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DP & the world 1980

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L. to R.: Dick Juergens (dr), Tony Flynn (gtr), Tom De Rivera (bass),
Geoff Emery (keyb) and Rod Evans (voc)

Is this Deep Purple?

I write this two days before Beach Boys are playing in my town. Beach Boys this year consists of one original member (Mike Love), one guy that was in the band for a while (Bruce Johnston), and a bunch of back-up musicians. Original Beach Boy veteran Brian Wilson is also touring playing Beach Boys songs. So is Al Jardine, another original Beach Boy. Al even has Brian Wilson's daughters in his band. Everyone is suing each other and the only ones winning will be the lawyers who are laughing all the way to the bank.

In 1980 Deep Purple had been gone from the scene for four years and most of the old members had moved on to other projects. But the demand for Purple music was still very much out there. Hardly a month went by without rumour mongers touting the possibility of a Deep Purple reunion to great attention from the press and the fans. Clearly the band's most prominent members were busy with their own projects, so when a band named Deep Purple appeared in the States, it contained only one of Deep Purple's least known original members - singer Rod Evans.

No matter what line-up we're talking about, Deep Purple to me has always been about great musicians creating great music. I don't care who is in the band as long as the music they produce is worthy of the name "Deep Purple" and I think all of the Deep Purple line-ups so far has been worthy of that name. However, I don't think the 1980 line-up was worthy of that name and that's why I think it makes perfect sense to sue the people involved.

Not everyone agrees with me of course. Hartmut Kreckel wrote an article where he states his opinion as a Rod Evans fan. He thinks Rod got all the blame and was stopped from doing any more music while the people behind the whole scam got away without any consequences at all.

Conductor Paul Mann said in the forums on this site: "The band Deep Purple is greater than the sum of its parts." Jon Lord says in one of the articles in this special: "He who steals my purse steals trash, he who steals my good name takes everything I have." I agree with these comments and they make me understand why the people in the band and the management chose the legal route they did to stop the 1980 incident.

What do you think? Read our reviews and articles and make up your own opinion about this part of the Deep Purple history - or just enjoy an interesting real life story from the strange world we call the music business. You can also discuss the incident in our forums.

I didn't see the 1980 band myself and I haven't found any recordings of it either (although we are many who would like to hear it so if you are sitting on a tape, please get in touch!) but the reports from the people who were there tell us of a band that was so bad that you could hardly guess what songs they were playing.

Svante Axbacke

Do you have information we have missed in this special? Tickets, pictures, reviews, newspaper clippings, tapes, anything? Please get in touch! Are you Rod Evans? Well, mail me then!


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