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The Editorial by Svante Pettersson
Just in case you thought that the ones working with the official Deep Purple web pages hang out with the band all the time and have a great time... Here's a story for you.

Colin Hart

VIP guest with the right to pay and wrestle with drunken people in the audience.

Your humble editor (Don't let this man get in to the festival at any cost!)

When I went to see DP in Karlshamn in Sweden june 14th I thought I would try to meet the band and get to sort a few things out with the the band. Get to know some news about tour dates and re-releases and stuff.

I decided to do it the right way. I mailed the management to see if everything was ok. I got this mail the day before the show:

Hello Svante,

I just spoke with Colin today and I asked him to put your name on the list for a backstage pass and he said o.k. so when you go to the show, please see him.

I hope you have a great time!!

Best regards,

This is what happened:

I arrived at the festival and went straight to the backstage entrance. I told the 16 year old "security" girls(!) at the gate that I was going to meet Colin Hart.

Security: There is no one here with that name.
Me: Yes, there is. He is Deep Purple's tour manager. I spoke with DP's management the other day and they said that they would put me on the guest list and that I should talk to Colin Hart to get a backstage pass.
Security: Yeah, whatever. There is no Colin Hart here.

When I was about to leave I see Colin walking by behind the security girls. I shout "Hey, Colin" and waves. He looks confused, raises his hand and walks on into the backstage area. The girls get a good laugh.

I walk away from the gates thinking "well, he probably doesn't recognise me, I'll see if there's a guest list at the main entrance". When I reach the parking lot I recognise DP's sound engineer outside a tour bus.

Me: Excuse me, aren't you DP's sound engineer?
Sound Engineer: Huh? Yeah...
Me: I am Svante Pettersson, I work with the Deep Purple web pages. You know, the Internet stuff? I spoke to the office and they said that Colin would let me in.
SE: Just a second. [Turns to a girl that just came out from the tour bus] This guy wants to meet Colin. He's been in touch with the office.
The Girl: What's your name?
Me: My name is...
SE: He's from the Internet Fan Club. You can follow her.
The Girl: Come with me.

Internet Fan Club?? What the hell is that??

I follow the girl and is being told to wait outside the gates while she gets Colin.

After a few minutes Colin comes out and I introduce myself and explain that I had talked to Angela. When I get to the backstage pass bit he says "What?? Get in?? Don't you have a ticket??". I told him that no, I didn't have a ticket but I was willing to buy one if he wanted but I would be glad if I could get in backstage too and exchange some words with the boys. He told me to wait and went back into the backstage area.

He comes back with a red pass that says "Karlshamn Rock Festival VIP Deep Purple" (It's a festival pass, not a DP pass). Colin tells me that that pass will get me in if I go to the main gates.

Me: Will this pass get me backstage too?
Colin: There is nothing to see, just dressing rooms and stuff and we're leaving right after the show.

I asked him if the Finland and Moscow dates were moved and he said that he thought they were.

Me: I just wanted to make sure we had correct information on the web you know... <smile>
Colin: Yeah, yeah... That pass will get you in if you go over there. See ya.
Me: Ok, thanks. Are the dates... [Colin leaves] Oh, ok. Bye...

I run over to the girls at the first gates again waving my pass smiling all over.

Me: Hello again! [I show them my pass]
Security: Yeah? So what? You need a wrist band to get in.
Me: Huh? But i have this pass...
Security: You can exchange your pass for a wrist band at the production office over there.

I run over to the production office and they tell me that they won't give me any wrist band. "DP has gotten all their wrist bands from us already. You should ask them for a band".

At this moment I am very pissed off and runs up to the main gates (where the ticket holders get in) and show a guy the pass: "I don't know. Talk to her". I show the pass to "her": "I don't know. Talk to him" she says and points to the first guy.

Next stop: The ticket office.

Me: Will this get me in? [I show them my pass]
Ticket office: No.
Me: Is there a guest list?
Ticket Office: No.
Me: Oh well, give me a ticket then.
Ticket Office: Ok, that's 365 kronor (~35 GBP or 50 USD)

I give her the money and go in. I was supposed to meet up with Ben and Tord one hour ago and I don't have any money left because of that ticket (why don't they take VISA at festivals?).

The show rocked, the audience sucked.

Ok, I was angry. But who should I be angry on? These were my theories when I got home that night:

  • Myself for being such a fool thinking I would get in backstage (and perhaps getting into the festival for free)?
  • Colin for giving me a fake pass (or whatever it was). He could just had told me "Sorry, you can't get in". I know that it wasn't DP's own gig and that they probably have to go by the rules for that particular festival but why give me that pass that didn't work and make me run around and make a fool of myself?
  • The woman at the office for saying that she had spoken with Colin when she apparently had not done so?
  • DP's management for saying that anyone involved with the web pages should get backstage access?

About a week later I found out that the pass I got was the right pass. It was the festival people that didn't know what they were talking about. So I don't blame the DP camp anymore. Not at all. But the people responsible for rock festivals should think twice before they put just anyone to work at the gates. It helps if they have some clue about what is happening.

The moral of this story is probably; "You get a lot of exercise if you try to get in backstage at the Karlshamn Rock festival" and "if you read these pages on a regular basis you can consider yourself a proud member of 'The Internet Fan Club'".

The concert rocked though. Steve Morse is God! See my review on the review section elsewhere on this site.


*Now playing: Triumph - Thunder Seven*

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HTML by Svante Pettersson,
6 July, 1996
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