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Is never too much


More Concerto performances have been announced for March/April 2023, this time in the southeast of Europe. These slot nicely just before the Brazilian performances later in April.

  • 15 March – Sala Palatului, Bucharest, ROMANIA
  • 18 March – National Palace Of Culture, Sofia, BULGARIA
  • 22 March – Sports Hall Mirza Delibasic, Sarajevo, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
  • 24 March – Hall Drazen Petrovic, Zagreb, CROATIA
  • 25 March – Cancarjev Dom, Ljubljana, SLOVENIA
  • 02 April – Hala University Palacheho, Olomouc, CZECH REPUBLIC

Bruce Dickinson is once again the big name on the billboard, with the rest of the band consisting of John O’Hara (Jethro Tull) on keyboards, Tanya O’Callaghan (Whitesnake) on bass, Kaitner Z Doka (Jon Lord, Ian Paice) on guitar, Bernard Welz (Jon Lord, Don Airey) on drums, and Mario Argandonia (Scorpions) on percussion. Paul Mann will be directing what would presumably be the local orchestras.

Tickets can be booked through the links on Dickinson’s website.

Thanks to BraveWords for the info.

22 Comments to “Is never too much”:

  1. 1
    Ivica says:

    Bought a ticket for a concert in Zagreb. I guess we’ll have more luck (Whitesnake and Uriah Heep canceled). I’m proud to be the first Croatian ( other Dino J) in the DP family Kaitner Z Doka, a guitarist from Dubrovnik. Let’s also beat the biggest football family, Brazilian national team, in the quarterfinals of the World Cup tomorrow…haha..football and rock music are two of my obsessions.
    A little story.
    Bruce Dickinson.what a man! what a character!
    He enjoys immense respect in these areas (ex Yugoslavia) not only among music consumers, much more widely, see the excellent documentary film (Scream For Me Sarajevo)
    Iron Maiden in the continuation of their pandemic-interrupted tour
    “The Legacy of the Beast World Tour” was prepared in my city Split (a city more than 1700 years old on the Adriatic Sea). The guys were there for a month and they were so normal, friendly people, it was an honor to meet them. Bruce was special. After music rehearsals, he would engage in sports activities. Fencing. Bruce is an active fencer in the veteran class, and he would come to training straight from the singing rehearsal, energetic and full of will to train. People from the fencing club with whom he trained say… He would change his shirt three times during training and he would not stop!
    Extremely professional, extremely capable and fit. He trained three times a week for three and a half hours. Dickinson is 64 years old
    Humanist, rocker, pilot, businessman, sportsman. A Special Man… Bruce Dickinson

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    It’s extremely gratifying to see people carrying the torch of a work that meant so much to Jon and was such an important event in Purple history. In Rock wouldn’t have had the same impact had the Concerto not preceded it – it heightened awareness for the then new Mk II line up. And having played with an orchestra successfully gave DP musical credibility for years to come and a virtuoso image that was a large part of the later success.

    Dickinson is a thinking man’s heavy metal singer and a wonderful chap.

  3. 3
    Gary Poronovich says:

    Hi everyone!

    I saw the Concerto in Quebec City for the 50th anniversary and all I can say(suggest) if you have the opportunity to go to the show – do so!. You will not be disappointed.


  4. 4
    MacGregor says:

    Bruce Dickinson is a very talented & down to earth chap. I usually keep an eye on what he is up to outside of the Irons. He did well to get over that cancer battle he had years ago & to keep singing etc, a determined & passionate individual. It is good to see him & Paul Mann & all the musicians involved continuing on with the Concerto performances. Jon Lord & family would be ever so proud. Bravo. Cheers.

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    I am not so sure about the Concerto concert performance of 1969 elevating MK 2 that much. At least not from what I have read over the decades. In Rock kicked the door in, in regards to making a somewhat valid statement. With the heavy rock that was there in England previously, Hendrix & Cream etc. Then at the same time of In Rock we had Sabbath’s debut & Uriah Heep & of course Zeppelin were already around. There seemed to be a bit of a perception back then of ‘oh no, not another rock band dilly dallying about with an orchestra’! I like the original Concerto very much don’t get me wrong, but I would have thought it a almost irrelevant thing for a rock band at that time. I could be wrong though. Cheers.

  6. 6
    Gregster says:

    Well said everyone !

    Bruce Dickinson also has a superb voice too. I wish the show every success, & it’s pretty clear that it will be !

    *As a sidenote, & as if our funds weren’t already drained before Christmas, find a link here to discjapan, that has a few new recordings of the new DP line-up, featuring Simon…(Shhhh…).


    Peace !

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Don’t disparage the Concerto too much, Herr MacGregor, outlandish piece of music/combination that it was, the record was reasonably popular, in Germany at least (though I’m not sure whether people heard it more than once back then!). It had a real novelty factor and let’s not forget that before DP, only The Nice had done something similar (and I don’t know whether that was even filmed like the Concerto was), but Jon Lord’s work was way more popular. I believe the album gave Purple both publicity and musicianly credibility. People who were there – later Queen bassist John Deacon among them – thought it magical. When the serious PROG fans at our school spoke disdainfully of Purple as samey riff merchants they would always mention the Concerto as the exception/saving grace – ‘”Ok, they can at least play.”

    Yet Blackers, the ole fun spoiler, said in a ’79 SOUNDS interview:

    “I was not into classical music then. I was very very moody and just wanted to play very very loudly and jump around a lot. I couldn’t believe we were playing with orchestras. We kept getting lumbered playing with them.

    We started off in ’68 – this is my opinion – as a relatively competent band with a lot to say but saying it all at the same time as each other. In ’69 we went into the classical stuff because it was Jon Lord’s big thing to write a concerto for group and orchestra. He was very sincere, but I didn’t like playing it or respect the fact that we were doing it.

    The orchestra was very condescending towards us, and I didn’t like playing with them, so it was one big calamity on stage. But Jon was happy with it and management was happy with it, because we had a press angle, which I resented very much.

    In then said, „Right, we’re going to make a rock’n’roll LP. If this doesn’t succeed I’ll play with orchestras for the rest of my life …“, because Jon wasn’t too into hard rock. Luckily it took off, so I didn’t have to play with orchestras any more.

    I love orchestras, chamber music — unaccompanied violin is my favourite. But I respected them too much, and we just weren’t the same calibre. I’d been playing 15 years at the time, and was stuck next to some dedicated violinist who’d been playing for 50 years just to give an angle to the press — it’s insulting. That’s why it started and ended very abruptly.”

  8. 8
    Uwe Hornung says:

    One other thing: It was also genius of the Purple management at the time to book the Royal Albert Hall for this and have the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Malcolm Arnold involved/participate. I mean given Purple’s then stature and Jon’s non-existent recognition as a classic writer, they were really bluffing their way through, but it worked. Remember how Purple’s third album with the lengthy orchestral part in April haden’t even been released in the UK when the Concerto was staged, all peple had to go on was Jon’s orchestral interlude on Anthem at the time.

  9. 9
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks Uwe for the comments. I have read a little of Blackmore’s take on it over the years but not as much as that. It was a daring move from Jon Lord & management & any publicity at the time we would think would be better than nothing at all. At least Purple actually performed live with an orchestra at that time. I am not sure how many others did, sure they played recorded pieces in a studio but live at TRAH was something to behold. I do really like the fact that Jon Lord had his way & managed to get it done, Malcolm Arnold was incredibly positive about it all also. Here is a story on it all, an extensive read it is. Cheers.


  10. 10
    Gregster says:


    RB is talking about himself in an unusual way imo….It’s the classical training he studied whilst learning the guitar, plus the encouragement & help of Big Jim Sullivan ( & hard work ) that actually got him where he is…And this classical-angle also saved-his-ass in the awesome moments of Wring That Neck & say Space Trucking as examples…Sure his improvisations were at times quite poor & often boring in this aspect, but it was when Jon & RB combined, their joint-efforts kept it all together, via classical quotes of new age symphonies, & brought the tune(s) & band into cohesion again…IMO, it was Jon’s incredible solo’s that gave Ritchie the springboard to play anything he wished, & when these solo’s of RB’s are taken by themselves, more often than not, they don’t work well at all…It was Jon’s ability to rejoin the original tune after solo’s that made it all work.

    Ritchie didn’t like the “Fireball” album either, & in truth, his soloing on balance is generally poor on this album. He needed more time to develop them which he didn’t get. ( That said, Demons Eye is one of his finest moments imo ).

    Ritchie’s intimidation that he felt, was more likely from that he couldn’t read music, or had let that skill-level drop imo.

    And where would Rainbow have been without Difficult to cure ?…This even appeared in the Mk-II shows !

    Lots of contradictions to address lol !

    I’d wager a guess that Jon got-it-right at the time of the Concerto, & Ritchie didn’t get his way in the decision making, hence the negativity, since management approached Jon, not RB. But any press is good press lol !

    The end of the “Live in Stockholm 1970” 2 x disc-set offers great interviews from Jon about these matters, & yes, it was management that asked Jon if there was anything of interest he’d like to do musically, which is where he suggested that he’d like to one-day write a musical score for a pop-group & orchestra. Management then said go ahead, followed by a surprise phone call announcing the date of the gig lol ! Malcolm Arnold was a big help in getting the score finished on time.

    Anyhow, it’s awesome that the Concerto is still remembered, appreciated & performed. Jon will be smiling I’d think !

    Peace !

  11. 11
    George in Ohio says:

    Gary Poronovich @#3, you are dead on correct. I was also at the 50th anniversary Concerto performance in Quebec city. Hearing a work finally performed live after you’ve listened to it innumerable times on record over 50 years is a spiritual experience. You are right – anyone who goes to hear it will not be disappointed. That’s not only because of the magic of Jon’s music – it’s also due to the musicians who will be performing it. Paul Mann and Bruce Dickinson and Paul Mann were conducting/singing in Quebec; they obviously love the concerto, and will ensure Jon’s composition will be done to perfection. A side note : I didn’t get to talk to Bruce, but I did run into both Paul Mann and drummer Bernhard Welz (a fellow spectator who did not play at Quebec) at the Quebec airport the day after. In addition to being tremendous musicians, they are wonderfully charming, friendly chaps who obviously love Jon and his music. Don’t hesitate if you can attend one of the concerts – you will never regret it.

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    @ 10- interesting comments & I can dig some of what you are saying. Especially in regards to the guitar solo’s & keyboard solo’s. Blackmore as we know was a lazy player at times & Jon Lord certainly wasn’t. However Blackmore was the rocker don’t forget, he was into wanting to play harder rock music & wanted to get into it like so many did. And he was the riff maker & Glover also, guitar was king in many ways. It looks like Jon Lord wasn’t initially possessed by the rock ‘n roll bug. I have thought for many decades that Lord may have been in a hard rock band reluctantly at certain times. He enjoyed certain aspects to it & it paid the bills but he found other aspects of it a hinderance to what he wanted to do. I was not surprised at all when he left DP, in fact I always thought he would get out of there much earlier. Playing hard rock would have been a far noisier environment for him & not want you want to endure in regards to potential hearing loss or hearing issues. Rick Wakeman was a bit like that also with Yes it seems. He loved being in a rock band at times & everything that went with it, however he becomes bored with it all & gets on his own plane again, time & again. Regarding DP Blackmore, Gillan & Glover were the rockers along with Ian Paice of course & Jon Lord was there at times & into it big time & then other times he would rather be composing & performing his classical music in majestic concert halls & theatres. His playing in DP is superb & critical to their sound, style & melodies. He was much more than a rock musician though as is RW & also Keith Emerson. They were young men at that time in the late 1960’s & couldn’t resist the rock ‘n roll bandwagon. However as time passed it paled into insignificance. Their personal musical journey was always outside of R&R. Cheers.

  13. 13
    Paul Mann says:

    I’d like to add just one thing, only because it bugged Jon no end. Although Malcolm Arnold’s heroic leadership was crucial in making that first performance the historic success that it was, he had no involvement in producing the score itself, which was all Jon’s own work. The myth still sometimes persists that Malcolm had a hand in the orchestration, or even in the composition itself, which wasn’t the case. Anyway, we’re all looking forward to these new performances very much.

  14. 14
    Rock Voorne says:

    How did Ritchie write songs if he could not read music?

    I got the impression Lordy loved the heavyrock as much as the classical thing. Didnt he say IN ROCK was their best album?

    Wondering if Airey still feels Down to Earth was the best he played on btw

    Around the release of Difficult to cure Blackmore wearing fish netstockings allegedly said that it reminded him of IN ROCK, things like that get under your skin.

    Dont blame me for things I once read in fanzines like over the Rainbow en zo , then still under Gerrits guidance…..

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    Yes indeed it seems this writer Vincent Budd from the link I provided hasn’t undertaken his research too well in that regard. In my nearly 50 years as a DP aficionado, I have never thought the Concerto to be composed by anyone else other than Jon Lord. I looked up the author today & there isn’t a lot about him online, only his other musical ‘research’ that he has undertaken.
    An Introduction to the Life and Work of Sir Granville Bantock by Vincent Budd.
    For anyone that may be interested. Cheers.


  16. 16
    Gregster says:

    @12 Thanks mate ! I’d say that the touring schedule through 1970 with the success of “In Rock” didn’t allow RB to grow / expand at the time…eg He poured everything into that record he could muster, & didn’t get the time to develop new ideas or “authentic” musical contributions for “Fireball”…That said, the moments I’m writing/complaining about are also bound to stage/ show/ theatrics, & these moments work great when you see them live, less so for playback years later. I just watched the “Live in Copenhagen 1972” DVD, & the music works much better when you can see it too. Jon Lord is on fire in this gig ( as with the rest of the band too ). It is an awesome show ! Anyhow, we all know RB certainly made amends of any perceived shortcomings on my behalf with “Machine Head”, there’s no doubt there. In fact, he made sure of it, with the duet guitar-parts quite prominent, & new.

    @13 Thanks Paul ! It’s good to have a place like this to learn more, & set things aright.

    @14 A guitar is an instrument where you can have 1 x lesson with a teacher, learn the chords E, A & D, & then be able to play through about 50 % of all the AC/DC songs ever made ( along with countless other R&R tunes / Blues ). And you can also spend a lifetime working hard with the instrument via books, lessons & gigs, & never really feel like you’re getting anywhere with it lol !

    RB has revealed over the years that he had about 1-year of official tuition, & a few years sitting on the front porch of Big Jim Sullivan’s, awaiting for his arrival home, so he could learn / watch a little more. And reading a “chart” per-se, usually will only have the chords noted, not necessarily a melody-line.

    Once you have the “basics” down on a guitar, typically via what’s known as the “cowboy chords”, a creative person can write beautiful tunes / songs throughout a lifetime, without really knowing what it was he or she was exactly doing. And that’s where the “theoretical knowledge” comes into play, as it simply is a means of musical communication & understanding, that’s learned ultimately by being able to read music. IMO, RB had some of that, but may have let it slip, since it wasn’t needed in R&R or DP, since he already found success through his own methods / riff-making. Jon Lord by contrast, used & developed “music theory” all through his life. Playing keyboards helps immensely in this aspect, & anyone who’s ever gone onto university for musical studies will tell you, that regardless of your instrument choice, the keyboard is studied as a second instrument.

    A creative person is just that, but one who has the back-up & knowledge of music theory, can discuss what’s going on with anyone in the band ( or regular folks ), & guide them accordingly.

    Peace !

  17. 17
    dpmuc72 says:

    Hi everyone,

    Something which has nothing to do with the concerto :

    I’m quite disappointed because on the 27th of november, I sent a review of the concert I saw in Riom, Purpendicular feat. Ian Paice to thehighwaystar.com. I even sent a few pictures. But until now nothing published on thehighwaystar.com.

    Maybe they thought the review wasn’t good enough for this incredible website ?

    I also did a few videos and uploaded 2 of them on YouTube. Here they are :

    Space Truckin’ => https://youtu.be/gISCRBj4hP8
    Stormbringer => https://youtu.be/WujLYZuDhjY

    If you like them, just let me know, I have a few others (SOTW, Highway Star, Perfect Strangers, etc.)

    It was a nice show. Short (1 hour 15 minutes), but nice. Paicey was in good shape, even if he did no drum solo.

    Cheers !


  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    90% (or more) of professional and amateur rock/pop/R’n’B musicians can’t read or write music in notation form – no one in the Beatles could (but George Martin did) nor did Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield or Bruce Springsteen, the list is endless. Generally, keyboarders (and horn players) are the exception because they tend to be – unlike almost anybody else playing popular music – NOT self-taught and traditional music education includes sight-reading.

    Ritchie took cello lessons for a while once (in Rainbow days, everyone knows the pics of him with a cello), but never to the point where he could have become a fluent sight-reader. But for the music he created, there was also no need for that.

    Being able to read music and even write down other people’s music, does not make you atomatically a songwriter. The majority of classically trained musicians are unable to come up with even a short piece of music of their own and are absolutely stumped if asked to do so. I’ve seen it happen many times.

    Finally, Jon Lord “not being into” hard rock, I’d take that with a grain of salt from Ritchie. The truth is that Jon had more rock credibility in 1968 when Purple was founded than Ritchie. Jon had played for years with The Artwoods, a respected (especially among musicians) rhythm & blues outfit, while Ritchie had been a largely nameless session musician with producer svengali Joe Meek, king of pre-Beatles throwaway pop and novelty singles, when he wasn’t playing with Lord Suth who even in the 60ies no one mistook as a credible musician, he was a showman. And unlike Jon, who hit the ground running with his organ sound and style already on DP’s debut, it took Ritchie some time to adapt his session-trained playing to his later role as the unquestionable lead instrumentalist within DP, actually until In Rock (even though his gradual development could already be heard over the three Mk I studio offerings).

    Jon’s approach to the organ was certainly – along with his classical influence – a decidedly hard rockish one, his sheer volume would have probably gotten him kicked out of a more mellow band! He wanted his organ loud and upfront (Rolling Stone joked about his “overly loud” organ in their largely positive review of In Rock), distorted, playing prominent lines and extended solos (his solo in Hush alone took up a confident 1:08 minutes in a 4:24 minute song released as their first single) and flaunted legendary Hammond showmanship – Jon, whether standing fully erect and head thrown back, crouched over the keys or rocking his instrument back and forth was well aware of what “throwing (iconic!) shapes” with a Hammond meant. And he didn’t have his keyboards set up at the side of the front of the stage (rather than in the back and facing the audience) for nothing, he definitely wanted to be seen and admired.

    It’s just that Jon didn’t like hard rock to the exclusion of almost anything else as Ritchie did for quite a while (before he pretended to believe that all good music had already been written in Renaissance times).

    And I would wager the guess that In Rock had a special place in Jon’s heart because it unleashed both his Hammond and Ritchie’s guitar in a new exciting setting with Roger and Big Ian, it being the album where “the gorgan” (guitar + organ playing joint riffs) showed its new metallic scales and bared its fangs to the unsuspecting world.

  19. 19
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @17: We are sorry but none of us in the team can remember receiving a review from you. Can you send it again to reviews@thehighwaystar.com?

  20. 20
    MacGregor says:

    Jon Lord HAD to crank the Hammond to be heard, he had no choice & did very well in how he achieved that, much to Blackmore’s & all DP aficionados delight. Most other keyboard players in loud rock bands ended up doing that to a degree. Those pesky guitarist & their distortion, feedback & stacks of amplifiers. Not to mention the showing off etc & then the front man joins in (although Gillan was not that way inclined) like many other lead vocalists & then the keyboard players rocking & rolling the Hammond & being strapped to a grand piano & spinning around & around. Keith Emerson take a bow! Rock ‘n roll eh? Flamboyant, loud, excessive & no doubt mostly enjoyable in large doses. Not too good for the ears though. But who cares when everyone is young & adrenalin charged & loving it. Regarding Jon Lord being into the hard rock, a much needed break after DP excess in the 70’s, then into Whitesnake for a little rock ‘n roll & then the reunion. But then where? By the late 80’s he would have been wondering how long etc. All that touring & commitment to a rock band where they had really done it all before in many ways. Another little surge of excitement when Steve Morse joined but that was never going to last that long as father time appears. As I said previously Lord & Blackmore were the two members that to me always looked like walking for other musical ventures more often than the rest of the DP band members. They both as you said, started out way back in the 60’s in different musical environments & were always looking for something else. Cheers.

  21. 21
    Gregster says:

    @18 Great post Uwe ! Also worth mentioning here too, is that music theory seems to be always seen in a negative light, & has been for decades, since the general perception of it is that it’s “too hard” to learn or understand. And this can be quite true, if you don’t have the right foundation to build from…It’s critical…Even the folks studying at universities will struggle in their efforts without the right foundations, ever-more-so since its taken-for-granted by these places that you have this foundation. And for lots of different reasons, people don’t get that foundation, simply because playing the instrument of choice is far more fun, & they’ll get around to learning the “theory” later.

    At some point through one’s learning, you will want & need to know about some music theory, it’s an inevitable bridge that one has to cross. The problem here is, is that there’s so much information on the net & elsewhere about it, (& likely the bulk-of-it is fine too), but no-one that I’ve seen or heard is able to really inform correctly, since mentioning the “building blocks” is always over-looked. And picking-up bits & pieces here & there from other players can help, but not give you the full picture. This means people get something out-of-it, but the critical foundation is over-looked or missed totally.

    Should any one ever spend a little time going through the pages of this book, ” John Brimahall’s music theory note-book, 3-books-in-1″ or similar, with their pencil, eraser & some paper, you’ll have absolutely no trouble learning & understanding anything about music theory ever again. You can spend a 1/2-hour each night on it for about 1-month, & have it all finished. Answers are in the back, no teachers or extra help needed, just a positive attitude.


    Every aspect of one’s musicianship will dramatically improve by going through its pages, & you will find that you’ll have a better grasp of the rudiments of music than the teachers giving you lessons, though you may not play as yet as well as them lol !

    Anyhow, have no doubt that people like Jon ( & Don ) have this foundation, & this is what gave him the ability / confidence to write a score for an orchestra, all those years ago. It’s not that hard to complete, only the effort to get through it is needed !

    Peace !

  22. 22
    Marcus says:

    I was wondering, who has sung this more times, Bruce or Ian?

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