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The Highway Star

Finish in Finland

It was 30 years ago, on November 17, 1993, that Mark 2 played their final concert at the Jäähalli in Helsinki, Finland. Ritchie Blackmore went his own way, and the rest of the band decided to carry with a different guitar player. Both sides arguably turned out to be better off.

Thanks to Matti for reminding us, and to Gig Gog for the video clip from that show.

106 Comments to “Finish in Finland”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    That Stratocaster in the hands of the Man in Black cranking out those songs, that is what it is all about. 30 years, time waits for no one. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Ivica says:

    30 years, the best of all time (“Angry”) rock guitarist, last 25 years happily in love “Troubadour” (Minstrel)
    I have been listening for 50 years “Angry” and Troubadour” . His talent is enormous, classical music education (also Jon Lord) + rock anger is crucial…
    long live !


  3. 3
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Musically I don’t think the band were finished. Maybe on stage but I would have loved to see the guys back in the studio for one last album to see what chemistry is there. After all ‘Perfect Strangers’ was a great success after a break up so why would anyone would rule out that a reunion wouldn’t have been fruitful. Also The Battle rages on was written with JLT in mind so it’s not really a proper MK2 album.
    Having said that, DP was always a touring machine and Ritchie couldn’t keep up as he didn’t want to travel the globe touring.
    Peace and love ✌️

  4. 4
    Gregster says:


    And a very Happy Anniversary it is indeed…DP have given over the last 30-years the best, & most consistent quality music of their career imo, & it will be very likely the “kids” of the future would agree too, when they in time, stumble across the DP legacy. Fingers crossed that there’s a few more years left so that Simon can keep the sensational music & momentum going strong !

    Kudos to all the DP members, past & present, for their part played over time.

    Peace !

  5. 5
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    The end of, to me, the Greatest Rock band of all time (MKII DP) but Steve Morse certainly revitalized the band and they made some great music together!! I hate to say it but since Steve left the band I’ve lost interest in them.

  6. 6
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    It was good for Ritchie, who was tired of touring. He has said he hates flying all the time and the grind of it. He’s a much happier, mature man with Candy correcting him when he starts to say rude things. To watch him in recent years laughing with his bandmates in Rainbow on stage and clowning with the fans, rather than hide in the corner of the stage in misery is good. Hopefully, it won’t be for many years but eventually, one of the remaining three (Gillan, Glover or Paice) will pass away. I think it’s possible the surviving members will finally reach out to Ritchie after that.

  7. 7
    lavaud says:

    hello everyone…; it’s a shame that a good concert was not filmed because if you look at YouTube some of them are fantastic in terms of music for this final formation… the official DVD is horrible! in short for my part I quickly stopped with this group when I listened to the 1st studio album without Blackmore and I didn’t go see them when they passed near my house….too different

  8. 8
    Alket kellici says:

    Unfortunately the official DVD, music we have is not the best concert as it captures some infamous moments of Blackmore, not playing guitar at all in the opening song and come in halfway to play and massacre his solo on the highway star. I wish we could’ve had a different concert recorded for the DVD but it is what it is

  9. 9
    stoffer says:

    That’s the Blackmore I want to remember!! He’s earned the right to do whatever he wants now, even tho I don’t care for it.
    @4 agree kudos to all
    @5…me too unfortunately, Steve’s departure and the same old setlist have me bored,,,hoping Simon can change my mind and maybe 1 last US tour

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    For a man his age then (he was 48!), his behavior was childish and petty. He could have said: “Look guys, I’m no longer digging this, we’ll finish this world tour together and then you go find someone new, all the best for your future endeavors, it was good while it lasted.” Had he done that, I’m sure he would have been asked to rejoin DP numerous times in the following decades for encores, the RRHoF or even a one-off gig or tour. But Ritchie being Ritchie, he chose grand drama, hurt feelings and insulted others (just imagine what would have happened had Ian Gillan ‘by accident’ splashed water over Candice backstage in Birmingham!), the Strat had to be thrown out of the pram and a Japanese work visa torn up before people he had jointly had success with for nearly a quarter of a century. Is that a way to go out? I’m surprised no one punched him.

    And what even Ritchie hadn’t realized back then was that he was not just tired of DP, he was tired of hard-edged rock music, period. It took another few years of a new Rainbow line-up struggling (to diminishing commercial returns) for him to draw the right conclusion.

    Fact is that Ritchie chose scorched earth over a professional exit. The way he left would not have been acceptable in any other comparable situation either (divorce, leaving a political party, exiting from a board of directors). He truly acted like the nickname version of his first name. And I have yet to hear from him: “You know, in hindsight, I could have perhaps handled my departure from DP a little differently.”

    None of this takes anything away from his vast contributions to DP over the years, but he didn’t have to end it on a sour note like he chose to. Or maybe he did and it’s just an ingrained part of his personality.

  11. 11
    Nino says:

    There was a time when I didn’t listen to anything from Deep Purple, except Mark 2. Listening to the unflattering opinions of old fans about the new formation, I was not very eager to get acquainted with the new material, but due to some events, Deep Purple became a very important group for me – the best. Аnd at one point I couldn’t get enough of the old albums and concert recordings and decided to listen to the new ones and immediately regretted very much that I hadn’t listened to such great material for so long. The deeper I got into the group, the more I became convinced that Blackmore’s departure in 1993 was the right decision. Yes, in the 70s he was magnificent and exciting, but in the 90s it was already outdated and unproductive when the rest of the group was full of strength and ideas. Morse eventually became a very important member of this group for me, and after he left, I realized that he was more important than I realized – I don’t regret that Blackmore left, but I regret that Morse left.

  12. 12
    sidroman says:

    Number 6 are you crazy? They said they would never play with Blackmore again. Also judging how bad Ritchie played with the latest version of Rainbow about 6 years ago, I hope he doesn’t come back. I remember watching him play the riff to Spotlight Kid and he was slower than Heinz ketchup!

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    Uwe & his crystal ball. It is amazing what he sees in there. Hypothetical indeed. Presuming certain scenarios, well even a crystal ball can become foggy & everything ends up muddled. Blackmore was tired of rock music in the 1970’s, most of us are aware of that from what we have read or heard over the decades. Not much point in bagging him now days, it is all water under the bridge. History never repeats although nostalgia attempts to. Cheers.

  14. 14
    Gregster says:


    Leiber Uwe, we must remember that RB initially won a tug-of-war against IG, & had him removed from service, & JLT instated…Then, after being approached by record-execs etc, & asked what would it take for you to work with IG again, he replied with “250K”, & was awarded that amount, even though he thought they wouldn’t pay him… He claims he said that to get them off-his-back, & what he didn’t expect was the money delivered secretly ( unknown to the others)…He was over IG’s voice, & irregular performances, & the fact that he wasn’t doing anything ( back then ) to improve his life-style …

    It’s ironic that it was RB who initiated the reunion in the first place back in 1983 or so…

    RB should have been more direct in his reasoning at the time of the offer, but he tested the waters, & sold everyone out for money…And then karma got him back in a number of ways…

    1. DP have delivered so much more awesome music since he left, it’s not funny…

    2. Now RB dresses-up as a 15th century minstrel, playing 15th century music with his wife…And that’s not funny either…

    Long live DP, & the happy band that it is, & has been since 1994-5 !

    Peace !

  15. 15
    Jean-Christophe says:

    @ 10 : “just imagine what would have happened had Ian Gillan ‘by accident’ splashed water over Candice backstage in Birmingham!”

    Well, I can easily imagine Ian Gillan splashing any kind of fluids over Candice. Beer in the first place. But definitly not water.

  16. 16
    Georgivs says:


    I’m shocked and outraged beyond any description! It’s the 16th century music that RB plays these days! Six-teen-t-h!

    Telling you that as a fan of the 15th century music…

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    My point was simply that there would be less animosity between IG/RG/IP and RB today, if Rithie had conducted himself differently in the past. I’m not saying that he should/could return – I’m fine with the Morse era and looking forward to the McBride one (as studio output goes).

    Unlike many here, I found neither TBRO nor Rainbow’s SIUA albums anything to write home about, I hardly ever listen to them, TBRO is painful to me and SIUA is lame and even washed-out. And Sidroman is right, all the songs (like Spotlight Kid or Burn) that required a certain nimbleness from Ritchie during the Rainbow reunion gigs came across as stiff and geriatric – he was simply out of training.

    I wasn’t advocating a reunion, I was simply saying that the way Ritchie acted, it is no surprise that the band’s relations to him remain strained to this day. Ian Gillan especially has simply grown tired of Ritchie’s moods and antics. In some contributions here I sometimes detect a lingering longing that the others should have simply caved in to Ritchie’s demands and whims one more time in 1993 – all to preserve his status in the band as a semi-deity and primus inter pares. I don’t subscribe to that view at all. He was getting to be a pain in the butt and in his never-ending quest for new blood showed little respect for the intra-band magic Mk II always had. And at the same time – perhaps due to lack of inspiration from the others – his creativity was well beyond its prime by 1993. Of course he could still play a good solo – you can wake Ritchie in the middle of the night, hit him on the head and he will still be able to play a good, moody solo -, but all his other contributions to the band were waning. That is why Purpendicular sounded so fresh and daring.

    And Jean-Christophe, I think it is an urban myth that Ian Gillan’s alcohol consumption was at any point endangering the band more than Ritchie’s. In fact, I’ve witnessed Ritchie in a more inebriated state on stage than Ian. As medical conditions go, I think both would at one point – like many rock musicians – have been regarded as ‘functional alcoholics’ (as opposed to ‘chronic severe alcoholics’ like, say, Alice Cooper, Brian Connolly, David Byron, John Wetton and Rob Halford all once were which led either to their death or to them becoming teetotalers).

  18. 18
    Gareth Taylor says:

    Hail Purple

  19. 19
    Brian Jackson says:

    I agree with 10 and 12, empathise with 5 and disagree completely with 6.
    If anyone has read Colin Hart’s autobiography, the stories of Blackmore’s behaviour on the final 1993 European dates are shocking and unforgivable. He was trying to kill the band by tearing up his Japanese visa and it turned out he was replaceable after all.
    I know what followed wasn’t to everyone’s tastes but it revitalised the band and the remaining band members. My memories of the recent Rainbow shows are realistic rather than rose-tinted: Blackmore isn’t the guitarist or stage presence that he was when I first saw him in the 70s.
    For everyone that wants a reunion with him, I think they want the musician with the abilities of 1969-1980 Ritchie, but they would get a Blackmore with the attitude of DP 1993 and the abilities of Rainbow 2016. Not a good combination in my opinion.
    Please remember the good times fondly, the great gigs well, the bad gigs forgivingly and let sleeping dogs lie. A reunion should never happen and if it did it could only ever be a disappointment.

  20. 20
    Wormdp says:

    The end for me was Turning to Crime, the coffin closing was Steve leaving (and good for him placing family first!). The nail in the coffin is listening to this new version. Sorry after over 50 years of being my favourite band, it’s over

  21. 21
    Purpledaniel says:

    My favorite show from the tour is Brussels. The intro, solos and outro from TBRO is simply astonishing.
    I heard that the Munich show was also recorded in addition to Stuttgart and the Birmingham NEC.

  22. 22
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    I agree with number 20. Steve’s leaving has made me lose all interest in DP. They’ve been my favorite band since 1973!! As for folks who want RB to come back for a few shows. I say not because Jon Lord, of course, can’t be there. Him and RB were magic together!!

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    Here again going on about the same old same old. The simple matter is that Blackmore couldn’t give a toss about the others at that time & since, although he & Jon Lord were amicable with each other in later years. It is the way of things, when DP reunited in 1984 the first thing that most people thought including the band members most probably was ‘how long is this going to last’. We certainly were thinking that here in Australia & were very glad to get them fresh off the boat, just in case the proverbial hit the fan earlier than it did, now that is early. 1989 was where it all went wrong, we have been there & done that. The trouble with people not getting on with other people is that if something doesn’t give, meaning walking away then someone will suffer the consequences, it usually becomes worse doesn’t it? That is what happened & Blackmore in’t the only one responsible for that, Gillan has admitted he was half the problem also at times. The tit for tat scenario is never a positive one. Reminds me of being in high school actually & it goes on to this very day with certain people in this world & not only people, certain animals (which of course we are also) carry on with it on a daily basis. Talking about giving notice at very short notice to fellow band members, it has occurred many times before with other acts. I am not advocating for it at all. Bill Bruford left Yes in 1972 after the recording of the Close to the Edge album, they were about to commence a US tour in how many days? Three or four from what I have read something like that. Neil Young left a note on the tour bus for Stephen Stills whilst on tour, ‘Sorry Stephen I can’t continue’ something along those lines & the tour had only been going for week or two & they had a gig that night & many more to follow. It happens unfortunately, some people just have to get out at that time. Anyway we are repeating ourselves again it seems, well some of us are & there is nothing like a bit of drama to get the blood flowing. Exit stage left everyone. Oh well such is life. Cheers.

  24. 24
    john says:

    It’s not nice what they did to Steve, how they went ahead with a new guitar man, so soon. Not at all.
    That said, “time waits for no one” (…) What were they to do, at their age? should they have said, “that’s it”? end of the show?
    Maybe, dunno, but I, just my own (and selfish) opinion, think not. I, just myself (and selfish one), prefer they go on till they cannot go on anymore. I’m eager to hear Simon’s sound, the last colour of the purple rainbow.
    Ah, about Ritchie… It’s all been said a thousand times, ain’t? No one like him. Ever. He WAS, DP.


  25. 25
    Gregster says:


    qt.”A reunion should never happen and if it did it could only ever be a disappointment”.

    I doubt that anyone wants a reunion with RB, his services were well-&-truly overcooked by 1993. As I already mentioned, he sold EVERYONE out for money back then, & then broke his contact for the tour by not finishing it.

    His time came & went. His style was integral with DP at the time of their first successes in the 1970’s, & that’s it…He’s one of MANY great players of the era, & some of these players I’d argue are far better players, though perhaps not found in the best bands, eg. Michael Schenker…

    That said, look at how much better other modern-day players are musically ??? Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, Simon Mc Bride, & countless other “unknown” guitarists would leave RB for dead in today’s world, & they do.

    As an example, scroll down the thread-list here, & you’ll find 4 extraordinary players on acoustic guitar milking Highway Star for all its worth…Now imagine how entertaining each of them are within their own musical worlds & their own tunes played ???

    No one wants a reunion with RB, that’s just nonsense & pipe-dreams. There are many outstanding recordings to appreciate happier times. And if you like DVD’s the Australian 1985 “Perfect Strangers” show is superb, or the sublime Copenhagen show from 1972… The Cal-Jam is superb too, but GH spoils the whole thing, lowering greatly the overall superb experience otherwise witnessed, if Mk-III is your thang momma.

    The Steve Morse era is ground-breaking, sublime music & performance from all onboard, pick any show you like 🙂 !

    Peace !

  26. 26
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    Ritchie could mop the floor with any of them. It’s sheer silliness to suggest his talent had no use after the 1970s. And none of those clowns can touch Ritchie on ‘Highway Star.’ Please.

  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    @-25 – there would be plenty who would like a Blackmore reunion, including a tour promotor & or record company etc. Many rabid fans or ‘likes’ as they are called these days would say yes to anything, just to say they had ‘been there done that’. So to say no one wants it is pushing it. Personally I see it as others do, it is far too late for all concerned & I mean everyone. All I see now is Father Time tapping his Staff on the ground with a bemused look on his face. In regards to all the shit hot electric guitarists out there & there are a plethora of them & it has been that way for decades, how good are they at songwriting? Where are the tunes etc. It is one thing to be a mind blowing instrumentalist, but another to work with certain musicians creating memorable songs. Horses for courses again, but if you notice many of the iconic song related rock bands of the past & they do not have ‘technically gifted’ guitarists as such, compared to todays whiz bangers. That says something to me & others no doubt. I much prefer the ‘idiosyncratic old school’ players, because the compositions are far superior. In regards to Steve Morse, yes he is an instrumentalist more so than a vocal songwriter as such. He has done ok with working in the song based bands Kansas & Purple, but I do feel he is more suited to the instrumental arrangements. Although with Kansas I thought he did better songs with them than with DP to an extent, although Purpendicular is a strong album also with Now What & there are few other songs scattered here & there. Interesting to see how McBride fits in & myself like many others will be scrutinising every note, nuance & technique to see if he passes the pub test. Oh & how well the songs stack up of course. Cheers.

  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The abominable Gregster and his never-ending anti-Glenn crusade …


  29. 29
    sidroman says:

    Uwe, many good points there. However as far as Blackmore needing any training to play those fast songs, I think the only thing that could do that for him now is a time machine. Those old fingers just can’t move that fast anymore.

  30. 30
    Georgivs says:


    Thing is, we don’t know what happened between Steve and the rest of DP. He left to take care of his wife and they continued touring. That’s what we know and we cannot speculate about their inner feelings.

  31. 31
    Gregster says:

    LOL !!!

    @26…There are many great players world-wide, & the best don’t need a band, because they have the ability to make a guitar sound like a complete band in itself…

    As an example, here’s a Danish player by the name of Uffe Steen. I’ve known him for years, & few meet his mastery in a lifetime…I’ll link a tune that will please Uwe…


    Enjoy ! You may also note that he plays a Stratocaster leftie, with the strings up-side-down…He recently acquired a beautiful SG too…

    Peace !

  32. 32
    Adel Faragalla says:

    The thing I get upset the most about is when people underestimate RB capabilities as a guitarist as he piles up the years.
    I would kindly ask them to ignore the type of music he plays and listen to his guitar playing at current age.
    He is still by far a worthy of a reunion. If you think Ozzy Osbourne is worth of a BS reunion in the last one with his current voice and health then RB is more than worthy of a reunion shows.
    The problem is that will never happen on Ian Gillan watch but this is more of a personal issue rather than a performance issue.
    After all Ian Gillan always doubts if RB can still play the DP stuff with improvisation but this is more of having a dig at him rather than relating to reality.
    Please watch and listen to Rainbow recent DVD and watch how good RB is still is.
    Peace and love ✌️

  33. 33
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Ritchie could mop the floor with any of them. It’s sheer silliness to suggest his talent had no use after the 1970s. And none of those clowns can touch Ritchie on ‘Highway Star.’ Please.”

    I personally believe, James, that in the first half of the 70ies, Ritchie was technically untouchable as a hard rock solo guitarist – he could come up with + play things that were beyond even Jimmy Page’s, Tony Iommi’s, Michael Schenker’s or Ronnie Montrose’s capabilities (which is not to say that theses guys did not all cover other aspects of hard rock guitar playing where they surpassed Ritchie) and leagues away from what, say, Mark Farner, Manny Charlton, Francis Rossi, Ace Frehley or Mick Box (all five good guitarists, but no virtuosos) could do. Added to that – and almost more important – he was very much a stylist of his own.

    In the second half of the 70ies and in the wake of people like EvH and Uli Jon Roth (both appreciative of Blackmore) or Gary Moore surfacing, competition rose. And by the early 80ies, people like EvH, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani or Randy Rhoads were playing stuff that Ritchie could not have emulated with his abilities. He still remained an impressive stylist and improviser though and while no longer the hottest new axeslinger in town, his chops continued to show a high standard, just no longer jaw-droppingly so (which to me is less important in any case, Mark Knopfler was never the most astonishing technician on guitar, but he was a great stylist).

    By and large, he has retained his status as a stylist. He’s no longer as nimble as he used to be and frankly out of training for dynamic and fluid hard rock riffing, but his solos even with BN can still take you on a journey.

  34. 34
    Uwe Hornung says:

    John said:

    “It’s not nice what they did to Steve, how they went ahead with a new guitar man, so soon. Not at all.”

    Painful, yes, but inevitable given their individual biology. DP is essentially a touring enterprise supporting not just its members, but quite a bunch of people, more so since 1984 (even though at all times live gigs were core to their art), it has to keep running. And they had just suffered the forced pandemic hiatus and were to kick into gear again doing what they do.

    I didn’t think they conducted his departure in any mean or callous way, but, yes, life went on and had to go on for them.

  35. 35
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Sure, valid point, sidroman and I wouldn’t have yelled “Deception!” if against that background Ritchie had decided to have a second guitarist on stage, playing the riff structure to the songs, with Ritchie just embellishing and going on solo excursions.

    There is no shame in saying at one point: “I can’t play all of my own stuff anymore as well as I used to.” Every actor and every athlete is faced with that eventually.

  36. 36
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    @33 I realize Ritchie has arthritis and is pushing 80 years old. Of course, he can’t playing even 1/3rd as fast as he could in the 1970s. But he’s still very good. And I don’t think anybody could touch him in his prime, at least for his personal style. Eddie Van Halen was blown away by Blackmore’s playing and looked up to him. It’s true that everyone has their own God-given abilities, though. There is stuff Van Halen, Page or Beck did that Ritchie couldn’t and vice-versa. It’s like what I posted recently when some Deep Purple band members met with some Nazareth members. Gillan told me once that he could never get his voice to do what Dan McCafferty’s voice did with Nazareth. Of course, McCafferty wouldn’t have been able to sing ‘Child in Time’ like Gillan. So, every great artist has specific gifts given only to them.

  37. 37
    Micke says:

    @ 15 :-)))

  38. 38
    MacGregor says:

    We all , well some of us do put the boot in at times in regards to certain things we don’t like in all this music etc. But I do think if someone is having health related issues there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. So what if someone is older & cannot play like they did eons ago. If they can drop in down to a level that they can handle, let them. I didn’t expect Blackmore in 2016 to play like he used to, that wasn’t an issue for me, it was a few other things that were not to my liking, so be it. It wasn’t as if he was embarking on a JLT world dominating Rainbow superstar reunion tour to all corners of the earth. That would have been incredibly embarrassing. Blackers did a handful of shows & that was it & he was probably being pushed to do that in the first place against his true belief. Under rehearsed yes & that should or could have been better handled, however did Blackers get to that point again of being committed or persuaded to do something he really wasn’t into. So he pulls up stumps. Not to worry the earth keeps spinning. Talking of Mark Knopfler & he is selling many of his guitars. Yesterday I was reading an interview & he said all that matters to him is the songwriting & the quality of that & the guitar playing side of things is way down the list & actually always has been. Interesting comment although his hands are not what they were & he has modified his technique to help get away with it. Cheers.

  39. 39
    MacGregor says:

    @ 31 – nice guitar playing & melodic also, old school, can’t beat it. Though I do hope that wasn’t Freudian slip in regards to Georgia on my Mind & your penchant for ”loving’ Glenn Hughes ad libbing on that back in the day. Or is it just me that thinks that, he he he. Cheers.

  40. 40
    Gregster says:

    Yes indeed, there are ways to play Georgia, & ways not to do it, whilst also treating the tune & its creator with the greatest respect. I guess it’s up to people to decide lol !

    Everyone forgets about Frank Zappa regretfully, & his prowess. Sadly, there’s not too much footage captured on You-tube available for comparison from the 1970’s of his jaw-dropping-abilities, but he was miles ahead of RB in every aspect, especially when dealing with people, & putting bands together etc etc, yet alone writing out the charts.

    Here’s “Black Napkins” from 1976…A great blues number with extraordinary speed & harmonics, with the regular notes played differently, giving FZ his own unique, & distinct personality…


    And as far as technical ability goes, people forget about Johnny Winter also…He didn’t need a band to play-with either, but often decided to tour & make records as a band…

    RB was great at what he did, but he was his own worst enemy too, & stylistically painted himself into a corner.

    Peace !

  41. 41
    sidroman says:

    I must admit when I heard of Morse’s departure I thought they should have stopped. I got to see them with Simon this past February, while I did miss Steve, the new kid can play. He looks a bit out of place to me, kind of like the Graham Bonnet of Deep Purple, but I liked his playing.

  42. 42
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Knopfler today is a lot more sparse and simplistic than he was in the late 70ies to early 80ies when he was really quite elaborately ornamental with all his little twiddles and hammer-ons, his former bass buddy Illsley has said as much too (not as a criticism, but as a passing observation).

    I don’t have issues with a musician aging – if Blackmore said today, I can’t do the fast bits of the Highway Star solo like I used to so I’m not playing it at all anymore, he’d have my blessing (not that he needs it), sort of what Ian Gillan decided for himself with Child In Time.

    These days, I’m perfectly happy if Ritchie just noodles one of his solos in mid-tempo, choice of notes is key, not notes-per-second. I’ve always loved his slowish, elegiac slide playing – he plays slide like nobody else. In fact, in the 80ies he attempted to become too fast for my taste, he often sounded rushed and sloppy live. I wondered whether he was trying to prove something, keeping up with all the new ultra-fast players on the block. I thought that unnecessary. I realized that he was fast as a young man, but it was never what attracted me most to his playing. My favorite solos of his have always been mid-tempo like Hold On to ballady-slow stuff like When A Blind Man Cries, Sail Away, Holy Man, Soldier of Fortune, Catch The Rainbow, Temple Of The King or Rainbow Eyes. Thinking about it, you could say that I always liked Ritchie best when he was nurturing his inner David Gilmour! :mrgreen:

  43. 43
    MacGregor says:

    @ 40 – good to hear Zappa without the silly vocals, he was a very good guitarist who probably doesn’t get the credit in some ways, a bit under rated when so many are talking about other quality players. @ 42 – Yes indeed I often play certain songs just to hear Blackmore’s slower guitar solos, those you mentioned & also the early 80’s Rainbow albums have a few & the wonderful slide guitar also. A few cracking instrumentals at that time too. I do remember him talking at that time about less is more & how he got carried away trying to play too fast in the early 70’s. However as you said he sort of went back to that with the live concerts of 80’s Rainbow & the reunion era of Purple. Adrenalin I suppose but it also seems as if he is trying to get it all over with as quickly as possible, he looks bored with it all but that is Ritchie isn’t it. Regarding Mark Knopfler I have watched a few songs of his live in concert within the last decade or so..The recent interview is where he said his hands are not good & he has had to restrict his playing style quite a lot. John McLaughlin talked about it also on his 80th birthday a year or two ago, He is well aware of the hands telling him & is more than ready to accept the inevitable & ‘put the guitar in it’s case & slide it under the bed for the final time’. He still seems to play well though watching him at the Jeff Beck tribute gig a little while ago. Cheers.

  44. 44
    Hassan nikfarjam says:

    Blackmore, gillan, glover, lord and paice changed my life. After all these years I still listen to them and it feels the same. Deep purple were too far ahead of their time and with no doubt are the best. I still love Pictures of home with two guitar solos and a bass solo. They are never finished for me. Unfortunately time goes by and we all lose our previous abilities.

  45. 45
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Hassan @44
    Well said and I couldn’t agree more.
    Those guys changed my life as well.
    I remember when I lost my job over 20 years ago and my marriage was ending and I had no roof on top of my head, I used to listen to the track ‘I am not responsible’ from perfect strangers non stop and I used to stick the finger up to life. That was better than any therapy or counseling I ever had.
    Forever in love with DP
    Peace ✌️

  46. 46
    Gregster says:


    Great tune…The reunion was great for a while thank goodness !

    “I got no reason to be down at the station

    I got no ticket but I’m gonna take a *uckin’ ride

    I don’t care where go

    I never seem to know

    And yet when I wake-up tomorrow, I’ll be lookin’ around for you”…

    Amazing that some people only hear a couple of good tracks on this album…The whole thing is awesome, especially “Wasted Sunsets”…( Now that’s what I call a power-ballad ) !

    Peace !

  47. 47
    Mike Nagoda says:

    IMO, Ritchie did everyone a favour by leaving – good riddance. Destroying everyone’s confidence to make music together is disgusting, and IMO, abusive.

    Thank goodness for Steve, he saved the band. When he left, DP as I knew and loved them growing up died.

    Now I know how the Blackmore fanboys felt when RB left – but in Steve’s case it’s alot sadder as to why. I still think something wasn’t quite right between him and the rest of the band, but we’ll never know.

    I really, really miss Steve – for me, DP hasn’t been the same since, and has lost someone and something really special. For me, Simon is “just okay”. I wish they’d picked someone a bit more original like they did with Steve, tbh.

  48. 48
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Gregster @46
    Totally agree, I would like to think that all die hard DP fans value every track on every album as every DP song has something to offer even on individual bases rather than collective effort if it falls short of standard.

    ‘Wasted sum set’ is a great powerful ballad that sadly never found its way on live sets.
    Peace ✌️

  49. 49
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “I really, really miss Steve – for me, DP hasn’t been the same since, and has lost someone and something really special. For me, Simon is “just okay”. I wish they’d picked someone a bit more original like they did with Steve, tbh.”

    Mike, I don’t know if you have seen the Mk IX line-up yet live (I have seen them four times), but Simon has certainly given them a kick in the butt, they sound more dangerous again. With Steve – who did great things for Purple and is a pivotal part of their history – things had become a little safe in the later years (in the early years of Mk VII and Mk VIII, Steve’s enthusiasm was infectious for the whole band). In a way, Simon is to DP what Bernie Torme was to Gillan (albeit more tempered down, Bernie was a RIOT), an enrichment not just via technical prowess.

    How that works in the studio, we’ll have to see – I’ve read music industry intel according to which they have been holed up in a Hamburg studio for the last few weeks, where they also convened with earMusic/EDEL, their record company recently.


    I have never welcomed anybody’s departure from DP, I would have welcomed a fourth Mk I album and a follow-up to WDWTWA by Mk II, I don’t think Mk III were yet done when Blackers left and another Tommy Bolin album would have been great. I would have even liked to hear how TBRO would have turned out with the originally intended singer for it, namely Joe.

    But I’ve always been welcoming regarding new members too. I even gave Joe a chance, even though he was my least favorite Rainbow singer by a stretch (yet S&M beats anything he did with Rainbow in my book). And if truth be told, the Dixie Dregs had never done much for me (they were a band for guitar and drum clinic nerds, nothing to get laid to!), so when I heard that Steve had the offer to join, I didn’t exactly rejoice (I would have preferred a Michael Schenker, an Uli Jon Roth or a Glenn Tipton, who at the time wasn’t doing much with a Halford-less Priest), but then Steve surprised me with the classic Purpendicular which I loved right from the start. And that first tour with him was magic.

  50. 50
    Stathis says:

    @48 Indeed “Wasted Sunsets” was played on both nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 2009.
    (On one of the nights Not Responsible was also played)

  51. 51
    Allen says:

    @50 I remember being pleasantly surprised at the Manchester Apollo 2009 show when the track was aired.

  52. 52
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Wasted Sunsets and Hungry Daze were the best songs on Perfect Strangers after the title track and Big Ian’s exhortations for anal sex.

    Not Responsible was a good track too,


    but as I still lived in the vinyl age when Perfect Strangers came out, I never saw that as an integral part of the album as it was only featured on the cassette and CD versions. I think it came out as a bonus track on a picture disc version of Perfect Strangers later on + as a single B-side.

  53. 53
    Daniel says:

    McBride and Torme couldn’t be further apart, both in terms of appearance and approach to guitar playing?

  54. 54
    Mike Nagoda says:


    Uwe, I have not had the chance to see them live – they rarely come to Toronto, Canada where I am, or if I find out about it, it’s too late – I would agree that Simon has brought a fresh boost of energy to the band from the numerous videos I’ve watched, but I don’t find him to be as inventive, creative and original as Steve – if I’m being completely honest, he’s a little bit too “rock by numbers” for my taste, and for me, he emulates RB a little too much in his playing.

    What I hear is a very good rock guitar player who is trying a little too hard to sound like RB to please the diehards in the fanbase. I do get the sense that Simon could be a little more daring and original, I even get the sense he *wants* to break free from these conventions, but I have a feeling management or someone on DP’s team is holding Simon and the band back from letting loose and being super creative again.

    The originality, will to improvise and go beyond “the DP sound” like they had in the early years with Steve is gone, I agree. For me, they’ve become what they always despised – a “legacy act” – I suspect problems started once Bruce Payne left and they got new management. They haven’t been the same band since, imo. If they didn’t constantly tailor their setlist to the golden oldies and embraced their entire catalogue, and if Simon was allowed to start sounding like himself, and not constantly playing like a RB clone, and pushed the band to improvise more, I agree, we’d have something special.

    Sadly, this is not the band we have currently. Just my observations.

  55. 55
    Coverdian says:

    mac 40 – I love,love,love WEISSHEIM… so simple,so slow, so STUNNING!!!

  56. 56
    Daniel says:

    Well said, Mike Nagoda. The verdict will be out when the new album drops. Will they have enough confidence to promote it properly in concert? Hopefully. No point in more of the same old Mk 2 numbers with little to no improvisation.

  57. 57
    sidroman says:


    You have never seen the band live and yet you complain about them as a live band? There’s a big difference between seeing a band in person, and watching footage on Youtube or a dvd.

  58. 58
    MacGregor says:

    I have just listened to a ‘new’ DP MK2 song, Not Responsible.
    I have never heard it before only owning the original release on vinyl. I can see why it was left off the Perfect Strangers album. Makes me wonder just who was ‘responsible’ for it. That was another sad attempt at some sort of so called humour, apologies.
    @ 57 – I don’t see Mikes comments as a complaint, merely an observation. We all have our theories, expectations & desires etc. Time will tell. @ 55 – Coverdian- yes indeed Weiss Heim. Stunning Blackmore as usual with the instrumentals on the Rainbow albums. A pity there were not a few here & there on Purple albums. It is nice to get away from all the vocal songs at times. It would have made the original vinyl Down to Earth album a little more enjoyable for me if that track was on it. At least it did eventually become available, thankfully. Cheers.

  59. 59
    MacGregor says:

    I did forget a few DP instrumentals & we have the superb Son of Alerik from the PS sessions & thank the Gods that was eventually made available. Jon Lord’s playing is sublime on this track. Over the years I have had many people comment positively on Blackmore’s instrumental playing & place it in the same light as David Gilmour’s guitar playing. Incredibly melodic, subtle & up lifting etc. They like that side of Blackmore related music more than most of DP’s music & also most of Rainbow excepting the Rainbow Eyes, Temple of the King & Catch the Rainbow epics. Have to love the Man In Black & his exquisite guitar playing. There are not many that convey that with such poise & elegance. Let’s not forget the Burn album sessions with ‘A’ 200 & Coronarias Redig for DP instrumentals. Cheers.

  60. 60
    Wormdp says:

    Let’s just stop with the comparison to FZ and Prince. RB has never written compositions close to these multiple musicians. DP is a riff band. The other 2 are full concept musicians. Sounds , rythum, patterns, nothing that RB didn’t align with JL. Let’s enjoy what RB gave us because after Steve, there’s nothing

  61. 61
    Mike Nagoda says:


    You raise a decent point about the difference between video performance and in person – however, if this is my reaction from watching multiple videos from the past year or so, that’s not a good sign. Usually a band should get me interested or at the very least somewhat excited from concert videos – the fact that I am at best “meh” when it comes to MK IX is, to me, worrisome.

    I will go see them live, and get the new album of course. If they can win me back, more power to the guys!

  62. 62
    MacGregor says:

    I don’t have any problem ascertaining how good the musicians are & also the execution of the compositions with viewing the live online footage of any artist. Is that any different to listening to a live recording, whether official or a bootleg. The sound quality will usually not be as good online, but if it is decent enough we can hear the playing ability & if we know the songs & the music we then can observe the delivery of it all. Sure we can get too critical at times, expectation is a fine line. When some of us reside in more isolated locations on planet earth, the internet can be a good thing in some respects. It is better than nothing at all in that regard. If it wasn’t on a VHS or DVD or online we may never get to witness certain artists performing live whilst living out here in Australia. If I am lucky when a favourite band I do like tours here, I then hopefully will get to a concert. Concerts are the go of course, a one off buzz (hopefully) if ever there was one. The thing about a recorded film of a live performance is that with every repeated viewing, we notice different things, good or bad. That doesn’t really happen live, it can but it flies by in the moment & then it is a memory only if you can remember it. It works both ways I guess. Cheers.

  63. 63
    Daniel says:

    DP used to be a band rooted in improvisation but they have almost completely removed this element from their live shows. If you want to listen to Machine Head note for note, the album is available in numerous editions. Perhaps it’s because they feel improvisation has no place in 2023 or simply it’s a result of caving to public demand, which they clearly perceive to be Mk 2. It’s a shame considering they have a vast output post Blackmore, one which is largely ignored. On the other hand, while watching the show it’s clear newer songs like Uncommon Man and No Need to Shout are simply not high energy enough to make the audience come alive, hence the reliance on Lazy and Space Truckin’. But given that 2 out of 5 of the current band have no connection to these songs, the delivery is note for note and certainly more tame than wild. No one’s a winner in that regard. While McBride is very technically able, he is also the least distinct guitarist who has entered the band so far. A new album will hopefully change that. I think Mk McBride has three ways to go. 1) Release a new album and promote it extensively in concert, with a major shake up of the setlist. McBride would be allowed to come into his own and hopefully go from stand-in guitarist to DP guitarist proper. 2) Keep the Mk2 reliance but bring back the improvisation. 3) Disband the band gracefully and let its members go solo. I hope they go for #1 🙂

  64. 64
    MacGregor says:

    I watched the 4 Battle Rages On songs from the Come Hell or High Water dvd yesterday & enjoyed them immensely. Also Perfect Strangers & Lazy. A little while later I watched portions of the 1996 & 2000 live in Montreux concerts. The edginess was there in all three performances. Improv indeed & both guitarist are responsible for that and Jon Lord is there also. However they were younger then & still pushing the barrow out, not resting on laurels etc. Do they rest on laurels these days? They are in their prime years the original MK2 guys. That I would think has something to do with it, but I could be wrong. Is it something else? I read similar reviews of that nature with a few other ‘dinosaur’ acts still gigging. Rock music is a younger persons game in that regard. Cheers.

  65. 65
    sidroman says:

    McBride is more than capable. Visually he looks a bit out of place, being young enough to be any of the other guys kids.
    Now it’s nearly 2024. Anyone who thinks that at this stage Purple is going to shake things up and play lots of new material is simply dreaming. The setlist is going to have the usual half dozen radio hits in it. Anya was a nice suprise this past February when I saw them. Personally I don’t care if they record another album, there is already so much that I don’t see the point. If they come around I will still go see them because they still deliver the goods. They were a hell of a lot better than 2017 when they toured with Alice Cooper and they sounded stale and tired.

  66. 66
    Gregster says:


    Any competent musician will tell you that you have good days, & bad days all to do with the cycle-of-life, & that includes gigs…

    Some nights are great, others less so, regardless of age…

    As you get older, you prefer a quality performance, that guarantees success. When you’re younger, you’re looking for it.

    DP after the reunion were less of a jam-band, simply because of the back-catalogue of tunes to play. And RB had been there & done that, & it was only once-in-a-while that an inspired performance came about…Jon Lord was relegated to a 5-10 minute noodle in between “Ode to joy” & “Space Truckin'”…The days of DP on-the-spot improvisation were decades over…

    Steve Morse on the other hand could bend & weave in & out of the original solos as he wanted, encouraging further input from Jon, & so, the band was fresh & dynamic every night. This is why Steve is a better player, person, & musician than RB, & why he & Jon made a better / more interesting combination. As with Don too…And Simon is right-up-there too, having a great-o’l-time, though most won’t pick-up on it.

    Peace !

  67. 67
    George says:

    I recently picked up the double CD of the 1993 Stuttgart show and it is a pretty good performance from Ritchie. The thing I like about the Battle Rages On is that he actually plays a little rhythm guitar. Unless I am mistaken, you need to go back to ‘69 and ‘70 to hear some chords like that from him. Maybe I am off base with that comment but I have a ton of their stuff and you do not hear Ritchie play big chords like that. Be curious to know if a couple other examples outside of Blackmore’s Knight which kind of requires some nice rhythm.

    Let’s face it, we all love Ritchie which is why we are reading here….. but he can be extremely selfish. Satriani, Morse, McBride all come across as pretty professional. I do think Blackmore’s lackluster Purple performances were due to his selfishness. If you listen to Live in London from the Burn tour he is on fire. A lot of the live stuff from 1980 and on can be really sloppy compared to ‘69-‘’74 in my opinion.

  68. 68
    MacGregor says:

    Jon Lord talking on the CHOHW dvd & saying that those 30 odd shows they did in Europe were as good as any MK2 had ever done, energy wise & the playing etc. I haven’t heard any other performances so I will have to dig around & find some hopefully. A version of Highway Star that doesn’t have that ‘water effect’ would be good. I still find Blackmore irreplaceable for my ears, as good as the other guitarists are that have replaced him. Although that is easy for me to say as I haven’t been messed about by him in any way & was lucky to have been to two concerts in 1984 where he was on fire. So I look at it through rose tinted glasses. We obviously think of the other band members & the various crews also & what they have had to put up with at times. Also concert attendees from all corners on a dud night. Oh well it is all going down into history forever soon, along with the other ‘moody’ & ‘dark’ musicians of many years gone by & look at how influential many of those guys were. Cheers.

  69. 69
    Gregster says:


    Excellent post Sir, & I agree very-much with what you say !

    The one thing RB showed us all, is how incredibly awesome the band is once he’s gone ! And that’s happened twice now, with incredible results afterwards.

    Long live DP !!!

    Peace !

  70. 70
    MacGregor says:

    Currently watching the Stuttgart show 16 October 1993 & there is plenty of call & response classic Deep Purple on this. What Blackmore & Lord did ever so well & showed the way for many to follow. How long have they been doing this, from the beginning as we know. The Mule riff jam is wonderful, totally off the cuff there & why not. Blackmore & Lord, what a combination indeed. Bravo. Cheers.

  71. 71
    MacGregor says:

    I have to buy that Stuttgart gig (I can see Uwe rolling his eyes, thinking that it is unbelievable that I don’t have it & he would be right). I remember reading years ago about other 1993 concerts being so much more ‘out there’ etc. That extended version of Anya is awesome & Blackmore’s guitar sound is really dominate in this online video I am watching. He is going off big time on this performance compared to that Birmingham gig. George @ 67 – yes indeed his rhythm playing is much more prominent. Excellent. Cheers.

  72. 72
    MacGregor says:

    I can see where I missed the Stuttgart stand alone cd of the CHOHW tour. When purchasing the VHS upon it’s release 1994 & then seeing somewhere mentioning a cd had been released, I simply thought without looking any further into it, that it was the NEC film recording. You would think I would search a little but having that ‘I already have it’ mind set now finds me here all these years later going on about it. There have been plenty of folk here talking over the years about this cd, however even that has passed me by somehow. Things can move pretty slowly out here in Australia especially when you live under a rock, the WI-FI reception is appalling. Anyway thanks to all & sundry for commenting about it recently & not so recently. Cheers.

  73. 73
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I saw DP on that fateful ’93 tour in Frankfurt and – two weeks later – in Mannheim. Frankfurt was very good (as good as I had seen them on the THOBL-tour, also in Frankfurt), Mannheim was awful, Blackmore totally bored and listlessly prowling the stage, Big Ian manfully soldiering through, but visibly pissed off/disillusioned and mostly utterly ignoring his band nemesis (as did Blackmore with Gillan that night). I came home from that gig positive that things wouldn’t last much longer (after having been elated after the Frankfurt one). And they didn’t. Stuttgart was the next day and it seems like Blackmore mustered some discipline and inspiration for that though conventional wisdom has it that the gig in Essen (one day after the one I saw in Frankfurt) was DP’s best one on that particular German tour spanning 13 dates. Mannheim is generally seen as the worst.

    Re “Does Purple still improvise enough on stage?”, you have to put things into perspective. Purple’s peak in improvisation and jamming on stage was certainly the early Mk II years 1969-71, from then on they started to gradually curb things down. If you listen to the three Made in Japan nights, you hear a band at the height of its powers, a well-oiled machine, but sheer professionalism had already taken over from the improvisational frenzy of the early days, which is hardly a surprise given how much DP toured. (And not everyone dug 30 minute versions of Mandrake Root either, a lot of people thought DP’s incessant soloing/noodling self-indulgent even back then.) Mk III and Mk IV weren’t really improvisational anymore, the vanity solo spots here and there excepted.

    BUT – and it is a big BUT – given how little most other touring bands today leave things up to chance, there is still plenty of soloing going on at a DP gig even today. If you really want to hear static sets where two different nights tend to match each other note for note, then I advise you to listen to a few Rammstein, Judas Priest, Eagles or Coldplay gigs. Really the only established bands I can think off that perform their songs with more liberal variation night for night are outright jam bands such as Govt Mule or the Tedeschi-Trucks Band. Or you have to see Bob Dylan who sometimes chucks a whole set list out of the window ten minutes before a gig to surprise his band with a new one! And then plays unperturbed songs the majority of his audience have never heard of (or have a hard time recognizing because he has notoriously deconstructed the arrangement).

    And: Purple’s improvisational knack was always more about solistic freedom/excess than about surprise inclusions of songs in their set or the deconstruction of songs. I think it was Roger who once said that they prefer to play only a limited number of songs night for night without substantial changes in the set as the tour progresses so that they know them so well they can mess around with them.

    Re the “legacy act” thing. I know that Ian Gillan and Roger Glover always emphasize that they are not a Classic Rock nostalgia act and want to get new music out to people, but the reality check is that Purple have been largely trading on nostalgia since their reunion in 1984 – nostalgia was the key non-monetary reason they got back together. And that is not a bad thing really, they can be justly proud of what they did in the first half of the 70ies and that at one time (1970/71) they were in tune with the Zeitgeist and even shaped it a little. If your core audience consists of baby boomers, what else are you but a legacy act?

    But really, Purple albums have been more or less conservative as opposed to cutting edge and embracing new trends since as far back as Burn (the album) at least. They spiced up the recipe with other, already existing influences such as Black Music, yes, but the core character of their music – ‘Ritchie plays a riff, Jon doubles it, followed by vocal verses and a chorus before getting back to the riff and let’s have a solo for Ritchie and Jon each’ – remained the same, especially live. Sure, they’d change set lists around with each new Mk-incarnation, even radically so, but Burn, Stormbringer and Come Taste The Band were per se not modernistic music in 1974-75.

    The only time they really broke from the mold post-1984 was with Purpendicular and the tour that followed with a totally revamped set and Steve Morse bringing in this wealth of new influences. At the gig of the Purpendicular Tour that I saw in Hanau they played something like seven or even more new tracks off the album (and went down very well with it).

  74. 74
    Micke says:

    @ 58 Not Responsible is a very good add on to Perfect Strangers!!

  75. 75
    Gregster says:

    LOL !

    Every band that’s been around as long as DP have, “have” to play a certain amount of old-stuff, as that’s what’s expected from the audience since it’s what defined them in the first place. Most people at home will play the live album MiJ in preference to MH, & so that’s what people want to hear in the concert setting, at least in part.

    RG is also on video stating that DP is a “Now band”, not a legacy act or nostalgia act as RB suggested. And RB’s stance on that statement is likely the root-cause why the Mk-II band ultimately failed, since he saw no future, & wanted no future for the band. R & R was dead for RB, as proven by his gnomes & elves outfit today…

    There are a massive amount of post RB / reunion live albums, that equal at the least MiJ, & better any Mk-II reunion live effort brought forward. People should check-out the discography here on this site, as you’ll discover a whole new generation of young fans that are grateful RB left, & that SM help the band deliver even more creative & stylistic studio & live albums. And these albums are obviously selling, or they wouldn’t be making themselves available for sale !

    My only wish for this site is that room is made for the massive amount of young people to express their POV’s in celebration of the Steve Morse era, & now Simon McBride era, which will prove far more successful & positive than the forever sad RB era’s.

    All RB had going for him was the world-wide-audiences wanting more of Jimi Hendrix, & guitar oriented rock, which he delivered in his own unique way. His time came & went, he burnt countless people along the way with his selfishness, & now hopes people will come dressed as gnomes & elves to his BN medieval folk festivals…And that’s fine if it’s your thing…

    DP has for over 30-years now moved into leading-edge contemporary Rock very successfully, so let the band breathe a little-bit, listen to the incredible new music since, & allow the young one’s to speak.

    In the decades to come, people may well know RB’s name, but they’ll be listening to the Steve Morse & Simon McBride era music, since it has more of the timelessness about it, that stays fresher for longer, since it was way-ahead-of-its-time in the first-place, & not stuck in medieval ether.

    Peace !

  76. 76
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “I have to buy that Stuttgart gig (I can see Uwe rolling his eyes, thinking that it is unbelievable that I don’t have it & he would be right).”

    But Herr MacGregor, I have long given up measuring you against any small-minded expectations I might have. My stance now is best described as “liberally welcoming anthropological curiosity”, I’m just happy that you are there doing what you do (or not do) in your own inimitable uniqueness! Only the (assumed) lack of stripes on your back keeps me from drawing further mythical comparisons …


  77. 77
    MacGregor says:

    To improvise or to not improvise, that is the question. I am sure shaky Bill said that eons ago did he not? Seriously though forget Dylan throwing his band members a new set list 10 minutes before a show. Apparently Frank Zappa was known to do that frequently from interviews I have watched from band members. Now that is pressure. At least Dylan’s songs are only three chords, he he he. Neil Young I think was prone to doing that also. Regarding the Purpendicular tour I have noticed looking at older set lists from the Morse era, that would have been the most new songs represented in a set list for the post Blackmore Purple wouldn’t it? Correct me if I am wrong. Cheers.

  78. 78
    jac dave says:

    u all forget no reunion as ritchie cant play anymore he is more slowhand than clapton

  79. 79
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Regarding the Purpendicular tour I have noticed looking at older set lists from the Morse era, that would have been the most new songs represented in a set list for the post Blackmore Purple wouldn’t it?”

    I think there was hardly a song from that album they did not play live at one point, it was as seismic a set change from Mk II.3 to Mk VII as from Mk I to Mk II.1, Mk II.1 to Mk III, Mk III to Mk IV or Mk II.2 to Mk V. In contrast, the set of the reunited Mk II.2 picked up where Mk II.1 had left off 12 years before – minus Mary Long and with a neutered Woman From Tokyo sans middle part (which Blackers incongruously despised and would not play) and a handful of new tracks from Perfect Strangers added.

    On that Purpendicular Tour, the band was really on fire, a boulder had been eased off their collective chest. Hearing something as “unusual for Purple” as Rosa’s Cantina live was absolute magic, I was in bliss and confident that they would survive Ritchie’s departure this time. Morse and his plethora of processed, yet tasteful guitar sounds were awesome.

  80. 80
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Lieber Gregster,

    I sincerely applaud your commendable enthusiasm for “DP sans Ritchie”, be it with Bolin, Morse or McBride, but are you sure that this “massive amount of young people” turning out in droves to hear DP today was/is there for Steve or Simon? I believe they are mostly there to essentially hear live renditions of songs from albums such as In Rock or Made In Japan which they scratched/smeared as toddlers in their parents’ vinyl or CD collection!


    And the current DP line-up is as close as they can get to that.

    I would love to be wrong and I’m no Ritchie acolyte myself (though you paint him in perhaps a little too dull a light concerning his 70ies achievements), but DP continue to trade heavily on their 70ies legacy (and what’s wrong with that, I’d like to know … to quote Sir Paul here). That’s not to say that people at their current gigs dislike what they do today or do not appreciate that they still record new stuff, but, yes, they are a legacy band, just as The Rolling Stones are. Nearly everything DP still do and have always done, the Hammond-drenched sound, the virtuoso image, the focus on improvisational solos, they way they write songs and produce their albums, even their g/keyb/b/dr/voc line-up cries “70ies!” as loud as bell bottom pants (which I loved).

    DP are a very traditional rock band covering a very traditional market segment, period. And most people here (or anywhere else) do not want the band to deviate too much from that irrespective of age or generation.

    And if I may add as a resident contrarian:

    “most people at home will play the live album MiJ in preference to MH …”

    I’m not most people then! I love the dry and compressed sound DP have on MH, those “Deep Purple in your living room”-sonics. MiJ is great as a live album of course, always will be, but I love the amount of clearly discernible detail you hear on MH that is not hidden away in billowing, pretentious echo-o-o-o-o-o ‘that other band’ insisted on adorning its recorded output with.


    I’m not giving away names!

  81. 81
    MacGregor says:

    @ 76 – ha ha ha, well thanks for that, at least I exist in some form then, better than not existing at all. Cheers.

  82. 82
    Gregster says:


    Anyone wanting the “old-school” DP improvisational recordings need only look for the Deep Purple (Overseas) Stockholm 1970 recording. It contains 2 x discs & 1 x DVD, & there would be close to at least 3-full-hours of solid entertainment. I listened through it all yesterday, where I’m sure it was around 11:30 when I started, & at 14:00 the band was finally winding up on the 10 x tunes offered over the 2 x discs. The sound is remarkable for the age of the recordings, & performances will speak for themselves. Everyone gets the chance to shine with solos, especially Ian Paice, with even RG having short but impressive solo-spots, usually when the band is winding a tune down by rotating 8-bar-solos each near the end, & you even get to hear very clearly IG’s impressive & dearly missed conga’s in action…

    This is an edgy band caught on fire through the “In Rock” tour, & it’s unlikely that better live performances exist of the tunes played from that album, along with a few from the Mk-I era, where the on-the-spot improvisations present themselves in full flight. Jon has his organ plugged through a Marshall, & RB alternates between Stratocaster, & his red Gibson. Real classic live & raw Deep Purple…

    The DVD is the full version of “Doing their Thing”, where excerpts appear in most DP documentaries that exist, so you’ll recognize the event for sure, but can finally watch it all as delivered on colour TV decades ago.

    This is by-far the best package of the DP ( overseas) Lives Series that was offered around 10-years ago, & I’m sure that some fresh-new-copies are available still, though their numbers would be few. And all for under $10:00 USD. Bargain.

    So for those that want classic Mk-II live with the improvisations, this is what you’re looking for & need. Must have item.

    Peace !

  83. 83
    MacGregor says:

    @ 80 – yes that cover image from the 4th album was in the media recently regarding them finding out about it’s origins & the farmer or wood collectors name. Was that the ‘name’ you would not mention?????? I know what you mean though re echo & reverb etc. I agree with that & yes MH is a good example of how to record a rock band ‘in the room’ so to speak. Sometimes a studio recording is better for a lot of reasons & we also do love a good genuine live recording kicking the band up a few notches. Regarding Rosa’s Cantina & the Purpendicular songs being performed live, I have just this minute finished listening to the 1997 Argentina live recoding & 5 songs performed there. I do like the Purpendicular songs live, however still not a fan of Morse squealing & pinching with some of the traditional Purple riffs though & never have been. It has been a long time since I have listened to Morse playing Blackmore riffs etc & his solo’s do tend to sound the same repeatedly & to much like his solo material. That is who he is though & he has to add his own flavour to it. I did originally come into Purpendicular in 1995 with excitement & also a little trepidation in regards to Morse’s technique. I have most of The Dregs, his solo & the SMB albums from the late 70’s up until the mid 90’s, so I guess in a way I was sort of over his style a little by then & he was starting to sound the same a lot & that doesn’t help things. The Woman from Tokyo riff with pinches etc & the Perfect Strangers song with those whammy bar dive bombs are not for me at all. Speed King isn’t too bad & No One Came & also Highway Star is ok. Not to worry I just stick to their Morse era live songs when playing a few here & there. I am still glad for Steve Morse that he scored a permanent job in DP & contributed to their music overall, he deserved it. Cheers.

  84. 84
    MacGregor says:

    I tell you what I did notice though going from the DP 1993 Stuttgart gig to the 1997 Argentina concert & that was Ian Gillan’s voice. At Stuttgart he is over the top at times & his voice is shot in many ways. Adrenalin or perhaps deliberately annoying Blackmore a little, who can tell. However on the Argentina performance he sounds really good, holding back on all that unnecessary in between songs screaming & not over singing in the songs, a much better overall vocal delivery to my ears. Cheers.

  85. 85
    Gregster says:


    Oh for sure the band is formulated today, it has to be to maintain success, in an effort to try & please everybody, which is impossible, but worth pursuing lol !

    For sure there was a few years break 2005-13 without a new recording, but the boys have been regular since then, & always tour after a new album with the exception of the COrona VIrus Disease 2019 bollox that fooled nearly everyone, & shut the world down for the “great reset”…Hmmm…

    As for RB, for sure he was one-of-my main influences in playing the guitar, or more properly a Stratocaster because of the MiJ tones heard, but he’s lost much appeal to me through the decades namely because of the way he treats people. I mean let’s be real here, he “is” a class-A asshole. But it’s good to see him revelling in Tolkienesque atmosphere, & creating his own “Middle Earth” for himself & family, & relegating himself to being a regular kind of Hobbit…He’s certainly not an Elve, Wizard or Man, but does have some Dwarvish qualities perhaps…Maybe we’ll catch-up someday at Crickhollow near Bree !

    As for the gentleman with the sticks upon his back on the LZ IV cover, it was recent news that he was actually identified & made the press State-side at least. He was a Victorian era man by the name of Lot Long…

    Peace !

  86. 86
    Uwe Hornung says:

    You can’t blame him, poor guy didn’t have any say when they put him on the cover of that album.

    His identification (and that the picture was a colorized photo as opposed to a painting as everyone had thought) was all over the press here too.

  87. 87
    Martin says:

    Hey there!

    It may seem a bit late but…
    @30 Georgivs

    There were some hints about a dispute within the band.
    In at least one Interview issued in German magazine “Gitarre & Bass” (https://www.gitarrebass.de/stories/interview-steve-morse/) Steve is saying that the opinions on how long they should keep touring differ quite a bit.
    Quick and dirty reverse translation: some in the band seem to believe, that they will be living for 200 years and want to tour until year 199, while he would prefer to go out “as long as we are good enough”.
    But honestly I could habe sworn that whatever member leaving would mark the end of the band. I was really surprised that they announced Simon as a new member more or less on the spot. So, like some others said, it seemed not quite appropriate after all those years he played with them.

    Quite interestingly, as soon as I heard them perform “Perfect Strangers” with Simon (whose capabilities are not to be questioned) I missed the harmonics and dive-bombs that Steve introduced. But that’s seems to be all up to personal taste and once again is nothing against Simons way of playing the song.

    When I started listening to DP, we had exactly two DVDs at home: Come Hell Or High Water and Perihelion. And in comparison the latter had much more energy… but who would wonder, given the circumstances, in which Come Hell.. was recorded.
    But naturally, I watched the show with Steve over an over again and embraced his input with his own material alongside the way he played the classics.

    The other quote from him that made me think that things aren’t quite as they should was in the documentary “From Here To Infinite”, where he is expressing his hope to be Purple’s last guitarist.
    He was talking about his wrist issues and how he wants to record with the band while he still is able to do so. I guess, we all know, that Bob Erin wasn’t to reserved, when it came to criticizing Steve’s input. So I thought that this combined with the health issues would be the reason for that brooding interview, but now one could think that there might have been some more issues between the band… but that’s just guess work.

    I have always been a fan of the Morse Era, both with the records and the live performances, so I’m still a bit sad that he had to leave.

  88. 88
    MacGregor says:

    @ 86 – which begs the question, I wonder if that guys descendants could sue Zeppelin for using his image for commercial purposes without his permission? Imagine Page being delivered a writ ‘what the F..k’. Karma indeed & as we know the Behemoths do have some what of a reputation for that. Cheers.

  89. 89
    Georgivs says:


    I’m surprised anyone has actually read my post…)

    I agree, announcing Simon on the spot was not the most sensitive thing to do. To compare with, a colleague of mine tried courting me after I had divorced, and when she learned that I was already in a new relationship, she went “Well, that’s too soon, isn’t it?” And by that time I had been divorced for 1.5 years. So, each person has his/her own standard of when it is appropriate to start a new relationship. With all that, Steve departed on non-hostile if not completely amicable terms, which is good. I hope that with Simon they still manage to release a good album. Anything else would be sad. After all, if Steve ended up being their last guitar man and ‘Whoosh’ happened to be their final album, being their most successful release commercially since ‘Perfect Strangers’, it would make a complete and beautiful story. Now we don’t know what’s gonna happen.

    But then, you can never really write off DP guys. They still have have a few jokers up their sleeves, I’m sure. When I was a kid back in the 1980s, and heard THOBL, which seemed a bit stiff after PS, and then we had the abhorred ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, I thought it was time for them to call it quits. Well, they didn’t and we see what happened.

  90. 90
    Uwe Hornung says:

    But Herr MacGregor, Messrs Page, Plant, Jones & Bonham are such fine originators of art, they never get sued for anything! What’s next, will you be accusing them of Satanism?

    Seriously, any rights the burdened Victorian Age Wiltshire thatcher named Lot Long(year) might have had, must have expired long ago – in Germany they end 10 years after the person’s death, I don’t know what the period in the UK is, but can’t imagine it to be long enough to grant Mr Long still any protection: He left us in 1893 at the then biblical age of 70. That was well ahead of the release of the potentially rights-infringing vinyl by (un)said band whose music – I hasten to add – can therefore not have played a role in Mr Long’s demise. Though one does indeed wonder what he would have made of Percy belting out “Hey hey mama, said the way you move …”.

  91. 91
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Thanks for the Gitarre & Bass link, Martin, instructive interview re Steve’s work with the commercially very much undervalued Flying Colors.

    My hunch is that Steve’s departure with Purple did not come out of the blue, but had been gestating for a while, the illness of his wife not so much a reason, but a trigger.

    As far back as Now What?!, I had the impression that Steve wasn’t digging Purple’s ‘Ezrin Era’ as much as the others. Steve is too disciplined and community-minded a person to ever let an audience down like Ritchie was sometimes prone to do, but I remember thinking after a pre-pandemic gig with Flying Colors in Cologne that it had been ages since I had seen him having such a good time and being so inspired with Purple. It made me wonder.

    And if you want to go even farther back, I remember him mentioning in an interview that he found it difficult for quite some time to adjust his style to Don Airey’s keyboard playing after he had found it easy playing with Jon Lord right from the start. Don was raised playing with very dominant guitarists like Gary Moore, Ritchie, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, John Sykes & Glenn Tipton – it shows in his playing. Don today is much more prominent in DP’s live and studio sound than Jon Lord was when he packed his bags 20 years ago. Jon left Steve more room, musically accommodating as he was.

    Add to that how Steve witnessed his own songwriting contributions (a few token tracks from whatever current album Purple were pushing at the time excepted) taking a backseat to overplayed Mk II material live, his dislike for endless tours and his arthritis issues. He must have been thinking to himself quite a bit (and the pandemic gave him ample time to do so). The fact that he was the only DP member not living in Europe can’t have helped either.

    That doesn’t mean that the split was necessarily mean or callous, I rather think that he and the band simply grew apart. And after eight albums with Purple, he probably felt that there was not much more for him to state in their musical context either.

    And at the same time Don Airey had gained years and years of experience playing with Simon – and Don knows a good guitarist when he sees one (see above). Plus the Don Airey Band backed Big Ian on his pre-Infinite Eastern Europe Contractual Obligation Tour so he too could witness Simon first hand (in hindsight: was that already a dry run for what might have to be in the not too distant future?).

    Steve’s departure was perhaps inevitable, Simon taking over certainly convenient.

    And personally I don’t see DP stopping unless one of the current ‘Mk II Holy Trinity’ of Gillan, Glover + Paice drops out permanently for whatever reason. And to all three touring has become a way of life, it’s what they know and still have the stamina + health to do. That said, the tour following their upcoming (and likely last?) studio album will probably wrap things up one way or another.

  92. 92
    MacGregor says:

    @ 90 – yes I have had certain images appear in my mind of Lot working so hard as they did on the farm (& many still do) watching as Percy wanders into view with flowers in his hair & two lemons shoved down his pants singing ‘squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg’. Oh dear what have I thought of, apologies to all & sundry, including Mr Lot Long. Cheers.

  93. 93
    MacGregor says:

    I watched a video online yesterday of DP from October 2022 in Birmingham performing the song Perfect Strangers & it all appeared so laid back, the performance & definitely the crowd. They were all seated behaving themselves & it looked like a classical orchestral seated gig in so many ways. Very different from the 1990’s concerts I have been watching & not surprising. Everyone has ‘matured’ quite a lot since those days & I guess everything was a reflection of the times. Father time was definitely present, so raise your glasses everyone as the sun gently sets on the horizon. Cheers.

  94. 94
    MacGregor says:

    Uwe I am not sure if you have watched this Tony Levin interview at all. Very good it is & all aspects are covered from the wonderful bass player. A consummate musician & wonderful individual indeed. Cheers.


  95. 95
    Gregster says:

    Herr Uwe commented…

    qt.”Don today is much more prominent in DP’s live and studio sound than Jon Lord was when he packed his bags 20 years ago. Jon left Steve more room, musically accommodating as he was”…

    ***But that’s what makes a band great too, when personalities are pushing each-other musically off-the-stage, trying to win-over the musical conversation…Just ask RB…And perhaps Jon was tired of it all too, since he never really shone in any way since the reunion, & was even quite flat throughout Whitesnake…And PAL had 2 x pianists lol !…IMO, WDWTWA will always be Jon’s best effort where he shines the brightest as far as DP go, with “In Rock” close 2nd. MK-III & IV along with Indonesia likely took the glitter & shine away from him on a permanent basis perhaps.

    qt.II.”That doesn’t mean that the split was necessarily mean or callous, I rather think that he and the band simply grew apart. And after eight albums with Purple, he probably felt that there was not much more for him to state in their musical context either”.

    *** Steve has a very ill wife at home, & spending more time with her during the bollox Covid-19-scam made him appreciate that this is where he wanted to be, which is not unreasonable. He was with the band without issue for over 30-years & very professional throughout. I doubt that any trivial issues sneaked-in, they would have been well & truly squashed over that time. (I’m sure his legal representatives were in contact with the bands legal representatives at all times LOL ) !

    At some point your job becomes a job, as that’s what your life revolves around,year after year after year…In this instance however, Steve was well & truly part of the DP family. It would not have been an easy decision to make. And as for the Mk-II stuff, he’s been eating that meal for over 30-years too, it was always part of the package that came with the job…But it’s vital to remember that the last few DP albums have been best-selling chart successes, so people obviously love the new stuff too. I think the new stuff leaves the old stuff for dead…It’s timeless, memorable, catchy & successful.

    Also, at this stage of their career, the band & management for years would no-doubt have “a phone call away” replacement ready, should someone jump-ship for the great gig in the sky unexpectedly whilst on tour.

    And as for “father time”, (lol), he’s everywhere, always…He’s not just knockin’ on DP’s back door, he comes knockin’ on everyone’s, though perhaps he’s at your-own door now knocking I’d suggest, since you see & mention him quite often…Perhaps it’s a sign to pack-your-own-bags for the next adventure 😉 !

    Peace !

  96. 96
    MacGregor says:

    I always see Father time, the only thing I worry about occasionally is if he is actually a she. That is going to change everything no doubt, but then again perhaps not. Reminds me of an excerpt from Shakespeare’s Richard II:
    Music do I hear?
    Ha, ha! keep time. How sour sweet music is
    When time is broke and no proportion kept!
    So is it in the music of men’s lives.
    And here have I the daintiness of ear
    To check time broke in a disorder’d string;
    But, for the concord of my state and time,
    Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
    I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
    For now hath time made me his numbering clock.

  97. 97
    Gregster says:


    Time is a man-made measuring tool, that has no real significance, even if it is given 3 x dimensions, namely direction, speed & duration…

    We are multidimensional beings, existing within a vibration continuum.

    eg. Energy steps into to vibration, that steps into to sound, that steps into light, that steps into matter etc etc.

    Mr.Tesla indicated that when thinking of the universe, think in terms of Energy, Vibration & Frequency…

    Q. What is electricity ??? A. It is compressed light…

    Q. What is light ??? A. Electromagnetic radiation perceptible to the eye.

    Scientists even admit today via real proof, that we essentially live in a holographic universe, since behind our atoms, are photons ( or intelligent light ). So in essence, since we are made-up of intelligent light, all that happens at death, is that we leave our atomic / physical body behind, since its been worn out (& needs a replacement), as its bound to earth conditions, since it came from the earth. The light body continues on…

    Even the physicist laws of Thermodynamics indicate that energy never dissipates, it changes state.

    Everything is in a “process of change”.

    And DP are in a similar process now with Simon onboard, & the new album likely finished, probably awaiting an agreeable final mix-down & release date.

    2024 should be a fantastic year, with a new album & Tour. Awesome !

    Peace !

  98. 98
    MacGregor says:

    It looks like Rick Beato has finally succumb to the masses with Smoke on the Water.. Or has he been here before with DP? I don’t know. Cheers.


  99. 99
    MacGregor says:

    Yes Rick was here not that long ago. A bit of a worry & I had better stop talking about father time etc & start to remember things. Or at least stop typing & look it up first. Cheers.

  100. 100
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Mr.Tesla indicated that when thinking of the universe, think in terms of Energy, Vibration & Frequency…“

    OMG, Gregster is beginning to sound like Bob Calvert!


    Careful with those mushrooms! 🍄 🍄 🍄

  101. 101
    MacGregor says:

    That appallingly mimed performance of the Hawkwind song Quark, Strangeness & Charm did not include Dave Brock as he was incensed at the band being roped into a tv miming situation. Hawkwind did NOT do mime & why would they. Bob Calvert is one of my favourite lyricists, clever, witty, adventurous & switched on in the 1960’s & 70’s with the dilemmas facing planet earth & it’s inhabitants. The Fable of a Failed Race, Uncle Sam’s On Mars, The Isaac Asimov influenced Robot, the atomic experiments influenced Damnation Alley, The oil situation in the middle east with The Assassins of Allah, The dystopian novel from JG Ballard’s ‘High Rise’ song & many more. His collaborations with Michael Moorcock, Brian Eno, Nektar & Amon Düül amongst others. Apparently he went to enlist with the RAF to become a fighter pilot, an obsession he had at that time however he failed a medical due to an ear problem. He suffered from serious Bi-Polar throughout his life, so he had his demons at times & he passed away far too young at 43. You are correct though Uwe, Calvert was ‘out there’. Cheers.

  102. 102
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Now now, no inhibitions on your streams of consciousness, Herr MacGregor, your cerebral droppings fertilize our barren intellectual grounds !!!

  103. 103
    Uwe Hornung says:

    For the record: I love Bob Calvert’s lyrics and stage persona too! Spirit Of The Age and Damnation Alley were great.



    Also the Hawklords album.


  104. 104
    MacGregor says:

    There is something in the water out here Uwe, something in the water. The strange thing is our more recent ancestry stretches all the way back to Europe, now there is a thought. Cheers.

  105. 105
    Gregster says:


    “I told you once, about our friends & neighbours,
    they were always seeking, but would never find it,
    it’s alright, it’s alright”…

    Peace !

  106. 106
    MacGregor says:

    Excellent to hear Uwe. Those 3 Calvert albums are the most played 1970’s Hawkwind for me plus a few songs from Astounding Sounds. A much more melodic & better structured Hawkwind compared to earlier eras. Although I do like Warrior on the Edge of Time & Hall of the Mountain Grill just before those albums of the second Calvert era. Also Levitation from 1980 with Ginger Baker’ superb drumming & Huw Lloyd Langton on lead guitar & Tim Blake on the ‘crystal machine’ keyboard setup. I never could get into their earlier 70’s material, too repetitive & rough sounding for my ears. Too much LSD back then no doubt. Cheers.

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