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Eventful times

Reprint of an article from New Musical Express, June 26, 1971, on Deep Purple’s visit to Iceland and review of the gig, in which the author reveals that he has absolutely no clue what Aurora borealis actually is. But that’s beside the point.

A trot round town revealed every record shop with its windows full of Deep Purple albums, kids selling Purple posters in the streets and signs advertising the concert everywhere. But we didn’t see one Eskimo, Igloo, Polar Bear or Rudolph, and felt quite cheated. On the other hand, the scenery was breathtaking and our hotel was situated across the bay from a snow-capped volcano that was last active 40 years ago.
In the dressing room prior to the concert, typical Purple humour broke out and I witnessed the amazing Jon Lord-Ian Paice mock wardance, a spate of tonking (a particularly sharp smack on the crown of the head), threats to Roger’s career, a decision to do away with Jon’s organ and switch Ian Gillan to electric piano (“Then we’ll get the same riff all night long,” – Jon) and fruity renditions of “Tie My Kangaroo Down, Sport” and even “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.”
Roger gave me the honour of carrying his spare bass on stage for him and I was rewarded with a rousing cheer from the audience. As the group filed on, something akin to Beatlemania in volume greeted them.

Read more in My Things – Music history for those who are able to read.

Thanks to Geir Myklebust for putting this up.

7 Comments to “Eventful times”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I have a hunch that Roger’s “kidney trouble” was perhaps a sympathetic journalistic euphemism for another painful condition acquired on the road? Alas!, the fire down below, albeit of the unpleasant type.

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Some insecurity about natural phenomena there, Aurora borealis and midnight sun, all very difficult. Not an English forte apparently, Annie Hassan didn’t sing about true ‘Northern Lights’ here either, but about the city lights of her home town Bolton in the Greater Manchester Area (not really a notable Aurora borealis region).


    And man, I would love to have that Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep cover by Deep Purple, Middle of the Road were always a guilty pleasure of mine.


    Proto-heavy metal! 😂


  3. 3
    Wiktor says:

    Nice little article by NME from days gone by… same NME that some years later down the road turned their back on Purple, Zep and Floyd in favour of the “punk revolution” and that crappy music.. LOL!!

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    @2: Annie Haslam, not “Hassan” of course, everybody’s talking AI, but my spell check remains steadfastly illiterate! :mrgreen:

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    I was wondering about that ‘typo’ Uwe. Annie Haslam is a superb vocalist & Renaissance a good folk Brit band indeed. Born from Keith Relf & Jim McCarty ex Yardbirds & following a good selection of British musicians & influences & a Wishbone Ash, Curved Air connection in a small way & many others. Anyone hear BN attempting to replicate that sound & style & we know how much Blackers was influence by Abba. That song Chirp Chirpy Cheep Cheep was a big hit here in Oz. Those were the days etc etc. I didn’t know the Rockin’ Soul song at all.. Cheers.

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I believe Rockin‘ Soul was Middle of the Road‘s last hit in Germany and it happened only after they had separated from the Italian songwriter(s) responsible for all their previous hits. (While MoR were Scottish, they were discovered by Italian songwriters/producers as the resident Top 40 cover band on a Mediterranean Sea cruise ship.)

    Anyway, Sally Carr was made to wear hot pants with grace, thanks for the memories!

  7. 7
    Rock Voorne says:

    Scenes from the dressingroom remind me of that weird DICK PIMPLE Fanclubsingle

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