December 16th, 1997
On December 16th, 1997, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing DEEP PURPLE live in concert for the very first time. This band has been my favorite since the very first time I heard 'Child in Time,' on an FM station in the early seventies. Everyone alive will gush about how wonderful DP is. I cannot deny this. They will continue to be my favorite band forever. Point in fact... I have only 1 Beatles CD, 0 Stones CD's, and well over 30 DP CD's. In this space I'd like to reflect a totally different aspect. Time.
I have mixed emotions about the House of Blues, where they performed. It was nothing more than a nice restaraunt with an attached bar. They tell me that it was sold out at I think around 1200 tickets, while the audience looked more like 500 people. What happened to their drawing power? Certainly they still have it. On the other hand, perhaps the band chose this format to be more intimate with their fans. Which I thought was great. If 10 to 15 thousand people showed up, I never would have had a chance to really see the concert. As it was, every "seat" was a great one.
The band itself has changed over the years.
Of course the line-up has changed a lot in the last 25 years. We were
greatly blessed to have most of the MK2 line-up. Sadly Ritchie Blackmore
isn't with them (at the moment). Steve Morse has done a superb job in taking
over Ritchie's chores. Morse isn't Blackmore, but he doesn't pretend to be
either. He is an entertainer, and an excellent one at that! The rest of our
skinny young heroes have been replaced with somebody's grandparents. No
disrespect intended. Jon's mane of brown hair was replaced with a full head
of white hair pulled back in a pony-tail. Roger's cowboy hat is now a biker
bandana that Ian Paice also wears. Ian Gillan has noticably put on a few
pounds, and in the last few years, his voice has aged, often lacking the
energy that "made" DP. Ian Gillan often displayed a stage presence that
reminded me of Joe Cocker.