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Part one: Location and music

When I arrived at the venue at 8pm there were about 15 people waiting for the doors to open... I met some friends and we decided to go to a small snack bar nearby and have some “dinner”. When we came back a quarter to 9pm the venue was about half full. When the show started at 9.15pm I guess it was nearly three quarters filled.

During the first part most of the introducing songs and telling stories part was handled by Pete in his mixture of German and English of course! As my memory is not good enough, I will give them in plain English here.

Pete explained why they play so many songs that are so old with: “As our future might be a very short one we look back into our looooong pasts here.” When somebody used a flash to take a picture Pete asked “Are from the media?” The guy said: “No!” So Pete went: “Ah, it’s OK then...” I don’t know if there was a special reason but Pete was obviously pretty annoyed about press and media that makes ”superstars” out of nothing and pays no attention to real great artists... ”Actually, WE invented Big Brother! Putting a lot of musicians in a old steelwork in Völklingen!!!” [”Superdrumming” part two and three were done in an old steelwork in Völklingen/Saarland, the first part was done in an old church in Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, but that did not include Colin and Miller (if I remember correctly) - Pete told us that the old TV series (done for WDR in between 1987-1989) will be released on DVD in early 2002!!!]

The songs in the first half (like probably on every show of this tour) were: I’m A Man (sung by Miller), Sunshine Of Your Love (sung by Colin), Black Night (sung by Miller) and a medley of working songs, the first sung by Colin and the second by Miller again. Hey, they were alternating very regularly! During that medley Pete played the tambourine and Miller played harmonica.

To me the two most notable facts about the songs to were: 1) Why on earth is Miller standing behind this big wooden pillar?!?!? 2) Wow - this sounds much rougher without organ (during Superdrumming, those songs were done with Brian Auger on organ, but Jon Lord was found on several songs, too.

I will deal with the Questions and Answers section in the second part of my review. But two comment here: 1) Pete was filming the whole part (which meant nobody asked him) saying this will be Ians next DVD... As he repeated that statement in Mannheim (and wherever else) it might eve be true. 2) One person behaved rather poorly, shouting all the time. Ian tried to calm him down several times unsuccessfully... When he finally offered him to leave and get his money back, as everybody else wanted to have a good time and this person obviously wasn't having one, he shut up.

After the first round of Questions and Answers Pete did his solo: much more technical, fast and heavy than I expected. A friend of mine (a drummer himself) couldn’t believe that Pete is almost 60 - well, at least Pete had taken off his tie by then!!! If my ears didn’t fool me the applause for Pete in here was much longer and louder than it was for Ian’s solo later... After another (shorter) round of Questions and Answers Ian did his solo. As I am no drummer and as heard him doing so many solos (with DP) before I won’t say anything about that apart from ”good as usual”...

After the solo Ian explained that the following piece is an improvisation based on a riff that Colin had come up with. It was a blues/rock/jazz impro, basically there to show how well Ian & Pete fit together (Colin even stopped playing for a while). That one was followed by Smoke on the Water, sung again by Miller. After the show somebody asked Ian why they played those two DP songs that nobody wants to listen to anymore, Ian’s answer was: ”The crowd wants to hear them” about ten people went ”I don’t!”...

I have to admit that I missed the encore as I was ”stuck” at the bar, shame on me!

After the show there was plenty of time to get stuff signed, buy sticks and posters and CDs and have a lot more small talk. I used that time to ask why they do this tour in German speaking area only - well, the reply was because we are such a nice audience...

Part Two: Questions & Answers in Hamburg

This deals with the questions and answers as given in Hamburg, not necessarily in that order or complete! As Pete was filming the whole time nobody dared to ask him anything (or was like me expecting that they would shift roles at some point). So this is ”only” what Ian had to say.

1) Questions about other musicians:

How is Jon? He is walking on two legs again, something he was definitely not doing this summer.

Are you still in contact with Ritchie? He is happy in the middle ages. This is strange: ”Ritchie” and ”happy” are words that don’t go together very well...

When Ian was asked to play some Cozy Powell stuff he refused (both times) as Cozy was great as Cozy...

So many people died in the last couple of months: Tony Ashton, Kim Gardner, George Harrison... Anything to say about them? Well, we are in an age when people start to die... Tony and Kim definitely enjoyed their youths so I guess this pays back now...

Did you know Bonzo (John Bonham)? - Yeah, the last time I saw him we were driving 200 kilometres per hour where the speed limit was 80! I asked him to let me out in the middle of nowhere. That was the last time I saw him.

Which drummers do you personally like? I generally like to listen to the older generation. The old stuff of the 40s and 50s. In today’s music there is nothing interesting. (He did not give any names.)

Are there any younger musicians that you like? Yes, there are some. (Again he refused to give names.)

2) Questions about Ian’s technique, equipment, past:

How about that DVD you are going to release? This will be no ”teaching how to play the drums” DVD. There are many of them and it is absolutely no use being second. It will be more like having fun with the drums, how drums are made, etc.

What equipment do you use? (Ian turned around, looked at his kit) These ones are green! (Big laughter in the audience.) They are lent to me. With guitars and violins it’s different, they are more personal. But drums are there to be hit! (again big laughter.)

When did you start playing? At 13 I started hitting the furniture until my parents thought is was better to buy me a kit when I was 15. It was very red and very small, I always made it drop over!

At the Royal Albert Hall you dropped a stick - what was that? In the beginning it was really a slip, so when you are in panic you can do impossible things! I caught it while it was falling and while I went on playing.

How do you do the one hand roll? I am not going to tell you, but I can show you! (The guy who had asked that had to make his way thru the crowd as he was standing at the back. Ian was getting his snaredrum out of the kit and carried it to the front of the stage, with a little help by Miller. Miller wanted to hold Ian microphone but then realized ”Oh no, he is doing it with one hand, so he can hold the microphone in his other hand!” Ian was grinning at him and did this. So Ian showed the one had roll and explained afterwards how much his index finger hurts after that.

Can you do the bassdrum intro of ”Fireball”? Ian went behind the kit and did the complete intro. No, only the bassdrum, please! I can’t do that, hands and feet go together automatically, I can’t do only one half. I won’t do anything that makes me look ridiculously!

Is it true that during the original Concerto in 1969 you got lost in your solo and that Jon had to show you the way back? I got totally lost! It was planned that I started the rhythm to bring the orchestra back in but I totally forgot what is was! So you can hear it on the recording (mimicking the rhythm with oral sounds) but when I looked at Malcolm he went (mimicking how conductor Malcolm Arnold was looking at him with crossed arms and shook his head). So I started the solo again until I remembered what it was and when I looked at Malcolm again he did (mimicking Malcolm Arnold nodding, getting his arms in position and starting to conduct).

3) Some fun stuff:

Can you tell me about your private life? No, that’s why it is called private. I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing here if there wasn’t this other guy in private life. Directly after that somebody else shouted thru the room: What is your shoe-size? It is 40 in German numbers, 7 in UK and 8 in America.

May I get your stick? Yes you can. Throwing it up to the balcony where the guy who asked was standing. He can as he asked first. Everybody else had to wait and buy one after the show!

4) Meet and Great afterwards:

After changing shirts Ian and Pete came back to sign stuff and have some more small talk. Later Pete asked somebody to get Miller and Colin as people started to ask for them. Ian was wearing a shirt with ”Söhne Mannheims” on it and I was not the only person who asked ”Why do you wear this!?!” Well, it was given to him by a crew member and he liked it but has no idea who they are...

Concerning why they only play in Germany (and one gig in Austria) Pete was extremely surprised that I mentioned that people in other countries could be interested in that kind of show as well. ( He looked at me as if I had said something really nasty. Ian seems to be more open to the idea to try it someday somewhere else...

When somebody asked why they play those two DP songs that nobody wants to hear any more, Ian said ”That is what the crowd wants to hear.” About ten people standing around went ”I don’t!” On the way back home a friend told me what happened when he first went into a certain big shop to test some drums. He found a note saying ”the following songs are not allowed to be played here” with ”Smoke On The Water” as number one. It took my friend a while to understand that this note had nothing to do with contracts, laws or anything like that.

About things to get signed: A lot of people came with their tickets, some bought posters, a few had pictures and LP covers with them. One thing that stood out was a 10 DM note, that made Pete ask ”Are you the owner of this club? Are you going to pay us with that?” And somebody who handed in a CD (the CD itself, not a booklet or cover) to be signed on the side where the music is. Whatever artist it was it had no connection to Pete or Ian.

How to make fans really happy: Somebody asked Pete for his towel. When Pete offered his stick or belt(!) instead he refused, so Pete took off the towel from his neck, signed it and handed it over. I never saw somebody so close to fainting at any DP-related occasion before.

If any of the 'somebodys' mentioned read this and wants their name included, please contact me. (I felt like being the only female that had come there on her own account.)

Catrin Wiegand

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