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Knitting battleships and dislike of France

Geir Myklebust specifically for the audience of our site reprints in his blog the questionnaires that members of Deep Purple Mark 2 have answered back in 1970. These originally appeared in the November 21, 1970 edition of the New Musical Express.

Professional name: Jon Lord
Real name: Jon Lord
Birthdate: 9th June 1941
Birthplace: Leicester
Personal points: 6ft 1/2 in. 12 st, green eyes, brown hair
Parents` names: Miriam, Reginald

Professional name: Richie Blackmore
Real name: Richie Blackmore
Birthdate: 14.4.45
Birthplace: Weston-Super-Mare
Personal points: 5ft. 11in, 10st, green eyes, black hair
Parents names: Personal

Read more of Jon’s and the ever so private Ritchie’s answers. Ian, Ian, & Roger to follow, hopefully.

[Update Sep 21]: Gillan’s answers posted.

[Update Sep 22]: So are Paicey’s.

[Update Sep 23]: …and Roger’s. His most memorable one liner:

Biggest disappointment in career: They all seem big at the time but they`re forgotten now

Many thanks to Geir Myklebust for this labour of love.

19 Comments to “Knitting battleships and dislike of France”:

  1. 1
    George Martin says:

    Jon Lord’s section, the last one:

    Ambition: To be able to write music that deserves to last.

    Well my friend your music will last forever. Mission accomplished!

  2. 2
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    Is the green eyes thing correct about Ritchie and Jon. I thought they both had brown or hazel eyes.

  3. 3
    sidroman says:

    Interesting, I knew Ritchie loved Mountain and Jethro Tull, but never knew he was a fan of Uriah Heep.
    Also under singers he has Jack Bruce and Jimi Hendrix, Jack Bruce I can see, and Hendrix was a great guitarist no doubt, but I never saw his singing as his strong point.

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Miscellaneous dislikes: France”

    Ouch! Adding insult to injury after already that petite submarine deal has gone awry.

    No matter, fast forward 37 years and Ritchie has reconnected with France …


    In his bass sound and style, Bob Curiano/Noveau/Sir Robert of Normandie is a dead ringer for John Gustafson. Uncanny. The line-ups with him were my preferred BN ones, I neither much liked his predecessor nor the current guy. Curiano really added something with his melodic lines and had a cool stage presence. I only found out now that he used to play with Mink DeVille and later on with Willy DeVille as he did here in 2008.


  5. 5
    Ole Jacobsen says:

    So, this is Blackmore’s film debut! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiZfY48ftcM

  6. 6
    Georgivs says:


    Curious connection, that, between BN and Willy DeVille. They peacefully coexist on my player, but never ever could I imagine that they were interconnected, albeit it an a very subtle way.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Interesting, I knew Ritchie loved Mountain and Jethro Tull, but never knew he was a fan of Uriah Heep.”

    That’s like Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues saying he likes Barclay James Harvest …


    A bit on the autoerotic side, Herr Blackmore, I must say!

    Ritchie also liked these guys here:


    There’s even a slight connection to Uriah Heep, John Glascock, the Carmen bassist, who would later on join Jethro Tull (before his untimely death due to heart valve complications) played with Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake in The Gods prior to Ken setting sail for Uriah Heep. Ritchie als wanted to poach him for Rainbow as a bassist, but he preferred sticking with Jethro Tull.

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    Is Ritchie really 5’11”? That sounds kind of tall compared to other accounts. I saw somewhere that he was only 5’5″, which sounds too short.

  9. 9
    Marcus says:

    They invited Mountain to play at Knebworth in 85.

    Oddly, little Ian in one of his videos thought they had not played together – but at a show that big, and chaotic, the band may well not have been able to see the support acts.

    And everyone knows, UH is tenth rate watered down Jethro Tull. But the Hensley/Box/Byron combination is very close to the Lord/Blackmore/Gillan combo.

  10. 10
    sidroman says:

    Also, no Paul Rodgers under favorite singers?

  11. 11
    Hornoxe says:

    This is from November 1970 right?
    In October 1970 they did a tour of France, and it did not do so much as hoped
    Guess that’s why 2 out of 3 dislike France (at that point) 😀

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ole Jacobsen@5: Sure, LIl’ Ritchie could wiggle his butt with the best of them! Smooth dancer.

    Marcus@9: Wot? I hear no similarity between Uriah Heep and Jethro Tull whatsoever! Heep don’t share that quirky angularity which is a hallmark of Tull’s work. They are much more straight ahead (a commonality with DP who don’t really ask too much from the listener in the rhythm department either – with some exceptions though). To me the Heep equation was always

    “Deep Purple sonic might and style minus the virtuoso solos, but with catchy chorus parts and prominent backing vocals”.

    It was a recipe that worked, especially in Germany where Uriah Heep in the early 70ies for a while had a status eclipsing both Black Sabbath and Led Zep, second only to DP in the heavy rock format. They had a chain of single hits, never really DP’s department.

  13. 13
    Jörg says:

    @11 Yes Uwe, Gillan stated in NME two weeks before these questionaires, that French audiences all seem musically thick and completely apathetic (except for Paris). But the main reason for stopping that tour in France probably was the fire in a French club the night before that Paris show, that killed nearly 150 people. And Deep Purple played that same night in Dourges in a hall for 800 people filled with 2000…

  14. 14
    Marcus says:

    Uwe It is a quote from Rolling Stone from the review of Very Heavy, Very Humble. The next line was “If this band makes it I’ll have to commit suicide. From the first note you know you don’t want to hear any more.”

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    @ 9 – I am not sure who everyone is? I have never ever heard of Uriah Heep in that context at all, anywhere. I consider myself a Tullophile to the extreme & those two bands are galaxies apart in every way, shape & form. Except maybe the long hair back in the day. Uriah Heep do have the honour of persuading a certain female journalist back then to threaten to commit suicide if they ever made it. They are loathed by many it appears, well back then especially. I really like that classic era of Heep, 1971 to 74.
    King Crimson were another band that seemed to rile certain journos, what was that comparison, ‘a poor mans Black Sabbath’. Classic that one! We have to laugh! Cheers.

  16. 16
    Scott W says:

    @2 As far as the eyes, I always thought Jon Lords were a light blue?!? Ritchies are the exact same color as mine… green. A mossy Green. See the straight between the eyes album cover and that’s what they look like. My Norwegian grandfather had strong genes and passed them on to my mother, my uncle, my sister, and myself.

  17. 17
    James Gemmell says:

    @Chris : Wikipedia lists Ritchie at 5’10”. I can tell you from standing next to him that Ian Gillan is every bit of the 6’2″ he is listed as, if not slightly taller.

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Marcus@14: You’re right about the Rolling Stone quote, my bad! I remember now. That made as little sense back then as it does now.

    David Byron’s voice did remind me of Mark Farner’s though and back in 1970 Grand Funk Railroad ruled the US of A. Of course, the critics hated GFR too and Farner’s voice especially.

  19. 19
    Uwe Hornung says:

    A Stratocaster looks large on Ritchie and small on Ian – he used to play one during the GILLAN rock’n’roll medley encore. It was the only time I saw him play guitar in a live setting.


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