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Deep Purple

The Montreux Jazz Festival, Royal Albert Hall, Malaysian Formulae 1 GP, Melbourne Entertainment Centre, a Blizzard somewhere in the Alps, Tokyo, Rio, Moscow’s Olympic Hall, Cape Town, Bangalore, La Paz, Toronto and Kansas City. What do they have in common? They are just a few of the places where you could have seen a Deep Purple show over the last couple of years. Simply reading the itineraries gives you an idea of how this band operates on a truly international level. Deep Purple is not a conformist group. There never was, nor ever will be, any fawning to trends. What you do get from them are cutting edge performances based on a sound philosophy: ‘the music comes first’. That music comes from within the core spirit of the band, nowhere else. They won’t be bagged. Why? In the sixties and early seventies they were described (by others) as ‘Progressive’ or ‘Underground’, when they made a conscious decision to depart from the ‘Hush’ era in order to record the seminal album ‘Deep Purple in Rock’. ‘Fireball’, ‘Machine Head’, ‘Made in Japan’ and ‘Who Do We Think We Are’ quickly followed, and they were then tagged (along with Zeppelin and Sabbath) as leaders of the ‘Hard Rock’ explosion. At this point began the gradual disintegration of the famous MK 2 line-up, (Gillan and Glover departing for solo careers) and David Coverdale and Glen Hughes were drafted in for the International smash hit albums of ‘Burn’ and ‘Stormbringer’.in the mid seventies before the band took some well earned R’n’R The eighties re-union as ‘Perfect Strangers’ shook the world with a fresh look at the music but with a bold detachment that stated ‘this is Deep Purple’. The era was to end in disharmony, however (again), with first Gillan leaving, then Blackmore and then Gillan returning; confusing? Not really. After the divorce, and seeing this as a genuine opportunity to get back to the music, the guys invited Joe Satriani to join as locum, and he spent the best part of a year on the road with the newly revitalized band before returning to his own commitments. The scene was set for the most important line-up change since ’69. Steve Morse was the only name on the list, and the question he asked, after a couple of out of town gigs had confirmed the chemistry , ‘Is there a dress code?’ paved the way for a return to the humorous disdain the band have for what they used to call ‘poseurs’. They never set out to be ‘Rock Stars’. Call them ‘Classic’ and they will laugh and patiently explain that nostalgia is not a creative word. Sure they’ve been through the mill a few times. However each time they’ve emerged stronger, and now you see a band that is hard and professional; displaying texture, dynamics and a humanity that can only come from those rare artists who are masters of their craft. Deep Purple’s music has evolved organically into an expressive maturity, and the sell-out shows at the cities mentioned above are testament enough to the massive fan commitment. There’s a lot of affection out there for what many say is the greatest of them all. Stats: 150m albums. The following is what they say about themselves: Ian Gillan: singer and writer. Various bands ’62-’69, Deep Purple, Weber/Rice’s JC Superstar (as JC on the original recording), various Gillan Bands and solo stuff, Black Sabbath then DP again. Roger Glover: bassist , writer and producer. Various bands ’61-’69. Deep Purple, Rainbow, then DP again. Production credits include: Nazareth, Elf, David Coverdale, Judas Priest, Status Quo, Rory Gallagher, Rainbow, Pretty Maids. Solo albums: The Butterfly Ball (1974), Elements (1978), Mask (1984), Accidentally On Purpose (with Ian Gillan 1987), Snapshot (2002). Steve Morse: guitarist and writer. Founded and wrote music for 6 time Grammy nominated Dixie Dregs, was a member of Kansas in the late 80’s. Steve was named Best Overall Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine 5 times. He continues to record solo albums and some touring with the Steve Morse Band. Ian Paice: drummer and writer. Early stuff, Deep Purple founder member, Whitesnake, Gary Moore then DP again. Paul MacCartney album and tour. With Jon deciding in September 2002 to leave the band to pursue his career in the classical genre ,the band decided with Jon to draft in an old friend in Don Airey. Don Airey: keyboards. Stints with Cozy Powell, Colosseum II, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Tull, Whitesnake, Gary Moore, ELO, & DP. Credits as player, arranger or producer on nearly 200 albums including one solo venture, “K2”.