A Tribute To Ben Nisbet

The great thing about Ben, as a music publisher, was not only that he entered wholeheartedly into supporting the activities of Deep Purple and its individual members but also that he made sure that his own promotional teams both in the UK and internationally were enthused and solidly behind them.

He was a Box and Cox man, a music publisher to the core and he understood and loved his world.

To Ben it was always "THE Deep Purple"---how that intrusive definite article irked me, more especially when in later years, no longer Managing Director of Feldman's, he would complain in that Scots accent of his-- "ye nivver gave me anything of tha' Deep Purple" Not that it was mine to give and, it would seem, he was unprepared to be mindful of the hard, though in those far-off days quite conventional deals that he had struck on behalf of his corporate owners.

Without Ben, who batted not an eyelid at my telling him that inspired by a chance remark and working from the seat of my pants I had booked the Albert Hall for a mooted Concerto yet to be composed by Jon Lord, we would have had to work much harder to find a Malcolm Arnold. And it was he who introduced me to the Boulting Brothers, so paving the way for that September evening in 1969 to be preserved for posterity by what was then their TV production company. It was so fitting that Ben, together with his wife Jean, could be my guests some thirty years later at the Anniversary performance of Jon's work.

In 2003 Penguin named the "White Horses" theme music, co-written by Ben Nisbet and Michael Carr as the greatest in TV history. Children the world over have loved and will continue to love the words, music and imagery of those magnificent Lipizzaner steeds. They provide a continuing and worthy epitaph for a fine music man.

Tony Edwards

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