EDITOR REMEMBERS... Issue
47 December 1994
47... Between Issue 46 and 47 the ructions within fandom
continued, as the group refused to roll over and quickly brought
in Joe Satriani to allow them to fulfill the existing tour commitments.
The magazine found itself covering gigs with Satriani, reviewing
Blackmore's last UK DP shows on CD, and wondering what Steve
Morse would bring to the group.
Life is never dull putting together a Deep Purple magazine!
As you imagine, the letters page was even livelier than usual.
It seemed pretty clear that Satriani couldn't do the job long-term,
due to his solo contracts and other commitments, but it did
give the group a chance to try life without Blackmore and see
if it worked. What became clear from the reports fans sent back
was how relaxed everything had suddenly become, and there were
plenty of signs that this could work, even if they would lose
some fans along the way.
It did look as if they all made strenuous efforts to keep Satriani,
even to the extent of buying him out of his solo deal, but as
he couldn't make a short Aussie tour, they then needed a replacement
for Satriani. Steve Morse was checked out. The Australian dates
were cancelled but with a couple of shows in Mexico to do, Morse
helped out - and it worked so well that he was offered the job
at the end of 1994. So for many fans, the Satriani line-up is
one we only know through audio bootlegs, though a few diehards
did look at the lack of UK shows in disgust and booked themselves
a trip abroad.
47 was able to wrap the news up and look forward to what the
new year would bring. If all this wasn't enough to be getting
on with, Ian Gillan found time to cut an album with his old
mates in The Javelins, an event the magazine covered in detail.
As for the departing man in black, after mooting the idea of
an album interpreting medieval music, he instead decided to
reform Rainbow. The singer, Doogie White actually used to be
a DPAS subscriber in his youth, so clearly knew what he was
letting himself in for! There was actually more excitement in
the magazine at Glenn Hughes' first proper UK tour (the occasional
Trapeze shows apart) since 1976, and his Autumn shows went down
very well. It was clear he was in fine form vocally.
for the rest of the magazine, lots of good stuff was cropping
up - nice archive material on The Outlaws in particular, and
news of the first proper Bolin archive releases. although sadly
the ambitious plans we reported were not to all come to fr fruition.Interesting
interview with Jon Lord too, in which he admits Slaves & Masters
really shouldn't have been called a Purple album. Plenty of
record reviews and news too: it was still a busy time for bootleg
CDs, so quite a lot got covered. I suppose in some ways we were
approaching the peak of the format. 13 years on it's all but
32 pages, jam packed. The only trouble is... we're sold out.
Whereas with earlier smaller magazines, it's fairly simple to
reprint them, doing the same a big magazine becomes more difficult.
I probably still have the printing film stashed away in the
loft space somewhere, but even a small run would still mean
printing plates and a large bill... maybe if there is enough
demand in a couple of years (and if all printing hasn't gone
47: DIGEST & INDEX
: 1994 European Tour
REVIEW : Kassel
: Steve Morse Joins Deep Purple
REVIEW : Come Hell Or High Water
: Rainbow Reformed
REVIEW : From Now On
: Tours & Promotion
: Javelins Reunion
: Whitesnake Reformed For New Tour
European Tour - News
Ian's Javelins stint in February (detailed further down), the
four Purple members met up again in America in early March to
put in a little "retouching" work in on the '93 tour recordings.
Ian and Roger also got the outlines of over twenty new songs
put together: the "not having to worry about whether Blackmore
will like it" syndrome for once not having an adverse affect
on proceedings perhaps! European concert dates began to filter
through very early in the year, as Satriani had offered to stick
with it for a time. The tour itself was pretty dismal as far
as UK fans are con-cerned, with no shows here at all. Ian
did a round of promotional interviews during
the second week in May, and was due to fly out to start rehearsals
on the 22nd. A late change in the proceedings kept him in Blighty
an extra week, and the tour began in Berlin on June 3rd, with
rehearsals the day before. Several last minute changes were
made: some down to the fact that while ticket sales were healthy,
they weren't as strong as last time - due probably to the twin
factors of having toured Germany only a few months before, and
of course The Absence Of Blackmore. Wurzburg and Hannover were
pulled, as they were taking sales away from Bayreuth and Hamburg
respectively, being fairly close geographically. The Bielefeld
venue was switched for similar reasons, to a smaller venue.
According to Roger, one of the local promoters went bust, resulting
in some dates having to be pulled. However, things went well
in Gothenburg, as the promoters had to switch from the 6,000
seater they'd booked to a much bigger venue.
set list was much as Japan : HIGHWAY STAR / RAMSHACKLE MAN /
MAYBE I'M A LEO / FIREBALL / PERFECT STRANGERS / PICTURES OF
HOME ~ organ solo / KNOCKING AT YOUR BACK DOOR / ANYONE'S DAUGHTER
/ CHILD IN TIME ~ ANYA / THE BATTLES RAGES ON / WHEN A BLIND
MAN CRIES / LAZY~ Satriani solo / SPACE TRUCKIN' inc PAINT IT
BLACK ~ HUSH / BLACK NIGHT / SMOKE ON THE WATER / (SPEED KING)
Company, who were due to support most of the tour, pulled at
the last minute, and Uriah Heep were called up to replace them
(they were offered the dates as late as May 25th - and agreed
on the 27th). The
tour ended in Austria in front of a 5,000 strong crowd. "Joe
played as if he had been with Deep Purple forever . He was the
hero of the night, and I think a lot o people came because of
him. I heard people saying afterwards 'I didn't miss Blackmore'
". Bernd Felsberger
Kassel, Germany. 29th May 1994 - Live Review
Eissporthalle was only half-full, and while the choice of city
- Kassel is in the middle of nowhere - and the late changing
of date can't have helped, it wasn't a good omen. On stage the
visual aspect of the new line up is a disaster. Without Blackmore
looming from behind, Gillan totally dominates. Attired in a
Machine Head shirt from the merchandising stall, Satriani failed
to put his own stamp on the band - unlike Bolin for instance,
who made Mk 4 look like a new band.
Blackmore's eviction is even harder to swallow. I'm not a Blackmore
die-hard - but his departure has left a gap in Purple's current
music that Satriani can't fill. It's not craftsmanship that's
missing - Satriani is a good player - but rather a mixture of
basics and artistry. I'll try and explain. Satriani's guitar
sound is all wrong. Blackmore preferred screaming highs and
thundering lows, leaving the mid level warmth to Jon Lord. Satriani
offers a well rounded tone which gets swallowed up, resulting
in a strange aural loss. Purple's sound has lost its bite. I'm
the first to admit to having viewed Blackmore's recent "rhythm"
work as more a product of boredom than a real contribution to
the band, but with hindsight I must say that he had perfected
the art of knowing when to play and when not to play. His playing
set counterpoints to Lord, Glover and Paice's backing. Satriani
tries to melt in.
cannot compete with Blackmore's forte - soloing. He is worst
when mimicking Blackmore's original solos note for note. When
playing a cohesive solo within a song, he fails to rise above
the pumping Purple backing. There is no grandeur to it, no "catch
your breath here it comes", anticipation when he moves up the
frets. Satriani's lead guitar doesn't lead. He even managed
to make the majestic "Knocking.." riff sound diminutive. Worse
still, there seems no musical rapport between Lord and Satriani.
Their attempts to trade off some licks during some numbers proved
that they just don't have much to say to one another. Their
lack of understanding became especially apparent during the
introduction of Anya, when Lord tried in vain to save the atmosphere,
while stretching out to Satriani for some kind of musical contact,
the latter busy twiddling something wholly out of context.
what were the highlights? Gillan sang well throughout, Paice's
drum solo, and Satriani's work during part of "Knocking..",
where he played some lightning fast melodic arpeggios based
on the original riff. Low-points? Lord's solo, which failed
to say anything meaningful, and Satriani ruining Blind Man with
two ridiculously over-the-top solos. Blackmore would have said
it all in three or four notes. I know it's a moot point, as
he refused to play the song, period. The
set contained some surprises, but hearing such gems rarely performed
by Purple live doesn't help if there is no spark.The battle
has stopped raging within Deep Purple, and I for one don't much
like the musical placidity that has replaced it. I'd advise
them to get into the studio as soon aspossible, and create something
new. Then go out and play it, with just a few crowd pleasers
from the back catalogue". Uwe Horming.
also latches onto several points which made me, in the end,
decide to skip this leg of the tour. Firstly, the memories of
Blackmore's sometimes glorious performances on the last tour,
and secondly the fact that they were just going out to recycle
the old. As for Satriani, nobody can walk in and expect to be
able to have an instant rapport on-stage with guys who've been
playing together for twenty five years or so.
Morse Joins Deep Purple - News
aspect of this tour has been the relative accessibility of the
band compared to in the past, as a result quite a few of you
got to natter with them backstage and in hotels etc. All who
did so commented on the relaxed atmosphere, and on everybody's
noncommittal replies when pushed about whether Satriani is staying
with the band! After the tour, there was a break. New Zealand
and Australian were due to take place in late October. Satriani
as you know has a successful solo career going, and was still
under contract. It's believed this contract made it impossible
for him to tour America with Deep Purple, which in turn made
the chances of his Deep Purple sojourn being anything more than
temporary unlikely. He also still had a solo album to do for
his old label, and wanted to get this done. This clashed with
Purple's Australian dates, and so it was decided to get in another
player for these. They settled on Steve Morse, who was with
Kansas, and The Dixie Dregs. Morse was actually touring in Australia
in early November, and Roger went down to check him out. In
the end Deep Purple's Australian and New Zealand dates were
cancelled at short notice. They'd sold around 4,000 tickets
for each show, but as one was a 13,000 capacity venue, the promoter
got cold feet. Eventually three Mexican dates in late November
were firmed up, and with it the band's chance to try Morse out
we go to press, it's been confirmed that Steve Morse is Deep
Purple's new guitarist, and that's official. Roger Glover confirmed
this to us just before we were going to press. "The gigs in
Mexico went very well indeed and Steve Morse acquitted himself
with honours, both onstage and off, and Purple once more has
a forward motion. In front of the press he handled himself particularly
well and wasn't in the least bit fazed at Ritchie questions,
something that Joe could not ride so successfully." Ian Gillan
apparently took hold of the press conference at one stage, pointing
out that if Blackmore had been in the band, they'd not even
be there - he always refused to play in Mexico!! As mentioned
elsewhere, the band will reconvene in Florida in January to
begin the new album. The local press reviews in Mexico were
universally positive, so another chapter in the Purple saga
looks set to begin.
Hell Or High Water - Album & Video Review
working title for both LP and video was "The Final Battle",
though this later changed. Talking of the CD, original plans
were for a straightforward live set off the 93 tour. Then with
Satriani's arrival, confusion as to how to tackle it was inevitable.
Several shows off the Japanese tour were taped, and there was
then a suggestion to mix Satriani and Blackmore shows, or do
perhaps a box set with shows by both line-ups. The next twist
came with both Roger and big Ian telling BMG they'd rather the
live album didn't come out at all. It's not hard to see why
the band would feel this way when they're trying to push things
in a new direction, but needless to say they were over-ruled.
PURPLE : COME HELL OR HIGH WATER : RCA BMG 74321234162 : Europe
: Nov 1994 CD
This album has cheered me up quite a lot in Purple terms. For
my money there are some pretty damned powerful moments on this
disc. Purple come clobbering through the speakers with their
own unique sound, and (without wishing to get too crude here)
piss over most other rock bands. The only real problem I have
with the whole thing is that it isn't a double. What this means
is that we lose the flow; that certain moment during the best
nights when it all clicked into place and they went for it.
"Anyone's Daughter" we know is from the NEC (though I don't
know why!) But at the end of the day we do get some great music
to listen to, and I suspect "Anya" will be a highlight for many
besides myself. The mixing and production is little short of
awesome. As we discovered on Live In Japan, the secret is to
get those drums just right - everything else flows from
there - and you'll not hear a mightier drum sound this side
of the Rank films gong hitter! The organ and guitar are for
once split correctly in the mix, and it all makes for a really
powerful rush of sound. Roger's bass during ' Highway Star"
is blistering, though it seems to be toned down a bit thereafter.
Ian is on good form for most of the time, and when he slips
a little, it hardly matters since the rest of them churn it
up enough to keep the momentum going.
for what we've got, let us all be grateful. For what we haven't
got let's bash down the door at BMG in a few years time and
try to get them to redo the set as a double.
PURPLE COME HELL OR HIGH WATER BMG 74321224433: Europe : Nov
The video we approached with a certain amount of trepidation
as you might imagine after the comments last issue following
the Birmingham show. After viewing it, we're bound to start
getting people calling us grumpy old gits and that "hey it's
a fine show after all, what's a bit of water damage between
friends?". Sure enough, I think most people buying this who
hadn't witnessed the tour, or missed one of the killer shows,
then you'd be entitled to think that way. Let's face it, even
on a below full strength showing, Purple are usually a little
bit special, and to me the video isn't too bad an offering at
all. I'll be the first to admit that Blackmore's antics on the
night set my mood for the entire show, and made it hard to get
a proper perspective on the gig. Scratch below the surface,
and those in the know will spot truncated guitar solos, missing
riffs and deliberate shortening of tracks which often got extended
well beyond the norm. That in turn feeds back on the overall
sound, but despite it the overall performance still comes across
pretty well. Ian Paice shines in some of the later tracks, and
the rest all try to make up for Ritchie's lack of commitment.
Some of Ian's knowing looks are a treat, and the overall uniqueness
of a Purple happening is well captured. Technically the filming
is good, and the editing excellent - the way the cuts are handled,
nothing too flashy or rapid, making use of the lighting effects,
close-ups etc. It's a treat to watch something done by people
you know have a feel for their work, unlike so many videos which
are very routine or gimmicky. We could grumble about them not
covering a better show, but I guess at the end of the day it's
a pretty fair reflection of the reunion as a whole, just not
of the '93 tour in particular.
interviews are bound to upset or annoy some. On first watch,
I found they were intelligently done, but maybe after a few
times you would want to whiz by. They kind of gave a grown-up
feel to the proceedings. Yes, this isn't necessarily perfect,
but these are the reasons why. Blackmore is damned almost more
by his absence than what the other four say, but I've certainly
never heard the band being so open and honest about the situation
so soon after the event. All in all then, the CD and video together
don't make a bad addition to the ever growing Purple discography.
Rising, Again - News
rumour mill began to settle down, the most likely scenario for
Ritchie post-Deep Purple seemed to be a Rainbow reunion - well,
not so much a reunion as a totally new band - guitarist excepted
of course. This was confirmed to us in a roundabout way when
we had a call from people at his manager's office on the look-out
for some genuine circa 76 memorabilia "featuring the name Rainbow
and pictures of the band." Though they were very cagey as to
why, we got the impression they were trying to get some proof
of ownership of the name Rainbow! Might not a copy of the Oyster
album be enough?
as Rainbow were on the cards, the question of who's in it became
the next source of 1001 rumours. Joe Lynn Turner's drummer John
O'Reilly - from his band Mother's Army - went along to audition,
and got the gig. Alternate names for the band have been flying
about - RAINBOW MOON and RAINBOW FLOW were two we heard. Ritchie
was after a German singer at one point, he decided he didn't
want an American vocalist this time, but then happened upon
British singer Dougie White, who had just joined a band calling
themselves Pink Cream '69. Ritchie got him along to audition,
and the guy then lad to ring up and tell his new band he wouldn't
be joining them after all! It looks like the band are recording
at the moment, indeed had hoped to get something out this year.
They had prepared a track called "Come Hell Or High Water" too,
which will now need to be changed.
Now On - Album Review
HUGHES : FROM NOW ON : UK : Roadrunner RR 09007: 1994 CD
The Japanese version (Xero XRCN 1080) includes "Burn" and "You
Keep On Moving"; the UK version just has "Burn", while the original
Swedish issue has neither!
"I'm a little
perplexed and slightly confused as to the mish-mash of styles,
suggesting that the tracks were written over a long period of
time. I expected more of a strident hard-hitting funk-metal
album, something like Living Colour or Chilli Peppers, and I'm
surprised he played no bass on the album. As with "Blues" last
year, the vocals stand out as the highlight of the album. The
really important thing is that Glenn is back and singing well.
' Walkin' On Water" is my favourite. Funk-metal as only GH can
do it. A basic groove, with deft touches of rock guitar and
great bass variations." Roy Davies
does cover a wide range of styles, and is much better than the
LA Blues set. Here we go from Purple stompers like "Pickin'
Up The Pieces" (the keyboards especially), to the bluesier based
Brit-rock as on "Lay My Body Down". That said, little here really
begins to break new ground, but perhaps that wasn't the intention
- it's more of a reaffirmation of Glenn's return to the fray.
"Walkin' On The Water" and "The Liar" both hold out some promise.
The former is interesting both lyrically and in its musical
structure, lots of varying time changes (though these perhaps
show up certain weaknesses in the drum dept), while the sampled
keyboards on the latter are a bit out of the ordinary, and the
ending where Glenn is working with the guitarist might have
been worth making rather more of. As someone else said of the
new take of "Burn" - "Why fix something that ain't broken"!
& Promotion - News
made a promotional trip to Japan towards the end of February,
to promote the launch of his new studio CD there. He was rewarded
with a number one chart entry - some 50,000 copies of "From
Now On" being sold. The "From Now On" album came out in the
UK on the March 24th, almost two months after it first appeared
in Scandinavia, where it had done over 10,000 in the first few
days of release.
and Trapeze began rehearsals for a US reunion tour on Feb 28th.
A show in New York on Feb 9th picked up mixed reports. It coincided
with a bad blizzard, but those who did make it (around 600 in
all) saw artists like Joe Lynn Turner and Skid Row. Various
musicians then made up a scratch band to cover a couple of Ray
Gillen's songs - the evening being a tribute to the former Black
Sabbath vocalist, largely organised by Glenn. Trapeze did four
songs - "Way Back To The Bone", "You Are The Music", "Coast
To Coast" and "Medusa". The event was filmed, but no news on
what might be done with the footage. Two
UK Trapeze gigs were played on March 11th and 12th. As well
as the basic Trapeze trio of Holland/Galley/ Hughes, they were
augmented by an additional guitarist, Craig Erickson. The show
we saw was really packed. I heard one of the guys on the door
saying "Dare we let a few more in" as we shot through. The band
seemed a lot more confident than on the previous few shows in
the UK, and much of this was down to Glenn. Last time a really
nervous and edgy performer, he was now much more in control.
And it was a damn good show too. Perhaps not quite as scarey
as last time, but a lot tighter. Having an extra guitarist seemed
to spur Mel on too.
lot has been said about the wisdom of issuing your own album
and then not promoting it, but Glenn had agreed to play some
Trapeze dates over a year earlier, and didn't want to let the
others down (you can imagine what people would've said if he
had pulled out). A
proper Glenn Hughes Japanese tour then followed, and plans for
a live album from these dates were soon confirmed, titled GLENN
HUGHES LIVE - BURNING JAPAN. Purple tunes were there aplenty
- "Stormbringer ', "Lady Double Dealer", Burn", "This Time
Around", "Owed To G" and of course "You Keep On Moving".
Glenn's long-awaited UK solo tour finally materialised in October.
Apart from Glenn's occasional Trapeze gigs, this marked his
first proper UK tour since 1976. It was a real back-to-the-roots
job too. The
show in Stoke was really packed, and without a proper stage,
viewing difficult, though by the end I managed to wedge myself
in front of the PA to get a reasonable view. The band were much
tighter than I'd expected after the LP, and seemed to be enjoying
themselves. The other surprise of the gig was the young female
attention - not something one sees much at Purple People shows
these days! P'raps having half of Europe there was the reason,
but people tell me that videos for two of the album tracks by
Glenn have been widely seen, so the hard work is paying dividends.
Seriously, a good night out, and one which for me was only let-down
by Glenn's decision not to play bass. I've griped about this
before, and anyone who copped the Trapeze shows will support
me on this I'm sure - there ain't no one does it quite as well,
so why pay anyone else!? He only donned it for one track, the
funkiest of the night.
Javelins Reunited - News
a meet with Ian, his manager Al Dutton, and Ian's wife Bron,
down in London on May 18th just priorto their departure for
the Satriani tour. The main purpose of the get-together was
to finalise The JAVELINS project. Covers visuals were looked
at and agreed (I managed to track down the owner of a Javelin
car, take pictures and borrow some suitable images), approach
and timing settled on. I think the main thing to stress is that
this ain't no "Naked Thunder" or "Toolbox", or even "Gillan
/ Glover". The simple aim of the project was to reassemble Ian's
first proper band, and tape an album as close in feel as possible
to the one they would've made back in 1963 - if only someone
had offered them a contract! Originally it was to be a family
and close relations only souvenir tape, but Ian saw RPM as treating
it in a sympathetic way so fans could share the obvious enjoyment
they all had, without the CD being hyped up in the way that
a major label would inevitably do.
Line-Up, New Tour - News
looks like the relative failure of the Coverdale / Page album
prompted David to reactivate Whitesnake. I was quoted a sales
figure of 700,000 for the C/P disc, which is certainly low for
the type of project it was. The label had let it proceed on
the understanding that the band would tour, and Page changed
his mind about that come the time. So in the end they only did
Japan. We hadn't expected Whitesnake dates quite so soon after
the reunion announcement, and those of us hoping for a return
to the days of the late 70's or early 80's were quickly put
in our places when the line-up was announced. Rudy Sarzo on
bass, Adrian Vandenburg on guitar and the C/P drummer didn't
- to me - constitute a classic line-up by any stretch! Come
the UK dates the line-up had settled down a bit. It seems Geffen
tried to entice John Sykes into the project, but in the end
Ratt's Warren Di Martini was brought in instead. Neither was
there a new album. Instead Geffen suggested a compilation, which
was taken from just the "glam years" as we tend to call them
- 84 to 94. The collection originated in America, where it was
issued first. Indeed it looks increasingly as if the whole tour
was inspired by the album rather than the other way around.
to the top
in the magazine...
Purple 1994 Tour Dates.... European Tour News & Reviews....Tommy
Jon Lord, Joe Satriani & Ian Gillan interviews....Deeves Hall
Feature....The Book Of Taliesyn, Album Sleeve Feature....
Deep Purple / Bedford 1970 Feature....Ritchie Blackmore, Session Man...
In Rock, 25th Anniversary Plans....Letters.....
RPM News....Video News.....Questions & Answers....Deep Purple
Eddie Hardin Biography excerpts.......Vinyl & CD Reviews
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