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Wish list from a fan

It's another new year and we know that Deep Purple will tour and we are also hoping for a new album. But is that enough? Highway Star editor Svante Pettersson makes his wish list for what he wants to see Purple do in 2002.

The first writing sessions are over and it's time to test the new material on the crowd. A short tour around home is perfect. British fans have waited quite a while now to see the band and can't wait to hear the band play. These fans probably don't even care what the band plays, just as long as they actually come to their towns and play. Surprises are always nice though so let's throw in some new songs, just one or two. The Brits are also good beer drinkers; there will be lots of people willing to share their opinion about the new material over a pint after the show. Then maybe add some "old" surprises by playing some songs that we haven't heard in a while. Save the old stuff and air some of that material the current line-up only has done in the studio so far, or very rarely live.

While those new songs are played, make sure they are recorded and video taped. If the songs change before they end up on the album it could be nice to have some rough versions in the archive. Maybe they even could be used as bonus tracks on DVDs, videos, CDs or singles? The video material should of course be included as extra CD-ROM material on the studio CD once it is released and could be released in better quality as extra material on the DVD that should document the world tour that will follow the CD. Maybe the live recording turns out to be so good that it can be used as a base to build on in the studio? Keep the live feel, maybe add some overdubbed guitar and replace the vocals? Maybe it even is so good that it can be included on the album as it is? The entire album doesn't have to be recorded in the same room.

Purple fans spend a lot of money on various album releases, often with the same material repeated on them. Let's give them lots of bang for the buck on the new studio album. The CD-ROM extras could also include some pictures, take the current promo pictures and some live shots from the UK tour. Don't just include the lyrics and some credits in the booklet. Roger posts studio reports to the net anyway, use those. If Gillan's "Dear Friends" from the time in the studio are relevant, include those too. If someone else in the band, or the manager or the engineer or whoever, wants to write something I am sure there are room for that too. Just keep the old rock journalist crap about "they're back" away from the booklet. The fans want to hear from the band and people working with the band, not from journalists who need some extra money.

When the world tour starts, make sure the new material is well represented in the set list. Also make sure lots of Morse material is included unless the band want to get and even more solid reputation as and old has been greatest hits act. The new material can stand up against much of the old songs, especially when done live.

On the tour, make sure every band member and maybe someone around the band has a little digital video camera. When the tour is over, edit this footage together with some TV appearances and professionally recorded live shows to create a really cool document of the tour on DVD and video. A live video doesn't have to be one full concert recorded in one place on one night. That only increases the chance of something going wrong.

TV appearances? Yeah, of course there will be TV appearances. Talk show hosts will learn how funny the guys in the band are, TV audiences everywhere will be entertained by Gillan's stories. Steve Morse can sit in with the CBS Orchestra on the Letterman show and Deep Purple can be the musical guest that evening. Play a new song on the air and a classic for the crowd in the theatre when the TV show goes to commercials. Yes, appearing on Letterman (and Leno and O'Brien and all those shows too) means the band has to tour in North America.

So, will all this happen? I don't know. I don't get to decide about these things. There's a lot of politics involved in promoting a band, releasing an album, and getting on TV. Does the band want this to happen? That's another important question. Doing TV, learning new stuff, doing promotion and everything mentioned above involves hard work from the band members and the most important thing is of course that the members themselves are happy with what they do. If happy means playing old songs - fine. If happy means playing nothing but new songs - that's fine too. We don't want to see the band break up again just because of silly things like stress or pressure.

Then we move on to how many solo albums and tours we want to see in 2002...

Svante Pettersson

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