Aging Deep Purple Rock for Indian Quake Aid
Article from the Reuters News Service
BANGALORE, India (Reuters) - Age does not matter when the decibels are hard enough and the cause is noble.
British rockers Deep Purple stormed India's technology capital on Sunday night, cheering thousands of fans in a rare Indian show in aid of victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the western Indian state of Gujarat on January 26.
"They came, they sang, they conquered," the Asian Age newspaper gushed in a headline on the performance by the group's stars, hovering around age 50 and apparently happy not being their age.
Deep Purple, known for their ringing hits including the anthem-like, "Smoke On The Water," last performed in India six years ago.
They are now without Ritchie Blackmore, the guitarist whose finger brought a good deal of glory for the group in the 1970s, but few seemed to miss him as they cheered lead player Steve Morse.
Some complain that India, never really on the rock world map, gets hand-me-down performances from groups past their prime, but for many fans, it does not matter.
The "New Indian Express" newspaper, one of those supporting the concert, roughly estimated the crowd for Sunday's concert at 30,000.
Fans included those with faces tattooed in honor of the rockers, known for their heavy sound that once took them to the Guinness Book of World Records for the heaviest concert decibel-level.
"The Gods descended, blessed swooning Bangaloreans," the "New Indian Express" said in a headline, but the group played down divine comparisons.
"We're just five guys with feet of clay," keyboard player Jon Lord said. "We enjoy performing and we love each other. We're people, not gods."
Hit rock groups tend to overlook India, but bands including Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Wishbone Ash, Judas Priest and the Police have been surprised by thundering supporters in occasional performances which are usually not part of their regular tours.
A rare exception was in 1988, when Bruce Springsteen and Sting performed in India as part of a global tour to promote human rights. Reuters News