[hand] [face]
The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

Lars on the water

Pete Makowski has published on his Facebook page an interview he did last year with self proclaimed Deep Purple fan Lars Ulrich:

How did you end up getting to see Deep Purple when you were only nine years old?

Lars: There was a tennis tournament at KB Halle that started on a Monday morning and Deep Purple played there the night before and for some reason they invited all the tennis players to come down to the concert. My dad (Torben Ulrich, former professional tennis player) invited me along. It was the spring ’73 and Purple were promoting Who Do We Think We Are and I believe Gillan had handed in his letter of resignation. But what the fuck do I know? I was nine years old. I remember Ritchie Blackmore throwing up his guitar in the lighting rig, rubbing it against the speaker cabinets and playing it with his ass, Jon Lord was waving the beast around, Ian Gillan was hidden behind a curtain of hair, playing the bongos, Roger Glover was holding the beat down while ‘little’ Ian Paice was sitting back there with his specs on doing his thing. I had never seen anything like it and was completely blown away. It was the biggest, loudest, coolest thing I’d ever seen.

Why do you think Purple were so popular in Europe?

Lars: Zeppelin never registered on the same level when I was growing up, they were more of an American thing. There was also a perceived image of them. Blackmore was very visual but he wasn’t posing in a way like Plant with his open shirt, sweaty chest and ‘I’m a God come back to the hotel room and blow me’ attitude. I think the working class fans had a tighter connection to Purple. I don’t mean to be disrespectful I’m just trying to analyze it. I have the deepest admiration for Led Zeppelin Official but it was a different thing. When I was growing up in Copenhagen, it didn’t sound as hard and I didn’t connect to it like I did with Purple and Black Sabbath.

Read the whole thing on Facebook.

Thanks to BraveWords for the info.

23 Comments to “Lars on the water”:

  1. 1
    Scott says:

    This just shows you the power Purple had back in the 70’s. Zeppelin may have been bigger in a way but Purple BETTER.

    YAH! I said it.

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    Excellent comments from Ulrich regarding Purple. Now that the guys from Metallica have grown & matured, I would love to know their take on Jethro Tull winning the 1987 hard rock/metal category for the Grammies! Back then they were pissed off big time, but as Ian Anderson said at the time, ‘the flute is actually a metal instrument & it can get heavy after a while holding it up”. Or words to that effect, classic British humour from the maestro Anderson.
    Metallica’s response when winning the Grammy the following year was ‘we would like to thank Jethro Tull, for not releasing an album this past year” Classic also. Cheers.

  3. 3
    al says:

    you tell em Lars!

  4. 4
    micke says:

    Purple were above Zep and the Sabs in Sweden in those days too, no question about it. They were the band of the three who regularily came around and played the arenas, they had all these no 1 albums too.
    Purple was the band the rock and pop magazines covered, even through all the changes.

  5. 5
    HZ says:

    Yes, Lars is our guy.

    If Ritchie was serious about several shows for DP and Rainbow fans, here’s the drummer, Bruce Dickinson wouldn’t mind to sing some DP and Rainbow tunes, I’m sure, so he needs bass and hammond, which isn’t so hard to find…

    Now is the time…

  6. 6
    cyclone says:

    I feel the same way about most of the more popular bands…a lot of fluff and attitude. DP reminds me of hard working people…they get loud..proud..down..and dirty….just like us working fans who dig them.

  7. 7
    Wiktor says:

    What can you say? Lars is right. I was 14 at the time and to me and my friends Purple was always a more “Down to earth” kind of band singing about being a “Highway star” compared to Plant who was up in the sky with the gods wearing girly shirts and a hair like a male lion singing about a “Stairway to heaven”. But I do like Led Zeppelin, as long as I dont have to look at them lol. But Purple was and will always be, “bigger, better, best”.

  8. 8
    Ivica says:

    Lars is a big proponent of Deep Purple as Yngwie Malmsteen, Bruce Dicenson.. musicians where Deep Purple were a model band or individually. Bravo Lars.Lemmmy the early eighties, he said, “Any true rock fan dreams of listening and watching Deep Purple reunion.
    Eternal Rock the question of who is better
    The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
    The Clash or the Ramones?
    of course
    Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple?
    Zeppelins have sold more recordings, were musically broad, and the greatest advantage of Deep Purple, the constancy of 12 years, with no change in the group, when the author and performer were the best
    Best Deep Purple setup mark two .. Blackmore-Gillan-Glover-Lord-Paice just four years.
    Departure of Gillan and Glover big mistake, not only for Deep purple than the whole,all rock
    Gillan vocals was a trademark of Deep Purple equally Lord’s Hammond sound and Ritchie guitar play, riffs, solos, great music .. all of which was recorded in a living monument
    “Made in Japan.” Who is this live album touched .. remained a lifetime fan of Deep Purple.

    I choose from two great bands, who’s better? top guitarists, singers and rhythm section but the advantage Deep purple, because Jon Lord on keyboards, although John Poul Jones is not a bad minstrel, his attention was on the bass line, hehe
    Long LIVE Deep Purple
    and LZ also

    Lars thanks .. they go into the house next year

  9. 9
    joe says:

    gotta agree with Lars, speaking for myself, I always felt a greater connection to Purple & also the Who. they were working class bands that I could relate to. no knock on Zeppelin, but Led Zeppelin NEVER paid any dues. they came out & were immediate superstars with the private jets & money & fame. I’ll take Deep Purple & the Who over Zeppelin any day of the week !

  10. 10
    Jack says:

    Deep Purple were better than anybody else!!! Period!!!!

  11. 11
    shagazulu says:

    Purple toured Europe alot more than Zeppelin, I would hazard a guess it was fully a managerial strategy also. They probably knew that they (Zeppelin) had America nailed. With the influence of Ahmet Ertegun and Atlantic records it made alot of sense, and of course Peter Grant. Purple wasn’t short of talent themselves, however I think what attracted European audiences, to Purple was the sheer virtuosity of the band. If there was equal to Zep it was Purple, they really created the European metal sound. It wasn’t just the overt classical flourishes, that was responsible for this effect on European audiences. I think it was also the East European, snakecharmer scales employed by Blackmore. (Interestingly a similar scale Hungarian minor is used by Joe Satriani on the song Musterion ).

    And yet Purple was also huge in America, why didn’t it last long you have to ask Master Blackmore. It was their destiny or fate.
    I think people lament Purple’s position in rock history possibly because, of their premature demise in the mid seventies it left big hole in the psyche of their fans. They never went on to create a mid career Physical Graffiti type album, which would have been with Coverdale and Hughes. One can only wonder what that would have sounded like?

    Blackmore probably did the right thing, because his actions although negative for Purple, in hindsight were positive for the creation of Rainbow and the discovery of Ronnie James Dio. Which in turn gave birth to another rock institution, and true realisation of the European metal scene with blockbuster classics like Gates of Babylon and Stargazer. However unlike Purple they were unable to crack America, this is the reason why I rate Blackmore the third most important guitarist in rock history behind Page and Hendrix.

    It’s his contributions to rock that have been scandalously underrated; I call them the three grand wizards of heavy rock and metal, and who stayed true to the music form and yet in the case of Blackmore and Hendrix frustratingly so. Page is the one in my opinion who held the keys to the kingdom, just listen to Zeppelin’s last album, (Zeppelin was for Page a maleable magical structure to cast his spells of light and shadow). There are so many other traces to other music forms, that presage the coming music revolutions of the eighties and beyond.

    Although I love Blackmore’s music his stubbornness and I think forthrightness, and sternness influenced the European metal psyche, consider for a moment most of the great European guitarists like Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Schenker all three followed in the wake of Blackmore. All three never quite cracked the American market also but played a certain characteristic of personality in their music. I think this is the European metal psyche, stern introvertedness is present in many European guitar masters. At this point in my analysis we are moving into not only, into fields of psychology but also sociological.

    So what is it that defines the prog rock of European metal? I think it’s tradition of older world values in music tradtions as diverse as classical, folk tradtions in particular like the gypsy scale and snake charmer, and particularly in the case of Zeppelin Celtic and Arabic music but that’s another strand I believe to be the European metal sound. But we are talking about European metal and Blackmore’s innovation of a certain type of psyche, and musical ingeniousness which includes technical mastery. The alchemical magical process for want of a word was the fusing of American blues and elements of country and finally the technological advances of the 1960’s in amplification the equivelant of our current computer revolution. Anyway that’s what I think, I think what defines European metal is that it didn’t go down the lipstick route with high heels and big hair and stayed to it’s principles.

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    shagazulu @ 11 – excellent comments indeed, a good read & I agree with many aspects of your posting. Cheers.

  13. 13
    Bo says:

    #1 – Scott – I can only agree 100% to you and Lars. Purple was light-years above Led Zep. Also liked Zeppelin, but Purple was above the rest. And in a way still are.

  14. 14
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Some tend to forget that DP might have done more touring(Is that really so?)but LZ often played 3 hour shows whereas DP thought it was enough after 90 minutes.

  15. 15
    Dan Russell says:

    shagazulu@11. Well put.

    As I reached thirteen, I’d been learning how to play drums to Grand Funk for a couple of years then my brother brought home Machine Head and said ‘you’ve gotta hear this.’ Ages later, I’ve never figured out how to keep time to Maybe I’m a Leo.

    Zeppelin was an amazing band, but they never had to survive with lineup changes and a lot of their stuff sounds the same. Deep Purple did, and the catalog was better for it.

    From MK1 to MKn, this band has created really amazing music, all different. Thank God. People piss and moan when the latest album isn’t Machine Head II. I revere that album and consider it my favorite but for reasons that probably have more to do with where I was at the time and how it was the soundtrack of my life at that critical moment than any of their later work. I’m a huge fan of Burn, CTTB, Rainbow’s stuff, Paice, Ashton, & Lord, Perfect Strangers, Purpendicular, Total Abandon, Pictured Within, The Concerto for G&A, Bananas, ROTD, and now Now What?! The great thing is, it’s all different, but essentially Purple – virtuoso musicians doing what they do best.

    If you check the web, you’ll never find a site for Zeppelin, Sabbath, ELP, Yes, or anyone else that has this devoted fan base. Despite all of the tumultuous changes in the band over the years. Testament enough, IMHFO.

  16. 16
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I d not go as far saying Zeppelin sounded the same all the time 🙂

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    Dan @ 15 – Led Zeppelin had amazing diversity, a much more interesting band in many ways than Purple or Sabbath at times. Depending on what mood we may be in & what one perceives as diversity also! Purple & Sabbath’s diversity was in the different line up changes & different musical influences, Zeppelin’s was in different musical elements from different genres. Your comment regarding not finding a site for Zeppelin, Sabbath, ELP or Yes is just a little out of touch perhaps? Deep Purple isn’t the only band that has devoted & loyal followers, there are many! Cheers.

  18. 18
    Kidd Purple says:

    Deep Purple over any band any day !

  19. 19
    JonoftheShred says:

    Deep Purple play circles around Led Zeppelin. I’m sorry, but I’ve always found Zeppelin both overrated and rather bland. Not only did they blatantly plagiarize (not BORROW, but downright STEAL) a number of their songs, but their playing always sounded so lackluster. John Paul Jones, IMO, is the only consistently awesome member of the band, Bonzo in second place. Plant and Page are both, in all honesty, pretty big hacks. Page only sounds good on acoustic guitar, and I could never tolerate Plants off-key banshee wails and forced crooning. Their songs were very repetitive. They are, without a doubt, the most overrated band in the history of music. An over-glorified cover band. A garage band that got lucky.

    I’d argue every lineup of Deep Purple (aside from the one with Satch) were miles ahead of Zep in terms of live performance, music composition, chemistry, lyrics, etc. I can’t believe how many people would take Zep over Purple, as a musician of over a decade I think there is honestly no comparison between the two. Purple is just miles and miles and miles and leagues and leagues and leagues ahead of Zeppelin, no joke.

    The talent of Jon Lord alone eclipses the collective talent of Led Zeppelin, BY MILES. I never understood how this could be up for debate.

    I’ll put it this way – could you see Zeppelin pulling off something like LAZY live? Or APRIL? Of course not. Meanwhile, any Mark of Purple could easily fly through any Zeppelin song and make it sound BETTER. They were more competent musicians, far better (and more original) songwriters, dabbled in far more genres of music….Deep Purple on one of their worst nights was still 110% more coherent than Zeppelin on their best nights. Retrospect is a bitch – Zep was all hype and little substance. Purple was all substance with little hype. Don’t let the mainstream consensus fool you, this is a NO CONTEST.

  20. 20
    purrfect stranger says:

    Jon of the Shred wow, as much as I would take DP over LZ, Zeppelin is not a garage band that just happened to get lucky. Page is an incredible talent Take an afternoon and listen to Coverdale/Page and then take a long listen to Led Zeppelin One. Make no mistake You Shook Me and I Cant Quit You Babe are NOT original but the production, mixing, and guitar work are incredible. Granted, both Lord and Blackmore are better soloists but sometimes a Simpler Song captures an audience and holds them. Dazed and Confused and How Many More Times are masterpieces probably nowhere near as brilliant as Highway Star but there is something that Page does in a studio that separates him from average producers. The guy is a wizard in a studio. And whilst Plant was never anywhere near Gillan his wailing and screaming especially in a studio enviroment are exactly what was right for Zeppelin then. Just two quick examples before I start sounding like a lobbyist for the Atlantic Records/Swan Song Labels. The song from Physical Grafitti /Trampled Under Foot has a rather simple sounding beat but Page worked this song into a MONSTER in the studio with whining guitar sounds matching the shrieking moans of Plant making the song irresistable. Then the song that is also epic is In The Evening. I can barely make out one word that Plant sings but it matches the melody and the timing of the song perfectly. In many ways Page is like Iommi a RIFF MASTER not necessarily a fluent soloist and although live Zep are weaker than both Purple and Sabbath in the confines of a studio setting because of Page and the ethereal work of John Paul Jones we the faithful followers of Deep Purple will have to accept the fact that the music of Led Zeppelin will continue to fill the airwaves and there is not a god damn thing we can do about it. Oh by the way Jon that guy Satriani might be the greatest guitarist on the planet right now.

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    JonoftheShred @ 19 – everyone to their own opinion & likes & dislikes etc, but if Led Zeppelin were a ‘garage band that got lucky’, then there is still hope for me then! Sheesh, I wish our garage band sounded that good! Kashmir anyone?, The Rain Song perhaps? And on & on & on………….I was blown out by the big three when a young impressionable lad, Purple, Sabbath & Zeppelin & in no particular order, depending on the mood or situation. Like most things in life I suppose! purrfect stranger @ 20 says it all regarding Page & Iommi, they are the riff meisters indeed. Physical Graffiti? say no more! The prog bands then took my musical ear to another level when I discovered them a few years after the ‘big three’ thingy. Now they are definitely not ‘garage bands’! Cheers.

  22. 22
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    True that MacGregor regarding your response about the garage band issue. Yes, I do prefer Purple over LZ or anybody else for that matter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find some amazing music delivered by other bands. LZ is responsible for some amazing music that is timeless and quite complex. These musicians from LZ were seasoned musicians before coming together. They were stalwart performers whom fell into the right place right time. Late 60’s and early 70’s was just that time for a handful of bands that jumped into the hard rock genre and due to the era when it happened, these ‘Big Three’ as you put it took off like wildfire. I was in a garage band. A covers band that did get to play a few pubs and bars in South Florida. We played songs from the ‘Big Three’. SOTW, Stairway to Heaven, Warpigs (click my name for a sample). We were actually working on a couple of originals but we never got a chance to record properly in a studio. I have some live recordings of them from our practice sessions put away somewhere though. LZ was not only Not a garage band who got lucky, they were innovators that have inspired garage bands and seasoned bands to this day, 30 years after their demise. LZ only put out 7 albums. Purple has 19 under their belt. Who gets more airplay and more songs played on the air. Unfortunately, the band that hasn’t put out an album in 30 years. Out of the 7 albums by LZ, there are more throw away tracks than there are from all 19 Purple albums as far as I’m concerned. Again, I totally prefer Purple over LZ so that is just my preference and biasness talking. Some may disagree. That is proper, but to take such vigor against them as did ‘JonoftheShred’ and express the comparison to garage band is ridiculous. It’s OK to be a fan of a band and also respect another…..


  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    JonoftheShred @ 19- your post surely has to be a joke of some sort, surely? A funny joke indeed! The more I look at it, the more I see the humour, You cannot be serious in your judgement? It is one thing to not like something, no problem there as we like or do not like many things in life! But the so called comparison thing is off the rails! Cheers.

Add a comment:

Preview no longer available -- once you press Post, that's it. All comments are subject to moderation policy.

||||Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing
© 1993-2024 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star