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The Journey for Deep Purple

Date: 2011-05-18
Venue: Kucukciftlik Park, Istanbul, Turkey

The stories about great journeys never get old, so let me tell you about a long journey, which took place in May, for Deep Purple’s concert in Istanbul.

I live in Tbilisi, Georgia, (Caucasus) and never miss a chance to see the band live if they get near my country. Thus I saw them in 2009, Istanbul, for the first time. then in 2010, Yerevan, for the second time.

In the February 2011 they announced new tour and one concert in Turkey. So, who the stupid would miss them? Not me. It seemed that everything was OK, but when the show time arrived It proved that I was in a big financial crisis (I’m just 22, so forgive me if I waste money stupidly). My Purple dreams faded away, what I could do was just to keep waiting for the next year’s tour schedule to catch them somewhere near Caucasus.

SURPRISE: 5 days before the show I receive an e-mail from Ian Gillan’s personal assistant, Sally, that she would make a gift of two concert tickets, If I managed to arrive in Turkey. The journey begins here. What I got was NO money for travelling and NO money for hotel. Who cares? in just ten minutes I was already teamed up with my hitchhiker friend (21 yrs old, who says that young people forgot DP?) for the next day we were on the way to Istanbul – with a camp, some vodka, beer and only for both us.

We began truly the most depressive and at the same time the most enjoyable journey in our life. The journey which destructed all the stereotypes about nations, human beings, human nature and all the troubles you can meet abroad. Depressing, because during the hitchhiking we had several occasions, when some ugly people forced us and took away tens of bucks from us. So that we were left almost with no money in the foreign country with 1500km left till Istanbul. (and 2,000km back from it). For some minutes we thought it was the end, that those stereotypes about Turkish people were right etc. But no way! Nations are nations and human beings are human beings. We were robbed by one man, but excitingly helped by another. So, where’s the place for the national stereotypes? In the hell. With the help of several other Turks after 40+ hours looong loooong journey we arrived in Istanbul, at last.

Another thing to note: One man, nicknamed “Scorpions” breaded us a lot and helped to get truck till Istanbul. Frightened by the robbery, we couldn’t believe that absolutely stranger to us was making kind things for free. Then I thought to myself, oh, god, how the relations between people are worn out, that we couldn’t even believe that stranger man was doing some sweet things to us? Disgusting, right? But a good lesson.

Anyways, with the help of such people, after 40+ hours we arrived at the city. But sitting in a bus, looking at the picturesque views of Istanbul’s night was absolutely no joy for us – we were 1.5 hours late for the show! It meant that we either missed the whole show or we maybe could catch only encore. As soon as the bus arrived near the park where concert was taking place, we heard some loud, bombing voice in the city. “The show is not over – a good sign”. We quickly moved out of the bus and ran to the park like mads. I was wondering to hear which song was being played.

Surprise#2: It was Maybe I’m a Leo! Yeaaaaaaaou! The truth is that concert began 1.5 hours late and we arrived for the third song!

After a quick run at the backstage we met Sally, who was not expecting us to arrive anymore and began happy jumping, hugging and kissing. After a warm meet, we took our place straight in front of stage, drank some vodka & beer and for the next two hours our mad screaming was joined by several thousand people and a truly LOUD, bombastic sound of Deep Purple! After all this troubled journey and 1.5 hours late arriving we couldn’t, we simply couldn’t believe that we were there.

THE CONCERT itself was a great one, but frankly speaking, in a musical view Yerevan 2010 show was better, maybe because Gillan seemed a bit tired and I missed ROGER! The big bright eyes, the bombastic bass and an unique ability to make you enjoy the show. I didn’t felt comfortable with Nick Fyffe. It looked like he was doing just a routine job. I even didn’t felt that there was a bass player on stage.

After the show I met several Turkish friends who I knew from the 2009 concert and Kate, 26, a German fan who has seen 150 concerts of the band – all amazing people who I hope will meet me in Tbilisi, at Deep Purple’s concert anytime. We also took some pictures with Sally and Bron (Gillan’s wife).

All in all, it was the most memorable journey and night in my life. The most troubled and at the same time the happiest days.

For the second day we found out that there was almost no chance to get back by hitching! Shock! We were left alone,with no money and no bread in the city of nearly 20 million people. I felt like lost one pixel in the whole world…but the story of mankind goodness repeated: one Georgian man bought us bus tickets and after 30 hours we were back to home!

Regarding to the bad announcement of the possible retiring for the next year, which Gillan revealed in interview with several journalist, now I’m sitting and keep thinking: how can this band retire, while they have all the magic, which drives millions of fans to travel to see them live? How can Deep Purple retire, while they have all the magic, which can make people HAPPY by the two-hour concert? No way.

Just keep on going and we’ll be there, with you. Either by plane or by hitching, who knows.

6 Comments to “The Journey for Deep Purple”:

  1. 1
    micke says:

    That is some adventure George!

  2. 2
    Dirk says:

    Hey George … thanks for your story.

  3. 3
    George says:

    Thank you, I hope you enjoyed it 🙂
    That was truly the most interesting/troubled/depressing+happy/enjoyable all in all, GREAT journey in my life, so far 🙂

  4. 4
    stormin says:

    great read,

  5. 5
    Juraj says:

    Hi Georgij,
    nice story to read with perfect point.

  6. 6
    Gentian Stratoberdha says:

    George! I was there too……… At V.I.P. area……

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