[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

"The New Deep Purple"

Evans' enviable pension from Deep Purple's catalogue sales ran dry in 1980 after a curiously dimwitted attempt to launch a group which he called Deep Purple. He was, of course, the only member with the remotest claim to the name though he contacted Nick Simper who refused to be drawn into the fraud.

The bogus Deep Purple episode was eventually scotched by the courts but not before some controversy had been aroused. Until the writs began to fly Evans teamed up with four anonymous American musicians, all of whom bore a striking physical resemblance to the members of Deep Purple, and played a handful of dates in the LA area as "Deep Purple" during July and August, 1980. As the rip-off became apparent dissappointed fans reacted strongly and at some shows bottles were thrown. Insult to injury was added by the "Deep Purple" repertoire which comprised slackly rendered versions of "Smoke On The Water", "Woman From Tokyo", "Highway Star", Might Just Take Your Life"(which was announced as "off our 'Burn' album"), "Hard Road", "Space Truckin" and even "Hush". Advertising themselves as "The New Deep Purple", they tried their luck with a potentially lucrative concert at the Long Beach Arena on August 19. Many walked out of the 18,000 seater stadium.

The legal process was too slow to prevent the concert taking place but the success of the fraud was partially scuttled by quick thinking on the part of John Coletta and Tony Edwards who placed an advertisment in the LA Times stating that Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Hughes, Lord and Paice would not be appearing at the Long Beach concert. In due course the management team secured an injunction which prevented further concerts by the bogus band and, at the same time, recieved a considerable award in punitive damages. "It was a very expensive business", says Tony Edwards. "And, of course, we'll never be paid the damages. Rod Evans just doesn't have the money. He no longer recieves the royalties from those first three albums though. Silly boy."

"The fraud was partially scuttled by
quick thinking on the part of John
Coletta and Tony Edwards who placed
an advertisment in the LA Times"

From "Deep Purple - The Illustrated Biography" By Chris Charlesworth.
© Copyright 1983 Omnibus Press (A division of Book Sales Limited)

The case of Deep Purple - An example of the issues involved when a group disbands but its product still sells involved the group "Deep Purple", which had not been performing as a band for many years. Its records, however, still sold. One of the original members of that band formed a new group. None of the other members of that new group had been members of the original "Deep Purple". This new group began to perform under the name "Deep Purple". The corporation, owned by the original members of "Deep Purple" and their management, still owned the rights to the name "Deep Purple". They sued the new "Deep Purple" to stop them from performing under the name and were awarded damages of $ 672,000; compensatory damages (actual damages suffered by the corporation) were $ 168,000 and $ 504,000 was for punitive damages. Since then, the authorized "Deep Purple" has reformed, and resumed performing and recording.

From "Musician's Business & Legal Guide" by Mark Halloran

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