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Bogus Deep Purple - Rod Evans Deep Purple show in USA
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Rod Evans Deep Purple show in USA

I am one of the "lucky" folks who saw the tour. If I recall correctly, the show was in the Summer of 1980.
I saw it at the San Jose Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California, USA.
The Civic Auditorium is a small venue, I believe it used to be a small basketball arena. The San Jose Sympony plays there. I don't think it would hold more than 5,000 people or so. And it was definitely not even close to being sold out. I could wander at will about the floor, with plenty of elbow room.
I had seen the Rainbow Rising Tour there in 1976, for which there was a much larger crowd.

It was pretty bad, to be honest. Mostly like a pretty good cover band with a bad singer (compared to Ian). Being a guitar player myself and fanatically devoted to Rithie, the guitar player disappointed me tremendously, as he really didn't capture Ritchie's flavor at all. If I recall correctly, he used a 12 string electric for Highway Star.
It didn't sound very good. Personally, I thought I could have done a much better job of it, since I was a real Rithie clone at the time.
I do remember the drummer vividly because he was so f**king loud! He had a double bass drum setup with big tuba like bodies and he really overpowered the band. He was a good drummer, but the volume was distracting, and almost painful.
The Keyboard player and bass player were not factors at all. Completely forgettable.

I recall a few songs they played. They did play Hush and Kentucky Woman, which, since Rod was the original singer, were pretty good. I know they played Highway Star, Woman From Tokyo and Smoke On The Water. I don't recall the other songs they played that night, but it wasn't a real long show and not very memorable. But I did enjoy seeing Rod just for the memorabilia factor.
The show was not very long, it was probably a little longer than a hour's worth of material. Kind of like the Rainbow "Down to Earth" tour with Graham Bonnet. Then, Rainbow played about 45 mins. and then left for their (obviously) pre-planned encore, which was about 3 songs, so the whole show lasted about 1 hour 15 mins. The Rod show was very similar.
But all in all it was pretty pathetic.

Russell Edsinger
San Jose, CA USA

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