awareness. So anyway, all these years later, at the awards ceremony, a few people commented: “We always remember you said: ‘When you’re ready for the music, let’s do something.’” So that’s when we hooked on to the music school.

Tony and I were very moved and we said: “Let’s get together when we can and write a couple of things.” So I went to Tony’s house in Birmingham, we spent an afternoon and came up with three or four ideas, one of which was Out Of My Mind. Tony did a bit of development work on it, then I went back a couple of weeks later and we recorded it. To get the other guys on board was really just a question of a few phone calls. Nicko, Jon Lord and the rest of them. We went through our address book, basically.

Did you all get together in the studio or was it done in the remote sense, like a lot of stuff is these days?

Mostly remote, but Jon Lord and Nicko were live together in the studio in London, and we took it from there. Nicko flew in from Florida and Jon was on a day break from a concert tour he was on. He flew in from Hungary especially to do this. It was a glorious day; we wasted about three hours catching up on old times.

What sorts of things did you talk about?

It’s funny; people have a misconception about what goes on with musicians. Everybody thinks it’s all about aftershow parties… I might have a couple of drinks, but I’ve never been to an aftershow party in my life. I remember this particular time when Purple got back together after a long break between tours. We pulled into town the night before, checked into the hotel and went to the bar, and it was all… “Hey, how are you doing, how’s the wife, how’s the kids, how’s Sunderland FC doing…” As I went up to bed I realised not one word had been spoken about music or anything like that. It was just sort of buddy talk. So it was great to see Jon and Nicko. We just yattered away for a while and then thought we better crack on because the time’s going by.

Tell us about some of the stuff on the WhoCares album, beginning with the Repo Depo track.

Repo Depo dates back to 1991 or 1992. It was a three-piece – well, four, including me – very hard rocking band. We had Brett Bloomfield on bass, Leonard Haze (Y&T) on drums, and Dean Howard was the guitar player. Dean was in various incarnations of my touring bands over the years. I suppose you could call Repo Depo a kind of offshoot of the Gillan band. There are various bits and pieces of Repo Depo on YouTube, I believe. I haven’t seen them myself but Brett keeps sending me messages saying: “You must watch this, it’s awesome, man.” We must have been together a year or more. They were all staying at my house when I lived in Buckinghamshire, between tours. But then I decided to return to Deep Purple forThe Battle Rages On album. I was unable to resist the clarion call.

What about Dick Pimple?

Dick Pimple was a gift to a Deep Purple fan convention, which was supposed to be taking place at Sheffield City Hall around about the time we were recording Purpendicular, which would be 18, 20 years ago. When we’re in the studio we jam every day to warm up, and Dick Pimple was a result of one of those jams. I don’t know how long it is – 10 minutes, maybe longer. I played it the other day, I haven’t heard it since it was recorded, never gave it any thought. And wow, it’s got that drive to it. It’s completely relaxed and yet it’s got ferocious energy. There’s some great solos by Jon Lord and Steve Morse. It was good fun. Dick Pimple was an old name that Ritchie Blackmore used to have for Deep Purple. That was one of Ritchie’s favourites, along with the Steel Erectors.

You’ve included Zero The Hero, a track from Born Again, the controversial album you recorded when you were a member of Black Sabbath. Have you finally come to terms with that record?

You know what? I think a lot of that was misunderstood. The thing that I really didn’t like about the Born Again album was the production.

And the album cover!

No, I’ve grown to love it! I was quite frankly shocked at the time. I thought it [the album cover] was a little bit overstated in terms of shock value. But on reflection it’s exactly what Sabbath should have done at the time. I loved my time with the band and my experiences were fantastic. It was a hoot a day. I’m still very close to Tony, of course. I enjoyed the album; it wasn’t Black Sabbath, it wasn’t Deep Purple… I don’t know what you’d call it, actually. It was just a bunch of guys having fun… very spontaneous. I think the music was alright; it just didn’t have any clear identity. But yes, I have come to terms with it. I did that very shortly after rejoining Purple [in 1984], in fact. The music was great, I just hated the production. That was the Spinal Tap quote: ‘It’s unplayable on the radio.’ Except our budget was a lot bigger than Spinal Tap’s – we had the full-size Stonehenge, after all! When I heard the mixes [of Born Again] I just put my hands over my ears and thought “My God…” However, that was in the days on vinyl. I suppose when it was remastered for CD it sounded better. I’m not sure, I haven’t heard it for a while.

And Garth Rockett?

Garth! The yang to my yin. Garth, dear Garth. My alter ego. I’ve forgotten which particular track they’re using?

It’s No Laughing In Heaven, live.

Yes, now there’s a song. I enjoyed that.

Explain who Garth Rockett was/is, for anyone who doesn’t know.

It was so I could go out and play, basically, without using my perhaps better-known name. When I was 17 years old I had all these silly names. I was Jess Thunder at one time! Then I became Garth Rockett And The Moonshiners. Two ‘t’s in Rockett, if you don’t mind. It was an early stage name that I used and it kind of stuck. A lot of my friends used it mockingly. It was back in the days when everyone had silly stage names. You’d change your name weekly as much as you’d change your band weekly. Your name didn’t matter because no one knew you anyway.

Talking about the early days, there’s a Javelins track on there as well.

That’s fantastic. That was my first proper band and we never went into the recording studio, we just didn’t reach that level. We were all still learning; we were all still in our formative years, just gigging in clubs. So we never made a record but we stayed in touch. I was talking to Tony Tacon, the rhythm guitar player, and about 15 years ago we decided to have a reunion. And then I thought, why don’t we do it in a recording studio and then we’ll have a genuine album after all this time. So we had a long weekend. All the other guys took time off work and we went and recorded a whole album on the Saturday and Sunday, and mixed it on the Monday. Most of them hadn’t picked up an instrument for ages. It makes people very happy when they listen to that. There’s a load of old songs, Fats Domino stuff… I think they’re using Can I Get A Witness by Marvin Gaye and Holland-Dozier-Holland, aren’t they? Unbelievable stuff. I still play the album a lot.

To close, we simply must talk about Deep Purple. It’s true that Bob Ezrin is producing your new album?

It looks that way. I’m not sure I’m allowed to say anything until contracts are signed but it seems… let’s put it this way, I’m booking a flight out to Nashville on June 23. So I’m sure he will be [producing], yes.

June 23 is when you’re going to kick off the recording?

The whole thing, the writing and everything, yes. We’ve got six weeks to do it.

Bob Ezrin is an interesting choice…

I think it’s great to work with different producers and Bob Ezrin has got an amazing track record. No pun intended. He came up to see us to talk it through and everyone fell in love with him. I think the idea of working with somebody you’ve got respect for professionally and personally… it’s going to make it easy. To be honest, what I think we’re looking for is one of those old-pro type approaches where you have guidance and a great sound. That’s what we want. To cut out the rubbish, which we always recognise too late. We need an objective ear, I think that’s really important. I’m looking forward to it very much.

If you look at the history of Purple, you’ve self-produced more often than not.

Generally, yes. We’ve used Martin Birch as a kind of engineer and sixth ear… a sixth pair of ears, I should say. But generally self-produced. This time I think we’re a little more focused than we have been in the past. We never make plans; we just turn up with nothing and crack on from there. But I think Bob Ezrin will help us focus. I thought Bananas [2003, produced by Michael Bradford] was a fantastic-sounding record… in complete contrast to Rapture Of The Deep [2005, also produced by Bradford]. Bradford’s first album with us was brilliant. We’re all a bit long in the tooth and as life goes on you do need someone to give you that cutting edge, which I’m sure Bob Ezrin will provide.

When will new album be released?

Well, I don’t know. There used to be a long lapse between finishing the recording, then the post-production, the artwork and everything… it used to take ages. It’s much quicker these days. I’ve done three or four albums since the last Purple album. Once the music’s sorted, the rest of it takes no time at all. So, when’s it coming out? I don’t know. How do you sell records these days anyway?

* The WhoCares single, featuring the songs Out Of My Mind and Holy Water, is out on May 6.

An album is to follow with the following tracklisting :
  1. WhoCares – Out Of My Mind (from the CD single of the same title)
  2. Ian Gillan feat, Iommi, Paice and Glover –Trashed (from Gillan’s Inn)
  3. Black Sabbath – Zero The Hero (from Born Again)
  4. Deep Purple – Dick Pimple (unreleased Deep Purple studio out-take from Purpendicular)
  5. WhoCares – Holy Water (from the WhoCares single)
  6. Black Sabbath – Anno Mundi (from Tyr)
  7. Ian Gillan – She Thinks It’s A Crime (first time on CD or digital)
  8. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes – Slip Away (previously only available digitally)
  9. Ian Gillan – When A Blind Man Cries (live acoustic at Absolute Radio, unreleased)
  10. Garth Rockett aka Ian Gillan – No Laughing In Heaven (live)
  11. Ian Gillan feat. Mikhalis Ratzinkis – Getaway (available only on deleted vinyl LP)
  12. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes – Let It Down Easy (Japanese bonus track of the album Fused)
  13. Ian Gillan And The Javelins – Can I Get A Witness (rare)
  14. Repo Depo – Easy Come Easy Go (unreleased, the band Gillan started before rejoining Deep Purple)
  15. Deep Purple feat. Ronnie James Dio – Smoke On The Water


Gillan/Glover – Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave Me
Gillan – Don’t Hold Me Back


04 Mei 2012

Ritchie Blackmore "50 Years In The Business"

It is 50 years ago this month since an aspiring 17-year old guitaris with a cherry red 1961 Gibson ES-335 thinline electric guitar, serial number 26457, quit his job at Heathrow and turned professional, doing a three-week UK package tour with The Condors (from 21st April to 13th May) where they backed The Kestrels, Rolly Daniels, Danny Rivers and Mark Wynter who were touring with Gary US Bonds, Johnny Burnette and Gene McDaniels.

At the end of the tour, he joined of the hardest-working touring bands, Screaming Lord Sutch And The Savages.

Congratulations on 50 years in the business, Ritchie !

info : www.blackmoresnight.com

03 Mei 2012

Because of Purple I’ve Gotten To Meet Lots of People.

The Glide Magazine has done a very interesting interview with Steve Morse. He talks about Flying Colors, growing up as an outsider in Georgia, his passion of flying and his passion of music : 

Most know guitarist Steve Morse as the lead guitarist for Deep Purple since 1994, replacing the legendary Ritchie Blackmore. However most recently, Morse has joined forces with ex-Dream Theater drum prodigy Mike Portnoy, vocalist Casey McPherson, multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse and bass player Dave LaRue to record an eclectic new CD with a band they have dubbed Flying Colors. Morse, who has been respected for his technically progressive fret work since his days with the Dixie Dregs, found some time on a warm Florida morning to talk with GLIDE about venturing into another project, feeling like an outsider as a teen in Georgia, the advantages of recording with new technology and his passion for flying.

You have a new CD out with Flying Colors but how did you record this album in just nine days and make it with the kind of variety that it has on it?

Well, everybody in the band had done their own solo albums or have been sort of like group leaders, so everybody knew what to do. In fact, the real problem was figuring out who is going to decide which idea goes on the record. We had no problem coming up with ideas. But I was all in favor of having Peter Collins act as the producer/referee. In other words, to blow the whistle and say, “No, no, no, go back to this one. You had it there. This is nice but no, go back to that.” And we needed that cause we were working so fast with taking somebody’s starting point and changing it and changing it and changing it, and at the end of the day recording it as basically THE track. 

What we did after those nine days was re-do a lot of the parts in terms of having more control over the sound and the vocalist would change the lyrics after thinking about it and try to do more thoughtful stuff. Because on the spur of the moment, in just a couple of hours while you’re trying to learn the arrangements, to come up with the vocals is pretty amazing. But basically they were looking for kind of like vowel sounds that worked well. And sometimes the lyrics didn’t make much sense on the working versions. I wanted to have more control over the guitar sounds and kind of go home and work on them there where I had my own equipment because I was borrowing whatever was in Neal Morse’s studio in Tennessee at the time.

Why did you want to do this so fast? Did everyone have other obligations?

Yes. I am still full-time with Deep Purple and Mike Portnoy, I think he just finished the tour with Avenged Sevenfold and doing, I think, three different other band projects. One of them was a short term one where they do Beatles covers and stuff. Everybody was so busy and just to find any overlap of schedules where we could do it. The idea was to try to get an entire album done and everybody could overdub and do their vocals or whatever on their own time. But we had to be together for the writing. I felt strongly about that.

You’ve been in the music business a very long time and you’ve seen how the recording process has changed over the years. Do you like how Pro Tools is such a major factor in recording or would you like to go back to the old school type of recording?

I think the quality of the digital stuff is excellent now and I also, more or less, use the analog style of recording, especially with a group. In other words, I think it works best to be able to play through it even though you could imagine, oh we can overdub this or overdub that to make that part even better. But that is the way we approached it. Let’s work them out in the room to where it sounds like the tune is finished with us playing it. Then let’s record it all together and we can use the multi-tracking, it could be the same if everybody took home a tape and had a few channels to put their overdubs on. It really wasn’t that much different. The only exception is, for editing, it is nice to be able to say, “Ok, I like the little bit of a solo I did in the rough track. I’m going to try flying that in” and it’s so easy to do using digital computer tools.

Which song on the Flying Colors CD did you feel that tingle up the spine on the most?

Wow, a lot of them, especially when I heard the finished vocals. I think “Better Than Walking Away” always got me because Casey’s voice is really soulful in sort of a mourning sound. And at the time Casey was like, “What should we write about? I’ve got to come up with some vocals right now.” I said, “Do it about a guy who’s life is falling apart but he doesn’t walk away from it, you know. He faces it, the most difficult stuff.” And Casey just instantly came up with some great lyrics. It really moved me, just the sound of his voice and everything.

Do you still get excited when you go in and record?

Yes, well, there’s never been an album where I wouldn’t go back and change something. But it’s like playing a football game with the team. You do your absolute best and sometimes the outcome is a winner. And it feels like that to me, this album, everything just sort of came together and it sounds great.

Is there still anything left that you can learn on the guitar? Is there anything you don’t know after all these years?

Of course (laughs). I’m reminded of everything I don’t know about playing guitar every time I pick up the guitar. So I absolutely have no illusion about me knowing it all. Music is sort of like painting. Someone who has been painting their whole life would be crazy to think that they can paint any style and know everything about art. They have lots of experience with what they’ve done but that’s only a small slice and I’m exactly the same way. I’ve done lots of things but it’s maybe a tiny miniscule of a fraction of all the possibilities. So I wish I had a lifetime long enough to explore it all.

Where did you grew up and when did you discover music?

At the time I started playing the guitar, we lived up in Michigan, near Detroit, and I was a normal kid. I was learning to do wheelies on my bicycle at the same time. When it was winter we’d play hockey outside and a little baseball and football and just normal kid stuff. It was back in the day when you could let your kids go hang out with other kids. We walked to school every day, every school I ever went to there, and we would be gone all day, come back at dark for dinner. Parents didn’t have to worry about their kids being abducted back then. Maybe there was the same number of bad guys back then but the news didn’t scare the living daylights out of parents (laughs). 

So anyway, I saw The Beatles live on TV and I thought the guitar looked like a lot more fun. I think I was playing clarinet in the school band and I wasn’t very inspired by it. As a kid the guitar appealed to me. I learned some chords, I had a band and I learned a few little solos, like Chuck Berry solos, and we played some Rolling Stones songs and some Yardbirds and Kinks, stuff like that, stuff that was easy guitar-wise. I didn’t really take it seriously till I was in my teens. This is age say eleven that I started. As I was just reaching my teens, we moved from Michigan to Georgia and basically I lived most of my life in the south. But at the time I was an outsider with a foreign accent being a northerner, and it was in the 60’s and I was just one of those kids that was comfortable with long hair. My hair was over my ears and it was not cool to do that where I had moved to (laughs). I had a real culture shock there. It was hard to make friends being the new guy and all that stuff so it was weird. Music was the one thing that I sort of just put all my energy into. I started getting much better on the guitar and being more of a soloist and being interested in every part of the guitar.

When I was sixteen, I decided I was going to go to music school and the University of Miami had a classical guitar program as well as a studio music and Jazz major. I applied for it and got in and at age seventeen I was in college playing with a caliber of players I had never seen before. That sort of really changed my life and upped my game so much higher. I actually finished my degree. During the time I was in school, I’d had time to experiment with an instrumental group and when we left school, myself and Rod Morgenstein went and moved back up to Georgia, where it was kind of easy to live with very little money and we took our band, the Dixie Dregs, and just started playing wherever we could. From then on, it was the middle 1970’s. It was hard work and there was not much reward for it but we never gave up. We just kept on and kept on and we ended up putting out six albums and being able to tour all around the United States.

Were you ever uncomfortable or nervous on a stage? Or did it just come natural to you?

That’s totally a function of how well-prepared you are. For instance, if you’re trying something you’ve never done before and this is the first time you’re doing it on stage, yes, it’s very possible to get worried and nervous. However, if you know the music and you’ve done it before, you just excited by the fact that you’re doing it live. You don’t get nervous about it. For instance, I wrote a difficult classical guitar piece that I played at my recital when I was in school. That was kind of nerve wracking because not only was I playing for a very astute audience that could hear all the tiny little imperfections that a human being would do but they were also judging the content of the writing and it was not something that I did on a regular basis. That’s probably the most nerve wracking thing I’ve ever done in my life. 

But if you’re in a band, you know the material and you’re playing some of the songs for the first time, you just kind of pay attention more and maybe you’re not as relaxed as you’re trying to remember, thinking ahead of the arrangement and things like that. We do it because it’s fun, the music part is fun, and most of the other parts of our day revolve around work, like setting up equipment, sound-checking, taking care of details. For most of us it’s setting up our own equipment and tearing it down.

Do you remember the first concert you went to and what that experience was like?

Yes I do. It was a club that we got to play at during a matinee and they were exactly like what every town should have – daytime shows for young kids to go to where there’s no alcohol and later on we were able to go to that same club and see The Who. I got to sit maybe four feet in front of Pete Townshend on this little stage. I thought they were really good. I loved the energy and the stuff they did and at the time I was a kid but I didn’t know. I knew enough that I could see what he was playing on guitar but I didn’t understand why the record had more harmonies and stuff than what I was hearing live. And I didn’t understand about the overdubbing at that time. So I was a little bit surprised to hear that live sounded different than the record because my first experience had been The Beatles playing live and they sounded exactly the same as the first record.

You have played on so many albums and records doing different types of music. Do you have one that you’re more comfortable with, a particular genre that maybe excites you more than playing the others?

Well for me to answer that would sort of be a nebulous answer by saying something like Flying Colors, where there is no particular name for it. In other words, where each song can kind of live it’s own life. Like if you’re in a death metal band, you can imagine there’s a certain vibe that has to happen all the time. Same way with a country band or the same way with a polka band playing at weddings (laughs). So I like bands that feel free enough to have variety within the album and within their live set. And that seems more essential to me. In general, I think audiences are more tolerant of variety than music business people are.

I hear that you’re a pilot. When did you get into that?

When I was in the last year of college in 1974 or 1975, and I’ve been flying ever since.

What is so exciting about flying versus the excitement of playing a guitar? Because you can get an adrenalin kick from both.

Oh yeah (laughs). First of all, flying is like music; it can be lots of different things. For instance, people spend all day hiking to get to the top of a mountain and enjoy the view. Where with an airplane, you can get that view in a minute and make it last for as long as you have gas. And it doesn’t take much. In fact, I have one airplane here that uses about fifty cents worth of gasoline to get to launch. Then you shut off the motor, and if you fly in the afternoon you can do this. You shut off the motor and feather the prop and just ride around on the rising air like the buzzards and hawks and eagles do. Sometimes you see them in the same thermal rising column of air and you’re just doing circles and the birds are like looking at you as they’re flying around (laughs). 

Stuff like that is really cool and I also love aerobatics, just the thrill of going straight up and straight down and upside down, flipping and spinning, things like that. Then we have regular travel, which is a different thing. You have to constantly consider the weather and be a good chess player. Think of all the possible moves the weather could make and how to get around it. Like how you were talking about the weather down there in New Orleans. The warmer it is, the more violent it is. That’s another part of it, trying to out maneuver, out-guess the weather so you can have a safe flight. It’s a lot of unique challenges, everything from the intellectual to the visceral thrill of spinning straight down toward the ground and recovering at the exact moment you want. And then the beauty, just the view of a sunset from a quiet glider as you’re coming in to land.

Who was the first real rock star that you ever met?

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. They were playing in Macon, Georgia, and I saw the debut of “Stairway To Heaven” on that tour. I had seen them play before on their first tour but I didn’t get to meet them. My girlfriend wanted to see if we could sneak backstage and basically just see them. They were one of her favorite bands in the world and we went underneath the stage and came out on the other side and there were these two English guys with their long English coats on waiting for the van to pick them up. They were standing together so I asked Jimmy Page what kind of strings he used (laughs). And he said (mimicking a British accent) “Ernie Ball Slinky.”

Because of Purple I’ve gotten to meet lots of people. Later, I got to talk to Robert Plant in our dressing room when he came to one of our shows and I really enjoyed that part of being in a band that seems to know everybody. So like I said, I get to meet people not because of who I am but because of who the band is and I’ve enjoyed it, getting to hang out with George Harrison before he died and be at an airport and talk with Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck, the guys in AC/DC hanging out in the dressing room. It’s really cool and 
I’m still sort of like a music fan.

Do you realize that people think that way about you as well? 

Music and life in general is humbling so anytime I can do anything for anybody that asks, “Hey, can you sign this?” or if there is any way I can pass on how I felt. I felt like the people I’ve met have always been patient and gracious with me so I’ve always wanted to do the same. Somewhere along the lines you encounter some people that won’t give you the time of day and I’ve never forgotten how that felt. How needless that sort of attitude is. I really try and never give any impression but “Hey, I’m really glad you’re here” because I am glad. If somebody comes to see my show, they’re helping feed me and my family and that’s the way I think of it. When I see food on the table, I remember it came from people thinking enough of the music to take money out of their pocket, and that money didn’t get there easily. And for them to take it out of their pocket and give it to us that’s a big deal. Everybody should be grateful of the people that are supporting them.

Can you believe you have been in Deep Purple for almost 20 years now?

No. Time has gone by very quickly and some clichés are clichés because they’re true. And one of those clichés is that time seems to accelerate the older you get. And right now I feel like every time I get ready to relax and say, “Ok, now what do I do?” another year has gone by. Every time I’m able to catch my breath, it’s a year later. So yeah, the time went by very quick.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?

In a couple of weeks, Deep Purple has a writing session and we’re producing an album with Bob Ezrin, who’s done KISS, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper, and he also worked on the last Kansas album, when I was with Kansas. So he’s one of my favorite producers and that’s going to be our studio album. It’s probably going to be more of an extravaganza. Everybody realizes we’re not going to do this forever, so to me it feels like this is a really important album to do well. So we’ve got that coming up and mixed in with that, and that is most of the summer with the album, and then I have to leave when they’re doing vocals on that to do the G3 tour. Then I have to come back, repack my suitcase and we go out with Flying Colors and the plan is to do a couple weeks in the US and then a couple weeks in Europe. That brings us to the end of September. Oops, I’m late for the G3 tour and got to get on a plane to go down to South America. Then before they go to Mexico, I have to leave the tour to come back and go straight to Russia with Deep Purple. Then I may have to come back from Russia all the way to the US and repack my suitcase and go back for another five weeks in Europe. Then it’s Christmas and then another year has gone (laughs).

But it’s still fun for you, right?

Oh yeah, the playing is the payoff and there’s another cliché that is very true – a Jazz musician was reported to have said, “I’ll play for free but they have to pay me to travel.” (laughs).


01 Mei 2012

Bob Ezrin To Produce Next Deep Purple Album?

“Well I think it’s now confirmed, it’s Bob Ezrin who will produce the new Deep Purple album”... According to Steve Morse, they have asked Bob Ezrin to produce the new studio album. This as you might imagine is Quite A Big Deal and indicates the level of seriousness with which they seem to be approaching the project. (Morse was giving the news to French magazine Rock Hard. Thanks to Mathieu Pinard for the story).

Choosing Ezin as producer for their first studio offering since 2005’s Rapture Of The Deepwould be quite a departure for the modern-day Purple.

Rapture… was produced by the relatively low-profile Michael Bradford, as was Bananas(2003). Abandon (1998) was produced by Deep Purple/Roger Glover and Purpendicular(1996) was credited to Deep Purple.

The Purps have worked with Martin Birch in the distant past (although he was mostly credited as the engineer on their albums, only getting co-production credits with the band onStormbringer and Come Taste The Band) and Derek Lawrence even further back in time (he produced the  first three albums). But in general have been happy to self-produce throughout their long career.


Pearl and DrumWright launch Ian Paice kit

Just 12 of the Limited Edition signature kits will be made available this month, sold through the Drumwright (Reading) store. Each of the nine-piece kits features Pearl Masters Premium Legend Maple shelss with an Ian Paice Signature snare. These will be available in Piano Black, Silver Sparkle and White Marine Pearl, with just four of each colour made. The kits carry a GBP4999 price tag.  As  well as a standard front head, the kits will come supplied with a specially designed front bass drum head which could be fitted to the kit or mounted to the wall as a souvenir.    This head features the design from the Machine Head album which hit the UK charts 40 years ago this month (April 2012).  Everyone who buys a kit will also receive a signed drum head with a personal dedication from Ian.

The drum legend will be demonstrating the kit at its official launch at Drumwright on 23 April 2012.
Of his signature setup, Ian said: “When you are lucky enough to play the best, it’s nice to know other people can experience the same perfection.” As well as the kit, DrumWright is also offering more Paice-related gear including Pearl Hardware, Piaste cymbals, limited edition Hardcases, Pro-Mark sticks and more. Chris Wright of DrumWright added: “We are very excited about this unique opportunity. We have developed a close working relationship with Ian over the past 15 years. In my view, he is the UK’s finest rock drummer, an inspiration to others, and a pleasure to work with.”

As if this unique kit isn’t enough to make Paice fans part with their cash, each of the 12 buyers will be invited to a private dinner with Ian. The slap-up meal will be cooked by Ian’s favourite chef Paul Clerehugh at his Oxfordshire restaurant The Crooked Billet.

The kit is being launched to coincide with the anniversary of Deep Purple’s seminal Machine Head album, released in 1972 and featuring classics such as ‘Smoke on The Water’ and ‘Highway Star’. For tickets to the kit’s launch send an email headed “IPLaunch” with your name and postal address to enquiries@drumwright.co.uk

For full kit spec visit www.drumwright.co.uk/world-exclusive


Formasi VIII (2002-saat ini)

Formasi VIII (2002-saat ini)
Ian Paice, Roger Glover, Ian Gillan, Don Airey & Steve Morse

Formasi VII (1994-2002)

Formasi VII (1994-2002)
Steve Morse, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice

Formasi VI (1993-1994)

Formasi VI (1993-1994)
Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Joe Satriani, Roger Glover, Jon Lord

Formasi II-c (1992-1993)

Formasi V (1990-1992)

Formasi V (1990-1992)
Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Lynn Turner & Ian Paice

Formasi II-b (1984-1990)

Formasi II-b (1984-1990)
Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Roger Glover & Ian Gillan

Formasi IV (1975-1976)

Formasi IV (1975-1976)
David Coverdale, Jon Lord, Tommy Bolin, Ian Paice & Glenn Hughes

Formasi III (1973-1975)

Formasi III (1973-1975)
Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, Glenn Hughes & David Coverdale

Formasi II-a (1969-1973)

Formasi II-a (1969-1973)
Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore & Jon Lord

Formasi I (1968-1969)

Formasi I (1968-1969)
Rod Evans, Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice dan Nick Simper



Salah satu pelopor musik Hard Rock kemudian berkembang menjadi Heavy Metal ini pada awal berdirinya merupakan ide dari bintang pop tahun 1960-an dan telah memperoleh kebesaran dengan band-nya, THE SEARCHER, dialah Christopher Crummy atau yang dikenal dengan nama Chris Curtis (Oldham, Lancs, tgl. 26 Agustus 1941).

Curtis melihat semakin berkembangnya musik Rock Progressive sehingga terbentuk suatu ide bersama rekannya di bisnis musik yang bersedia menolongnya.

Curtis mulai mendiskusikannya dengan Tony Edwards, yang bekerja di bisnis textile milik keluarganya di West End, London. Mereka pun diperkenalkan ke Vicki Wickham, seorang asisten produser acara TV : Ready, Steady, Go Pop Show.

Setelah setahun berjalan, secara formal Curtis lalu meminta pertolongan manajemen dan Edwards pun menghubungi teman bisnisnya, John Colletta, yang saat itu memiliki agen periklanan diatas perusahaan textile milik Edwards. Mereka lalu membuat keputusan untuk menggabungkan bisnis mereka dengan melakukan promosi band yang akan dibentuk Curtis.

Seiring dengan waktu, mereka sadar bahwa Curtis hanya memiliki mimpi besar yang hanya berisikan gagasan dan gagasan belaka. Sedangkan bagian yang paling nyata terletak kepada keberadaan teman Curtis yang juga musisi yang tinggal satu flat (Fulham's Gunter Grove) dengan Curtis, dialah Jon Lord.

Curtis pun masih bersemangat untuk membicarakan proyeknya tersebut dengan menampilkan kumpulan musisi terbaik. Salah satu musisi yang sangat diinginkan Curtis adalah Ritchie Blackmore, gitaris terkenal di Reeperbahn dan saat ini bermukim di Hamburg bersama kekasihnya, Babs.

Saat itu band telah terbentuk dengan formasi : Ritchie Blackmore (gitar), Jon Lord (organ), Chris Curtis (vokal), Dave Curtis (bass) dan Bobby Woodman Clarke (drum). Clarke merupakan referensi dari Blackmore berdasarkan promosi Melody Maker yang dibayar 25 Pound setiap minggunya. Sedangkan Dave Curtis tidak ada hubungannya dengan Chris Curtis.

Setelah melakukan jam, Blackmore melihat kelemahan Band terletak pada diri Chris Curtis sendiri, sehingga (sangat ironis) akhirnya Chris Curtis harus keluar dari Band disusul oleh Dave Curtis, sehingga Band hanya terdiri dari Blackmore, Lord dan Clarke saja.

Tak lama berselang, rekan Jon Lord semasa di The Flowerpot Men, Nick Simper (bass) ikut bergabung. Sedangkan untuk posisi vokal, Band telah melihat nama Ashley Holt, Rod Stewart dan Terry Raid.

Dari sekian pelamar, harapan terbesar terletak pada diri Mick Angus. Inkarnasi embrio ini ditambah lagi dengan saran Simper dan Lord untuk memilih Ian Gillan. Saat itu terjadi dilema apabila Gillan masuk ke dalam Band, sedangkan saat itu Gillan masih bergabung dengan EPISODE SIX.

Setelah kembali ke Slough dengan saat itu telah diberikan kepercayaan oleh Band, Angus mereferensikan teman akrabnya, Rod Evans.

Entah mengapa justru Rod Evans (ex. The Maze) bersama rekannya Ian Paice masuk kedalam Band. Dengan masuknya Paicey otomatis Clarke harus keluar dari Band.

Begitu banyak nama Band diusulkan seperti Orpheus dan Concrete God, namun Management mengusulkan nama Roundabout dan nama ini dipakai dalam tour.

Dalam tour di Tastrup, Denmark tgl. 20 April 1968, nama Band pun berubah menjadi DEEP PURPLE, yang diambil dari nama sebuah lagu favorit dari Neneknya Ritchie Blackmore.

Debut album Deep Purple, Shades Of Deep Purple direkam di bulan Mei 1968. Dalam relatif sangat singkat, hit single Deep Purple, Hush (dirilis bulan Juli 1968) menembus tangga lagu Amerika, dengan menduduki posisi no. 4.