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So sassy!

Elizabeth the opera singer discusses the importance of spit management and hand calluses in her analysis of Smoke from Hosftra’73.

Thanks to Mike Whiteley and Bo Olsson for the heads up.

47 Comments to “So sassy!”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ok, shouldn’t we just get it done with and rename this site Disciples of the Charismatic Voice rather than The Highway Star? We might attract a somewhat fresher audience too. ; – )

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The move from C major to G# major during the “Smoooooke on the Waaaaaater” chorus is actually a nifty key change – a G# major chord has no place in the G minor key the song is otherwise in. And I’m generally not much of a fan of key changes unless they are done elegantly – which is the case here. They then return to G minor for the riff and the half-note shift from G# major to G minor makes for all the drama of the song.

    I have no idea whether Ritchie (generally not much of a key changer) knew what he was doing or whether it was just an “accident” that sounded well.

  3. 3
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    Another good review by a lady who has a good ear for subtleties. It looked like Gillan was asking the board op for more monitor when he started singing, probably due to the loud crowd in the smaller venue at Hofstra University. It’s sad that ABC edited out Ritchie’s guitar solo due to time constraints; it was always a treat to hear how he was going to play it, because he never played it quite the same way twice. It appears lost to time, but never say: the original Black Sabbath “Born Again” album masters were found last year. And in the late 1990s, Bruce Lee’s original script notes and drawings for the “Game of Death” movie were found in a shoe box. The audio mix is poor, too, but the song is so good it sounds great, nonetheless.

  4. 4
    Fernando Azevedo says:

    Whenever I watch ‘Smoke on the water’ and ‘Strange kind of woman’ from this show in NY, I wonder if there isn’t the full concert somewhere hidden…

  5. 5
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @2: That change came from Jon Lord.

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    That explains it all, Svante, takk!

  7. 7
    IvoSan says:

    @3 and @4 … sometimes I remember that thread on the stevehoffmann forum, I think it was about the Graham Bond BBC recordings, and this one guy bragging that he bought many ‘lost’ BBC recordings from retired BBC employees or their estates … and he had no plan on releasing them.

  8. 8
    Ivica says:

    17 06- 17 23 electric orgasm ,pure sex:)..DP the best RnR live band all times

  9. 9
    Bernhard Huebl says:

    Using a G# major chord within a song in the key of G minor is quite unusual in the world of rock music compositions – but, there is another world where exactly this special combination features the very heart of this different kind of musical feeling – or however you may call it. I’m talking about the world of flamenco music, and Deep Purple had used it before on their very first album “Shades of Deep Purple” in the intro part, in the first two minutes of their version of “Hey Joe” . This time, it was the change from E minor to F major.

    And – Svante Axbacke (author number five) is absolutely right: This G# major chord was the only contribution of Jon Lord to this song.

    By the way: The only contribution of Roger Glover was the title of the song – the rest of the lyrics were exclusively written by Ian Gillan .

  10. 10
    Wiktor says:

    MK II I salute you!!!! Best formation ever of Purple!!

  11. 11
    Adel Faragalla says:

    I am actually scared off how the momentum gathering effects of this song will have on our planet solar system in hundred, thousand or millions years from now.
    I could see aliens from different planets fighting to use this song as their national anthem for their particular planet which could lead to the next big bang.
    Peace ✌️

  12. 12
    Andrew Melnyk says:

    The reason the passage which moves from a C major to a G# major chord works so well is that the pitch for the word “Smoke” in the chorus is E natural (which is in G mi melodic scale ascending, but not descending, and sounds majorish and surprising for rock music). For the first syllable of “water” the pitch is back to what you’d expect, E flat, a minor sixth above G, and harmonized with the G# major chord. That’s the masterstroke–and the part of the song that Jon Lord used to remind us of the song is his “De Profundis” composition about leaving Purple and sometimes in concert with Purple too.

    Does anyone know who came up with that masterstroke?

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Well, if it was Jon’s masterstroke then, he deserved all the Smoke On The Water royalties he received, because it his extremely memorable and prepares the ground for the reintroduction of the mighty riff in grandiose fashion.

    Bernhard @9, yup, it does sound Spanish, just like on their intro to Hey Joe on their first album.

    Andrew @12: Quite right, ‘melodisches Moll’, played one way going up and another way going down, I remember from my bass guitar teacher!

    I wouldn’t have ruled out that Ritchie was behind this because he always had a love for Greensleeves (the traditional) and that starts in natural minor, moves on to harmonic minor, reverts to natural minor and then ends in melodic minor – all within the first eight bars. But now we know it was Jon, not Henry VIII (as legend has it, the supposed writer of Greensleeves) a man under considerable pressure to come up with new original love songs again and again and again … one divorced, one beheaded, one died, one divorced, one beheaded, one survived …

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    The myth & Legend of Henry VIII & Greensleeves. We can just imagine the scenario & excuse me for being influenced by The Black Adder comedy. Henry instructs his muses to come up with some music or else! Humble servant musician delivers a tune or two & then is rewarded in some way & then suddenly dies mysteriously on his or her way back to their abode, quarters or dungeon. The victors always get the spoils as we know & write the story into the annuls of history. All Hail the King, the King is NOT dead, long live the King! Cheers.

  15. 15
    Roger Glover says:

    #9, I don’t remember you being there.

  16. 16
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    @15 Touche, Roger! The photographic evidence from the Machine Head gatefold shows you were side-by-side with Gubbins in writing that material. I hope IG is doing well with the II battle. – James the Game.

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    We‘ve just had a case of divine intervention!!!

    Fall to your knees and repent if you please …

  18. 18
    stoffer says:


  19. 19
    Bottockss says:

    @ 1. Ian’s long lost Daughter ?

  20. 20
    Cool says:

    If I had know that RG would read this, I’d have submitted this “Bring-back-Fools-in-the-setlist” petition for years 😀

    Mr Glover if you’re reading : congratulations for Whoosh! and Turning to Crime, fabulous records…can’t wait for the next one!

  21. 21
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    @19 No, that would be Grace, who also sings.

  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    They‘re watching us all the time. I always knew. Fools, you chose to not believe me. They‘re made of metal, their circuits gleam, they are purpletual, they keep the forum clean …



  23. 23
    roger glover says:

    I rarely post anything here. Please don’t censor yourselves, I’m happy to read positive or critical comments. ‘They'(we) are not ‘watching you’. It’s a wonderful, informative site…a labour of love and I’m grateful.
    Good luck, RG

  24. 24
    Bernhard Huebl says:

    When I was writing my contribution @9, I was really sure of writing/telling the
    truth about the origins of the lyrics of Smoke on the water. I was convinced having read this in all of the four biographies of our beloved combo that stand on my bookshelf: The one by Dave Thompson (ISBN 1-55022-618-5), the one by Jerry Bloom (ISBN 978-1-908724-06-9), the one by Martin Popoff (ISBN 978-3-931624-59-0) and the one by Jürgen Roth & Michael Sailer (ISBN 3-85445-251-8). During the last two days I have re-read all four of these books (at least the pages concerning the time of december 1971) – and I had to learn that I was absolutely wrong, I had written real nonsense !

    So, dear co-writers on this site: Whenever from now on you write something about the history of Deep Purple, please remember there is always at least one co-reader who might know better !

    But, and this is much more important:
    Dear Roger Glover: I am down on my knees, I am so sorry for what I have done,
    I beg your pardon and hope you can forgive me !
    Bernhard Huebl

    P.S. But I am still sure I was correct with my “flamenco theory” …

  25. 25
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I thought posting your former Sin After Sin proteges might make you proud, Herr Produzent! Incidentally, have they finally paid you, those Midlands misers?!

    I was of course joking, but it’s nice to know that some of this here even registers at all with you guys.



  26. 26
    DeeperPurps says:

    Mr. Glover @ 23. Thank you for your comments. It is truly a privilege to know that you and other band members are reading this forum. My best wishes to you and the Deep Purple crew for your continued success.

  27. 27
    Woodman says:

    #11 There are already thousands of SOTW shorts and tick tocks. Don’t be afraid – ride the crest of the momentum. From that song peace will ensue.

  28. 28
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    Rog, it is so gratifying for the fans to have a little more frequent feedback from the band in a public forum like this. I’ve met you a couple times backstage, and you were always great. Ian introduced you to me or vice-versa. I know you guys are busy and have your respective websites. But this is a great blog-type forum. I think I can speak for others when I say the things that, perhaps, you may feel would be too mundane to talk about would actually be of interest to the fans. I mean, even tiny things like: 1) What brand of picks do you prefer? 2) How often do you re-string your guitar on a tour? 3) How many guitars do you have on stage during a show in case a string breaks or whatever? 4) Did Jon use the Hammond B3 or the C3 more? 5) It seems to me that your background in starting off as a lead guitarist in your career (if I understand that correctly) may be why you’re so good on bass (Geezer Butler was originally a lead guitarist, too). Would you agree with that assessment? 6) Keep rocking! -JG

  29. 29
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Roger is a bassist (like me), he knows what it’s like having your contribution ignored! It comes with the job requirements, sigh.

    All bassists are the middle children in their respective bands. Our siblings bathe in attention and glory, while we’re supposed to keep quiet and be functional. : – (

    But while we’re at it, it’s not just lyrics, what would SOTW be without Roger’s majestic chromatic bass intro after hi-hat and snare? Whenever I hear that on the MiJ recording in all its overdriven Rickenbacker glory, engulfing the stage, it makes me want to cream in my pants, E, F, F# + G have never been put to more magnificent use!

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    @ 29 – I wouldn’t say ALL bass guitarists are middle men or children. Chris Squire, Lemmy, Jack Bruce, John Wetton, Greg Lake are just a few names that spring to mind that are ‘out there’ in so many ways. I suppose they are vocalists also so that helps to get them further into the realms of the spotlight. John Entwistle is another out there player & there are more no doubt. Very much to the fore with their technique, sound & dominance a times & so it should be that way. I know what you mean though Uwe in other aspects, but how do you think us poor drummers feel, spare us a dime at least, he he he!
    Regarding Roger Glover & his contribution to all things Purple & multicoloured as in Rainbow. I have never doubted his musical contribution at all. I am talking about song structure etc, not just lyrics. He has always been riffing away there & creating ideas & melodies etc, as a good bass player should. @ 24 – Bernhard, don’t worry about a simple little mistake, we all slip now & then. I was getting ready to defend you to the hilt, however I decided to hold back a little to see what transpired. How is that for self discipline. We are all mortal though, are we not? Cheers.

  31. 31
    roger glover says:

    Dear Bernhard, Thank you, all forgiven. I was wrong once, but it turns out I was mistaken (sorry, an old joke). Anyone who posts on this site deserves deep respect, no pun intended. But meant. Thank you all.

  32. 32
    MacGregor says:

    Talking of DP I found my original Machine Head cd, hooray. I thought I owned a copy, how could I not? Misplaced after moving interstate 5 years ago & some memory issue also no doubt. Cranked a few songs & it was nice nostalgia indeed to hear the Maybe I’m A Leo, Never Before, Pictures of Home, Lazy & Space Truckin’ songs again, also Highway Star & that Smoke song isn’t it called? Cheers.

  33. 33
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    I’m glad the Purple People have gone against the grain, in terms of staying true to hard rock/pop/blues. It takes a burning passion to stay at something for nearly six decades, and continue to crank out albums and thumb their respective noses at the notion that “rock is dead.” It’s not dead if you’re out their recording it, playing it and touring it. Some fans whined about DP making a covers’ album – Turning to Crime – but to me, it embodied what Purple has always been about: creativity and thinking out of the box. The only thing predictable about them is unpredictability. I suggested to Big Ian about 10 years ago that DP should bypass the dying corporate record industry and the dying corporate radio industry, and try to get on the NBC Today Show or another network TV show in America. I was stunned to see them on the Today Show in 2015 in Rockefeller Plaza; but I shouldn’t have been. This is what these guys do. Rather than the Long Goodbye, I hope it’s the Long Revival coming forth in 2023.

  34. 34
    david black says:

    Question for Roger? Did you watch the charismatic voice’s video and would you like to comment? She loves the bass line – which I’m certain was your own!

  35. 35
    Gregster says:

    Yo, awesome to read so many musical posts from musicians in here ! My spin on the chord changes to the Ab-Maj. &/or G#-Maj. chord from the C-min chord is that it’s known as a “tri-tone” substitution…This means that the 3rd & the 7th of the chord are the same as what would be in a V-chord, if the change went there. Of course, the chord here only sounds the 3rd, but there’s no denying the chromatic step down into the G-min chord. ( The same / similar change occurs in the middle section of Never Before )…
    And also, since these chords aren’t necessarily sounding a 3rd or 7th note, it leaves our ears & imagination open to key changes/possibilities that aren’t sounded…This makes soloing very interesting, since you “can” then choose to your taste, at least 3-different keys to play through, or like RB in later days, play through the Harmonic-minor scale…
    I love & know music theory reasonably well, & I’ll say this, its too difficult to type this stuff out for peoples general understanding, it’s much easier to do with the guitar in-hand, & you simply “sound-out” the available opportunities !

  36. 36
    Uwe Hornung says:

    C minor, Gregster? I hear more of a C major (but might be wrong), but both chords work with Ian’s vocal melody, who, according to Jon Lord, was never too obsessed about minor and major and what to sing where in any case.

    Jon Lord also once mentioned in an interview that Ritchie played for ages one of the chords in SOTW wrong (i.e. a different chord to what Jon played) and when Jon noticed and they tried to align their chords, ‘it just didn’t sound right’, so they left it as is, each one of them playing a different chord. Who knows, it might have been that C in either major or minor.

    No one has ever complained that Marc Bolan plays in Get It On (Bang A Gong) a confident and resounding A minor in the chorus where everyone else (orchestra and keyboard) plays an A major (also the way 99 out of 100 guitarists play it in my experience, they all play it wrongly the right way rather than playing it the right way wrong) – it’s the “Bolan magic touch” to do it the ‘wrong’ way.

  37. 37
    Gregster says:

    Yo, I have a little more time to finish-off the last post, so apologies to those who felt possibly short-changed a little…

    Should you be fortunate enough to jam with other folks, or have a recorder of some sorts, try playing through these modes whilst playing through “Smoke”.
    G-Dorian, G-Phrygian, G-Aeolian. All have a unique “flavor” to them, as they place the G-min chord in it’s respective position, relative to those keys…

    A more simplified answer is to play the F-Major scale, or the Eb-Major scale, or the Bb-Major scale through the tune…All will sound “correct”, & you’ll be adding your own unique take on the tune, as you discover the different flavors & notes to hang-on-to, & sound-out.

    There are other choices too, that expand from the one’s presented here, but enough’s enough sometimes, & only those that can get through the above will want more, such as the diminished scale, or the diminished-blues-scale, yadda, yadda.

    Enjoy, peace !

  38. 38
    Gregster says:

    @ Uwe Hornung…Yes Sir, you’re quite correct, (& in effect so am I)…It’s the magic within music that makes either the Maj-3rd, or min-3rd sound great /correct, depending on how it’s used & where. But what makes both work at the same time in this instance, is the vagueness of the chord itself per-se, as the C-min chord does change to C-Major in the chorus…(And possibly the best(?) sounding “blues-type-frill” one can play on the guitar, is the alternating min-to-Maj-3rd)…I also think that in the chorus of “Smoke” a G-Maj chord sounds correct too, which is what you’re alluring to re-the John Lord interview, & what RB was playing “wrong” all these years lol !

    If we take the G-min chord in “Smoke”, & actually think of it momentarily as a V-chord in a major key, our reasoning becomes clearer as to why the min or Maj-3rd works, since the building blocks of a Dominant-7th chord are in steps, Major 3rd interval, followed by a Minor 3rd interval, followed by another minor-3rd interval ( within 1 octave ). Because of this building block structure, it allows us to add either minor or Major 3rd intervals afterwards, beyond the octave, that then exposes us to “all” musical / scale possibilities to work…

    All that said ( sorry for the complicated text, but it is what it is ), when your ears are already trained to anticipate what comes “before & after” in tunes, regarding chords & changes, because we “know” the tune, & anticipate what’s coming next, we automatically anticipate a particular sound / mood / emotion to be played…

    The V-chord is the chord that allows the most freedom of expression, as Mr.Hendrix & RB + many others used to its full potential…The E7#9 chord being a classic example…( This Dominant 7th chord has both the Major & minor-3rd’s played together at the same time )…

    Apologies in advance if I’ve over-cooked anything for anyone here !!! I’m happy to elaborate further, but as already mentioned, it’s always easier with a guitar / piano etc at hand, since you “hear” what’s being discussed musically, & don’t have to write a necessary book about it all lol !

    Peace !

  39. 39
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “… he E7#9 chord …”

    The holy immaculate Hendrix chord!!! ; – )


  40. 40
    Greg says:

    @ Uwe Horning…Yes, that’s the one, & thanks for the link too, I watched the first few minutes, & it will help many out I think, especially if one struggled with my long-winded-post lol !

  41. 41
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    @36 Ritchie realizes it is the overall sound of a song – the sum of all members’ contributions – that make it work. He criticized Eddie Van Halen – even though he said Ed was brilliant – for playing some solos that “have nothing to do with the rest of the song.” Lord’s classical background helped ensure Purple’s song structure was harmonically correct.

  42. 42
    MacGregor says:

    @ 41 – no truer words spoken regarding those whiz bang new guitarist & their technical wizardry having nothing to do with the song. I have mentioned things like that to certain people over time & they get offended. Thankfully many people hear it like Blackmore & others hear it. All technique & no melody, emotion & feel. Steve Vai & even Joe Satriani are also guilty plus a plethora of those 1980’s guitarists that invaded the planet back then. Cheers.

  43. 43
    Gregster says:

    @ 41 & 42…I hear you fellas, & do agree up to a point…We must remember here that in the “entertainment industry”, you have to deliver the goods, & typically through the 1870’s & 1980’s, stages & productions grew & grew, along with the progression of “technical prowess” on your instrument that goes along with these things…And interestingly, it was celebrated / successful musicians that brought the above “named” players into the spotlight for our enjoyment, because they themselves were blown-away with what they could do…Gene Simmons of KISS brought Eddie & co to the scene in a big way, & our dearly missed, & equally great guitarist/ composer/ conductor/ producer/ manager/ etc etc Frank Zappa brought Steve Vai to the forefront of his own band…And Steve had lessons from Joe Satriani….

    All this to say, I bet if it were possible to chill, & hang-out with any of these folks, we’d be blown away with what they could do in front of us whilst jamming-out at home, over a few beers & a BBQ…

    Jimi Hendrix said it best, when he suggested that the “whole world is nothing but a big gimmick”…Alluring to that’s what the people want, gimmicks…

    These modern players are really doing nothing other than giving ( some of the ) people what they want, & their success is a measure of their correct deliverance, even if we feel their playing is a bit heartless at times.

    Peace !

  44. 44
    MacGregor says:

    @ 43- I suppose Hendrix could have been saying a similar thing as the Bard did all those years ago ‘All the world is a stage & we are merely players’, etc. The late Neil Peart from Rush wrote & expanded from that in their superb song Limelight, which coincidently has a superb guitar solo in it. I am being pedantic, I realise that & I know what you mean also. What is that other saying, ‘there’s no business like show business”.
    Frank Zappa picked out technically gifted ‘virtuoso’ musicians for a reason.
    Other composers seek out certain musicians for different reasons. We all like what we like & don’t like what we don’t. Each to their own. I guess I really like melody in music & Zappa & melody don’t go hand in hand from what I hear, well not as much as I would like to hear. Huge respect there though for all concerned. There are many highly gifted players out there. I guess it goes back to that saying Pete Townshend said to Blackmore all those years ago, if the postman doesn’t or cannot whistle it, what’s is the point’ Well not exactly that but along those lines. I am impressed by technically gifted musicians, always have been, however there is a line to cross & I need to hear what is on the other side, so to speak. So much modern music has become like many things in todays world, sterilised & processed & being made to sound ‘perfect’ in every way. Hence auto tune etc. Bring back the organic side of it, it is still there of course & we are talking about the commercial aspect of it. Music is now a commodity for so many, it isn’t all bad though thankfully. Cheers.

  45. 45
    MacGregor says:

    I forgot to include the Michael Jackson song with you know who’s guitar solo on it. A fine example indeed of what we are talking about in certain ways. Three different takes on the response to that song years ago I regularly heard: 1- Crap song but wow THAT guitar solo! 2 – Good song from Michael Jackson but what is that guitar rubbish spoiling the song for, I can’t stand it! 3 – Great all round, a new Michael Jackson song with a great guitar solo by EVH.
    I forget the name of the song & please don’t anyone send a link to it, however I think there will be link provided by someone no doubt, just to torture my mind once more, he he he! Cheers.

  46. 46
    Gregster says:

    @43…RIP Neil Peart…I honestly still haven’t made the adjustment to Neil moving on from here…( Thankfully, there’s some awesome bootlegs available, such as “ABC 1974″…But shhhhh, I didn’t say that )…He was equally gifted at drumming as well as being a lyricist…Rush, Deep Purple, & many others have been with me all of my life, & surprisingly, I picked out the good, & true musicians, as many bands from my youth are still going, or only recently retired…So I got a couple of things right at least on that front lol !

    Perhaps for myself, the current West Bruce & Laing fettish I’m having is just what you’re saying about the “postman whistling”, & why it’s hitting the spot…And Joe Satriani knows / knew this too, as he took Leslie & Mountain on tour with him circa 2009 I think…

    Franks Zappa material is simply like a musical “MAD” magazine imo, & not for everyone, that’s for sure…He did however have the smarts to always include on every studio album, at least one drop-jaw instrumental tune, that’s always cutting edge, ( even today), & to satisfy that itch…Too many recordings to suggest, but 1976’s “Live from New York”, & 1979’s “Sheik yer beauty”(spell check) are big flash-bulb moments for me lol !

    All the best, I better beat-it 😉 !

  47. 47
    Kidpurple says:

    Saw Leslie West with Purple-circa 2005.
    Great entertainer – that was awesome show!

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