[ d e e p P u r . p l e )

The Highway Star

Deep Purple - Highway Star's Myrtle Beach Road Trip
[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Highway Star's Myrtle Beach Road Trip

In a never ending quest to cover all things Purple, I felt a need for a road trip. The destination: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - an oceanside golfer's paradise. I hit the road at 11AM with Live in Japan's Highway Star blaring. The ride was interesting enough. I almost caused a multi-car pile up on the interstate when I jammed on the breaks to avoid hitting a dog. The next treat was trying to purchase gas via credit card from a truck stop in Nowhere, S.C. It caused ten minutes of confusion, even though a sign clearly indicated they accepted them. Deliverance anyone?

After miles of staring at nothing, I finally arrived at The House of Blues around 6PM. I said hello to Charlie Lewis, Purple's Production Manager. He was busy mastering a computer golf game while waiting for the soundcheck. I went to the stage to begin compiling the first of many fabulous pictures I was to take this evening, but someone from the House of Blues shouted, "Who's taking pictures!?" I went down and introduced myself as a Highway Star Editor but was informed that I needed to sign a release to take photos inside the building. Trouble was, the only person that had this authority left just ten minutes earlier, and she would not be available for the rest of the evening. Needless to say, I found this just a tad bit disturbing, especially after seven long hours of driving.

After ranting a bit, I was told it was OK to take pictures in the Green Room, but nothing from the stage. This wasn't much of a consolation, as I respect the band's privacy, and this was traditionally very off-limits before a show. Like any artist, they tend to get into their pre-show mind set, which I didn't want to disturb. However, before they arrived, I did go in to take a shot of Roger's bass, which was the only object of interest I could find. It seemed desperate at the time (and still does), but it is a nice bass. :-) Meanwhile, I'm trying to imagine what Purple fans would like to see/know and was coming up empty. Perturbed by not being able to shoot an incredibly cozy venue, I decided to go outside to see if there was anything happening.

I met up with amd-p's Jacob Ferderigo (JFerderigo@aol.com) (far right) and his friends. They drove down from Charlotte, NC just for the concert. While outside, I met Heather Lee from the local rock station, Wave 104. She was doing her entire show from outside the House of Blues. Heather was very friendly and talkative. I filled in some gaps in the Purple time-line, and we talked about music. It turns out she is a big fan of Ian's performance in Jesus Christ superstar. Next, the unthinkable happened: She interviewed me live about the band and the Website. I don't think I choked, but it was very weird. She made sure we got the Web Address mentioned during a few of her live spots. It was awkward saying "www dot deep dash purple dot com", but I think it worked when I explained the "dash/hyphen".

Later, Heather mentioned about how she tried to get an interview, but an intern that was supposed to contact Colin Hart (DP's Tour Manager) had called in sick. I said I'd try to ask Colin for his help when the band arrived. Who should come to the rescue but Roger himself. Despite that he probably caught a cold from not wearing a jacket (due to my errant recommendation, sorry Rog), he was great, and it certainly seemed like a highlight for Heather. It was good to see them getting some PR, as she went all out to pump up her listeners about the band.

I walked back with Roger, and he offered me a drink, which I couldn't refuse. While we talked, I mentioned that HoB's wouldn't let me take pictures for the Website. They seemed miffed by the bureaucracy of the matter, so I decided to take advantage of the situation by grabbing a quick shot before leaving the band in peace (Colin's on the right). While exiting, I couldn't help admiring that they are such truly nice, down-to-earth guys.

On the way out to the floor, I ran in to the support group, and they invited me to chat. They were about to go on when I took a picture for the Image Gallery Support Acts section. They are called The Chaotic Past, and they were really cool guys. I liked most of their set, but I'm not sure they match up well with Deep Purple. They finished their spot, and it was finally the moment we were waiting for. From the first slapping keys of Hush, about a thousand people were treated to another great show. The turnout was better than expected, considering this is off-peak season in a tourist town, and the nearest large cities were hours away. It was also a week night, which certainly added to the coziness of the room.

Performance wise, this was Steve's night as his playing was ferocious. I heard many comments about his abilities this evening. My only peeve was that Jon sounded low in the mix, but the show was another classic, with many in attendance stunned by what they were witnessing. Personal highs included Speed King, No One Came, Ted the Mechanic, and of course, the new gem, Seventh Heaven. They dropped Any Fule Kno That because they weren't satisfied with the arrangement. I hope they will work it out in time for LA, as it's a good track. Gillan sounded great again, but how long can his voice hold out performing Bloodsucker? What screaming! :-)

After the show, there was a small gathering of people. I ran into Mark Roper from CMC Records, and having met in York and Hartford, it was good to see him again (He can be seen looking at Roger.). I saw Joanna, and she heard some interesting things. It seems Roger was supposed to start work on WDWTWA25 in January, but it looks like it might be rescheduled due to touring commitments. It will be released next year, and we will pass along any info as we receive it.

Before we knew it, security was urging us to clear out, so the evening was over as quickly as it had begun. After signing autographs for the faithful gathering outside, the band left for the hotel to get a well deserved nights rest. Or maybe they went to the bar? In any case, my road trip and coverage of the House of Blues/Light tour, '97/'98 was now over. Next stop for the Highway Star will be LA where editor Wolf Schneider will keep you in tune to all things Purple. And Wolf, please don't get there too late to sign a photo release! ;-)

Copyright © 1997 "The Highway Star"

Ed "Janx" Jankauskas

[ reviews | the highway star ]

Donor Section

[ en-gb ] [ en-us ] [ de ] [ ja ] [ it ] [ pl ]


Subscribe to:
The Highway Star Update!

Participate in:
Purple discussions

Join the:
Mailing lists

Purple Tours
Tour Dates
Tour Reviews

Purple Music
Upcoming Releases

Sound Archives
MIDI Archives
Movie Archives

Other Sections
Frequently Asked Q's
Image Gallery
Purple Contributions
Special Features
Bios/Family Tree
Joanna's Gossip
Who To Blame



Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing (with apologies to Ani)
(c) 2003, The Highway Star

|||| _|_ This site is EMI approved