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That time Jon wished he was an accountant instead

Another article originally published in New Musical Express on July 8, 1972. This one is by Tony Norman and based around an interview with Jon Lord that must have been taken, according to the description, during the day on July 1. The question discussed appears to be the rumours of the imminent split of the band, which Jon vehemently denies, but admits that the last few months have indeed been difficult, starting with the fire at a certain Swiss casino. Bad luck continued to plague the band after that.

About the fateful North American tour earlier in the year:

But when we had to cancel the second American tour because of Ritchie’s illness, I think everyone was down. Really down. We just looked at each other and said: ‘What do you do? Shall we carry on, or what? That was probably the worst time we’ve had.

We were in Flint, Michigan at the time, in some horrible Holiday Inn. There was a howling blizzard outside and the phone call came through from New York, where Ritchie had been to the hospital the day before. They said the tests were positive. Ritchie had hepatitis. He had to go home immediately.

It really cut us up. We were sad for Ritchie and it just seemed like we were never going to shake the bad luck. We were less than halfway through the tour. We did try to carry on and do some crucial dates with Al Kooper, who’s a friend of ours. We rehearsed together and it could have been okay. Next day he rang up and said he didn’t feel too good. Two days later he was in hospital with food poisoning.

Next we got a guy called Randy California to play with us. We really wanted to do a show in Quebec, you see. In the end the concert was good, but the rehearsals were crazy.

To make us feel better the record company had hired us a couple of limos to go to and from the rehearsal hall. Coming back the first evening, the limousine we were in caught fire. So the other car picked us up. It got four blocks, then burst a tyre.

It was all building up to the point where we said, ‘I just want to go home and be a chartered accountant? We just wanted to forget it all! But I think we weathered that one.

Read more in Geir Myklebust’s blog.

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