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Knebworth and Machine Head books in the works

Two new books of interest are being prepared for publication.

The first one — For One Night Only by Jerry Bloom — tells the story of Knebworth 1985 gig, which became legendary in Britain for the simple reason of being the only live appearance of the band in their home country on the reunion tour:

Purple played four sold out shows in Sweden, two large festivals in Germany, three gigs in France and many more around the continent. Yet in their homeland fans had to settle for just one open-air concert at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire on 22nd June. It was the wettest June day since records began but for the 75,000 who attended it was an experience to savour, with many too young to have seen Purple in the seventies, witnessing them for the first time.

For One Night Only is a celebration of that day, based around the huge number of previously unpublished photos of the event.

Jerry Bloom, For One Nigh Only

It will be published via Wymer UK some time in December, in time to be delivered by Christmas. It is, however, quite pricey at £80 for a 128-page hardcover. It also comes with a sturdy carrying case and four A4 photo prints suitable for framing, if that is any consolation. The book is said to be strictly limited to 300 copies (yep, another one of those artificial scarcity affairs). It can be preordered from the publisher.

The second book — Fire in the Sky by Simon Robinson and Stephen Clare — follows their first title Wait for the Ricochet and this time tells the story of the recording of Machine Head:

FIRE IN THE SKY is a new book which looks in detail at this important period in Deep Purple’s history and the making of their break-through album MACHINE HEAD.

While the fact that a fire destroyed their original recording venue is well known to most music fans, the book detours to look at the cause of the blaze, talking to people who were at the show, and gets to the bottom of just what were Frank Zappa’s last words when he dashed off the Casino stage as the roof burst into flames? And in these times of economic hardship, isn’t it inspiring to know that punitive tax rates back home were responsible for Deep Purple being in Montreux in the first place?

This book looks back at the events which led to Deep Purple’s bizarre and Heath Robinson-esque Machine Head hotel recording sessions in the winter of 1971. And as for that “hit to be”, Smoke On The Water was not even tried out on stage, and might never have been played live at all were it not for a request from the BBC for a radio session. It went on to sell 12 million copies and is probably the only gold disc ever made to actually be presented to a city. And yes, there really is a music shop in London which threatens to fine budding guitarists should they dare to try out the riff in-store.

The story takes in the subsequent debilitating American tours where Machine Head quickly became a massive selling album, even as the relentless gigging pulled the band apart. Memorabilia and many rare and unseen photographs illustrate the story, including remarkable images of the Casino fire and aftermath and Ian Gillan with his notepad writing the lyrics in the studio. The music, gigs and lyrics are covered while appendices include tour dates and a discography, as well as a map showing the important sites for any future visitors.

Several myths are also laid to rest, many fans trekking to Montreux visit the wrong Grand Hotel altogether, while down the road the wealthy owners of luxury apartments sit blithely unaware of the music history made in their living rooms.


The book is due to be published some time next year by Easy On The Eye Books.

Thanks to Wymer UK and Easy On The Eye Books (via Darker Than Blue) for the info.

6 Comments to “Knebworth and Machine Head books in the works”:

  1. 1
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Unnecessary, overpriced & yet for some unknown reason… desirable!. Fanatics will buy anything & everything, such is life. Smiles to ya.

  2. 2
    XYZ says:

    Pete Frame’s Knebworth photos. And anyone can pick up or got to YouTube to hear what Frank said on the bootleg “Fire” which is actually an “official” boot release. I like things that way. The cool thing about that is you hear the whole thing crystal clear. Here’s the important part, since this piece reads like self respecting fans don’t know about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZM-WoDflFA

  3. 3
    Moreblack says:

    Machine Head rules (Knebworth too)!!

  4. 4
    Rock Voorne says:

    What different will this be from earlier Machine Head book(lets)?

  5. 5
    Micke says:

    Seems nothing ever happens with this, due out forever.. nothing to find at their website either.

  6. 6
    Lutz says:

    @5, Micke – On the “Easy On The Eye Books” website it says:

    “…Join the mailing list using the button below to keep up to date on this forthcoming title, now finally due in 2023 after the author’s ill health and that of our company secretary…”


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