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Decent bass players are hard to find

A rare beast in this universe — an interview with Nick Simper, courtesy of Karen Beishuizen for the the RingSide Report.

KB: You played bass on the first 3 Deep Purple albums and then left: what happened?

To say exactly what went wrong could be a book in itself! The whole episode is a very long story which I will soon be dealing with in depth during a future chapter on my website. The short version is that a new vocalist was secretly selected without my knowledge, and he came with a bass player as a complete package. The group chose expediency over loyalty, which became their trademark, and so I left before I could be pushed!

KB: In 2016 Deep Purple was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Alle members from 1968 – 1974 were inducted but you as one of the founding members were snubbed: Why and how did you feel about this?

I never viewed the Hall of Fame as relevant to rock n roll and as such it held little interest for me. Of course, to be honored after a lifetime in music would have been appreciated although not expected. In the end only one original member of the group was present, and apparently even the other members were uneasy at my exclusion, but to me it held little importance and was a farce very quickly forgotten.

Read the whole thing in RingSide Report.

Nick is performing with Nasty Habits in Vienna on October 8.

32 Comments to “Decent bass players are hard to find”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    A nice interview & glad to hear Simper’s take on his ‘exclusion’ at the farce. Bass guitarists that previously played 6 string electric guitar. I have been noticing in my thoughts lately how many there are from the golden era. Nick Simper, Roger Glover, Greg Lake, Boz Burrell, Geezer Butler, John Wetton, Chris Squire perhaps, Lemmy Kilmister, possibly Phil Lynott also & did John Entwistle start out on guitar? No doubt there are a few more. Some of those bass players did & still do play electric & acoustic six string guitar, although many of them have unfortunately passed away . As Nick Simper said there were too many ‘guitarists’ around, still seems to be in many ways, damm pesky rascals they are. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Gregster says:

    Yo, good to hear from Mr.Simper once again, & good to see he’s still playing some ! And yes, good bass players are hard to find, though they are out there. I think 1/2 the problem here is that a lot of bass players are “relegated” that role when young in their first band experiences, where “better” guitarists offer them the choice of “play bass or bust” lol ! A genuine bass-player with a love for the instrument is much harder to find. However, any good bassist will have guaranteed work 12-months of the year.

    Nicks exit from the band is just the way things are done even now-days…Your band is your family, & it sucks when you’re let-go regardless. But that can often lead into more practice & getting better, meeting new people, & maybe settling into something better, though maybe less successful. I guess it all depends on your values, & what one thinks is success.

    The R&RHOF…It’s all based on record sales for inductions, meaning the amount of $$$ generated. Mk-I possibly didn’t reach that $$$-mark in sales…Though sad, it’s a great way of realizing what some folks find most important…

    Peace !

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    @ 2 – not sure about the R&RHOF $$$ sales meaning induction. Why was Rod Evans inducted then, me thinks it was a stuff up from someone, deliberate or not. The good thing is Nick Simper doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, maybe that is the laid back attitude that most bass guitarists have, they just get on with it. Now there’s a plug if ever there was one. Greg Lake seemed to be pretty relaxed back in ’69 when Fripp said to him in readying King Crimson into action, ‘you can play bass Greg, we don’t have a bass guitarist’. Lake originally joined as a lead vocalist & as a friend of Fripp he replied ‘ok no worries’. Poor Boz Burrell, originally a lead vocalist in 1971 Crimson & after not being able to ‘find’ the right bass player, Fripp put it on Burrell to play bass also. A difficult scenario that & from what we have read over the years he didn’t enjoy it & never talked about his time in Crimson in later years, ever! All good in the ensuring years though as he ended up with Bad Company. We know how Simper & Glover were treated back then with DP. The motto of all this waffling on is ‘just leave those bass guitarists alone’. Cheers.

  4. 4
    Adel Faragalla says:

    To be honest I really didn’t feel that Roger Glover was truly genuine when he said in an interview recently about the whole saga and I quote him ‘I was really pissed off that Nick Simper didn’t get inducted’
    I felt his his comments was ike rubbing salt on a wound.
    Sorry if I feel this way about Roger but I really never liked BS.
    Peace ✌️

  5. 5
    Leslie Hedger says:

    Those first 3 DP albums, along with the Warhouse albums have certainly stood the test of time. It would have been great to see him work with Mick Taylor!

  6. 6
    Gregster says:

    @3 Yes, it seems that no-one really likes being “ordered” to play bass lol ! I played in a band that employed me as a guitarist years ago, & they couldn’t understand why I was happy to play bass for them ( we were having trouble finding a solid & reliable player, that was happy to learn our original music ), so I explained that the bass has the most important job in the band, & has to be “right”. Any other instrument, including drums & vocals can “get away” with a fumble here & there, & the music can carry on, but when a bass makes a fumble, the whole band falls down in a heap…It’s a massive responsibility.

    I knew there were issues with DP & the R&RHOF inductions, but what I mostly read in here were comments from Ian Gillan & David Coverdale, & the”hype” per-se was about whether Ritchie would show up or not, etc etc. I guess that turned-off my interest so much, I forgot about Nick, & the issue there. As for Rod Evan’s, it’s too-bad he lost his rights to royalties for his contributions in Mk-I, so I’m surprised to learn that he was invited at all for the induction. As you can tell, I’m not really interested in the R&RHOF, especially when bands like Rush have to be a forced induction by other musicians, & other such influential bands like Little Feat, aren’t even considered, say no more…

    @4 I fully respect your POV, but Mr.Glover is about as honest as people come, & perhaps the circumstances at the time of his comments didn’t allow for, or were appropriate for further explanation, & so you were disappointed. Don’t forget that Glen Hughes was picking-up gold albums & watches for Mk-II efforts way-back-when…It’s a cruel world at times, that’s for sure !

    Peace !

  7. 7
    pacuha says:

    I think Mr. Glover will probably answer this theory of yours…

  8. 8
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    Had Simper and Evans continued to be the bass player and singer of the band in 1969 and thereafter, In Rock, Fireball, and Machine Head would not have happened and DP would not have rocketed to the rock’n’roll sky. My life would be different, too. I am glad Mr Evans and Simper were replaced with the two new guys from Episode 6.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I have no doubt that Roger was sincere in his regret, Adel. Had Nick been there, Roger would have probably said something along the lines of what Glenn said about him (Roger), namely that he (Glenn) wouldn’t be standing on stage now if it hadn’t been for Roger and his ground-laying work.

    I still think that Nick’s non-induction was not an intentional slight, but bad research, bad management and bad monitoring (no one feeling really responisble). The best explanation for the patently totally illogical decision (Nick’s influence on Mk I was as great as Roger’s and Glenn’s on Mark II and III/IV, Nick’s bass is the most prominent instrument on Hush aside from Jon’s raging organ, Nick was a founder member who played on three albums) is that the RRHofF had lost count of whoever had been with DP and asked for a list from the DP management which was complete except for one crucial omission: Nick. Unlike Rod (who only had a lengthy hiatus of not receiving royalties as damage compensation for the bogus Purple affair), Nick does not participate in anything Purple does or did commercially anymore, he was paid out after he took Purple (rightfully so) to court after being ousted in 1969. To anyone working with the Purple organisation in the last decades, Nick’s name is one that simply never cropped up, there was no reason to deal with him.

    It’s another matter that the remaining Purple guys could have picked up on this earlier and simply demanded that Nick be inducted too, make the RRHoF aware of the oversight, but that apparently never happened, unlike with Journey where Neil Schon FORCED the RRHoF to induct Gregg Rolie (original keyboarder/singer) or otherwise he wouldn’t be showing up himself. The Hall clenched its teeth, but succumbed.

    The Purple management and the band could have also made good on their lackadaisical and frankly unprofessional alumni management and handling of the nomination process by at least paying Nick a first class ticket and inviting him to one of those extremely expensive tables for the night – that didn’t happen either, which is just miserly.

    Anyway, we’ve discussed it often here, it was simply an unprofessional mess the way it was (mis)handled. And I don’t believe for a moment that the RRHoF would have refused to induct Nick if someone had actually sat down with them early on in the process and taken the time to explain to them that, no, Nick and “the guy with the hat and the Rickenbacker from the Made in Japan cover” were not one and the same guy and that Nick played on just as many DP studio albums as Glenn (and only on one less than Roger during Purple’s halcyon days).

    But let’s not dwell on the past and rather mention what Nick is doing these days, namely helping out his son Rich (third from left and man can you tell the DNA!)


    who is part of an electronica/ambience/new age duo called Aeon Sophia which sometimes enlists the help of dad (and dad’s longstanding buddy, guitarist Pete Parks of Warhorse, Dynamite, Fandango and Good Old Boys pedigree) on their instrumental music (kind of the music you would expect softly in the background near the café space of a posh interior design house – I’m not knocking it, ambience music has its place).

    Here you are, Daddy Nick totally contemporary, assume Zen Lotus position – ouch! – and grab a cup of scented tea:





    And young Rich must have liked one of Daddy’s tunes especially …




    PS: Why were so many bassists in the fifties, sixties and seventies initially guitarists? Easy!

    The bass guitar as we know it today was only invented in late 1951. It became successful very quickly, ousting the double bass (= difficult to project sonically live, record, transport and play!) from most forms of popular music, but it still took time. When Nick S, Roger G and Glenn H (all of them initially guitarists) were kids/youths, there were either no bass guitars yet existing or they were still scarce and expensive. Also, the bass guitar was initially intentionally addressed at electric guitarists (hence it was fretted like guitars are and not unfretted like traditional double basses were/are), not double bassists wishing to go electric. And if truth be told, then the transition from guitar to electric bass is smoother and more natural than the transition from double to electric bass – the double bass is really a different instrument, it just generates notes of the same pitch, and to a trained double bassist, a regular electric bass feels like a ukelele/toy while for a guitarist a bass guitar is reasonably familiar territory.

    For that reason alone, as late as the 70ies, you were hardpressed to find an electric bassist in a band who had not originally played guitar. John Deacon, Paul McCartney, Lemmy, Geezer Butler, Noel Redding, Gene Simmons, Phil Lynott, Jim Lea, Martin Turner …

    Jack Bruce is actually one of the few exceptions I can think of from that era. And it is telling that even he experienced the change from double to electric bass as a liberation leading him of all people to play bass in a very lead guitarish way and not double-bassish way.

    Even Bill Wyman – often regarded as someone who plays electric bass very “double-bassish” – played guitar initially (his hands were too small for a full scale double bass though the instrument intrigued him) before he moved to electric bass.

    John Entwistle and Chris Squire are also two non-gutarists that began on bass as their first instrument, but neither was a prior double bassist. And both preferred a very busy, lead-guitarish style lightyears removed from traditional double bass playing where the bass is more a rhythm instrument/”tuned drums”.

    Bass class over, my Purple brethren! For decades I have driven people on bass forums mad with my Purple trivia, now I can finally do the reverse with you!

  10. 10
    George Martin says:

    You are entitled to your opinion but I think you are way off base on this one. I believe Roger was very sincere and pissed that Nick didn’t get inducted. Roger knows first hand what it feels like to be told your services are no longer needed and to be left out in the cold. I’ve met him many times and he is the nicest guy you could ever want to meet. There’s no BS here, I guarantee that.

  11. 11
    Lock him up says:

    Why do you think they call it the mistake by the lake rock and roll hall of shame?

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    @ 9 – I managed to get that down with my morning coffee, thanks for that bass guitar info. The most obvious reason many pick up the bass guitar from my humble experiences in playing music with other musicians, seems to be that the bass is the easiest instrument to learn, initially as a beginner. To be able to play along with other people & that is not to say it is an easy instrument to get to grips with. I say that from a drummers perspective & knowing different people over the decades. Drums are also another ‘easier’ instrument to initially get to play simply because of the primal beat thing. Guitar, piano & keyboards & other instruments take longer & can be more frustrating to learn etc. Well that is another way of looking at it I suppose. Having known a few hot guitarists in my time, they now tend to play bass guitar more than 6 string electric & lead guitar. I suppose they enjoy it & want to get to know the instrument more & get into the groove, for want of a better description. Our much ‘revered’ Steven Wilson apparently approached the ‘new’ Porcupine Tree songwriting process from a bass playing perspective. He wanted a different approach etc, from what he said in a recent interview. Then of course he has to find a bass player to perform it live. I really liked Colin Edwin’s bass playing on previous Tree albums & also in concert, a shame he isn’t there anymore. Hearing song samples online the ‘new’ Tree sound mostly like the old Tree in many ways, but that is Steve Wilson’s songwriting etc. I won’t be purchasing the ‘new’ Porcupine Tree album, I have moved on..Cheers.

  13. 13
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    @4 Your comment is utterly ridiculous. Glover was very gracious to say that about Nick Simper’s disclusion from the Hall of Fame and for you to try to turn it around and paint it as a backhanded stab is beyond the pale. Anyone who has met Roger knows he is first class. He and Ian Gillan respected the music of the first lineup.

  14. 14
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    @9 True. The Rock Hall of Shame got off to a bad start when it was built in Cleveland instead of Detroit or Memphis – areas much more aligned with the roots of rock music. When hip hop and other non-rock artists started getting in, that undermined the credibility even more. Having said that, it is a beautiful building and there are a ton of great things to check out inside the museum. But unlike the beloved National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York – the standard for all Hall of Fames – the rock hall lost its credibility decades ago. The Pro Football Hall of Fame right down the road from Cleveland in Canton, Ohio, also blows the rock Hall away in terms of integrity. The baseball Hall of Fame visit was a life highlight for me when I visited it in 2002. The rock Hall would’ve been the same experience if Purple, Rush and other bands had been inducted by the time I visited it about 14 years ago. I did Gillan and some of the Gillan’s Inn album artists play at the House of Blues in Cleveland on that trip, though.

  15. 15
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Of course my comments doesn’t represent a general view on Roger Glover, I love and respect what he did as person and a musician in the band and he was always the clam person with the wisdom of the world. And I apologize sincerely if it’s something of general characteristics of Roger Glover.
    It’s clearly obvious that Nick Simper brushed aside all these nice comments from band members about him not being inducted in the hall of fame. Maybe he clearly thinks its not a genuine feeling Also I think The comments that Glenn Hughes made in his speech thanking Roger that he left the band so he can have his is space in the band is if equally sarcastic.
    Ian Gillan summed it up perfectly when he referred to DP family tree as a f****ING Jungle.
    Peace, love and Respect to you all ✌️

  16. 16
    The noodle says:

    If Roger was so sincere why not invite Nick to stage to perform a song with band like many other bands do with former members.

    The slight of Nick in by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was intentional so that the Hall didn’t have to fly another member (and spouse from overseas). The Hall knew no way Evans was going to show.

  17. 17
    Matty_ B says:

    @9, Uwe, that’s one of the most interesting and chock full of facts replies I’ve had the pleasure of reading, cheers for all that!!
    Just briefly from me; I have to say I found it bizarre Nick wasn’t invited as however plausible ‘modern management not knowing’ and ‘band members expressing concern’, these things; especially RRHoF, do not happen instantly!!!!
    At the very least Purple should have had him on a table, but it also slights all IMO that he wasn’t there.

  18. 18
    stoffer says:

    @4 Sorry but i do not think Roger’s comment was BS! Not even CLOSE!

  19. 19
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “The most obvious reason many pick up the bass guitar from my humble experiences in playing music with other musicians, seems to be that the bass is the easiest instrument to learn, initially as a beginner.”

    MacGregor, you meanly-malignant marsupial mole!


    How can you absolutely truthfully reveal something like that to the unsuspecting outside world?! ROFL

    “… these things, especially RRHoF, do not happen instantly!!!!”

    Exactly, Matty_B, and the Hall is vain enough not to do obviously indefensible things. If you induct Rod Evans, there is no way to not induct Nick Simper too, it really is like leaving out Brian Jones (who never wrote a single Stones song and was no Ron Wood, much less a Mick Taylor on lead guitar, yet was pivotal for the band getting off the ground in the 60ies) from the first Stones line-up.

    I don’t think it was Roger’s job to see that Nick is invited, but the Purple management sure slept on that one. My guess is that the band, managing their own expetations, was so distanced from the whole to them opaque selection process of the Hall that they didn’t monitor/register what was happening until it was too late. Still, with any professional organisation, alumni relations are a management core task.

    For the record, Nick S was very gentlemanly about it and has said in an interview that he is sure that no one from the band had anything to do with his non-induction. That said, it remains an awkward episode in the Purple saga and a missed opportunity to honor someone from the first line-up without which no subsequent line-up would even exist.


    That was just Deep Purple Mk I/VIII/IX, a generational project obviously. Don gives Nick a lovely stage introduction at 06:25. Nick has stated that the episode meant a lot to him.

  20. 20
    Andy says:

    I think I had read that Simon from Darker Than Blue was asked to submit the names he felt should be included into the hall. If I remember correctly, Simon said he submitted Nick and Tommy’s name, but he doesn’t know what happened from there. I really don’t care what the hall thinks anyway. I love Nick’s bass on the Mark I records To me his sound is definitive of that line up. I still enjoy those songs to this day.

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    Didn’t Rick Wakeman say he had his first sexual experience within the proximity of The Hall? Enough said there, ha ha ha ha! In regards to some people here saying Simper should have or could have been sitting at a table at least, why? It isn’t about knobbing at the farce, it is about him being excluded from the history of DP. According to the jokers at that hollow hall of game, Simper wasn’t in DP. Cheers.

  22. 22
    Rock Voorne says:

    A lot of comments are trying to brush away this fuck up IMHO.

    There is NO excuse whatever possible.

  23. 23
    Mathieu says:

    To say I don’t like Nick Simper is an understatement…
    I never liked him, both the bass player and the person he seems to be.

    The bass player, well, I guess it’s a matter of taste, but his playing never did anything for me. Too old fashioned (even at the time!), too long-winded, basically way too much 60’s oriented when what was needed was something new and different.

    The person, obviously I don’t know him personally, so who I am to speak? But still. It’s not hard to picture through his interviews over the years that he is a very bitter guy, who never got over the fact he was sacked just before things happened, and missed the big ride…
    The way, and even the reasons, he was kicked out of the band may have been not fair, but let’s face it: Deep Purple would never have had the same success with Nick and Rod in the band…
    Want a proof? What exactly did Nick Simper over the past 53 (!) years? Close to nothing.
    Wharhorse is just under-written and under-performed second hand Deep Purple, but manages to be listenable. The same can not be said about Fandango, which is just very bland and uninspired Hard Rock played by almost amateurish musicians. Quatermass II is so basic, typical Hard Rock, that you forget it as soon as the music is over… I never tried the Nasty Habits, so I can not say.
    So now, explain to me: how a former (and founding) member of a band as big as Deep Purple can only release half a dozen studio records in half a century? Why those records never sold, while Deep Purple fans are known to be faithul, and buy almost everything from the family? Why was he never called or chosen by other musicians to form a super group?

    Decent bass players are hard to find, he says. Well, the cold, straight facts just show that Nick Simper was never one of those…
    Having said that, I’m well aware he is one of the reasons Deep Purple was formed in the first place, and for that, he should have been inducted in the RNR HoF, just like every other member (past, present or future!) should have been.



  24. 24
    MacGregor says:

    @ 23 -we get that you don’t like Nick Simper’s bass playing. However it is ridiculous to attempt to ‘prove’ why you don’t like him through the other means that you have stated. How many other early or original band members who were replaced, didn’t make the ‘big time’? There are many & it doesn’t mean anything other than they travelled a different road & that is the way it was. It does not mean that they are failures as you seem to allude to. Nick Simper & others may not have been driven to chase a highly successful career. I don’t know, maybe they are frustrated in missing out on the big time or they simply don’t mind keeping a low profile. What about other musicians who cannot stand what goes with that scenario & they leave success behind of their own accord? It is the way it is. And the so called ‘supergroup’ wording is a pointless exercise. It is your way of justifying your dislike for Simper, that is all it is. The ‘Super Group’ wording that record companies, managers & journalists use, is a way to attempt to create something out of nothing & make it bigger. We have noticed over time musicians that are not from so called highly successful bands also get lumped into that category. I guess it sells in some way, or maybe it doesn’t sell at all. A marketing tool. Is it success or is it a failure? Cheers.

  25. 25
    John says:

    Well I’m “decent” HhhhaaAa hopefully a little better than that . Anyone that needs a “decent” bassist … Lmk

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Adel @15: “Also I think the comments that Glenn Hughes made in his speech thanking Roger that he left the band so he can have his space in the band is equally sarcastic.”

    Groan … There is this myth that Glenn was somehow disrespectful to Roger at the RRHF. Nothing could be further from the truth, Glenn isn’t an ironic or sarcastic person at all (which is rare with DP members, most of them actually are), it’s just not the way he communicates.

    What he said verbatim was (listen here at 08:40):


    “I wanna thank Roger Glover (Glenn looks around for him on stage until he finds him, their eyes meet) … actually … for getting me through the whole epiphany … I replaced him and … I joined the band as a co-lead singer/bass player …”.

    Glenn acknowledged his predecessor in person (he was the only one to do so) and actually stated humbly that he had merely replaced him.

  27. 27
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Mathieu @23: You’re being a bit harsh and unfair with Nick!

    Couple of things:

    1. I’m with you that Nick (for whatever reason, it’s hard to pinpoint it even for me as a bass player who grew up with all three DP four-stringers) at all times sounded more old-fashioned than Roger. Even the music Nick played outside of DP was more old-fashioned. Case in point: Compare DP’s Machine Head to Warhorse’s Red Sea, both albums were reccorded in the same year, yet they sound at least a decade apart. MH is pure 70ies sound forging the way for the future, Red Sea could have been just as well from 1967, it sounds archaic compared to MH.

    2. But it has nothing to do with instrumental ability. There is no bass line on In Rock that Roger played which would have surpassed Nick’s abilities as a bassist while vice versa I’m not so sure. Nick was a very free form player, too free for DP perhaps. Roger was, initially at least, very economical in his playing and careful not to tread on anyone’s sonic toes. Of all three DP bassists, only Glenn stands out as a natural bass talent because of the grit in his playing (Roger never wanted to sound gritty and even when he did, he was on a quest to sound smooth, just look at how his bass sound has developed over the decades) and his innate rhythmic sense which makes his bass playing take more of a spotlight position, he is a funky rock player, a rare animal, people tend to be one or the other.

    3. Nick’s career post-Deep Purple did not blossom (though I much preferred Fandango to Warhorse for their uncluttered sound and better songwriting; calling the Fandango guys “amateurish” is unwarranted, the two Fandango albums just don’t offer an expensive production which makes them sound a bit like very good demos), you’re right about that. But whose ex-DP member’s career did? Le’s go through the list:

    Rod Evans: had a stint with outlandish Captain Beyoond, since then AWOL, ignoring the bogus Purple ignominy;

    Ian Gillan: went into hiding for a few years, ressurrected via Buttefly Ball, then failed to earn money with either IGB or GILLAN, is on record for saying that the first time he made money touring again was with Black Sabbath, yet his move to them was widely derided at the time;

    Roger Glover: went into A&R and production work, always stated that he wasn’t averse to joining another band “if the right one came along”, that however only happened when old buddy Ritchie knocked …

    Ritchie Blackmore: let’s face it, by DP’s momentous standards, all Rainbow line-ups were a huge commercial disappointment, the ones after Dio did at least not lose any money, but by 1983 it was clear that Rainbow would not be the new AOR kings of America, Ritchie solo did not beome what Peter Frampton became after he had left Humble Pie;

    Jon Lord – if you want to put it bluntly, the maestro was out of a decent job when Purple folded in 1976, his own solo albums had always been niche market products only, PAL was sadly a commercial fiasco, Jon played with Maggie Bell for a while, but squirmed when he was not name-checked at one of her gigs, joining Bad Company was vetoed by Paul Rodgers (the other Bad Co guys were for it), who didn’t want Purple Hammond baggage for a Bad Company facing the 80ies … only Whitesnake got Jon back into a decent job, albeit a far cry from the Purple glory days and at a lower wage than Cozy Powell;

    Ian Paice – one of the world’s best drummers didn’t really have much to do after PAL floundered, he auditioned with The Who, certainly a name band, but Townsend preferred Kenny Jones as someone he knew from the 60ies circuit, Little Ian began auditioning with GILLAN and finally was admitted at his own request to Whitesnake, after that only a hired hand with Gary Moore;

    Tommy Bolin – went back to a not so smashing solo career, died on a night as opening act to Jeff Beck who had been impressed years earlier by Tommy’s work on jazz rock monolith Spectrum;

    Glenn Hughes – SIGH!, countless projects, all commercially failed, team-ups with Pat Thrall, Gary Moore, John Norum, Black Sabbath or Joe Bonamassa shared the same fate, Glenn never again achieved a commercial stature even slightly comparable with California Jam magnificence;

    Joe Lynn Turner – had his 15 minutes of S&M fame, then went back to various projects, none of them commercially a success;

    Steve Morse – Steve has always been a musician’s musician, if your first real band is an instrumental combo, you’re not seeking fame and fortune (or chicks!) as an artist, he’ll go back to what he was before, a wonderful person and great guitarist unknown to most people who don’t play guitar;

    Which finally leaves us with …


    the-unknown-boutique-salesman-from-Redcar, who by sheer perseverance and incessant honing of his own image to perceived market trends (as well as ditching quite a few sekeletons along the way) did eventually, in 1987 to be exact, mount commercial heights he hadn’t seen with DP: Yes, David Coverdale is the singular exception to the rule that DP members do better within the band than they do outside (in line with DP being greater than the sum of its parts). He only did it for a couple of years, but he did. (And pretty much the first thing he did after leaving DP was an audition with Uriah Heep who wanted him, but he didn’t want them.)

    Now, doesn’t that put Nick’s lack of a noteworthy post-DP career somewhat into perspective? Especially if one considers that he left Purple at a point in time when they had not yet ruled the world. The third Mk I studio album was hardly a spectacular seller.

    4. Sometimes, coming from a band like Deep Purple can be an albatross around your neck – people perceive you with too much baggage from your previous band. It’s what Black Sabbath learned when they hired Ian Gillan, they were immediately dubbed “Deep Sabbath” or “Black Purple”. Maybe that is why most DP members were not swamped with lucrative job offers since they had left the band. Jon and Little Ian received at least an offer from Billy Squier while they were still with Whitesnake in the early 80ies, but they both declined. (He wanted to poach them after he had opened for Whitesnake on the Come And Get It Tour; Squier was at that point extremely sucessful in the US of A, it sure would have been interesting!)

    5. Finally, cher Mathieu, since you seem to have issues with Nick’s character: Have you considered that he was in 1980 approached by the same shady people who set up Rod Evans for the ill-fated bogus Purple tour, yet declined? He of all people who – unlike Rod who was at this point still receiving royalties from his Mk I work (Nick had waived his share in his settlement with Purple, preferring a pay-out) – did not receive a penny from the Purple organisation anymore? To me his decision to not grab the offered money and run, but rather step away from the (false) fame of a mock DP reunion speaks volumes about his integrity.

    AND THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LEAST AMATEURISH ABOUT THIS SONG, not the tasteful and effectively grooving syncopated bass work and not Pete Park’s always very melodic guitar playing – I can think of dozens of Rainbow, GILLAN and Whitesnake tracks of lesser quality:


    I rest my case. ; – )

  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Some Mk I material I stumbled across only now and at least I hadn’t seen before …




    Always dug Nick’s buoyant bass playing on Kentucky Woman, he really drives the track.

  29. 29
    Dr. Bob says:

    Deep Purple’s history mirrors bands like the Beatles, Rush, & Iron Maiden who replaced band members which propelled them to superstardom. Deep Purple’s original singer & bass player don’t share the story of Dave Mustaine who after getting kicked out of Metallica went on to superstardom in his own band.

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    Many bands have had success after a change of lineups, or a change of management or record company or a change of residency, it happens frequently. Does that mean that the previous band members who have left or were dismissed should have gone on to a successful band or attained some form of popularity. No it doesn’t & there are a plethora of people that that has happened to. It is the way of things. Did Peter Green after the original Fleetwood Mac, what about Syd Barrett, Mick Taylor after he left the Stones. There are so many different reasons. Some musicians leave the music business & join a monastery, start a real estate business or become an artist (painter) or an actor. Do they achieve global recognition? Most do not. Being supposedly ‘famous’ means nothing to so many, why would it? Some chase it & many others do not, some find it by hard work, others by chance & a few are more popular after their death, work that one out. Easy in hindsight to look back & see all this history unfold though, however for the people involved at the time, it just happened that way. Life eh? It doesn’t necessarily mean a failure. Cheers.

  31. 31
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Peter Green and Syd Barrett both had mental issues, it was clear that they wouldn’t fare well once they were out of the protective cocoon of their respective groups. Sad.

    Mick Taylor said it all himself when he answered the question whether he regretted leaving the Stones with: “I regret that I ever JOINED them in the first place!” He was – for all his gifts as a guitarist and his inmeasurable contributions to the 70ies Stones magic – an ill fit on a personal level and didn’t get along with Keith. He never wanted to be a star of anything.

    In general, many musicians are oblivious of the “magic of the collective”, they don’t – especially if they see themselves as a dominant force in the band; the Stings, John Fogertys and Ritchies of this world – see what others contribute because they are obsessed with having things their way without anybody pushing back. But that is not always a guarantee for best or commercially appealing results.

    Ritchie never really realized or accepted that DP were the musical environment that both let him shine most and at the same time appealed to the public most. Rainbow was an attempt of straining at the leash, yet never being able to leave DP truly behind. Rainbow were never Whitesnake which forged a career path of their own, like it or not.

    That is a difference to Roger, Jon and the two Ians, who all took eventually to heart that DP as a concept is their spiritual and musical home. Jon didn’t leave DP to “do DP music” without the perceived constraints of the other DP musicians, but to do something entirely different for which he didn’t find the time with Purple.

    In hindsight, much of Ritchie’s Rainbow tenure turned out to be a waste of time and opportunities. I miss all the DP albums he didn’t do during those years. Rainbow’s legacy is mainly one of the ‘discovery’ of RJD, Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner as frontmen/lead vocalists and their introduction to a greater audience. And the three Dio era studio albums from a musical point of view, never mind their limited commercial impact, especially in the US.

  32. 32
    MacGregor says:

    Jon Lord left DP to continue what he always did, classical music. In hindsight he probably let DP get in the way at times. A similar scenario with Keith Emerson & Rick Wakeman, they were all classical musicians first & foremost. In & out of rock bands at various times to ‘full fill’ that young persons ‘rock ‘n roll’ fantasy, for want of a better description. Regarding Blackmore, I cannot believe he wasn’t aware of his DP tenure being a positive one. He is a restless character, those sort are never happy are they? They are always looking for that elusive Holy Grail & appear to not suffer fools along the way. They are their own worst enemy in many respects. There are many like that, some get lucky, others don’t & some pursue it & many others couldn’t be bothered with it at all. Talking of John Fogerty & Creedence I have watched that live footage recently from The Royal Albert Hall. Wonderful to see & they were a great band & yes Fogerty was the special ingredient that helped put them there in many ways. A fantastic drummer Doug Clifford & Stu Cook as a bass player also & Tom Fogerty bless him, obviously at that time was content to play along with his brothers magic. My very first ‘rock’ band as a youngster. Before the ‘evil’ Black Sabbath & Deep Purple cast their spell on me. Those two British bands should be ashamed of themselves. Cheers.

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