Archive for November, 2014

Rated X

Posted: November 29, 2014 in Classic Rock, Deep Purple Family

Fans of Classic Rock has got a new band to check out, Rated X, that features Joe Lynn Turner (vocals), Carmine Appice (drums), Tony Franklin (bass) and Karl Cochran (guitar). Nikolo Kotzev guests on a few tracks on guitar. It´s not bad, they try very hard to give the average fan of 80´s Melodic Rock (think Rainbow, Malmsteen, Whitesnake, Blue Murder etc) good value for money. And most people will probably like this record. If this sells, we may get a tour. If it bombs, it will join other projects that has quietly slipped into oblivion. This will be decided just about now. I think this band deserve a second record and a chance to prove themselves. So I say support this if you can.

These guys have payed their dues.

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Deep Purple´s “Stormbringer” was released in November 1974, and nobody seems to pay much attention to the fact that it has just turned 40. It was the ninth studio album from Deep Purple, the second with the third version of the band – Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Produced by Martin Birch, it was a surprisingly easy going album, very laidback and funky. Some thougth they cruised and maybe they did drop the ball, but it´s still a great record. Nine tracks, 36,31 minutes long – no wonder they could release albums so often back in the day. The title track is classic Purple and I love songs like “The Gypsy” and “Soldier of Fortune”.

The cover was based on an iconic photograph of a hurricane, taken by Lucille Handberg on July 8 1927. The illustration for the Purple cover was done by Joe Garnett and it was designed by John Cabalka. Like “Burn”, it was not a foldout, which was a bit of a disapointment back in the day (the next album “Come Taste The Band” had a much cooler cover, more to enjoy).

I don´t think this album made Ritchie Blackmore leave. Had he wanted more control he could have insisted upon it. He had talked about leaving Purple even back in the MKII days. Also, perhaps he was thinking about his own future even as this was being made in the Summer of 1974. In the end, the band never really got around to support this album very much and Blackmore was out by April 1975.

Still, Deep Purple had a lot of balls producing an album like this.

(Original images of this post deleted due to EU regulations)

Stawka star Stanislaw Mikulski passad away this morning. He was 85. I got the news from my friend Maciek Szatko over in Poland and this is major news over there. Maciek wrote an article about the show, which was called Kapten Kloss in Sweden – for RETROFUTURE 6 and Mikulski did get to see it. I added a page about this fact in RETROFUTURE 7 and I was told that he did get a copy of that as well. Kapten Kloss was one of my favorite shows on television when I was a kid.

He was a good looking chap, a real star.

David Coverdale celebrates 30 years of Whitesnake´s “Slide It In” with a cool CD & DVD release titled “Live In ´84 – Back To The Bone” (Frontiers). It sports a festival date in Japan and a 4 track bonus taken from Swedish Television (Jon Lord´s last performance with the band). Add bootleg and demo stuff that has never been heard before and you´ve got a nice little Christmas present for the fans.

Jon Lord quitting Whitesnake for the reunion of Deep Purple meant that the “Purple period” of the band (Ian Paice had been part of Whitesnake as well, but had been replaced by Cozy Powell at this time) was over and you can see the journey towards America on this package. In fact, “Slide It In” was the end of the old ´Snake and the beginning of the new all in one, and it really is a brilliant album. Tracks like “Gambler”, “Slow An´Easy” and “Love Is No Stranger” are considered to be classics.

Watching this stuff really takes me back – it was one hell of a great era. Big hair, big songs, big everything – and you can almost taste the confidence. These cats knew they were good and they flaunted it. Whitesnake released albums all the time back then and visited these parts again and again. I have so many great memories from the 80´s and Whitesnake was a big chunk of that.

In 1984, I met Jon Lord for the third time (the chat is on this blog, see Classic Rock Interviews) and he even hinted at the Purple reunion. He also bought me a beer, which was incredibly nice of him. He was an important part of Whitesnake, no doubt about it. Still, bigger things was yet to come but you could say that “Slide It In” (and all the early work) had put quite a cliffhanger in place. America came in late, missing half the party really. But it went into the stratosphere in 1987, and that changed things. John Sykes was a big part of that album (the self titled thing we like to call “1987”), but was gone by the time it was released. He´s on this release though, and that should make a few people very happy.

1984 was fantastic. Sensational in every way.

NightwishAutographs

Found this shot in the old archives, it´s a picture of the centre spread of my publication SLICE 2005 that I took after getting it signed by all the members of Nightwish when they visited Sweden that year. I gave the magazine to a hospitalized fan that couldn´t see the show due to an accident. I remember the band being very nice about it. The image on the spread was taken in Norway by photographer Michael Johansson in 2004.

Good times.

(Image by Michael Johansson, this blog has his permission to use his images)

RF8_cover

I decided to quit my hobby – creating magazines – last week. This means that RETROFUTURE 8 will be the last publication and that I´m now in the process of putting the final details for this issue together. This means taking ideas that existed for later issues and bringing them into this one, and it also means axing the remaining pages of the Montana Blue comic in print. The rest of that will be published later on by other means. Or rather, the complete project will be released elsewhere some day. The cover I had prepared for RETROFUTURE 8 has been dropped as well, but used in an experimental kind of way alongside a shot of my model Nina posing as Montana Blue (as seen above, I really like this image). This issue will be out in 2015, details will be available on January 1 on this blog. All good things eventually comes to an end and this will be it. 102 magazines is not that bad.

I have added a category for this issue on this blog today.

(My western image)