Archive for the ‘Deep Purple Family’ Category

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)

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)

Today we remember Ronnie James Dio, whom passed away on this day in 2010. I blogged about it back in the day and that ended up in RETROFUTURE #4 (the publication I had going at the time). On his “Strange Highways” album, he sang: “Bury my bones on the moon, if they never should find me it would be too soon”. I asked him about that when I met him back in 2001 (the interview is archived in August 2012 on this blog) and he told me about it. Pretty deep stuff. But he was also a warm and giving person, supporting things like Children Of The Night (which is also talked about in that interview). He suffered blows in his life but he always walked tall. And that is how he should be remembered.

And he will be.

(My shot of RETROFUTURE #4 piece – cover inserted)

It was brought to my attention today that the fifth studio album by Dio was released on May 15 1990, so it has been 30 years now. I always liked this album and I thought the song “Hey Angel” (that they made a video for) was an excellent choice to represent what was a brand new band at the time. Guitarist Rowan Robertson was 18 when this album was released. On keyboards we had Jens Johansson and on drums Simon Wright, both seasoned professionals from acts like Yngwie Malmsteen and AC/DC. Teddy Cook handled the bass. Ronnie made a bold move with this lineup but it still sounds good to me. Cover art by Wil Rees.

(My shot of said CD – kudos to the Deep Purple Podcast for mentioning the anniversary on their Facebook page)

In 1983 Ronnie James Dio became the first ex-Rainbow singer to make it big on his own, and the second from Black Sabbath (the band that he had just left). “Holy Diver” superseeded all expectations and became an instant classic. Dio would ride out the 1980s in glory before times started to change (early 1990s recession, Seattle boom etc), but he always delivered first class rock right from the word go. Some of it experimental and in search for new avenues, some of it repeating the good old formula. He even went back to Tony Iommi a couple of times when the timing was good. But 1983 was special because it gave him his own thing. And the cover art by Randy Berrett is still quite powerful.

The Deep Purple Podcast kicked off this week with a Dio Tribute episode and will follow up with related bonus stuff as well in the next few days.

(Seen here is a shot of my copy of the original “Holy Diver” 1983 release)

RONNIE JAMES DIO

Ronnie James Dio passed away on May 16 2010, so it has been a full decade now, save for a few more days. What an amazing writer, singer and performer he was. When I met him back in 2001 (you will find the interview on this blog archived in August 2012), he was just one of the sweetest men I had ever met in the business. I am so glad that I had that opportunity, and it was filmed by my friend (photographer) Michael Johansson. Still listen to his output on a pretty regular basis. Norwegian singer Jorn actually put out a great tribute video not long after his passing titled “Song For Ronnie” that is quite good. Check it out on YouTube.

WHITESNAKE

David Coverdale is promoting the “Rock” album quite heavily at the moment, doing a lot of radio etc. He put out a video for “Restless Heart” the other day as well, pushing the album. “Rock” will be out as a Double LP (White Vinyl) too, which is good news for people like me. It will be out in mid June.

DEEP PURPLE

I can tell that a lot of people are getting pretty excited about the upcoming Deep Purple album “Whoosh!”. The new video “Man Alive” is paving the way and it is a thoughtful piece of art that will serve them well. If this is the end of the line for this band, then it has to be said that they went out in style. Sad that 2020 is what it is, but we just have to wait and hope that things turn around for the better very soon.

HAGANE

There is no doubt that Japan is the international hotspot for female rock bands and a group called Hagane will release their first album on June 23 over there. Not the easiest of circumstances but they are very good and their video for the song “Wintry Sky” shows a lot of promise. It is a shame that many of these bands never get to be released outside of Japan. I do feel that a label that specialized in Japanese music could do very well over here. I am just putting the thought out there. Maybe we will see it happen some day.

BABYMETAL

All dates in Europe has been cancelled, which was kind of expected I guess. You can watch “Live At Wembley” (2016) on YouTube this Sunday, so that is a good thing.

(Top image shows a Ronnie James Dio article I had in Swedish magazine Poppis back in 1985 – most of the shots was from Michael Johansson)

When I met Ian Gillan on one of his solo tours (in Östersund, Jämtland County) back in 1992 I showed him a photograph that I had obtained that was from the Deep Purple gig in Bilzen (Belgium), August 24 1969. I asked him if he recalled it and he said that he did. Now, you can clearly see a TV camera so that was of high interest at the time but he had no recollection then of that or having ever seen clips. I printed the image in DEEP PURPLE FOREVER #5 in April 1992 and it passed into Purple lore. Today, a 24 minute live clip has been added to the deeppurpleos page on YouTube, so whatever still exists, we now know that this footoge has survived for sure. If the entire concert has survived remains to be seen. However, what we can see is a very early showcase of MK2 in full flight, instrumentals only. It is quite brilliant.

Good day.

(My shot of DEEP PURPLE FOREVER #5 spread – photographer unknown)