AN EDITOR REMEMBERS.........               Issue 31  June 1985

We made a huge effort to get this issue out before the Knebworth show, and packed it full of live reviews from the first half of the tour; Australia, New Zealand and North America. There were newspaper cuttings, snapshots, passes, tickets and whatever else we could lay our greedy hands on...

The reaction from DPAS members who'd been lucky enough to catch a show was mostly up, although there were worrying reports of off-nights, Gillan struggling at times, and Blackmore looking disinterested - especially during some of the Aussie shows. He bucked up by the time they hit America though and a great time appeared to be had by mostly all (with hindsight that US tour seems to have been one of the best of the reunion). These days I'm sure we would have tried to make a few of the American shows, but there just wasn't the cash around (we did look at trying to get to the first show but that was even further away from our budget!) - most of it was earmarked for pulling out our old chimney and hearth (it had been built to house a range but sadly this had long gone), making the kitchen floor damp-proof (they'd laid a skin of concrete over bare soil!), and knocking through from there into the old outside toilet to give us more room. It gave us something to take our minds off the fact that Deep Purple were ONLY DOING ONE UK SHOW. They'd promised more, albeit places like the NEC, but in the end it all fizzled away to JUST ONE SHOW. How could they do this to us?

I also consoled myself by hunting down the weird and wonderful promo items that the album was throwing up, including a still very rare promo album package featuring a completely different version of the DP logo, and loads of sales blurb on the inside, including tour dates (just ONE SHOW IN THE UK), cuttings and dealer prices etc. I pestered some poor DPAS member to death to trade it off him. Also very smart was a cardboard display stand designed to hold copies of the 7" single. Nothing ventured, I asked the shop if I could have it and they just handed it over - perhaps they couldn't believe my cheek.

If the album had mixed reviews the previous issue, then this time I rather laid into EMI, who were rushing round like the proverbial blue arsed flies to try and cash in on a band they'd largely ignored until the reunion. Picture discs of the albums, "six of the best" twelve inch singles, and a double "Anthology" of readily available tracks along with a couple of rarities thrown in for us collectors. It was taking the piss big time. While they mucked around the bootleggers had begun work with a vengeance. The first of the new style boots to hit the streets (as early as January 1985 barely four weeks after the start of the tour) was a smartly packaged double set called "Back In Action" from the Melbourne show. Others followed, so many fans had already heard the band live before they set foot in Europe! These sets would be eagerly collected by loads of fans over the next decade, many - like us - trying to keep a full set going despite the crippling cost. They were distributed mostly through the growing network of record fairs, much to the annoyance of the regular dealers who saw their earnings slump as people spent their allowance at the bootleg stalls. The band had taped some shows but felt it was too early to put out a live album, so they lost out big time.

Outside of Purple, Cozy Powell had walked from Whitesnake, Mel Galley was pictured in hospital with his arm stitched up, and the band were about to enter stasis before emerging as the glam metal detectives. The magazine switched formats with Issue 31 as well, going to a more standard upright A4 format. It was mainly due to the grumbles from the guys working the folding machine at the printers. Once I'd seen how awkward the task was I had little hesitation in changing over. We had also undergone a change of name to Darker Than Blue magazine. In fact this happened on Issue 29 but in all the excitement of looking back at the reunion I forgot to mention it! The title came about because we wanted to reflect the fact that the band were now back, and we took it from one of the older American vinyl bootlegs based on the Aachen tapes.

US TOUR, LIVE REVIEW : The Meadowlands
RECORD REVIEW : Perfect Strangers / Son Of Alerik (7")
NEWS : Rock In Rio & Cozy's Departure
NEWS : Hughes Thrall, Trapeze, Phenomena & Gary Moore


Adelaide Memorial Drive, November 30th 1984 - Live Review

"First outdoor show of the tour. Memorial Drive Tennis Court may sound like an odd place to have it but it's the only venue here that can hold upwards of 10,000 people. I ambled down to the soundcheck and managed to take a few photos before being told to cease; six bars of Perfect Strangers and Speed King, a few bursts of noise and that was it, back in the limos and off.

Showtime, and as Ted Nugent once said "if it's too loud, you're too old". I ain't old, but this was loud - though it's power and energy rather than just a wall of noise; my trousers were flapping from the on-stage monitoring alone. The song order was the same as Perth, in fact the whole show was very similar but less hesitant and a little more light hearted (Teddy Bear's Picnic during Strange Kind Of Woman' for example). Missed cue-ins were still in evidence mainly after solos but no one really noticed or cared. Encore time - "we haven't done this song in eleven years" announces lan as Speed King is slotted in between Black Night and Smoke..., and it sounds great too with the old Blackmore/Lord trading finding it's feet again. Next, a Woman From Tokyo teaser and into Smoke and total wally-dom. Exit stage right."
Review & photo, Howie Kehl

Brendan Byrne Arena, The Meadowlands, NJ, March 25th 1985 - Live Review

"The stage setup consisted of a bunch of large boxes serving as a backdrop. There was a screen for projections (more on this later), and the standard left-to-right lineup from 1973. The set opened with some prerecorded organ music, and then a modern version of Highway Star. Perfect Strangers was supported by a fantastic set of laser effects, including the group being enclosed in a green cage of lasers. Child In Time was pretty good, except that they had too much reverb (echo) on the vocals. lan seemed to be doing just fine with the shrieks, but the blasted echo garbaged it up. The projection screen got a work-out, with a version of the In Rock cover. The clouds in the background were rotating past the mountains, providing a rather calming background against the rampant surging of the song.

For a finale, an extended Space Truckin'. Both Jon & Ritchie's solos here were noteworthy, but for different reasons. Beforehand, Jon started with Fur Elise, through to some honky tonk piano, and ending with 2001. Ritchie had a new toy, which acted like a giant balance control to throw the music to the speakers. In the back of the arena (which was sold out with 19,000 seats), then back to the front, then back, then front, ad nauseum. Because of either the equipment or the acoustics, you could not hear what he was playing - all you could hear was a loud cracking and rumbling that did not seem to resemble what he was playing on the fretboard.

And then, if this were 1973, it would have been over. But being 1985, we got an encore! Large balloons were bounced into the audience and we heard a fantastic rendition of Speed King, and a properly climatic guitar sacrifice, high atop one of the large cubes to the side of the stage. The band left and the crowd continued to chant and clap and yell and stomp and scream for a good ten minutes. And the DP logo kept swirling in all its laser glory. And THEN IT WAS OVER. NO SMOKE. AFTER 12 YEARS OF WAITING - NO SMOKE."
photo: Steve Wunrow

Perfect Strangers / Son Of Alerik - Single Review

Perfect Strangers/Son Of Alerik Polydor POSP 719: UK: Jan 1985 (7" p/s)
Polydor POSPP 719: UK: Jan 1985 (7" pic disc)
Polydor POSEX 719: UK: Jan 1985 (12" p/s)
Polydor POSJ 719: UK: Jan 1985 (DJ 7" p/s)

All these off just one release - crazy; The 7" carried the logo on front, and the standard reunion publicity shot on the back with titles. The picture disc, which was fairly limited (couple of thousand) carried the same artwork plus a computer code. The 12" went one step further and sported a cover which quite a few of you reckoned was superior by far to the LP sleeve - and I'd heartily agree. Nice colour photo in centre, with patterned border and name/title. There was a free copy of Pete Frames updated mini-family tree inside too.

The music: the album title cut in full, nothing to add to what I wrote last time. The bonus was an incredible ten minute b-side, an instrumental at tha. The number seems to be a lengthy jam around some ideas of Ritchie's. I presume most of the albums songs began life in this way, so it is a fascinating insight into the band. Some pleasant bits of guitar doodling, and some ace keyboard noises from the man, I like the heavy riff which chugs in once or twice along the way The only vocal on it seems to be lan Paice exclaiming about a missed beat near the end - sounds like he's dropped his stickl Think I'll quit typing for a bit and go play it again.


Rock In Rio & Cozy's Departure - News

Whitesnake's second major assault on the Americas ended on December 23rd after three months on the road supporting Quiet Riot. Jason Chepeka's notes from the Cobo Hall in Detroit on Nov 24th 1984 keeps us up to date..."The first four songs were as on the 84 European tour - Gambler, Guilty, Ready An' Willing, Love Ain't No Stranger. Crying In The Rain was introduced as a song 'being considered for recording on our next album', perhaps due to the fact that the Saints & Sinners disc was never issued in the States. Sykes did a Gary Moore imitation at the very start on his strat, though they've changed the start of the song around a little. Slow An' Easy was followed by Slide It In. David kept his voice for the whole show and Cozy played well too. Too bad there was no encore, but it was a great show."

The group had a break over Christmas, then it was down to Brazil for two shows in the Rock In Rio concert series. Whitesnake were fairly late entries, replacing Def Leppard, and did fairly short sets. According to Phil Caine "the group didn't enjoy the first spot too much - the heat was oppressive and David's voice suffered." With the arrival of Ozzy Osboume's troop, David found time to chat with Don Airey and asked him to play on the next Whitesnake album, to which he agreed. He may well join on a full time basis. The band's second show on the 19th January was far more successful, and the group flew out on the Sunday. It turned out to be Cozy Powell's last gig with them, and plans to record in Jersey were scrapped. Cozy's unexpected destination was - Emerson Lake and Powell!

On the video front, footage shot at the shows over in Japan in August '84 has found its way onto two Japanese only releases. 'Live At Super Rock 84' (Toho Video TE0547) is a compilation of five of the acts from the festival and includes a contribution from Whitesnake. It seems to be a sampler tape to advertise full length videos by all the acts concerned, and "Whitesnake: Super Rock 84" (Toho TE 0549) gives us their set in full, taped at the Seibu Stadium on Aug 11th and 12th 1984.

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Hughes Thrall, Trapeze , Phenomena & Gary Moore - News

Plans were made recently for a reformed Trapeze consisting of Mel Galley, Don Airey, Ted McKenna and of course Glenn . So what happened? Back in 1983 Glenn and Pat Thrall renewed their partnership to work on some material for a movie called Ghostbusters (the title given at the time was 'Ghost Business'). The stuff was rejected at the last minute in favour of something more commercial (I suppose nobody can argue with that given the title song's success!), but Hughes/Thrall decided to take up the threads of their group and began work on a second album early in 1984. In April, Glenn took time off to help out on the Phenomena project organised by Mel Galley's brother, where Glenn and Mel discussed the chances of getting a band going. As a result Hughes/ Thrall was put on ice once again. Glenn still had some bits to tape for Phenomena though, and found himself in the studio where Gary Moore was working on a new album. He initially offered to help on a couple of numbers, and ended up being offered a full time job. A very lucrative deal was worked out which Glenn found very hard to turn down. The full line-up is Glenn Hughes/ bass & vocals; Gary Moore/ guitar; Neil Carter/ keyboards and guitar; Gary Ferguson/ drums. They plan to re-record Empty Rooms for a single in July, backing it with a live track from the stock left over from the recent live album, so it could feature lan Paice!

(I might as well mention that set here. It was called 'We Want Moore' and is basically a single album assembled from recordings made over an 18 month period. Most feature lan Paice. It looks like a double set, but closer examination reveals a free 12" single making up the package. I couldn't be bothered to buy it, and we've had no reviews sent in so I assume you all felt likewise. lan by the way claims that his absence from the last Gary Moore studio album was not due to the flu so much, as the fact that he dried up in the studio and found himself unable to play properly at all. He decided the best thing to do was to clear off for a week. When he returned his inspiration had returned, but the deputy had taped most of the tracks already.)

Glenn has done a number of sessions lately. Lead vocals for a solo album by Bobby Kimball (from Toto), as well as production and bass playing duties. He also guested on Nightranger's last album. On the Heaven album Where Angels Fear To Tread, he contributed backing vocals to three songs. Sessions for Mark St. John (Kiss), and Steve Morse are lined up.

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also in the magazine.....stacks of Perfect Strangers tour photos, and reviews from Australia, New Zealand,
USA & Canada......Perfect Strangers display & promotional material.....the first Perfect Strangers bootlegs reviewed.....Live In Italy 1971 bootleg reviewed....the making of the Knocking At Your Back Door promo video
....Deep Purple French singles article....Q&A.....and much more.


the magazine can be purchased from the dpas online store

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2003 DPAS/Darker Than Blue.
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