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Chasing Shadows

An author going simply by the name Pozzo has published an account of his personal quest to find Rod Evans. And while it contains many digressions (or maybe because of them), it’s quite an amusing read. Joanna’s call for arms here gets a name check, along with DPAS and Simon.

… I handed over my two pounds and took the album home. My parents’ stereo (old enough to merit the archaism, “gramophone”) was not the greatest sound system in the world, but it was better than nothing and I carefully placed my booty on the turntable, positioned the needle, sat back and listened. The music was heavy, complex, involving but – er – bluesy and there was even a hint of something calypso-like on one track. It was wonderful, sure, but not quite what I expected. Most seriously of all – what was wrong with Ian Gillan? There were two singers, apparently, one screechy, one souly, but neither sounding remotely like the guy I’d heard on “24 Carat Purple”. It was only then that I checked the names of the band’s membership. There was no Ian Gillan, no Roger Glover, but someone called Glenn Hughes (never heard of him!) and David Coverdale of whom I had heard, but only as the lead singer of the then-currently-popular Whitesnake.

This was an epiphany. It was the realisation that there had not merely been one Deep Purple, but many, different incarnations of the band – or different “Marks” as they preferred to call them – each with their own distinctive sound. It was like the moment I realised that there had been more than one Doctor Who. I discovered that “Burn” was by Mark III and that Ian Gillan and Roger Glover had belonged to Mark II. This begged a question: what had Mark I been like? My investigations began…

Read the whole book at autonomy.com. Word of caution: while not quite a novel in size, at 25,000+ words it’s a lengthy read. But it’s worth it. If you’re a regular on our site, you’ll probably find yourself chuckling once or twice, recognizing certain feelings and trepidations.

Thanks to Roberto Scortichini for the info.

36 Comments to “Chasing Shadows”:

  1. 1
    metaljim says:

    A very entertaining read. While I’m considerably older than the author, his tales of collecting DP’s recorded work brought back many memories. Among the better writing I’ve seen come from the DP fanbase too. Thanks for posting the link!

  2. 2
    HazyBasementMusic.com says:

    Interesting indeed.

  3. 3
    Joko Kobar says:

    Best favorits.

  4. 4
    Dave Berry says:

    chasing shadows is an interesting track from the last album rod did with deep purple – simply called “deep purple” if I recall correctly

  5. 5
    Scott W. says:

    Kind of weird that this found it’s way here now. I found this about 3 weeks ago searching for something. Did not think to share it at the time.

  6. 6
    Julian Woodward says:

    All those 3 early DP albums have a lot of merit. I still often dip into them.

  7. 7
    Roberto says:

    from time to time I find here posts that I have found on the net…this the first time you thank me….very appreciated.

  8. 8
    Blackberry Dragon says:

    This book says more about the author than about anyone in Deep Purple – to be expected, and still an entertaining read. However it seems a little odd that the title is named after a Jon Lord/Ian Paice composition. Guess Evans had no evocative titles for this purpose.

  9. 9
    henrik h says:

    Tou guys make some cool headlines. Here Chasing shadows.

  10. 10
    micke says:

    Interesting indeed!

  11. 11
    purpoz says:

    This is a fabulous piece of writing!

    The story resonates with me in a big way – notwithstanding it’s UK setting and Pozzo being about 10 years younger than me. Reading this transported me back to 1974 in Perth, the year and place I discovered the band and, soon after, became a Deep Purple freak. What a blast!

    Alas, I fear we will never know what has become (or became) of Rod Evans. I hope he is still with us, but the universe knows best and really doesn’t care.

  12. 12
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Wow, I love it!!!

  13. 13
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Strange that he jumped back in the game(….)when DP reformed but saw them in 1993 for the first time…………….

  14. 14
    Alan says:

    Further to comments @ 11,

    Rod Evans is still alive I beleive and aged 67. Last known activity was when he was approached to be part of a ‘ Captain Beyond ‘ reunion but he was not interested in being involved.

  15. 15
    purplepriest1965 says:

    On second thoughts though………………………..

    I m puzzled and disturbed now.

  16. 16
    Arthur says:

    Enjoyable read and, I think, his memories will have struck a chord with many of us who dip in and out of The Highway Star. It’s incredible really that even in this day of global communication that Rod has so completely disappeared, almost the equivalent of a Rock n’ Roll Witness Protection Programme. I don’t think he should worry so much about the 1980 episode, its so long ago and no one really cares about that, the current DP has as many original members as his version did back then! Rod’s is the last great untold story of Deep Purple and his return would be welcomed warmly by DP fans, he was one of the founders and he did bring Paicey to the band.

  17. 17
    Jack says:

    I remember when a bogus Deep Purple (fronted by Rod) played here in Mexico City in 1980 at INDE stadium along with Black Oak Arkansas, and got an interview in a mexican rock magazine named Conecte. And one interview months later with one of the promoters questioning him if that wasn’t a fraud, he claimed it was a “Legal and Autthorized Purple”, Later Rod got sued by Blackmore and Lord (and Paice also I guess).

  18. 18
    Errol Arias says:

    Very Very, nice to read about all the feelings Deep Purple bring to us. I really enjoyed the lecture!!

    However, it seems to be incomplete.. Do you know if there is any plan to finish the story?

  19. 19
    metaljim says:

    Imagine if you can, trying to put a chapter of your life behind you. It’s the past, you’ve moved on and just want to live your life. Then imagine the thought of people constantly trying to dredge up that past and drag you back to something you did almost fifty years ago.

    If Rod wanted to live in the Purple spotlight, he probably would. Short time members like Glenn Hughes, Joe Lynn Turner and Nick Simper certainly make what they can out of their connection to Deep Purple. More power to them if that’s what they want.

    The music business isn’t for everyone. Playing, touring, etc can be exhausting under the best of circumstances. If he doesn’t want to deal with all that, than more power to him. He’s approaching 70 years old and DP was just one year out of that life. Maybe we could show him some respect and let him be?

  20. 20
    Pozzo says:

    Hi Guys!

    The book is unfinished at the moment – but so is the quest to find Rod Evans! Thank you for the really kind comments! As some of you have correctly surmised, it’s more about being a Deep Purple fan than the futile search for Rod (oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if he read this and finally broke his silence…), so I would love to hear some of your stories about your experiences with the band; get in touch!

    Thanks again!

  21. 21
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    OK Pozzo, as you asked to share experiences? Here ya go….











  22. 22
    Nick Soveiko says:

    @19 metaljim:

    amen, brother. i think you just got yourself the most insightful comment award 😉

    @20 Pozzo:

    the passage i quoted in the article happened to me pretty much verbatim at roughly the same time. except the album was CTTB.

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    I agree totally with the comments regarding moving on, forward & letting go of the past etc! It must be infuriating to say the least, when certain people constantly want reunions etc, from their favourite musicians or band! Robert Plant gets it all the time, David Gilmour also & others including (Blackmore) no doubt! On another level regarding Rod Evans, after the 1980’s farce of a ‘Deep Purple’ concert tour, he may be just too embarrassed about what he attempted to do back then. Or maybe the music thing is well & truly gone in his life for good! Cheers.

  24. 24
    Deeperpurps says:

    Pozzo @20,

    I really enjoyed reading your story – so many things you wrote transported me back to when I was 13 years old and had just discovered Deep Purple for the very first time. That is over 40 years ago and a lot has happened since then, but Deep Purple has been the common thread which has run through my life in all that time.

    In spring of 1973 I heard Purple for the first time on a Warner Bros. 45 rpm record – Smoke on the Water studio on one side, SOTW Live on the other. That riff did it, I was hooked and absolutely had to find other Deep Purple records. Meanwhile, I like probably thousands of other kids of that age, made awkward first attempts at trying to imitate that riff on a cheap guitar. After all these years I still make clumsy attempts to imitate Ritchie Blackmore on guitar.

    Each successive Purple album I found, bought, traded for, was a new revelation to me. The songcraft, the virtuosity, the attitude, everything was god-like to my young impressionable mind. Sure I had some good Zeppelin, Sabbath, Grand Funk, Nazareth, and BTO records in my collection, but nothing spoke to me like my Deep Purple records. That remains the case today, even though I have over 1500 CDs of all genres of music (metal, jazz, fusion, rock, funk, world, alternative, pop, prog, etc, etc). Deep Purple remains at the pinnacle for me. Always have, always will.

    I have been fortunate to see Deep Purple in concert several times reaching all the way back to the Perfect Strangers tour in 1985. Was front row at the Montreal Forum. It was I had died and gone to heaven seeing my heros performing maybe 10 feet in front of me. I went home and preserved my concert experience in handwritten form in a notebook – no such thing as PCs back then. Unfortunately that notebook has disappeared somewhere in the mists of time.

    Here are some of my more recent Purple concert experiences:




    Pozzo, I am looking forward to future installments of your book. All the best,


  25. 25
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Pozzo, I must say I was dissappointed that after a while you grew into belittling Evans capabilities.

    And a Deep Purple fan?

    You appearantly did not see reunion shows, let alone the S & M tour, untill 1993?

  26. 26
    Mark Z says:

    Loved this story. Been a fan ever since I heard Hush on my little AM transistor radio in 1968. Never saw MKI live, but MKII many times and MKIII & MKMorse 3 times each. Good luck with your search.

  27. 27
    Mr Sensible says:

    Is this not the purple equivalent of the ‘Syd Barret’ scenario. Rod Evans is not lost or looking to be ‘found’ I’m sure he knows exactly where he currently is at the present moment in time, he doesnt want us purple fans knowing where he is or what he is doing, if he did we would all know, after all he was the original singer in one of the most successful bands of all time, he may well have been doing something from 1980 onwards that has been paying him considerably more money than he could earn doing what Nicky is doing, remember both Simper and Evans got shafted by the Purple management, they signed away their royalties for £10k or whatever it was. Metaljim has an excellent point, why would he want to know about a past where he got shafted so badly and also if he does get ‘found’ even though I’m sure he knows where he is he is only going to get asked lots and lots of questions about 1980 and the bogus purple, which he probably greatly regrets now

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    Mr Sensible@27- The Syd Barret story is very different. He was a drug casualty from that era, mental health issues, he was not up to performing anymore, the Floyd had to replace him with Gilmour & we are all glad they did!! Barret also named the band & was instrumental in their first debut albums success! It is a totally different scenario!
    Rod Evans wasn’t ‘shafted’ from what I have read over the years. Simper was possibly ‘shafted’ no doubt.
    Following his woeful attempt at masquerading as a ‘Deep Purple’ band in 1980, Evans certainly doesn’t endear himself to many rock fans, especially Purple ‘fans’. As for the royalty thing, I thought only one of those guys received or accepted a 10k pay out, the other opted for continuing payments over the years! I may be wrong on that of course! Cheers.

  29. 29
    MacGregor says:

    Regarding the royalty payment for Evans & Simper. My memory of it is that Simper may have accepted a payout at the time & from a Jon Lord interview a while ago, I thought he said Evans was stripped of his royalties as a result of the 1980 ‘reunion’ debacle! Again, from my memory of what I have read over the years! Cheers.

  30. 30
    Deeperpurps says:

    Purple Priest @25, if I may….why would you question Pozzo’s degree of “fan”ness?

    Think for a minute…young Mr. Pozzo was maybe about 13 years old when Deep Purple reformed in 1985….at that particular age there are possible issues of disposable income for concerts, parental consent to go see concerts, and the proximity to a concert venue.

    How would not attending a concert before 1993 be construed as not being a fan of a particular group’s music?

    I would dare venture that there are others here who contribute to this forum who love Deep Purple, but may never have had the actual opportunity to see them live in concert.

    And as far as Mr. Pozzo’s opinion of Rod Evans…whether during the course of his research / quest, that opinion changed, he is fully entitled to same.

    Best we not question anyone’s like or dislike for a particular artist in the Deep Purple family! As I understand it, you have taken issue with Glenn Hughes haters in the past, if I am not mistaken….I also personally like Glenn Hughes, and I am disappointed sometimes in the negative comments I see about him on this forum….HOWEVER, all people are entitled to their opinions, and should not be criticized for them….we all have different tastes.

    That said, I reiterate my earlier point, there is no criteria for being a fan of any mark or artist of Deep Purple. We all come to this forum to share our views and love for the band…best not to question the degree of a person’s devotion to the band,,,, that is personal.

  31. 31
    Jeogger Matthews says:

    I believe Rod was practicing his medicine in Orlando, Fl a few years ago…

  32. 32
    Svante Axbacke says:

    So many theories. Medicine seems to be a common one but most people claim he’s in California.

  33. 33
    MacGregor says:

    This has inspired me to listen to MK1 tracks that I am not as familiar with, compared to others that I have always enjoyed for decades. They were a great band, wonderful songs & playing & I have always though Ian Gillan sounded very similar to Rod Evans back then!
    In certain ways MK1 is my favourite Purple, they were THAT good! Cheers.

  34. 34
    Scott W. says:

    I remember the first time i heard Hallelujah i thought it was a MK1 track!

    @32 I will try to make this brief. I met Pat N. at a Steve Morse solo show right after Purpendicular came out. (met Steve for the first time that night too). Me and Pat became friends due to our love of DP and RB in particular. A few years before that he was invited to meet Rod Evans. Rod worked at a Hospital here in Northern California as a Respiratory Therapist. Pat’s mom worked with a nurse who worked at the same hospital as Rod. Apparently Pat’s mom who was best friends with this nurse that worked with Rod, were talking about their kids. When this woman found out that Pat was a music fan, she said : “You know, i work with a Dr Evans who used to be in a band called Deep Purple”. Well, a meeting was arranged and Rod agreed! Pat N. flaked and never showed up! He regrets it to this day! If i can get him to post here i will. I have got to know him quite well and he is not a liar/bullshitter. I used to invite him over and we would drink some beer and watch DP, Blackmore vids/DVD’s all night! He said the best show he ever saw was Rainbow in San Francisco (with RJD) in 1978 and that Ritchie smashed more than one Strat that night!

  35. 35
    Pozzo says:


    Some fantastic posts! Scott W – you seem to be onto something there and it would be great to hear more from your friend!

    In answer to one point from above – it is true that I only caught my first gig in 1993, but that’s because it was my first opportunity to do so: prior to that, I had been a mere child, poor and driving licence-free… Don’t forget, too, that, until relatively recently, the band did not play live in England all that often.

    I agree completely with those of you who advocate Rod Evans’ right to move on and live a private life – in fact, that’s the book’s conclusion (not yet posted). It is really about being a Deep Purple geek, and I’m sure that we can all relate to that! The narrative is structured as the failed quest to find Rod Evans leading into the discovery of Nick Simper’s current band The Good Old Boys.

    On that topic, I can only say that The Good Old Boys are awesome! If you get the chance to see them, get along – you will not regret it! They are going on tour soon, so there are plenty of opportunities coming your way…

  36. 36
    Chris Galer says:

    I went to school with Rod Evans in Burnham, England. In the early 60’s myself .Rod and a guy called Mick Angus played around with odd musical instruments in his mums upstairs council flat on the Priory Estate,Burnham he desperately wanted to start a rock group I dropped out thinking no chance with all the up and coming talent, Beatles etc. his mum worked in the local sweet shop but I believe she was killed I am unable to remember details of this. Rod was a nice kid but Mick had the more refined voice but it didn’t suit the 60’s
    I hope this may give you some more info as to early Rod Evans I also would like to know if he is still with us and be able to meet him again, Chris Galer

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