EDITOR REMEMBERS... Issue
54 November 2001
There was another year between issues as work pressures got a bit
silly. Just listening to all the new and archive titles from the band
was becoming almost a full time job, even before we'd sat down to try
and jot something down for the review pages. Especially demanding
were two new official bootleg boxed sets from the band, twelve double
discs to plough through. No wonder the page count was up - again - to
64, but the issue was delayed first when Connoisseur asked me to
revamp their 4CD on The Road box set as they'd lost all the artwork
(details on page 46) and then again when the company which turned all
our computer artwork files into filmwork for the printers suddenly
got bought out and asset stripped.
Happily we found a new company quite soon, while one of our members
heard about the problems and offered to source the printing of the
magazine for us, which we took up.
We had also begun a more serious venture with the launch of the
official DPAS website, designed to plug the gap between issues and
respond to breaking news. David Browne, then a relative novice to the
joys of HTML coding, took the task on... and is still at it, when his
new job as the mastermind of a dozen or more websites round the world
A grab-bag of features throughout, including a two pager on the many
wonderful variations of the Stormbringer sleeve which is fairly
relevant right now as EMI prepare the remastered CD edition. Talking
of preparing, DP had just announced their biggest UK for 27 years. We
sent out an update sheet with the magazine detailing this as the
magazine had all been wrapped up. What we also didn't know at the
time was that this would be Jon Lord's farewell from the band, even
though the group were on cracking form for much of the year (detailed
across six pages of reviews and news).
A great feature on DP's many visits to Holland was one of a number of
excellent submissions from DPAS readers (or should that be writers?),
along with a reprint and translation of a rare German tour report
from 1974 (complete with pictures of groupies) and a look back at
House Of Blue Light, wondering if fans had been a tad unfair on it
first time around.
Tony Ashton, one of the most enjoyable and self-deprecating of any of
the artist associated with Purple - the band and the label - had just
died, and over seven pages we looked at his career and also into the
imminent reissue of the PAL studio album, complete with unissued
tracks which Tony had unearthed for us.
The "How I Got Into" column was proving very popular, with two more
ages of recollections from DPAS readers, while by contrast the
shrinking DPAS Adverts column was a reflection of the long gap
between magazines and also the growth of the internet, and we had
ourselves begun putting adverts on the new site.
54: DIGEST & INDEX
: 2001 Tour News
|LIVE REVIEW : Antwerp, Belgium
|ALBUM REVIEW : Live At The Rotterdam Ahoy
: 2001 Australian Tour News
|ALBUM REVIEW : The Soundboard Series 2001
: Pavarotti & Friends, live in Modena
: Don Airey Deputising for Jon Lord
|LIVE REVIEW : Drobak, Norway
|ALBUM REVIEW : Fires At Midnight
|LIVE REVIEW : Buxton Opera House
: Jon Lord's Eulogy
TONY ASHTON MEMORIAL CONCERT
|LIVE REVIEW : Buxton Opera House
|NEWS : Touring & Recording
|ALBUM REVIEW : Major Impacts
Touring In 2001 - News
As in 2000, the shows in 2001 have been a mixture - some with an orchestra, some just (!) band shows. The last gig with the full orchestra took place in Japan in March 2001. It's possible that Purple's London restaging of the Concerto in Sept. 1999 was first ear-marked for The Barbican in London judging from an early news item about the event in the official LSO magazine (complete with pic of Mk 4!) which we've been sent. Happily they were able to move it - don't think it would have been quite the same without the Albert Hall.
The orchestral tour overall hasn't been without the occasions problem or crisis. Jon was apparently at one point so demoralised by some of the crowd problems during the South American shows that he wanted to give up and go home.
In Paris, the Romanian orchestra at first refused to go on, fed-up with some of the things they'd had to put up with. The differences were sorted out and the show was reportedly one of the best of the tour.
They've still not been able to get any American orchestral shows together. They'd hoped to do a couple in New York at the Carnegie Hall with Paul Mann conducting, but this fell through. Inevitably given that we went to press before the "Concerto" tour was over, we had more reviews in from the tour, so we'll catch up from there with some detail before moving on to the rest of the dates..
Sportspaleis, Antwerp, Belgium. 30th September 2000 - Live Review
"I was nervous, because I did not know what to expect: would it be the same show as in London? After all, the newspaper announced this show as "Best of DP".Afterwards I read in the newspaper that the hall was almost sold out (20,000).
Jon greeted us with "Good evening, welcome to the home of the echo. I'd like to say hello to eighty-one people. Please say hello to the Romanian Orchestra."
They opened with "Pictured Within". One moron started to shout at the beginning of the song. Miller Anderson sang it really well and received big applause.
Ronnie James Dio, Steve Morse, Roger Glover and Ian Paice then came on stage - to huge applause - for "Sitting In A Dream".
"We would like to do a song from the same album, you made it all big here in Holland, Love Is All" announced Jon (even if Antwerp is in Belgium!). Then something that woke up a lot of people in the hall, especially those in front of me: Dio's "Fever Dreams" followed by "Rainbow In The Dark". The Dio fans went crazy. I saw Dio (the band) performing this live back in May but with Purple it was more furious and more melodic.
Gillan, wearing a white shiny dinner jacket, walked on stage to introduce "Ted The Mechanic", performed with the horns, Miller, and a beautiful female trio (one of them looked like a former Miss Belgium!) "Pictures Of Home" had the same intro as in London, but a bit longer and those morons started shouting again. I felt ashamed that we have them too, and sitting so close to me. I had great expectations for "Fools" and it was jaw-droppingly good. Gillan had heavy echo on his voice, and Jon did a fine job imitating Blackmore's part. When Steve took over, it changed completely and became a little too jazzy for me, but that improved. I did not like the ending but this was definitely a first highlight of the evening. I love it when they do 'new - old songs'! "Steve wrote this just now in the dressing room, and it is called Guitarstring". Well, what can I say? This was unreal! It sounded like something 'known-classical' which went on faster and faster. Superb!!
"When A Blind Man Cries", another one I wanted to hear with the orchestra! It started with the violins, then Steve. Real spine-tingling stuff, and another highlight! "We've reached the moment where the song is 40 minutes long, we bring you The Concerto".
This was the first performance with the Romanian Orchestra. The London Symphony Orchestra was a bit better, played with more enthusiasm. It wasn't bad tongiht, but there were some very audible differences. Steve's solo was now completely different to Ritchie's. Jon's solo spot seemed a bit different to me too, he really lived the music, it was joy watching him play. The slow bit during Steve's solo was fabulous.
During the 2nd Movement again we had shouting from morons. I am afraid that this will happen at every one of these Concerto gigs, though it was not quite as annoying as at the RAH.
Steve started the riff of "Sweet Home Alabama" for the crowd-pleaser "Smoke On The Water", and the crowd went really loopy for it. Another breathtaking concert. The more I see them the better they get." Michel
Live At The Rotterdam Ahoy - Album review
|Live At The Rotterdam Ahoy, 30th October 2000
Thames Thompson 97593 00085 : Australia July 2001 : 2xCD
With everyone still reeling under the weight of two massive six double CD box sets from Thames Thompson, this solitary double has been rather lost in aftermath. Were it not for that, this release would have had much more impact. One wonders why it wasn't held back a bit to give people time to catch their breath (or renegotiate their bank overdraft), but a lack of planning seems to be one of the hallmarks of all these releases. It can't have been a cheap undertaking either, a 48 track recording deck for starters. a big outlay for something that ends up just being sold at gigs and via the web.
It was taped at the Ahoy on October 30th 2000, an impoortant show in many ways as it finally saw Marco de Goeij being introduced to the audience and given some public recognition for his efforts over the "Concerto". Sad that the actual "Concerto" isn't included. As it was the raison d' etre of these shows, it does seem a bit strange without it.
Still, as the sleeve notes tell us (provided you can find a magnifying glass to read them), the band "storm through a set of stellar numbers". For me, I'd much rather have a Deep Purple show, and while the all-star stuff is fun to listen to once or twice, my interest started to wane fairly quickly. The set is much as you would expect, and fairly similar to the Royal Albert Hall release except for Ronnie Dio's expanded role. I've just realised that Dio are now signed to Eagle in the UK, home of the RAH CD, so that might have led to a bit of extra tour support. Let's see what others felt:
"This really is a blistering concert. Personally I could do without the Dio bit, and I find myself skipping this on the CD, but not so the Purple set - a barnstorming performance it is. Highlights? So many; Gillan's voice seems to get better with age. You once said you his voice reflected the mood in Purple, well that mood must now be very good indeed. On "Perfect Strangers" the orchestra takes the song to what can only be described as rock nirvana, I would put it up there with the Knebworth performance." Paul Stabler
2001 Australian Tour - News
Purple's Australian tour comprised eleven shows, together with a 30-minute set at Melbourne's Albert Park race-track, on the day before the first Grand Prix. This comprised: Highway Star / Black Night / Smoke On The Water.
In the full shows Purple were augmented by a three-piece brass section initially for "No One Came", "Hey Cisco" and "Ted The Mechanic", together with three female backing vocalists for Ted and Cisco. However, some reports mentioned these being largely inaudible. The band were joined onstage by Jimmy Barnes at Woollongong and Newcastle, duetting with Ian on "Good Time Tonight" (during "Speed King") and "Highway Star" and, only at Woollongong, on "Hush". At Newcastle, another ex-member of Cold Chisel, guitarist Ian Moss, was onstage for "Highway Star".
"Pictures Of Home" and "'69" were both dropped and the running order changed after a few shows. As the tour progressed, the number of tracks on which brass and vocals were added had grown to include 'Sometimes I Feel Like Screamimg', 'Mary Long' and 'Hush'. The brass section were also included on 'Perfect Strangers' and 'When A Blind Man Cries', the vocalists on 'Smoke On The Water'.
From Australia it was on to Japan for another round of shows there in late March, two of which were with a Japanese orchestra. Big Ian did the vocals on Pictured Within at the Tokyo show. Both the Aus and Japanese gigs were recorded for the second 'bootleg' box set.
The Soundboard Series - Album box set review
DEEP PURPLE :
AUSTRALASIAN TOUR 2001, THE SOUNDBOARD SERIES
Australia : Thames Thompson 6 97593 00079 3 : July 2001.
Melbourne 9/3/01, Wollongong 13/3/01,
Newcastle 14/3/01, Hong Kong 20/3/01,
Tokyo 1st night 24/3/01, Tokyo 2nd night 25/3/01.
Rushing this set is a mixed blessing to say the least, while the usual chaotic release pattern mirrored that of the earlier 'bootleg' box set. The biggest problem here was that they kept hanging on for the Kuala Lumpur masters but the owners kept messing everyone around until in the end it was decided to go without them. By then the pricing structure had been settled, so you ended up paying a little more for the set in anticipation of a seventh double. Even so, it represented good value for money, and few would begrudge the extra considering the awesome sound quality, done throughout on 8 track DAT via the mixer desk.
"The Soundboard Series presents six shows from the 2001 Pacific Rim tour, all unavailable before. The key question has to be how much the individual listener might view it as overkill. Added to that, there is also the competing "Ahoy" release, with the prospect of the Florida show to come on DVD. There's a strong chance Purple fans may end up broke, and with a lot of CDs they will struggle even to find the time to get through. For make no mistake, this is a mighty collection. Six double CDs, all pretty full, takes a while just to listen to once. That said, we would of course moan if material had been left off!
As recordings, all the shows are fine, beyond the seemingly perennial point of the keyboards being too low at times. Musically, we effectively have a split into two basic sets. The Australian and Hong Kong sets feature the band, together with a trio of backing singers and a brass section. That said, although the brass is listed, on hearing the Hong Kong disc, they are either not there or mixed much lower than elsewhere. The two shows from Tokyo later on feature Ronnie James Dio and a local orchestra, overseen by Paul Mann. The 'band' shows feature a pretty similar set list, identical in all cases but Melbourne, while the 'orchestra' shows are necessarily the same, but for a version of Watching The Sky, performed on the first night only. To keep this review manageable, I'll look at these in the two groups, with just a few specific comments on the highlights or otherwise of the individual shows. On the whole, the versions do not vary that dramatically from night to night. Australia and Hong Kong (bar Melbourne), the track lists are identical for these four shows. Woman From Tokyo, Ted The Mechanic, Mary Long, Lazy, No One Came, Black Night, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Fools, Perfect Strangers, Hey Cisco, When A Blind Man Cries, Smoke On The Water, Speed King, Hush, and Highway Star. Melbourne, the opening show added '69, and had a marginally different running order.
The brass section appear on a number of tracks, more than their equivalents did at the Olympia in 1996. Personally I prefer to hear the band on their own, cutting loose when the will takes them. Increasing the numbers on stage has to limit that, since there is far more scope for confusion. Overall though, I suppose it really just comes down to whether you like the additions or not. I find the results variable. "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" comes across as a fairly glorious romp, with the brass in full cry, which definitely justifies their use. "No One Came" has a more limited effect, just filling out the sound and lifting it a bit. On the other hand, the brass in "Perfect Strangers" only serves to make it sound like one of Frank Zappa's arrangements. Nothing wrong with that in principle, except that Zappa was setting out to be cheesy half the time, and the arrangement makes a mockery of the anthemic qualities of the song. A personal highlight of these shows is the first time I'd heard a live rendition of "Fools", one of my long term favourites. Wisely, the band trimmed the central section a bit, with a short keyboard echo of the original theme, before Steve heads off in a new direction.
Melbourne 8 March 2001 is worth getting just for the extra track, the only officially available version of `°69". This doesn't quite develop in the way of the German tour of 1999, but the lengthy improvised middle section is enjoyable, and missed on the other nights. Steve begins "Smoke" with his medley of guitar classics, differing every night. Generally this follows a simple pattern - grinding or wailing guitar settles into a riff, band join in if they recognise it, and after three or four, we are into the main tune. Tonight we get Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" and a blast of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" for example. "Speed King" has lengthened out with the addition of duets, a bit of rock 'n' roll and a short drum solo." Matthew Kean
Pavarotti & Friends Show & 2001 American Tour- News
On May 31, 2001 Purple did one of their strangest shows to date, guesting on an all star bill headed by Pavarotti, raising funds for refugees in Afghanistan. He does these regularly, this was his eighth such show.
Ian Gillan held his own against Pavarotti in Nessun Dorma, the final "Vincero" raising the crowd to its feet. The band then joined them for a version of "Smoke On The Water." Those who saw it say that the whole thing was a bit glitzy.
The show was filmed and shown on Italian TV. There was a lavish programme made for the show, which had a page devoted to Deep Purple, and the Italian press carried a fair amount of coverage too.
Ian Gillan described the experience. "There wasn't much notice but the job was made easier by Jon Lord's generous and instant journey to my house (four hours away) where we went through the outline of an idea for an arrangement. I then called a friend, Isabel Buchanan, a great soprano who has sung with Lucy (as he'd known in the trade), to give me some tips on the lyrics. The Italian words seemed uncomfortable to start with but after some patient tutelage from isabel I grasped at least the meaning and the expressive discipline.
Then I turned to the English translation in the hope that it might offer an easier way to go. No chance. In my opinion the English words are unsingable. So I re-wrote them, then decided to do half and half, and it turned out OK".
From there it was over to The States, their first proper tour over there in ages. Deep Purple's triple bill American tour was about the best they could get in the current market, but they went all out for it. It looked like a strange coupling of bands as well (especially from this side of the Atlantic), but whoever put the package together obviously knew what they were doing as the sales were good. Ted Nugent opened the shows, and Purple alternated with Lynyrd Skynyrd for the top slot, depending on who was strongest in the particular area they were in. By all accounts Purple, who were doing a stripped down set, and Skynyrd set out to try and out do one another and turned in some great performances.
Don Airey Deputising For Jon Lord - News
Naturally Jon's absence from the 2001 European Tour was disturbing, and caused the rumours to fly. He'll be back for Bonn; he'll be back for Monaco etc. Anyway I passed on the best wishes of Purple fans to Jon for which he sent thanks. Surgery on his knee was recommended after his leg had started stiffening up making it hard to walk properly, but like anything of this nature it is difficult to know how the body will react mentally or physically, so it was much wiser for Jon to take things easy.
Initially they'd planned that Jon would be fit enough to do Monaco but he decided he needed the extra time off. Backstage after the last German show his temporary replacement Don Airey was packing his gear away ready to get a lift to the airport when Bruce Payne wandered past. "What's up Don, aren't you coming to Monaco with us?" was the gist of his conversation. Don began unpacking again.
I'm sure I would've been disappointed to have turned up only to find Jon absent, but then my only live memories of Don Airey come from his time withRainbow, and there must be a world of difference between doing what you were told there and being able to workin the current Purple set-up!
That said, given the (later said to have beentaken out of context) stories from within the Purple camp late last year that Jon was talking about bowing out of the band, and given Don's obvious ability to cope, Lord fans have had a worrying time of it lately.
Martin Ashberry sent us his thoughts on the situation: "I have to say that, listening to tapes of Copenhagen, Drobak and Helsingborg, it's wierd that the only time I realise Jon isn't there is when Don lets rip, playing a lot more than Jon has been on recent tours, and really putting heart and soul into it. It's as refreshing and revitalised as when Morse came in. Don's style for the most part seems very similar to Jon in this context, but he's playing everything and, as a result, the whole band seems to work that bit harder to hold everything together. Occasionally gingerly treading around certain parts of songs, they nonetheless do seem to have a renewed vigour about them and Don certainly seems more comfortable to thrust himself into the limelight; he's certainly up in the mix, clearly audible."
Drobakfestivalen, Drobak, Norway. 10th August 2001 - Live review
This, the second date of the tour, and also the second with Don Airey deputizing for the indisposed Jon Lord. Purple headlined a three band line-up in this small Norwegian coastal resort which bills the weekend as "Europe's Most Picturesque Festival" : watching the sun set over the fjord as Deep Purple arrived by luxury powerboat it was hard to disagree! Given the somewhat unusual situation I think it important to remember that the proportion of folk in the audience who were either aware of or bothered by Jon's no-show was minimal; the vast majority of people were content to enjoy a superb location and a great band performance.
About 5000 folk were concentrated in a football field sized area of grass on the waterfront when Purple took the stage at 10pm for 90 minutes of fun. The set was pretty much as the US dates. Opening with "Woman From Tokyo" it was clear they were confident in the musical situation they found themselves in. Given that Don was using Jon's gear, the actual sound of the band was remarkably similar to a show with Jon. It was immedi-ately apparent that Don would have to be judged on technique and presentation, and he looked and sounded remarkably poised. Given that he had three weeks notice that his services may be required, plus three days of rehearsal with the band, then given the calibre of
all parties it isn't surprising that they carried it off with such success."Ted The Mechanic" followed and, yes, it was the newest song they did! oundwise the most noticeable difference I detected was the greater presence of the keyboards. I have felt on previous tours that Steve's guitar was too loud in the mix, masking Jon's rhythm work. This is equally evident to my, somewhat battered ears, on the new soundboard series too. You know Jon is playing but it is only on the solos that he is properly audible. One to question the soundman on I feel.
A brief statement from Ian to let us know it was Don not Jon and why, then off we went into "Mary Long" which romped along in much healthier vein than the somewhat hesitant versions tried out early on the 1996 Purpendicular tour of the UK. "Lazy" was Don's first real solo exposure and it was amusing to hear him quote directly from Made In Japan in his introductory piece. "No One Came" and "Fools" zoomed by too fast but sounding fresh, lively and tight lots of smiles and encouragement for each other...good camaraderie evident.
Steve's "Well Dressed Guitar" was new to most in the live situation and it worked well, such is the musicianship available in Deep Purple these days it almost seems wasteful to have individual solo spots - far better to keep them all on stage feeding off each other."Perfect Strangers" exposed Don for a second time and his introduction used Jon's fave trick of including some locally well known tune, this time some fella called Grieg I understand? Don handled this song very well. It is one that depends on the keyboard so much so any faults would have sent the spirits plummeting; no worries.
" Mark Maddock.
Fires At Midnight - Album Review
Blackmore's Night :
Fires At Midnight
SPV 085 72432: EU : August 2001
It's now five years since Blackmore embarked on his current musical direction, attempting to forge some sort of medieval inspired pop/rock fusion and get away from the hard rock he'd publicly stated was now too boring for him to want to play (whatever that means). It was a typically dramatic move by the man and whatever one thinks of the results, you can't argue that he's better off doing something he actually enjoys. And lets face it, the last Rainbow album was so contrived, anything had to be preferable.
I found his debut Blackmore's Night album bland and uninvolving for the most part. Come this third offering I thought I'd give it a try and see whether anything had moved on. So far as I can tell it hasn't; overall the production is crisper, the guitar work is integrated into the sound more fully and the acoustic playing seems to be more natural, but when it comes to the music we seem to be dancing round the same maypole once again.
A short rocky opening piece leads right off into the single "The Times They Are A Changing" (SPV 056 72463 - with a non-album track and video as extras. Some percussion which reminds me of The Third Ear Band, plus nice guitar flourishes, are swiftly buried by non too subtle medieval musical pointers and tacky hand-claps. I don't have a single Bob Dylan record to my name but Candice's bland approach to this fierce sixties anthem makes me want to dash out and buy the original. "I Still Remember" opens well enough but is again flattened back thanks to the one dimensional vocal technique. There are a few bursts of stunning guitar in here, even a couple of "Gates Of Babylon" flourishes, and when you dig deep enough there's enough here to suggest that an instrumental remix would be well worth spending some time on. Any such musings are quickly dashed by the reality of "Home Again" and I finally realise that Candice sounds like the more mannered excesses of Petula Clark's more theatrical work. An unbelievably kitsch rowdy pub crowd sound effect throughout is simply risible, and the late night Italian restaurant mandolin bits near the end merely add to the unintentional humour of it all.
There are a few quite disciplined solo acoustic pieces interspersed throughout the CD, "Fayre Thee Well" is the first, and if that's your cup of tea then you'll find them engrossing.
The album title track is a biggy - over seven minutes worth. Another atmospheric opening passage before Candice jumps in, sounding exactly like she does on every other number. It's all humming along, complete with a few bars of up tempo bagpiping, and you're starting to lose it until at 4.15 seconds (index it now) Blackmore just suddenly opens up on the Strat and blazes away. Almost a minute and a half of blistering guitar that just blows away the last five years in an instant. As the rest of the musicians return, the whole thing - with Candice buried in the mix a little, storms along with a hint of what Blackmore could really achieve if he had the desire and vision to push this to the limit. Revel in it. After that nothing else comes close.
Buxton Opera House, England. 24th September 2001 - Live review
On June 7th 2001 Ritchie and co. held a Fires At Midnight launch party at Lumley Castle (in Chester le Street, Co. Durham - C14 but with later alterations by Vanburgh - ed) for invited fans, guests, press and media folk. Now a hotel, the invitees were treated to a medieval banquet and a special concert, plus loads of promotional goodies. Ritchie and Candice also made use of the Northumberland coast to film a video for the single.
The CD emerged in August with a limited edition box set, as well as a single timed to tie in with shows in Germany in July / August, followed by a UK tour in September:
I was persuaded to go to the Buxton show by people telling me how much better it all was live.
The first half of the show I could probably sit through again, just for the electric
guitar bits. It's always a treat to witness
Blackmore with a Strat and it had been eight
years since I last did so. As expected the guitar was wound up for the new album title
track, (which fairly romped along), for
"Greensleeves" and a track called "The Storm".
As each between song break came people in
the row behind me watched as Ritchie began
selecting what to play next, and groaned when
he passed the Strat by. But they were in the
minority. The bulk of the packed crowd were here for Blackmore's Night. This is quite an acheivement, but it's obvious that Blackmore has his heart set on this and to have turned it round must give him a lot of satisfaction. The doubters and old rockers went to the last tour, and were either converted or haven't bothered again, leaving those who can genunely get off on the new material free to enjoy it.
For me it was largely an unfulfilling evening though and once he'd put down the Strat for good, the second half really dragged. Each song drifted in much like another in an uninvolving kind of way. And just who does their stage set? Cheap doesn't come into it. A few sections of broken polystyrene wall propped up here and there, and a backdrop that a school play would be embarassed to perform in front of. If you're going to go for it, at least do the job properly people. Mind you, the fake candle effects were quite hypnotic.
As yet another jiggy number broke upon us some wag behind asked where Eddie Waring was. His mate sounded puzzled. "This is the music to It's A Knock-out isn't it?" he replied. And he'd put his finger right on the button. I stuck it out hoping for a bit of a blitz near the end but the show just fizzled out with a few half hearted encores. I'll leave room for another convert next time. As the dates progressed the sets seemed to get longer, such as at Reading Town Hall - 30 September 2001...
"We had a cracker here. Not having seen Blackmore's Night before, I have no yardstick for this band, but my impression was that this one was exceptional. Nearly three hours in all and Blackmore in fine fettle throughout. From C16 Greensleeves onwards, we had about 50 minutes of superb performance, really setting out what this band is about. Also notable was Ritchie's vocal performance, though sadly only one line of C16 after Candice missed her cue (she also demurely omitted the "hang him higher" sign off!). On stage, Candice comes across extremely well. Her voice has gained more character through the three albums, though it is still lacking in power. Despite the quality of this performance, I can't really see them getting much beyond this level of show, bu as long as Ritchie is happy with that then fair enough. With the current material, and without an appearance at something like the Cropredy Festival, where they could go down a storm, I can't see their stock in the UK rising much higher. Given how much I enjoyed this, that is a shame." Matthew Kean
Jon Lord's Eulogy
"On Monday the 28th May 2001, the world became a sadder place. My best friend died that day, and part of me went with him. But because the world continues to turn - sadder and less bright though it may be - an accident of timing means that I cannot be there to stand with you and share with you the unbearably poignant yet beautiful release of saying "au revoir" to someone who meant, and still means, so much to us. This accident of timing puts me on another tour in another hotel room, on the road again, again.
The timing is my fault - not, of course Tony's. Timing was actually one of his passions. Way before good jokes, good beer and bonhomie. Timing. The search for just that exact tempo for a song; just the right, laid-back groove. While we were in Munich making the Paice Ashton Lord album "Malice In Wonderland", sessions were very often put on hold while Tony and I "discussed" his vision of the tempo of a new song and Ian Paice sat behind his drum kit with a fixed and mildly exasperated smile on his face as Tony shaved another millisecond off the tempo. But the end result gloriously justified his exacting means, and 25 years - my God, a quarter of a century later - that album shines as one of Tony's great achievements. Ian & I could not have come close to it without him.
Tony and I first met in the mid sixties in an R & B club in Chester called - appropriately enough - Quaintways. He was in The Remo Four and I was in my first band The Artwoods. We hit it off, talked abut the wondrous Hammond Organ for a while, then after agreeing to try to meet again some day, he went North and I went South. That day turned out to be a couple of years later in the office of Deep Purple's managers, and from then on we were buddies. Somehow we became a one-piano-four hands duo that we nicknamed "Jed & Ted" , and when I said goodbye to him the other day, it was: "See you Ted," that I said, and he said "See you Jed. I'll send you a postcard." He already has.
I loved this lovely, genuine man, from the bottom of my heart. How I shall miss him. I shall miss his raucous humour and his humanity, the swift un-expected softness, and I shall miss his forthright dismissal of cant and hypocrisy. He didn't suffer fools gladly, but he gladly suffered the fools he loved.
A clever chap once said "It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help." Well, Tony was never a self-advertist. He was a most self-effacing man who would be embarrassed by eulogies. At Tony & Sandra's wedding, I was the so-called Best Man and since then, Sandra usually opens a tel-ephone call to me with: "Hello Best Man, Bride here." Well, Tony was the best man at that wedding, and he was one of the best men I ever met or hope to meeet, and I will look forever on Tony Ashton and say "Nice one God". Jon Lord
Tony Ashton Memorial Concert, Buxton Opera House. 4th November 2001 - Live review
The show was organised by promoter Harry Lee, who did a great job in such a short time. Bernie Marsden as musical director also put in a lot of work lining up a number of the guests. It wasn't a sell out - which is a bit of a shame - but as many of the stars couldn't be confirmed until quite late on, this worked against them.
After Dave Berry things got a tad louder as Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody arrived, with Neil Murray driving three tracks along, helped by Henry Spinetti on drums and Geraint Watkins on piano. The latter then did two numbers himself, and for me was the star of the show. An unlikely looking rocker, hunched over a small electric keyboard, he and the Whitesnake pair were so tight it really steamed along. For the second track, Geraint hunted out an accordion, prompting Micky to announce a Motorhead medley!
The show then moved into another gear as Messers Lord and Paice arrived on the stage to run through "Ghost Story", "Sneaky Private Lee", "Arabella" and "Dance With Me Baby", all introduced by Mr. Lord who spoke briefly but movingly about the passing of his best friend. Jon's Hammond packed up in between rehearsals (which were amusing when Bernie ordered Jon off stage for playing some bum notes!) and the gig, so he switched to Zoot Money's organ for the set. Jon looked fit and well, so any worries about his recent lay off were instantly forgotten. Geraint did the piano duties for this part of the show, and did them well, though it was hard at times to forget that just a year ago we'd watched them with Tony himself on stage.
Even so they were powerful, and Paicey amazed with his relaxed approach to it all (though not so relaxed that he didn't yell out to Bernie at one point who tumed to the crowd "I'd forgotten what it was like to be shouted at by Ian Paice, it's all coming back to me now!"). All four numbers got a great reception and Bernie did well handling the vocals, though you could still hear Tony's original inside your head at times.
The show closed with a beefed up Company Of Snakes (or "Nearly Snake" as the back-stage set list christened them), featuring their new singer, Stephen Bergren, a youngish guy looking like an INXS out-take. Despite that, he did well and closing your eyes at times, was uncannily close to Mr. Coverdale. Of the latter Bernie quipped that "he was asked, but was out playing golf'.
Four of the classics were aired, much as at Abbey Road, given some really clout by Paicey (whose bass drum at one point was pulling the stage apart). Our ears well and truly ringing, they wound up the proceedings with an expanded line-up for "Smoke On The Water" (Miller doing the vocals and giving a creditable account of himself - he's been learning tricks off Ian too judging by the controlled scream), which finally got the audience up and shaking. You
could argue that the song doesn't have an awful lot to do with Tony I guess but they made up for this with an all star assembly for a rousing "Resurrection Shuffle", which I counted as featuring 16 people on stage - including three drummers.
This sounded fantastic, though Bernie introducing everyone again probably doubled its length.
Biggest surprise of the evening for me was Dougie White coming up to say hello. We were moaning to him about the disorganised way the merchandise had been handled so he grabbed a few posters, shot backstage and got them signed by Lord, Paice and the rest of the Snakes band. What a star!
Touring & Recording - News
Yet again, Glenn takes the prize for being the hardest working ex-Purpler in terms of both output and touring. Glenn's new studio album "Building The Machine" (issued by SPV) was originally due for September release, was advanced to August then put back to Oct 1st! "Cosmic Spell" is the title of the bonus track featured on the Japanese edition.
Glenn's sole 2001 UK appearance was at the Astoria 2.
"He appeared to a rousing welcome from the fairly packed house, and certainly seemed to be in a very good mood, bouncing around the stage with great exuberance. The power trio format of the band worked well for the most part, but some numbers - particularly an otherwise good take of 'Might Just Take Your Life' were missing some Lordy keyboard work, particularly in the end section. Material wise I think Glenn could do with ditching some of the older songs now (`You Keep On Moving' `Muscle And Blood' etc.) in favour of the newer material - tracks from `R.O.C.K' came across well. He only played one track from 'The Way It Is', which was a great pity. Still, it was a hugely enjoyable show." Tim Summers
It was Spring 2001 when Glenn next trod the boards, three shows in America in March with George Nastos on guitar and Brian Tichy on drums. These were his first solo shows in America. Roy Davies tells us that Glenn and his wife were bemused when friends and associates began calling their home after word got out that the singer's mug was mistakenly used in the April 3rd issue of The Star. The tabloid ran a recent photo of Hughes alongside an old black and white shot of the Village People's Glenn Hughes in full biker gear next to an announcement of the March death of the latter. "Whilst I'm sorry to hear about the passing of the other Glenn Hughes, I'd like to let everyone know that I am very much alive and well," said Hughes. After this he was back in Europe with his regular musicians but only one UK show again, this time the Bloodstock Festival, Derby, on May 29th.
Glenn's next live venture was a joint tour of Japan with Joe Lynn Turner. Apart from Glenn and Joe the band comprised a Japanese outfit called Earthshaker. The pair were soon preparing to work together on some studio material. They've contacted a certain guitarist who expressed an interest in guesting. These recordings were due to be started on September 10th when Joe was due over to help with the songwriting. The studio was booked for the 18th
and the album is scheduled for February 2002 reckons Glenn. "I don't think its (the duel vocal thing) been done successfully since Hughes and Coverdale. I can tell you Deep Purple fans are going to love this. It's very much based around the Mk 3, Mk 4 and the Rainbow era."
Major Impacts - Album Review
Steve Morse :
Magna Carta Records MAX 9042.2 : USA : 2000
"This title features our man Morse paying tribute to some of his greatest influences. Being an avid fan I bought this release immediately but had doubts why such a respected guitarist felt the need to produce a tribute CD which is in effect is merely copying other players' styles.
The first track "Derailleur Gears" is a tribute to Eric Clapton's Cream days. It does not bode well and rather than sounding like a tribute to the Clapton style it sounds very much like some of the non-descript Morse fillers which are occasionally found in his recent solo efforts. The second offering then came as a complete surprise, the absolutely glorious "Well I Have", which is a ferocious yet hauntingly beautiful tribute to the one and only Jimi Hendrix. At times during this track you would swear that the great man had risen from the dead and if anyone ever wanted a clue as to what Hendrix might have sounded like had he lived, they should listen to this. The track swoops from hard-rock Hendrix to a tune similar in feel to "Little Wing" then Morse really lets loose and has fun with Hendrix's trademark backwards guitar. Bliss!
Next up is "Truth Ola", which reverts back to some standard Morse playing which fails to leave any lasting impression. "Migration", a tribute to The Byrds is pleasant enough but again hardly warrants another play back.
But just as I am getting a bit disappointed another stormer appears. "Led On" is an excellent reference to the work of Page and Led Zeppelin. We have it all here, the Indian influence followed by a glorious Bonham off-beat and finally an earth-shattering guitar riff. Wonderful stuff, why couldn't he have kept the riff for Purple!? Sadly, the momentum on the CD isn't kept going and what follows is a nice but unremarkable acoustic piece dedicated to John McLaughlin and a typical country tinged Rolling Stones effort. "Bring It To Me" sees us back in typical Morse territory, a robotic riff with Morse scales over the top.
"Something Gently Weeps" takes us back to the world of The Beatles and it is a realistic effort. One almost expects McCartney to burst into voice at any moment and this is just what this track lacks. "Free In The Park" and the fluid "Prognosis" close the album off. All in all I was still left with the feeling "why do this?" but the CD is worth purchasing if only for the Hendrix and Zeppelin tracks alone.." Karl Simpson
Steve has also been busy on a number of sessions and tribute albums, I'm not sure we can manage to keep up! He plays guitar in former Kansas bassist Billy Greer's new band's debut album "Seventh Key". The tracks in question are 'Everytime It Rains' and 'No Man's Land.' He's also due to play on an album by Jordan Rudess (from Dream Theater - one of the bands Bruce Payne manages) along with ex -Jeff Beck drummer Terry Bozzio. He's been spotted guesting on Various Artists album "A Tribute To Jason Becker" too, issued by Lion Music. I've never heard of Becker, but it seems he was the guitarist with Cacophony. Final era Rainbow man Paul Morris is on it too. Another interesting album appearance is on "Nylon & Steel" by classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco.
to the top
in the magazine... Deep Purple 2000 European Tour reviews .... 2001 American Tour news and reviews .... 2001 European Tour reviews ....
Sonic Zoom, Offical Bootleg Series feature .... Deep Purple 68/76 Box Set news .... Deep Purple in Holland 68/76 feature ....
Stormbringer sleeves feature .... book reviews .... Questions & Answers .... CD and DVD reviews ....
Deep Purple, This Time Arouind, Live In Japan 1975 review and feature ..... Pre Purple People CD review .... Blackmore's Night , 2001 UK tour revews
.... Ian Paice news ... Glenn Hughes 2001 European Tour reviews ... Roger Glover news .... David Coverdale news .... Tommy Bolin news ....
Jon Lord news .... Ian Gillan news .... www.deep-purple.net feature ...
Deep Purple Mk3 on tour in 1973 feature .... letters page ....
Tony Ashton farewell feature .... Ashton Gardner & Dyke 'Let It Roll! Live On Stage' feature ....
PAL 'Mailce In Wonderland' feature ....
House Of Blue Light Reappraisal .... Who Do We Think We Are, reactions to the remaster .... Video News ....
How I got into Deep Purple feature .... phew!!!
darker than blue
magazines can be purchased from the dpas
2009 DPAS/Darker Than Blue.
Not to be replicated, reproduced, stored and/or distributed in any
way without prior written permission