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Down to the crypt with ouija board

Glenn Hughes appeared on the Rockonteurs podcast hosted by Gary Kemp (of Spandau Ballet fame) and session bassist extraordinaire Guy Pratt. That happened on or around June 27, 2023. Listen to this rather interesting conversation:

Fun fact: have you ever noticed that the same photo that inspired the Stormbringer cover appeared a few years earlier on the cover of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew?

Thanks to Coast to Coast for the heads-up.

26 Comments to “Down to the crypt with ouija board”:

  1. 1
    Blair Forrester says:

    Interesting interview great to hear the appreciation of each musician

  2. 2
    Gregster says:


    Bitches Brew is an awesome double-album…How can it not be when John McLaughlin is performing on it ??? Really good to listen to Miles & everyone stretch-out & make awesome music. Teo ( the engineer ) was told by Miles “Just set-up the sound, & let the tape roll”…Great result.

    And yes, the covers of Stormbringer & Bitches Brew are similar !

    Peace !

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    ‘The rarest of beasts in a jungle, the singing bass player’????? Rare, not really there are plenty of them & quite popular also. These two should stick to their respective careers me thinks, playing music. A little hamming it up with the ‘voice of rock’ cliche being constantly repeated. I always remember reading that Paul Rodgers was the ‘voice of rock’ many decades ago. Will the real ‘voice of rock’ please stand up! I noticed a while back both of these presenters are members of Nick Mason’s ‘Saucerful of Secrets’ an early Pink Floyd sort of ‘tribute band’. Guy Pratt of course has been associated with the Floyd & David Gilmour since the late 1980’s. Regarding the Sadie the Cleaning Lady song, yes it was a rather young & naive Johnny Farnham who recorded the first version of that. I remember that from being a younger & naive music listener. Finders Keepers were one of many artists who covered that song around the same era. Interesting hearing about The Moody Blues connection with Glenn Hughes in the early days & also the ELO story. Good to hear the Tony Iommi solo album ‘Seventh Star’ being mentioned again. Although the following concert dates are skipped, ha ha. Best let sleeping dogs lie. Cheers..

  4. 4
    John M. says:

    At 47:35 Glenn mentions the ‘arena’ shows during the short Trapeze reunion tour in 1976 were ”great.” According to his autobiography they were quite the opposite. He was apparently so out of control at that point, the planned UK shows were cancelled.

  5. 5
    Matthew says:

    The cover was also used in Siouxsie and the Banshees album too:

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    John M, Glenn’s mid-70ies (and later) raging coke addiction and good live performances by him do not rule each other out, Jon Lord once said that it was amazing how coked out of his head Glenn could be and still pull off a respectable show. Like an alcoholic, he could muster 90 minutes of stage discipline, but everything else suffered and became erratic making touring routine and studio work increasingly difficult (like when he was shipped home from Munich to clean up his act during the recording of CTTB in 1975, leaving Tommy Bolin to play bass and Jon sing backing vox on Comin’ Home to finish the album).

    The new Trapeze Midnight Flyers boxed set (recommended!) contains a post Purple Trapeze live recording with Glenn from 1976 in Arlington, Texas, and it’s more than fine:



    (Mel Galley sings here mostly.)


    (With cameos of Glenn’s then girl friend, Miss Blair, an American actrice with a legendary strong dislike for pea soup, she’d spit it out on camera, watch for yourself,



    http://rockandrollgarage.com/ex-deep-purple-bassist-glenn-hughes-recalls-affair-with-actress-linda-blair/ ,

    but I think also inspired him to get that nice perm for the Trapeze live shows.)

    Sadly, there is no vid of that Arlington show (what you see is synced from other 76 shows), but what little visual documentation of that tour exists doesn’t give the impression of a Glenn lurching about on stage, he actually looked less puffy than he had with Mk IV, he even appears rejuvenated and the band seems to be inspired and have fun. [And I always get the impression that he was more disciplined and concentrated playing with Trapeze live anyway: With that band, he was the front man and sang nearly all songs (Mel Galley would take lead on very few songs) and they were only a trio while with Purple Glenn wasn’t really challenged by the bass playing – if he stopped playing, there was always Jon Lord’s massive sound – and had a lot of time on his hands to fool around on stage while DC was singing.]:


    (The music to the vid is obviously dubbed and from another source. Glenn’s green “flared yoga pants” are a real bonus though, nice butt too!)

    But planning with Glenn must have certainly become a liability by then. Add to that how 1976 was the Summer of Punk in the UK, the Sex Pistols and the ‘Bruddahs from Queens’/Ramones had played acclaimed gigs in the UK and the movement was gaining momentum by the day. Promoting the tour of a perennial “also-ran” early 70ies hard rock funk outfit like Trapeze featuring the return of someone as unfashionable then as an ex-DP person exiled in L.A. didn’t seem like the most promising business venture at this point.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    That was helpful, I’ve just now enlarged my DP collection with a John(ny) Farnham compilation of his 60ies stuff, I had no idea an adolescent Glenn was on it, but you can hear his vibrato at 02:15 in the background vocals.


    That interview, btw, is great and totally insightful and Kemp + Pratt are extremely knowledgeable, lovely hosts. They are NOT DP specialists, but they are musicians and have an interesting take (plus done their homework, but not just concentrating on the Purple period, but the before and after). Worth a full hour of your lifetime easy.

    The KLF were Trapeze fans? The mind boggles.


    I always like it when Glenn lends his voice to a rap style song:


    Flash thought: Shouldn’t we send out a HS expedition to find the desert hidden cash of $ 175,000 for Tommy’s 60ies Les Paul?!

    Kemp and Pratt in their day jobs, they do that early Floyd stuff well.


    And Kemp’s own composition ‘Through The Barricades’ is one of the most beautiful songs of the mid-80ies – with a poignant message too.


  8. 8
    David B says:

    It just goes to show that when the interviewers have a deep knowledge and love for the interviewee how much better it is than your standard radio DJ who doesn’t know the subject

  9. 9
    Novicianvs says:


    We hear a lot about how about the recording industry screwed talented people. Yet we need to give the system the credit where it is due for herding dysfunctional personalities like Glenn, and Tommy, and Ozzy to be high performing musicians.

  10. 10
    Rock Voorne says:

    Though often overwelmed by all the extra s Uwe manages to drag in, sometimes happy to see something I didnt see before, like the TRAPEZE video

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    I listened to the Come Taste The Band album yesterday & it still sounds good. I have not played that album in many a year & it was good to hear again. I always enjoyed the last two songs, a nice way to bring you back down slowly after the rock songs. It is rather important I feel to begin & end an album with that in mind. So many great albums have a cracking first song & then also end with a beauty, even if a slightly mellower song or instrumental. This Time Around & Owed to G followed by You Keep On Moving have always been a favourite. Thinking about it most of Purple’s albums from the 1970’s do that bookend thing very well. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    When I heard CTTB for the first time (I didn’t like most of it at first, it sounded so different from the Blackmore era), the song I immediately latched onto was strangely enough “This Time Around” and the following “Ode to G”. I thought them both catchy even though one of my buddies quipped about TTA that “it sounds more like Gilbert O’Sullivan than Deep Purple”. No matter, I like(d) Gilbert too. Not much later, the whole album grew on me, and today I think that there is not a weak track on it. It’s a very life-affirming album, tragically in large parts composed by someone who passed away only 14 months after its release.

  13. 13
    Gregster says:

    “People” initially warned me away from grabbing CTTB, but when I did grab it & gave it a listen, I remember being blown-away by it, & it’s likely from that moment on, that I followed my own discretion about what what is good-for-myself, & my own tastes…It taught me a great lesson !

    It’s an equal to “In Rock” & “Burn” imo. And stands as an equal representative work of a new high quality DP mark. I think Jon Lord was incorrect when he states that he should have left the band after RB departed & the result speaks for itself. It “is” an awesome DP record, & not simply a “new band” with solid DP back-up players. Admittedly, living & working in those times & environments can’t have been easy, especially after going through the Indonesian “conspiracy”, & the loss-of-life experienced. Plus getting ripped-off, & having the aeroplanes tyres sabotaged…

    Too bad we didn’t get more from that Mark…If they could have kept it together, perhaps the 1980’s music would be generally more pleasing to listen to today lol !

    Peace !

  14. 14
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Bolin would have done maybe one more album and then opted out to concentrate on a solo career Peter Frampton style. That was always in the cards for him.

    What I like about CTTB is that it sounds looser (in a good way) and livelier than any Purple album with Ritchie; Bolin turned the groove of the band upside down, inside out + round & round …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7649VFntP-Q ,

    but they retained that warm Purple wall of sound, mighty and organic.

    In comparison, Rainbow Rising sounds Teutonically stiff to me, Cozy would have done mighty fine playing in Rammstein.

    And as a piece of life-affirming rock’n’roll, Comin’ Home creams A Light In The Black into the ground. It’s as good as Highway Star to me, Tommy’s solo and Jon’s tasteful keyboard embellishments to it just classic.

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And it’s not just that Tommy benefited Purple, it was the other way around too. Hands down, this is the best version of his own Wild Dogs ever, his hampered arm on the night and all:


    There used to be official Budokan footage of this available, but lamentably it’s been taken down from YouTube, I guess a rights thing.

    Glenn’s sympathetic backing vocals and very dynamic bass playing really elevate this. Jon gives great atmosphere with the synths plus drive with the Hammond and Paicey was at his creative peak with Mk IV anyhow.

    Tommy didn’t have much of a range as a singer, but his charming voice just drew you in.

  16. 16
    Gregster says:

    @15…Yes, many people are happily remembering Mk-IV, & the possibilities of where it could / should have taken Rock music through the 1970’s, & into the 1980’s…

    They also had great cover-art for the album too imo, & an awesome title to match it.

    Peace !

  17. 17
    Daniel J Russell says:

    Uwe and all,

    Hands down appreciate your recognition of CTTB. I remember forcing my friends to listen to it when it came out; they weren’t Purple fans or were indifferent but when they heard it they loved it. I feel it stands the test of time so well, and I might add Paicey was just On Fire throughout but especially in Gettin’ Tighter. Stuns me today how fast he was.

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I noticed at the time that my US buddies liked CTTB better and had less instinctive aversion to it than any Europeans. It is DP’s no doubt most American sounding album of the 70ies. Ritchie always sounded as Yüröpeän as a vampyre mövie. That’s not a knock, that dark Central European tinge in his playing is why so many people adore his playing. And it of course fitted like a glove to what early Rainbow tried to do.

    There is a touch of Tom Johnston-era Doobie Brothers in CTTB and I love the album for it. It’s carefree sunshine hard rock.

  19. 19
    Max says:

    @ 14

    Comin’ Home …! At last! And I thought I was the only one. An all time fave here.

    But as much as I like CTTB (it gets so much more spins than – say – Machine Head) it has its weaker moments too, doesn’t it? I mean Lady Luck isn’t exactly genius and Drifter owes its riff from You Really Got Me while the lyrics are a bit …well juvenile style. But all in all – great stuff.

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Lady Luck was almost Whitesnake-dumbish, but in a good way. Early Whitesnake even had it in their set and it became the blueprint for a lot fanged songs.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Found it! As played by Whitesnake 1978 when they still had a dearth of own material:


    It was originally an Energy/Jeff Cook number btw:


    though DC snakeskin-booted it in the butt quite a bit with his later changes (also making the song more commercial me thinks). Here he explains how it almost didn’t make the CTTB album because Tommy, the ‘Dreamer’, had initially forgotten who wrote it (not him!):


    Some background to the song here too:


    Oh yeah, Tommy’s Les Paul with the Bigsby vibrato (a horrible contraption as most guitarists will tell you, don’t try to play Ritchie’s In Rock solos yanking it!), here it is in Joe’s proud hands at 01:20:


    Finally, DC’s more recent version of the song from Whitesnake’s ‘Purple Album’ (bonus track on the expanded edition):


  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Max, have you seen this? It’s obviously a “Frankenstein vid” cobbled/edited together from non-Comin’ Home Mk IV live performances, but it is a real labor of love and well-done. Gives you a glimpse of what might have been, Mk IV only attempted the song a few times in the set during the tour even though it would have been a great opener.


  23. 23
    Uwe Hornung says:

    This is interesting too: Remember how we spoke about Tommy having been more of a box pattern player as opposed to Blackmore’s along-the-length-of-the-whole-fretboard linear approach? Here’s the proof:


    It also documents another Bolin idiosyncrasy: All lead guitarist work with repetitions, but Tommy did so to the extreme. He would hang on to just one note or one bend/double-stop or one – often simple – pattern

    e – n – d – l – e – s – s – l -y,

    building up enormous tension along the way and having the listener ask him-/herself “Now is he ever gonna move away from that?!” until he blissfully finally does (always a bit later than you would think). I just love that aspect of his playing – tension & release, very sexy. Also the way he sometimes “stutters” notes, something Ace Frehley would carry to extremes (gaining eternal recognition by all serious Kiss fans), but never as smoothly as Tommy.

    It’s of course anathema to how Ritchie approached solos, but it speaks volumes that David, Glenn, Ian & Jon recognized the inherent musicality of Bolin’s playing in the audition that got him the job when they had for years been schooled by Blackmore’s linear and melody-oriented soloing.

    That Comin’ Home solo contains nothing that even only a medium-gifted guitarist would have issues with, but as a musical piece it’s just perfect. And exciting.

  24. 24
    Gregster says:

    @23…In a general sense, your comparison of TB to RB is correct, but I’d have to say that RB suffered the same issues with repetition, except there were a whole-heap more notes involved, or phrases if you like.

    The Mk-II 1970’s albums all display the making of the web that RB would find himself trapped within, for the rest of his career. The web did expand a little further with Rainbow, but generally speaking, this web “is” RB’s identity.

    No doubt at all that on the right-night, RB could & would step-out of this common-thread, web-of-notes, as displayed in the 1980’s Rainbow & DP live shows at times, but what we have of recorded of him is a blue-print that was made back in the 1960’s on his Gibson. And you hear it again & again & again.

    TB’s note selection, phrasing, & general style was more akin to Jimmy Page than RB if you want to compare against 2 x greats of this genre, but 9th’s, 7th’s & 11th’s were often selected by TB to hang-on, or phrase from. This also allowed Jon’s keyboard & chords to change too. This is a major contrast, & leads to far more colorful sounds & jazz, rather than the darker European selection of notes that RB generally worked from.

    With RB, you generally got the root-note to start-from, & scale that works in-between. RB does have the ability to move through “changes” however, it’s just the music played made him generally stick to root-notes. RB’s prowess is how he could make awesome melody & phrasing from box-position-playing, eg, Demons Eye.

    Peace !

  25. 25
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Phil Collen, the man pictured as his younger self on the back sleeve shot (from the Rainbow Theatre in London) of the European edition of Made in Japan


    (I believe he’s the blond kid underneath Herr Blackmore’s butt, he still had hair back then and did not yet appear in public bare-chested!)

    has nice things to say about BOTH Ritchie AND Tommy:


  26. 26
    Gregster says:

    @25…That was a good-link there Uwe. And Phil Collen’s selection of faves is quite agreeable for myself also.- ( At least within the artists selected, less so the tunes perhaps ).

    Always awesome to see people remembering Jimi, & I even thought it quite good that he appreciated even one-of-his-own solo’s as being something special, without being a “dick” about it. He obviously worked-hard at it, & was pleased with the result. Most musicians rarely give themselves any credit, & always feel that they could-have-done-better.

    Peace !

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