Archive for May, 2020


Posted: May 31, 2020 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff, Deep Purple Family

The third Whitesnake studio album “Ready An´Willing” was released on May 31 1980, so it has been 40 years now. It charted at #6 in the UK and peaked at #90 in the States (this was before the Platinum days over there). It is generally seen as the best album from this line-up, David Coverdale (vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), Micky Moody (guitar), Bernie Marsden (guitar), Neil Murray (bass) and Ian Paice (drums, this was his first album with Whitesnake, meaning they now had three ex-Deep Purple members in the group). The masses was ready to welcome the band and it did not take long for this unit to achieve respectable success in most countries. It really was all about touring and that they did. In Germany they opened for AC/DC and reached a huge audience that would accept them with open arms. Deep Purple fans flocked to support them and it really is a bit of a showcase of what Purple could have been with Coverdale as the sole vocalist. The main difference was that Whitesnake sounded happier, bluesier and eager to go places. It was a smooth rock machine and live they were way up there among the greats. The album cover is by David Coverdale. I recall reading somewhere that they had another cover that was just a tad too juicy, so it had to be changed and quickly. It is not a bad cover but it is not top notch either. Nothing but good songs on this one though and closing track “She´s A Woman” really is the best Deep Purple song that never was. Just like “Man On The Silver Mountain” was for Rainbow. Well, you could hear where they (or some of them) came from.

Excellent album – kicking off the 1980s in style.

(My shot of my old Vinyl copy)



I discovered a German band called Eloy the other day that has been around for 50 years and that they have released two albums (in 2017 and 2019) titled “The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre” (1 & 2) dealing with the legend of Joan Of Arc. Turns out that they are a good band and this epic work is absolutely superb. Touches of Pink Floyd here but if you go back to the old stuff they really have their own thing going. To support this act, I have now ordered both the Joan Of Arc releases on CD and Vinyl. They also have a huge back catalogue.


Interesting news out of the UK as Download Festival will present a Virtual Festival through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube on June 12-14, calling it Download TV 2020. The bands picked will be the ones that should have been there in the flesh this year had it not been for the pandemic. Kiss, Iron Maiden, Korn, Babymetal etc etc. So what you will get is classic stuff from the past.


Japanese act Lovebites is to release a live album and DVD titled “Fire Of A Kind – Live In Tokyo 2020” on July 22. It was recorded at the Zepp Diver City on February 21 and 22.


Ex-Whitesnake guitarist Adrian Vandenberg has resurrected his old band Vandenberg with a fresh line-up and there is an album called “Vandenberg 2020” out now. Rainbow singer Ronnie Romero is in there, so this clearly counts as a Purple Family affair. Old school hard rock for sure.


More lockdown news. Metal Hammer has a two page review of the Tokyo Dome (2016) concerts that Babymetal aired on YouTube recently in the new issue (#336). So a big live review of a YouTube event. This is a big thing and a clear signal to bands to use YouTube in this way.

(Top image is showing album details of the first Joan Of Arc album on the official Eloy site – check it out now)

As I mentioned the Kiss “Destroyer” puzzle a few days ago, I came to think about the cool article I published in the final issue of RETROFUTURE (#8) in March 2015, written by Micke Mojo, Björn Höglund and Chris Laney. It was published alongside a huge interview with the legendary Swedish magazine creator Hans Hatwig (POSTER, OKEJ etc). A man that practically made Kiss in Sweden. I am so glad that I could do things like this in the last few years of this hobby.

I think it will be remembered.

(My shot of first spread of said content in RETROFUTURE #8)

Commando 5335-5338

Posted: May 28, 2020 in Comics

Commando 5335-5338 is out today in the UK. Just search “Commando comics” should you want to subscribe.

(Covers courtesy of Commando)

Epic Bergman

Posted: May 25, 2020 in Cool stuff, TV & Movies

If you want greatness, this is it. The 1948 movie “Joan Of Arc” with the great Ingrid Bergman. Shot in colour in a very theatrical way, her acting is second to none in this film. Give a true star a script like this and magic will happen. 72 years later it still holds up, and more. It may be old but I still have to see a version of this tale that evokes so much passion, such grandeur. With any other actress it could have fallen flat, with Bergman you have 140 minutes of cinematic history.

So glad to have this in the old collection now (as it has just seen release on DVD in Sweden).

(My shot of said DVD)

Japan Is Opening Up

Posted: May 25, 2020 in Babymetal, Classic Rock

Good news from Japan today as they are slowly opening up the country for business again. As far as live concerts go, starting in July concerts up to 1,000 people will be allowed, or 50% capacity of any given venue. Meaning you can theoretically sell 27,500 tickets for a Tokyo Dome show and it will be OK. Should this work, Japan will be the first country to get back in business again. Things can change but this is the word that is going out right now so you will have promotors all over the country scrambling to get going. For Babymetal this is good news although they may not be in a hurry to go out just yet. But they do have the 10th Anniversary to think about and that is coming up in October.

Let us hope that this is the light at the end of the tunnel.

(Babymetal shot from Stockholm 2020, courtesy of Kalle Thelin – news picked up at the Babymetal reddit page)

Here is glimpse of the good old days. What you see here is a spread covering the career of Cozy Powell that was in print in my fanzine DEEP PURPLE FOREVER #2 (May 1991). I nicked the biography from a (then) fairly recent official press thing and added three more albums and a shot of Cozy on the right page and a story with a couple of “Down To Earth” era Rainbow snapshots on the left. The headline read “20 years with Cozy Powell”. I had met him briefly back in the “Headless Cross” Black Sabbath days but I never interviewed the man. So in 1991, I thought a piece like this was OK for the Purple magazine. After all, he had played on many Deep Purple Family related albums.

The years went by but in spite of me doing countless Purple related interviews during those years I still never got around to meet the man again. But my friend (photographer) Michael Johansson did and as he was hired to do a session with Cozy together with Yngwie Malmsteen for (the Japanese publication) BURRN! at the Strand Hotel in Stockholm on June 24 1997 he did manage to slip him a copy of the issue mentioned above. Cozy asked Michael why the biography ended in 1991 and found out that it actually had been published at the time. Later on, I did publish a spread from this occation in DEEP PURPLE FOREVER #28 (in February 2001 – as the club celebrated the 10th Anniversary), but as we all know he had passed on by then (in a car accident on April 5 1998). His visit to Sweden for this session, which was for Japanese promotion for the Malmsteen album “Facing The Animal”, was his last in this country and it had been very low key (no concerts or anything). When I published this shot people were quite surprised. You can see the cover shot of BURRN! that resulted from this very session in the layout down to the right.

Good times.

(My shots of these spreads – many thanks to Michael Johansson)


Added another puzzle from UK company Rock Saws and this time I went with the Kiss “Destroyer” box. I quite like these puzzles, and there is a growing number of them out there so they must be doing rather well.


If you like “Cat Scratch Fever” you should know that the album is set to be rereleased on Red, White & Blue Vinyls on June 26. Me, I want “Weekend Warriors” and maybe it is coming up next, who knows?


I mentioned the Japanese band Hagane recently on this blog and I have just discovered that guitarist Sakura Yoshida has her own YouTube page going, and she really is one hell of a guitar player. You can check her out doing Judas Priest classics etc. Hagane means steel, so good name for a Metal band.


The “Godmothers of Rock”, Fanny (1969-1975), is to rerelease their first self titled album on June 26 (White Vinyl). This is to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of said album. You may not have heard of them, but they were the first all female rock band to get signed on a major label in the States back in the day. So this is a piece of rock history.

(My shot of the Kiss “Destroyer” puzzle)

I have to say that it is good fun to see the Deep Purple Podcast rise. Now we are getting bonus episodes with interviews and it is starting to look pretty good. In episode 56 they are covering the Ian Gillan Band album “Clear Air Turbulence” and hot on the heels of that we just got an interview with IGB guitarist Ray Fenwick. Word is clearly getting out among the musicians out there that this podcast is doing a good job and it is starting to pay off. I kind of predicted that it would and here we are. Good times ahead.

(My shot of my copy of the 1977 album “Clear Air Turbulence” – great cover art by Sci-Fi master Chris Foss)

Paperback Warriors

Posted: May 21, 2020 in Blogs I like, Books, Cool stuff

As you know I love old school paperbacks and I have quite a collection of mainly Swedish titles from the heyday of this scene within easy reach in the library/music room downstairs. Yesterday I stumbled across a site called Paperback Warrior that is just awesome. And they have a (Paperback Warrior) Podcast going on YouTube as well. Did not take me very long to find a couple of books for the old collection about this scene that I just had to order (quite expensive too), and I will blog about those later on when they get here.

(Top image shows some of my Shell Scott books by Richard S. Prather – top notch entertainment right there)