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My darling Mitzi Dupree

Mitzi Dupree flyer

Back in 2016 Toronto Sun run a story about a legendary, uhm, entertainer that some 30-odd years earlier fascinated both Canadian lumberjacks and a certain British rock star.

Western Canada in the early 1980s was a lot like Western Canada now, burdened with a sputtering economy and a lot of long faces to go with the doom, gloom and daily unemployment statistics.

That may explain why something so hilarious, pointless and vulgar captured the popular imagination of the time so completely: There was nothing serious about Mitzi Dupree, and love the act or hate it, she offered a distraction and something to talk about that could only leave people blushing and laughing.

Unless you were the Kamloops RCMP of course, in which case, ping-pong balls were suddenly very serious business.

In October 1981, after a local newspaper reporter broke the story of the ping-pong ball sensation at the Bar-K, police filed charges against Dupree under her real name (Michelle Pradia), claiming the 22-year-old American dancer had violated local obscenity laws.

Of course, a phalanx of cops had been forced to watch the entire show in Thompson’s sold-out bar to reach this conclusion, and so on Jan. 12, Dupree went to trial to explain herself and her unusual talents to a judge.

Read more in Toronto Sun.

Thanks to Mark Bryant for the heads up.

15 Comments to “My darling Mitzi Dupree”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I love that song and the lyrics, it epitomizes Ian Gillan at his lyrical, everyday life-observing best. Eat your heart out Robert Plant!

    When will we get a decent remaster/remix of the THOBL with the original CD long versions? It is such an underrated album, not a weak track on it.

  2. 2
    Gerardo B. Reynaldo says:

    Did Ian G. Actually meet her on that plane or was it just a story that ended up in a good tune?

  3. 3
    Albania says:

    Uwe, you are right on with your description of the song. The other things that I would also highlight are Ritchie’s soaring guitar, Jon’s clever piano, little Ian’s thunderous drums (when needed) and Roger’s bass keeping everything together just when you’d expect for things to fall apart. When the song is over, it leaves you wanting more…what else can you ask for?

  4. 4
    al says:

    @1 I have been asking and waiting for thar remaster/remix myself for decades now.
    i am not sure it ill be easy to find the tapes and have Roger to dig that up with all touring and other plans on the horizon.I just hope maybe one day,this album might see the light of day with proper remixes

  5. 5
    Buttockss says:

    @ 2 He did meet her at a bar in Arizona called the Old Chante, which described in Wasted Sunsets.

  6. 6
    Gareth says:

    Just to let some of the people commentating I have the original 1987 HOBL cd with the long versions and sound quality is excellent….got it for a fiver in a second hand record shop…a steal….would love a remastered edition still with extended versions with outtakes and apparently a rerecording of black night that was shelved

  7. 7
    MacGregor says:

    In regards to THOBL album being remixed etc, a number of years ago I asked Roger Glover via his website, if there was any chance someday of that ever happening.
    His answer was that he would love to do it, if & when he could find the time! Something along those lines from my memory. My favourite Mk 2 reunion album, by a long shot! A wonderful album indeed! Cheers.

  8. 8
    al says:


    If they ever find the original tapes.I hope it is not another case of “lost tapes” like Born Again.I would love to hear a remix/Remaster of THOBL.It is my first album from Deep Purple that i listen in full,before i got to the old classic ones.It is the soundtrack of my High School days.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    It was a much more adventurous album than Perfect Strangers where they were still finding their feet from the time spent apart and treading safe (not that PS wasn’t welcome at the time and worth having for the majestic Knocking On Your Back Door … and the title track alone). IMHO the album has been largely disowned by the band because of the unhappy circumstances surrounding its making – similar to WDWTWA, which was a very good album too.

  10. 10
    RB says:

    Love the song! I remember Ian saying that it’s merely a demo on the record as Ritchie hated the song so much.

  11. 11
    Buttockss says:

    @ 10 ….Ritchie hated it, he called it to tongue and cheek!

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    With all due and deserved respect: Ritchie has no idea what a good lyric looks like (strangely so for a self-professed Bob Dylan fan) – or he wouldn’t have allowed DC and JLT in Deep Purple and/or Rainbow respectively for a minute.

  13. 13
    Rock Voorne says:

    I named one of my cats Mitzi.
    She did not last very long unfortunately.

    My beloved Mitzi, RIP

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    In regards to the song Mitzi Dupree, it is the only song that I don’t play off THOBL. Very ordinary & cliched etc, boring as & typical blues rock standard! A filler song perhaps or just being silly, having a bit of fun. The rest of the album is great, as previously stated. Cheers.

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I know it sounds demoish and is just a 12 bar, but I always found Gillan’s rendition captivating. And Jon’s piano playing is nice. It was my least favoured song on THOBL initially, but grew and grew over the decades. I always hoped Gillan would perform it on one of his solo gigs. I like it when he tells little everyday stories.

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