Newsletter Two, Nov./December 1975

Newsletter Two was another A4 sheet folded to give four sides of info, and a nice pic of Ritchie on the front, which I'd copied using college facilities. An info sheet on the history of Elf was also included along with a glossy postcard of the first Rainbow line-up.(neither are still available) Already the Purple club had folded and we decided to 'devote space to them if there is room' - I'll bet they were real chuffed. Especially as I dismissed 'Come Taste' in about three lines. The arrogance of youth and ignorance eh? Info on Rainbow was scarce as they were based Stateside, but we were eagerly awaiting news of their first live shows. As there were no gigs, we trekked down to the Albert Hall to catch the Butterfly Ball live show and did a handwritten report for the back page. 'I'd be surprised if it's released as a live album' were my final words on the show which we'd really enjoyed, especially as we'd managed a few words with Ian Gillan round the back of the hall - the first time we'd ever met him (he always disappeared quickly after Purple shows).

IAN GILLAN News : Shand Grenade
ROGER GLOVER Live Review : The Butterfly Ball

Recording Details

The sessions for the 'Black Sheep of the Family single were done in Tampa, Florida. Several guest musicians seem to have helped out on them, as well as Elf. Matthew Fischer, one-time organist with Procol Harum was there. Hugh McDowell, cellist with the ELO was also present, (Blackmore says that he is also on '16th Century Greensleeves' too, but if he is, he's well hidden.)

US Debut Concerts

Rainbow's debut concerts in America before Christmas passed without mention in the UK, apart from two press reviews. Both were favourable, and mentioned a new number with the title 'Stargazer'. A 40 feet wide, computer-controlled rainbow is one of the stage-props they're using, and the whole lot is taking seven hours to set up. The group finish the tour in Tampa, and after a couple of weeks off, will slip over to Musicland Studios (Germany), in January to begin the second album.

Jimmy Bain

A bit of info on Jimmy Bain, Rainbow's bassist. Some time in his career he played in John Lee Hooker's backing group on tour. Harlot, the group he was in prior too Rainbow, were formed in March 1975. The group's drummer, Ricky Munro, played with Ritchie Blackmore around 1967 in a group called Mandrake Root.

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Shand Grenade

Ian Gillan's new band, Shand Grenade, was a very welcome surprise indeed - the line-up was much less though! Ray Fenwick guested for Jon Lord on his 'Windows' concert. He's the guitarist. Mike Moran has been helping Gillan with his solo LP since 1974, and is on keyboards. Mark Nauseef was in Elf, and is on drums. John Gustafson is the bassist, and played alongside Mick Underwood in Quatermass. Ian says that he spent all of September recording in Musicland Studios.


The Butterfly Ball, 16th October 1975 - live review

Ian Gillan sang only one number, 'Sitting in a Dream'. He did it superbly however, and in a relaxed manner which made the frenzied activities of other singers that night look stupid. Jon Lord was on stage all night. He looked to be enjoying himself, zipping around from electric piano to grand, and from moog to organ. Coverdale and Hughes did one number each, and one together. Both of them seemed very conscious of the tv cameras. Glover himself looked a bit spare at times. He belongs on bass, but he only picked it up once, and left it to John Gustafson for the rest of the concert. The event did sound rather more modern than the album, which always sounded dated to me, but it had its faults. The breaks in between numbers were bad, making it become a string of short numbers rather than a whole piece of music.

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