Archive for the ‘Deep Purple Family’ Category

BROTHERS OF METAL

From Falun, Sweden, we have Brothers Of Metal. Currently on the road in Europe to promote their latest album “Emblas Saga”, they are proud promoters of Viking Metal. I have to say that the album cover art by Sallai Péter is right up there with Rainbow “Rising”, Molly Hatchet´s debut and Dio´s “Holy Diver” as far as sheer power and beauty is concerned. And you need to own the Double Vinyl (Red) with the gatefold sleeve. I like that Viking Metal is a thing.

STEVE VAI

Good news for fans of Steve Vai as the classic “Passion & Warfare” was re-released today. It is a 30th Anniversary Limited Edition (1,500 copies) in Orange Vinyl. Probably his finest moment.

BATTLER BRITTON

Commando artist Ian Kennedy is revisiting Battler Britton in a new 128 page comic from Rebellion on April 1. Not sure if it is a new take or stuff from the archives. In any case, it is good to see Battler Britton out there.

(My shot of the “Emblas Saga” album)

Added the “Warrior Soul” Double Vinyl (Blue) from Doro to the old collection. Great cover art by Geoffrey Gillespie. Really nice gatefold sleeve too. This is why Vinyl still rules. Also worthy of note: great Glenn Hughes feature (with awesome Deep Purple shots) in Planet Rock #18 (Motörhead cover), and Don Airey is interviewed in Sweden Rock Magazine #1 2020 (Iron Maiden cover). I could have lived without the Rainbow piece in Guitar Techniques #304 though. Nice Jimmy Page cover (with Ritchie Blackmore top right), but not much inside.

(My shot of the “Warrior Soul” LP)

For fun I decided to raid the Classic Rock Interviews on this blog for some quotes from the stars for this post. You will find these interviews on the Classic Rock Interviews tag, so there is plenty of good stuff to check out here should you want to (and more is coming, as I said the other day). So here we go…

RONNIE JAMES DIO ON THE DIO LIVE SETS

– “Sacred Heart”, that took almost half a million dollars to put together. And the one before, “The Last In Line” was about $250,000. So we kept spending more money, but we wanted to be special, and you have to spend money to be special. It is one thing to construct, the other thing that costs money is to bring it on the road. And we took the “Sacred Heart” show twice to Europe, twice to Japan and four times in America over two years and it was very, very expensive. We had about nine to ten trucks and seven to eight buses and about seventy-five people on the road but it was wonderful at the end of the day. But all that counts is the reaction from the people, that is all that matters. (Ronnie James Dio 2001)

DAVID COVERDALE ON HIM LEAVING DEEP PURPLE IN 1976

– “What happened was that after Liverpool I went down to stay with my mother in London, she had this pub and thank God she just left me alone. My nerves were shot to hell. I was completely drained by the whole experience. I just sat there and stared into the fireplace and my mother just gave me sandwiches and she never asked me what was wrong, which would have been her normal reaction. Then I wrote a resignation letter that was seven-eight-nine pages long and handed it over to the management and then I flew to Munich were my wife Julia was living. I just could not go on. I told them that I did not want to drag the good reputation of Deep Purple through the mud and they said “We understand and respect your opinion but can you please keep this quiet until the original members have decided what they want to do?”, so I did. We talked about me doing PAL, or Coverdale, Lord, Ashton, Paice, which would have been CLAP (laughs), so I did spend some time just thinking about the future at that point”. (David Coverdale 2000)

IAN GILLAN ON THE END OF THE IAN GILLAN BAND

– “Mark Nauseef is a musical snob and he thinks that he is above people that play hard rock, so I knew that he would be disappointed when I wanted to do “Smoke On The Water”. The record company wanted some Purple stuff for the sake of increased sales so we ended up playing “Woman From Tokyo” and “Child In Time” as well. But the guys did not want to perform them like the original versions so we ended up doing them in this horrible way. But I do not want to say anything bad about the Ian Gillan Band, I learnt more in that band than I can ever use. But I was so bored by the time we did “Scarabus” and that is when I decided to end that and start what became Gillan instead”. (Ian Gillan 1983)

STEVE MORSE ON HIS ROLE IN DEEP PURPLE

– “My function normally is to throw out lots and lots of ideas in different directions. The ones that the band hear that they like they say “Yeah, lets work on that”… So that is… I am not so much a person that chooses direction as much as a person that just throws out a lot of possibilities”. (Steve Morse (1998)

TONY IOMMI ON THE HASTY DECISION TO GO PUBLIC WITH DAVID DONATO, HIS ROLE IN THE EARLY DAYS OF BLACK SABBATH AND THE “SEVENTH STAR” BAND

– “Well, the Donato thing was done in haste, it never should have gone that far. We went public before we were sure about it. This is typical, we have made so many mistakes like this in our career. In the old days everybody used to come to me, I used to handle everything. I picked up the lads to get them to the rehearsals and so on. I was a little older and they were always asking me for my opinion. I was like the father in the band and I think we needed that at the time. The period of the first three records were like that, they always came to me and asked for my thoughts on things, but I really did not want it to be like that. I just wanted to be a guy in the band. I wanted everybody to be involved. Once that finally happened, everything turned into chaos. No decisions were being made and it was past the point were I could have the final say because now we were a band. I do not want to repeat old mistakes again and the last band was so false. I want to do it right this time. The guys I am working with now are very eager to prove themselves. A lot of well known people were in touch with me but I wanted hungry guys with me, people with no past. Glenn has a reputation, but he still has the hunger that I am looking for. He has something to prove on his own”. (Tony Iommi 1986)

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN ON LOS ANGELES, MIAMI AND HIS SWEDISH ROOTS

– “I did not like it, I thought it was false and filthy. Los Angeles really is a bad place. I have been known to call it “the armpit of America”. I live in Miami now and you can hardly compare the two places. But I have lived in America for seven years now and I feel alright about it now. I still hang around Swede´s a lot and my visits to Sweden keeps me from missing the old country too much”. (Yngwie Malmsteen 1990)

JOE LYNN TURNER ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 11 2001

– “We have three telephones in the house and they all went off at the same time, even the private line that is only available to a select few, like my manager. They told us about the plane that had crashed into World Trade Center. My manager said “Turn on the tv, you are not going to believe this”, so I turned it on and all the channels showed how one of the towers was burning. I live outside of New York and there is a hill behind our house that has a view to the city so me and my wife rushed over there to see the fire from there. At that point the second plane came into view and as it crashed into the second tower I said to my wife “We are under attack!”. Everybody was afraid and people were running around. I mean, we lived there and what would happen next? It was horrendous. The phone kept ringing because people knew that I was supposed to be on a flight from Newark at that time”. (Joe Lynn Turner 2001)

MICK UNDERWOOD ON SEXISM

– “We have never had any problems in Gillan but when I was in Strapps we had it all the time. They used to come up to us and say “You can not continue to view us as sex objects”. And they were right, because the only women that ever complained looked like the door over there…”. (Mick Underwood 1982)

STEVE LUKATHER ON THE CURSE OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

– “Well, to be honest, I have to say that I hate the people at Columbia Records, I think they are a bunch of assholes. They just look at what is on the Top 10 at the moment, and then they tell their artists to copy that. They essentially want you to sound like everybody else and that is one of the major problems in the industry right now. I mean, what the hell happened to originality? Zeppelin did Zeppelin and The Stones did The Stones – it was their own thing. Thank God that The Stones are still around. I love the new album, you can hear right away that it is them. But look at all these Metal bands – they all look and sound the same. Boring!”. (Steve Lukather 1989)

TONY MARTIN ON DISCOVERING THAT BLACK SABBATH HAS FOUND A NEW GENERATION OF FANS

– “The great thing with Black Sabbath at the moment is that this really is a fresh start. We have even realised that we have a brand new audience out there that supports us, and they were not even born most of them when this band started, or even when “Heaven And Hell” came out. We are proud that we have fans that care deeply for the band in spite of all the changes in the lineup, the problems with managers and record companies and all the bad stuff that has been negative for the name. We had fans in England that travelled with us from city to city to catch as many shows as possible. Rock fans are a lot more faithful to their music than disco fans. A rock fan will sell the shirt of his back to catch a show. He will support his band for many years come hell or high water”. (Tony Martin 1989)

GLENN HUGHES ON HOW HE WOULD PREFER A MORE COMMERCIAL FUTURE

– “The thing with me, and you know this, I have got two sets of music. Lets call it the Deep Purple sounding rock, which is easy to play for me. Simple! And I have the things I am growing with all the time which is like Rock and Jazz and Funk and Soul, which to me is Glenn Hughes. It is all me. It is definitely me. At some point I am going to have to say goodbye to one or the other. We gotta be honest with each other. Lets just be really  honest now. I am not in Deep Purple and this is a working unit that does reasonably well. I am a solo performer and I want to compete. I am going to throw a few names that might have you go “WHAT?”. I want to compete with Elton John and George Michael. I want to compete with these people that sell millions of records. I am not gonna be doing it making this kind of music. You know that. For arts sake it would be interesting to do this kind of music or this kind of music, but I want to sell millions of records and I believe my voice is capable of selling those records”. (Glenn Hughes 1996)

JOHNNIE BOLIN ON FANS OF TOMMY BOLIN VISITING TOWN

– “My family has always had an open door policy to the fans, we have had countless people from around the world come and tour the family home. It is kind of a museum to our family’s musical career”. (Johnnie Bolin 2012)

JOE LYNN TURNER ON HIM BEING FIRED FROM DEEP PURPLE

– “…Since Ritchie is the leader of the band, all the talk that Deep Purple is a democracy is pure bullshit, I have to assume that he was in on the decision. I think that he acted like a coward, letting the manager do it for him. If they felt that they had a problem with me in the studio, why not just say it, point out the problem. Maybe that could have helped. Now I can only assume what they were thinking. Maybe I was just too eager in the studio? I know that they did not like that very much. I presented a couple of songs to them that was written by a guy from Survivor. These songs sounded 100% Deep Purple. The others barely wanted to listen to it. I also believe that Roger Glover got annoyed at me, whether he wants to admit this or not now, for suggesting that the band should work with an outside producer. The band had not done this since the seventies. Bringing in Thom was partially my idea. I think that Roger may have felt that he was now reduced to just playing bass. But you know, to reach the kind of success that Aerosmith have now you need to be able to focus pretty hard on what you are doing. You need to see reality for what it is. Deep Purple did not want to do that. They seem to believe that they can record anything at all and the world will still fall to its knees and worship them. Those days are over. The world has changed and nobody wants to see that. Roger used to say “When we quit we are going to do it with a bang” but I do not believe that they can anymore, I really do not. We had an opportunity to build on the reputation with a strong second record but that did not happen”. (Joe Lynn Turner 1992)

GLENN TIPTON ON THE JUDAS PRIEST “TURBO” ALBUM

– “Actually, we talked quite extensively about it, and then we recorded 18 tracks for a double album, which we wanted “Turbo” to be at the time. Then we picked nine tracks that we thought were a bit different, sat down and rearranged them and really tried to capture a slightly different feel. We wanted a change, but not too much of a change either, we just wanted to do something different. But, of course, when you do that you have to expect a bit of apprehension from people, which we got. But I guess “Turbo” is eventually turning out to be our most successful album to date, so we can ignore them anyway. Also, in retrospect, everybody has come back to us and said that they had been a bit sceptical at first, but now they realise it is really the way to go. We are proud of the fact that some people look at Judas Priest as frontrunners, really!”. (Glenn Tipton 1986)

TUOMAS HOLOPAINEN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MELODY IN SONGS

– “I think it is vital that there is always something that grabs you in a song. It should be easy to remember and the melodies themselves are of tremendous importance for us. A lot of bands today write their songs without the notion that the vocals has to be right there playing an important part. Many singers just scream on top of the music with no regard to melody. To us, melody is all important”. (Tuomas Holopainen 2002)

JON LORD ON DEEP PURPLE CARRYING ON AFTER RITCHIE BLACKMORE AND MEETING TOMMY BOLIN

– “We were under pressure. The office, the record company, the publishment company. And surely there had to be somebody out there in this big world that could fit us well. We had always been a hard working band, because that was the way that we wanted it to be. When Ritchie left in, eh, 1975, we had been working like that for seven years, which is a long time. We were living in California and David had heard Tommy Bolin play and he said “He is amazing, unbelievable”. So we asked him to come over for a jam and he said “Yeah, I would love to man” and he came over, with colored hair and things in it, and with this amazingly beautiful woman with him… and we all said “He´s in the band!” (laughs). She was so amazing, we all said “Can we borrow her for half an hour?” (laughs). He played with us and it was great”. (Jon Lord 1981)

DAVID PAICH JOKING ABOUT HIS GOAL IN LIFE

– “I want to be the guy that you see dance behind Madonna!”. (David Paich 1988)

DOOGIE WHITE ON SEEING A UFO WHEN RAINBOW RECORDED “STRANGER IN US ALL”

– “Paul Morris was filming it. I was actually sitting up the stairs working on some lyrics, I had an upstairs room with a desk, and it was looking over big flat hills… all the way to the horizon you could see. It was a clear evening, the sun was going down, the sky was sort of crimson and purple. I was looking out the window, and right in the middle, for no apparent reason, there was this bright glow, it was like a really bright car headlight or something, in the middle of the sky. And I was sitting and watching this, it was not moving, it was just sort of sitting there. I am going “That is very strange”. Paul had just bought his video camera the day before, so if it moved he was filming it! So he thought we could film the sunset. And we were sitting and watching this thing, and I shouted out “Paul, are you getting this?”. He said “Yeah, I have got it”, and he has got it on video camera. Now, this thing did not do anything, and then it moved slightly to my right, and then it went… it just was not there any more! You know? Now, for the whole time it had moved very very slowly, and Paul was like “I am bored with this” after a minute, and he went back to the pond, and when he came back up five seconds later this thing was completely gone”. (Doogie White 1995)

DAVID COVERDALE ON THE LEGACY OF DEEP PURPLE YEARS AFTER THE SPLIT

– “Deep Purple was big everywhere! To this day, Deep Purple is the biggest band in the Soviet Union. I am not joking, the Russian embassy in London contacted us and gave us the news a couple of months ago. Feels a bit strange”. (David Coverdale 1981)

DAN McCAFFERTY ON TOMMY BOLIN AND THE TOUR NAZARETH DID WITH DEEP PURPLE 1976

– “We may not have been angels but we always avoided the hard stuff. We toured with Deep Purple in the States in 1976 and I worried about Tommy Bolin. He was a beautiful man and a good guitarist but he did not want to listen to people that warned him about that shit. I tried to talk to him and he said “Jimi Hendrix did it and look how good he was”. I said, “But Tommy, Jimi is dead!”. I actually saw Hendrix early on and it was way better than the last time I had a chance to see him. Tommy Bolin was one of these guys that this business just eats up. It was a good tour for us, we did better than Purple really”. Dan McCafferty (1989)

JOHN NORUM ON THE FUTURE OF SCANDINAVIAN ROCK

– “It looks bright to me. If you compare us with what you see coming out of, say, America at the moment, we are way better. Poison and Cinderella is all image and they can not play well or write good songs. Scandinavian bands are taking their cues from the old school bands like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and UFO, and so the difference is very clear”. (John Norum 1988)

(Top image by me, I gave that signed/framed David Coverdale promotional shot to guitarist Micke Mojo later on)

The following article was in print in Swedish newspaper FOLKET on March 11 1988 and I have decided to translate it exactly as it was written back in the day. Enjoy!

* * * * *

 -“I do not care if I make money or not on this tour. I just want to play to people and give them a good experience. If things get tight I will rather give up my own cut rather than compromise with the show”.

These words comes from John Norum, a 24 year old guitarist with a great past and a very interesting future. The former member of Europe is currently on the road (in Sweden) for the first time in over a year with a fresh new band. And things are going well with 70,000 copies sold of his first solo album “Total Control” in these parts alone. The enthusiastic crowds are probably ensuring that the financial end will take care of itself. It hits me as I see this show that John has got quite a lot of integrity. His past is not used much and he is not touching “The Final Countdown”, the super hit, at all. He is also an honest and down to earth character when you interview him, a pleasant man. But the future is not carved in stone. Draw your own conclusions as you read this interview.

Are you alright with having your home base here in Sweden and not, say, London or Los Angeles?

– “Yes, it works fine as it is. I might buy a house abroad though, maybe in Zurich? I get royalties from Europe in March or April and then I will do the things I have always dreamt about, like getting a house etc”.

What do you think of the pospects of the Scandinavian Hard Rock scene in the future?

– “It looks bright to me. If you compare us with what you see coming out of, say, America at the moment, we are way better. Poison and Cinderella is all image and they can not play well or write good songs. Scandinavian bands are taking their cues from the old school bands like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and UFO, and so the difference is very clear”.

Your solo career then, how important is it for you to go out in your own name? What happens if, say, David Coverdale gives you a call and asks you to join Whitesnake tomorrow?

– “Then I will be a member of Whitesnake tomorrow! David is one of my favourite singers and Whitesnake is one of the few bands that I would feel at home with musically. I would also have appreciated to work with Thin Lizzy, but that can not happen now after the tragedy with Phil Lynott. I heard a rumour that Ronnie James Dio was interested in me before Craig Goldie got the job, but I can not see myself in Dio”.

There is talk about a possible future collaboration with Glenn Hughes, can you talk about that?

– “We have talked and he wants me to play on his next solo album. He basically wants to call it Hughes Norum, like he did with that album with Pat Thrall that went out as Hughes Thrall five years ago. We will meet in London and have a chat when we play with Ace Frehley at the Hammersmith (on March 19), so we shall see. Glenn is one of my heroes, I basically own everything that he has made from Trapeze to Deep Purple and all the rest of it. He has had a string of bad luck in recent times and he is sitting there in Atlanta fishing and wants to get going again”.

What happens with your solo career if this happens?

– “I am contracted for two solo albums to CBS so I have one more to deliver. That I shall whatever happens. Sammy Hagar could do it when he joined Van Halen. If he could then so can I, it is just a matter of time”.

You have had two hit singles here at home so far from the album, are you contemplating to put out a third?

– “Yes, well the American label has decided to put out “Back On The Streets” as their first single now as they are set to release the album over there, so we will follow up that here as well a bit later on I think. Their version will be slightly different from ours and the rest of the worlds. They have decided to replace the last song on the record, the instrumental, to the Thin Lizzy cover we did with “Wild One”. I am fine with that”.

What are the plans to promote this album outside of Scandinavia at the moment?

– “Well there is no point in talking about that until the paperwork is done. Of course I would love to back this album up as much as humanly possible, so if things turn out alright then we will go. We may do some gigs with the Scorpions, we will see”.

Why have you not made a video to push this album, that seems to be pretty important these days with MTV and all that?

– “I actually do not know the answer to that question. The only thing out there on film is from that TV show (in Sweden), Listan. Maybe they could recut “Love Is Meant To Be Forever” so that it could work as a video? To be honest with you, I have not thought too much about it”.

Where do you sell most of your records outside of Scandinavia? Any more Gold albums on the horizon?

– Well the numbers for, say, Germany is so high but we are doing well there and Holland and Japan is good too. I was in Germany to promote the album recently and the people at the record company were surprised that I was not anti Europe in any way, and that I was OK with stickers on the album that says who I am and where I am coming from. I do want to reach out to as many people as possible and I am proud of the past”.

Do you think that your current band is giving you the security that you need when you are on that stage?

– “Yes, they are very professional and most of them have previous touring experience going back so everything is very tight. I do appreciate performing live again”.

Obviously, the question remains how long this band is going to exist. If a collaboration with Glenn Hughes comes up, changes will undoubtedly occour. I am just happy to have seen this band on stage in this version and considering that I really saw one of the very first shows I have to say that they show a lot of promise. No matter what happens next, I can make two points here. John Norum is a bonafide guitar hero for the future, and when anybody is mentioning his name I think of one thing. Integrity”.

Michael Eriksson (1988)

* * * * *

“Total Control” was produced by Thomas Witt, whom had recorded three 220 Volt albums at that time for CBS. 220 Volt drummer Peter Hermansson played on the album, and so did Volt bassist Mikael Larsson on one track. John did join 220 Volt on stage and jammed on their song “Firefall” not long after him having left Europe. Singer Göran Edman (ex-Madison) sang on a few tunes and he later went on to join Yngwie Malmsteen. Bass player Marcel Jacob had been with Yngwie in the very early days. The touring band of 1988 was Norum, Edman, Jacob, Mats Olausson (keyboards) and Hempo Hildén (drums). John had a false start on a project with Glenn Hughes in 1988 that was quickly aborted (I did one of the few interviews that they ever made, you can find it on this blog if you go back to September 2013), but they eventually did collaborate a few years later on Johns solo album “Face The Truth” in 1992. John worked with Dokken and reunited with Europe in 2004. To date he has released seven solo albums (plus some live albums).

No part of this interview may be quoted without permission. I often see this sort of thing in books etc. Just let me know that you are interested.

(Top image shows FOLKET, March 11 1988)

Picked up the big Deep Purple/Babymetal art (as in two huge posters from Czech publication Spark joined as one) yesterday, and it now hangs in a corner close to a framed 1981 Whitesnake Poster from my Deep Purple Freak Society days down in the music room/library. There is a symbolic value in this work as Deep Purple belongs to the first generation of Hard Rock bands that came up in the late 1960s (and really picked up speed with the “In Rock” album in 1970), and Babymetal represents the now as the most experimental thing out there today, borrowing from just about every genre in Rock/Metal and elsewhere (the spirit of freedom and hard core talent runs deep in both, although they are worlds apart in many ways).

Cost me about 250 dollars to frame these but the end result is actually pretty awesome. The Deep Purple poster was printed in Spark #4 2017 along with a major cover story on their “Infinite” album, and you have that famous polar expedition look that they went with and the logo. The Babymetal poster was printed in Spark #8 2015 (these publications can still be ordered online), and you have a nice 2013 shot with the gals doing the Fox Sign. Again, with the logo. I really think it is a great look, a fabulous mix.

But here is the thing. As long as Deep Purple is still out there, they both share a brief moment of space and time in this wonderful musical galaxy of ours. And both are certainly a source of much joy, albeit in different ways.

(My shots from the man cave)

After a few years of inactivity regarding interviews etc I have decided to get back into it again in 2020. It is simply way too much fun not to be active and as it happens I can really appreciate some of the new music that I hear now and that helps. I will add more of my Classic Rock Interviews here (see the tag on this blog) and on top of that I will now present brand new interviews. I am also open for collaborations with Classic Rock and Metal publications out there. My archive from the old days (going back to the early 1980s) is there for the picking and is quite extensive (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Ronnie James Dio, Nightwish etc etc). I will not go back to travelling the way I used to, but in this day and age you really do not have to. I can take it in my own pace and follow my own heart. I always did anyway. Good things are happening out there now and I want to support some of the good bands out there. I guess Babymetal would be the ultimate deal in this day and age and I would certainly love to get them some day.

(Top image shows me with Jon Lord back in 1982 – photograph by my friend Michael Johansson)

I used to have huge articles in print all the time back in the day and here is one from ÖP (Östersunds Posten, November 17 1984). In this one I had a crack at listing the 25 best Hard Rock bands and to avoid too much havoc I listed them in alphabetical order. They were: AC/DC, Accept, BTO, Budgie, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple, Dio, Europe, Fist, Hughes Thrall, James Gang, Judas Priest, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, MSG, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Scorpions, Status Quo, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Van Halen, 220 Volt and Whitesnake. Not sure what the hell Status Quo was doing in there, maybe I was a bit intoxicated when I put this list together? In any case, I had some fun with this story and I made good money on it. The live shot of Black Sabbath featuring Ian Gillan was taken by my friend Michael Johansson in Stockholm 1983. Makes it all look good too.

(My shot of said article)