Purple History: It was here that "Highway Star" was
first performed live.
The Details: Deep Purple
began their Autumn 1971 UK tour in Portsmouth. A coach was hired
to take the band, invited journalists and photographers to the
show. On the way one journalist asked Ian Gillan how the band
wrote their songs. Glover began bashing out a new tune they'd
been working on, gave Gillan a title and Gillan began ad-libbing
words on the spot. They rehearsed it before the show and "Highway
Star" made it's debut at Portsmouth Guildhall on Sept 13th 1971.
picture here shows Gillan racing off the stage that night.
band had played the Guidhall for the first time earlier that year,
February 9th 1971, on their final "In Rock" tour. They played
the hall again on August 19th 1972 on the "Machine Head" tour,
and once more on February 23rd 1973 during Mk 2's short final
group included the venue next on their extensive 1996 Purpendicular
tour twenty three years later, and played at the venue again in
Maddock recalls the 1996 show: "Roger Glover reminded me about
the significance of the hall as he went in. I have memories of
the building's "security" guard ushering me "into the foyer" to
liberate a poster and then saying "pop through that door and have
a listen to the soundcheck"...
so I did!"
Today: Portsmouth Guildhall
still hosts a variety of live entertainment. Although the exterior
is very much muncipal town hall architecture in the classical
tradition, the interior is quite art deco in feel.
Getting there: The Guidhall
is centrally sited in a pedestrianised square in the middle of