Purple history – Jakarta 1975

Posted: December 3, 2015 in Classic Rock, Deep Purple Family

Deep Purple were the first big western band to play in Indonesia and the arrival of the band in Jakarta for the announced show on December 4 1975 was a major event. Thousands of people had gathered on the streets to get a glimpse of the band as they headed from the airport to the hotel with heavy duty security (including tanks). The first surprise came when the crew realized that the arena they were to perform in was about 10 times the size of what the band had signed up for, and on top of that the organizers (basically in cahoots with the junta in the country) had sold tickets for a second date as well. Basically, a quarter of a million tickets sold, and all the band had on arrival was a few thousand dollars that had been payed upfront to make them include Jakarta on their Far East trek.

After the first show, Patsy Collins, who worked with security for the band, fell down a lift shaft at the hotel and died shorty thereafter. Glenn Hughes and manager Rob Cooksey, as well as an additional bodyguard for the band, was hauled into jail and the next day the group had to do that second show at gunpoint. About 20 minutes into the show, the military let the dogs lose on the crowd, dozens of bloodthirsty Dobermans no less. Total chaos ensued.

The next day the arrested threesome were let go, but they had to pay to get their passports back. The band were never paid and it was estimated that they lost out on 750,000 dollars. At the airport, they had to change a wheel themselves on their Boing aircraft before they could leave and a plot to capture some locals and throw them off the plane over the jungle on the way out of there was thwarted when overheard by more sensible people. Obviously, the last few days had thrown a giant wrench into what had up until now been a good tour.

You could argue that the fun went out of it in Indonesia and that the trip to Japan that were to commence on November 8 did not make it any better. They now had to face up to the fact that a member of the crew had been killed, and on top of this they were soon to run into real problems with new boy Tommy Bolin.

A lawyer was sent to Jakarta to deal with the situation, but he soon joined the band in Japan and reported that he had been chased around an office by a guy with a machete.

Jon Lord and Glenn Hughes has since stated that they believe that Patsy was murdered. David Coverdale seems to disagree, or was quite upset early on (and still is, it would seem), about such talk. He would not participate in the “Phoenix Rising” documentary about this period that was made a few years ago.

A new documentary is in the works as we speak.

(Top image from original post has been removed due to EU regulations)

  1. […] history coming up – Hawaii 1975 – New Zealand 1975 – Australia 1975 – Jakarta 1975 – Japan 1975 – America 1976 – New York 1976 – Rochester 1976 – Miami […]

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