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

Preparing to go Space Truckin'

I purchased my first Deep Purple album in the late 60's or certainly early in the 70's and have seen them live in the 70's, 80's, 90's and now the new millennium. When I go to heaven, I hope I see them there as well. If they go to the other place, well, I will just have to visit them when they put on a show. Man, they Rock!!! [He he... According to Ian Gillan, maybe heaven isn't the place for him... Ed.]

The Brisbane concert was LOUD and I mean LOUD. The crowd was down on '99, so they reduced the stadium which brought the stage forward and the sound. It lost the clarity that these guys are really capable of and that was the only disappointing factor in an otherwise memorable event - again. The sound engineers should have known better!!!!

For that reason, I thought the '99 show was in fact better, but given that this years show was the last on the Oz leg, they were probably a little loose and were prepared to let the hair down (memories Ian G!!!) a little.

Still, just the best rock one will ever see and hear. Don't give me that shit that Zeppelin and the rest of them are better!!! Why the radio stations continue to flog Led Zep and Pink Floyd (even though the latter put on a great show), amazes me. Deep Purple are pioneers and they are still setting the standards, yet we hear very little on the air, from "Abandon" and the other recent stuff. If you want to hear Led Zeppelin these days, go to a Purple concert and Steve Morse will serve you snippets of a "Whole Lotta Love" or "Stairway To Heaven" and throw in Stevie Ray Vaughan, Yardbirds, Kinks, Stones, Cream and a few other morsels to whet your r&r appetite. These are just a few of the absolutely magical and brilliant moments of Morse, before launching into the one riff we all know as "Smoke On The Water".

[Note: My very favourite bands are in fact Kansas and DP and there are some coincidences here that probably not too many people know - Kansas were in fact the support band for DP when the former were just starting to make it big in the USA and when DP were already taking the world by storm in the big outdoor concerts of the 70's. Later, Steve Morse has played with both bands - more an entrenched member of DP of late as well as playing with his own outfit. Just a bit of r&r trivia.]

Back to the present and the Brissy concert. Gillan was in better shape than '99 and his voice was also better and stronger. To hear stuff that we do not often hear in a DP show (the "Fireball" tunes were just fantastic) was also a real surprise and a very pleasant one.

Paice was at his brilliant pace, along with Jon (Gramps) Lord and Roger (the dodger) Glover. I just love you guys and let me tell you, I have seen them all in concert (indoors and out) from America (the band) to ZZ Top and that goes for a few of the modern crap-artists as well. The best is - these blokes called Deep Purple.

If Purple cannot come to heaven with me, I will organise all my vinyls, CDs and tapes to be burnt with me at my funeral, so that I can be sent up in the NASA Shuttle to go "Space Truckin'" as a plastic blob!!! What an (after) life!!!!

But before then, come back to Brisbane DP, I miss you already!!!

Al Robbo

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