[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Melbourne Grand Prix

I had the privilege of witnessing a probably unrepeatable experience - Deep Purple at close range in a largely unannounced four-song showcase.

To see the band in such intimate circumstances, really putting it in and so obviously enjoying themselves was fantastic.

There was a report on the Grand Prix website they were playing, but I was sceptical. About 30 minutes before they were due to play I arrived at the stage and saw the drum kit - set up for a left-handed player. There were about 50 people milling around; about one minute after they has started playing numbers had grown to a few thousand, I'd say.

"Highway Star", "Black Night", "Smoke On The Water" - then they went off. Eddie Jordan - Formula One team boss - then appeared at the left of Roger's speakers and urged (completely unnecessary) the crowd to insist on an encore. What else could you play at a Grand Prix? - "Speed King".

I had my 8 and 11 year old children with me (who knew all the words to all the songs, it seemed). They loved it, but sadly will probably never be able to top this!


Paul Johnstone

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