About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Deep Purple

What, another mainstream band? Wait: Name a song besides "Smoke on the Water," "Highway Star" and "Hush." Then answer who wrote "Hush" (it's a cover!) What if I also were to tell you that their lineups changed, they released an album as recent as 2005, have been putting out albums up until then on a fairly regular basis, and even toured fairly recently? Don't have the answers, didn't know? Read on.

Deep Purple, like a lot of classic rock bands, only gets airplay with the old stuff. No regular radio station will ever tell you the above or play anything they did other than a few popular songs. My friend Mark Robbins is the biggest Deep Purple fan I know, so I let him tell the Deep Purple story. I am very excited that he agreed to guest blog for me, as he is not a writer or blogger. Although, I am working on converting him!

Deep Purple, by Mark Robbins

I have been a Deep Purple fan since 1970 when I heard the In Rock album, with the hits Speed King, Child in Time and Bloodsucker. My favorite musician is Ritchie Blackmore, and his contributions over the years helped define the bands sound. For me it's always easy to identify Ritchie’s guitar style for he just has this sound that no one else has. Case in point: Back in 1995, when there was no internet and news traveled slow, I can remember the new single off the Purpendicular album called Ted the Mechanic and I can remember driving down the road as it played on the radio and thinking why is Ritchie playing this way????? It just didn’t sound like him. I could not understand the change in style. I went down and got the new album and to my surprise Ritchie was no longer in the band but guitarist Steve Morse was. I guess that explained the change in style…

Deep Purple was formed in 1968 by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboards Jon Lord and Drummer Ian Paice. Bassist Nick Simpler and Lead vocalist Rod Evans were hired to complete the band and had a hit single with Hush. Deep Purple, in the early days, covered a lot of songs like Hush was written by Joe South.

This version of Deep Purple would become known as MKI and lasted for three albums. Shades was released in September 1968 followed by The Book of Taliesyn in July 1969, and finally the third album released was simply titled Deep Purple in November 1969.

In June 1969, Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord attended an Episode Six show to check out Ian Gillian and were impressed. Ian was close friends in Episode Six with Bassist Roger Glover and ultimately the pair were invited into the band when Nick and Rod were let go to create the now famous MKII version of Deep Purple. Ritchie, Jon and Ian Paice all wanted to start doing more of their own material and move into hard rock.

Deep Purple MKII started with an impressive album called In Rock and never looked back. They completed a total of four studio albums and a double live album from 1970 to 1973. In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and Who do we Think we Are. The double live album was one of the greatest ever made called Made In Japan.

MKII had its problems, and Ritchie and Ian could not co-exist. Ian quit the band along with his band mate from Episode Six, Roger Glover. They came in as a pair and left the same way. The band wanted to head into a new direction and vocalist David Coverdale and bassist Glen Hughes were hired….Glen and David had a more funky style to them and this version of Deep Purple were known as MKIII. MKIII was formed in 1974 and lasted to 1975 with two albums.

The first album was called Burn in 1974 followed up in 1975 by Stormbringer. The band played at the famous California Jam in 1974 where Ritchie was irate that the band had to go on early. The band had an agreement to go on at dusk but the concert moved quicker and ABC wanted the band on earlier and Ritchie would not go onstage until the agreed upon time. When the band finally went on, the ABC camera man started to irritate TMIB by invading his space and by the end of the show the now famous footage of Ritchie hitting the camera with his guitar and throwing the now famous tantrum. A mishap with a pyrotechnic effect caused an explosion which briefly set the stage on fire. The group is said to have left the concert via helicopter to escape possible arrest from angry fire marshals and ABC executives.

In June 1975, Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple and formed Rainbow. Many names were passed around to replace him, I read where both Jon Lord and David Coverdale heard about an American guitarist named Tommy Bolin who had already had experience replacing a legend in a band….he replaced Joe Walsh in the James Gang. They contacted Tommy, and shortly after he joined Purple to form MKIV

The band put out Come Taste the Band in 1975 and it was not received well as was Tommy……. The crowds called for Blackmore and Tommy’s demons came to light with drugs. The band finally disbanded in March 1976 and Tommy was found dead on December 4, 1976, at the age of 25, from a heroin overdose in Miami, Florida (the day after opening a show for Jeff Beck!)

The band stayed apart until Ritchie Blackmore contacted Ian Gillan in April 1984 and the MKII lineup of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillian, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Roger Glover reunited and recorded Perfect Strangers in Vermont and released in October 1984 followed by a world wide tour. This version of MKII lasted with another album called House of Blue Light, which was recorded in 1987 followed by a double live album called Nobody’s Perfect with a new studio recording of Hush.

In 1989, tensions came to a head between Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan and Ian was fired and replaced by Joe Lynn Turner who had been in Rainbow with Ritchie and Roger. This version of Purple was known as MKV and they released the Slaves and Masters Album in 1990, followed by a world tour.

Lord, Paice, Glover and the record company wanted Ian Gillian back for the 25th anniversary of the band and forced Turner out. Ritchie was not happy and demanded, from what I can remember and heard, $250,000 to record the next album and tour with the band. Blackmore was not a happy camper at this point and tensions were very high during the recording of the now last album with Ritchie Blackmore with Deep Purple called fittingly The Battle Rages On. A live recording was also released from this time period called fittingly too….. Come Hell or High Water……

The Album The Battle Rages On was recorded and from what I read Blackmore did not attend with other members, he recorded his guitar and solo’s separately. Then, when on tour, he was distant and spent time with his then girlfriend and now current wife Candice Night. Blackmore became so frustrated that he tore up his passport and quit during the tour in 1993. In short notice, the band recruited Joe Satriani and the short version of MKVI was born. Only recordings of Joe with the band exist, no albums were ever recorded.

Joe could not become the permanent guitarist due to contractual agreements on his career and Steve Morse was recruited and formed MKVII. Two studio albums were recorded with this line up, Purpendicular in 1996, Abandon in 1998. Several live albums and DVD’s appeared, including Total Abandon and Live in London with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Jon Lord decided to leave the band in 2002 and former Rainbow keyboardist Don Airey was recruited to form the current band MKVIII and in 2003 they released Bananas and in 2005 Rapture of the Deep was recorded and a tour followed.

This is a brief history of the band that I knew, heard about and read about. Deep Purple is my all time favorite band and the MKII version should go down in history as the Deep Purple!


I have asked Mark to pick one song for each MK period. So, if you are confused by all of the above, let the music speak for itself. I included links rather than embed them because this post is already very long. (Sorry, A to Z Powers that Be, everything else will be shorter - that's a promise!)

MKI Hush

MKII The Battle Rages On


MKIV Love Child

MKV King of Dreams

MKVI No recording

MKVII Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming

MKVIII Contact Lost


Timothy S. Brannan said...

I enjoy the hell out of Deep Purple, all their incarnations. But sometimes they are as bad as Yes for figuring out who was doing what when.

Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

The Other Side
The Freedom of Nonbelief

Mike W said...

I was sure this was coming for 'D'. Looking forward to a few other letters as well. :) Nice Alex.


Unknown said...

Deep Purple booms around my home whenever my husband is upset about something---so I have mixed feelings...

Look forward to E…

--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. Deep Purple certainly resonates - I loved the name too ..

It's good to hear everyone's memories of music of their times .. cheers Hilary

Red said...

Never was really a fan because I did not like the pop playing on the radio. That said, I enjoyed the songs you picked out for this post. Nice to know the rest of the story.

Alexandra Heep said...

Red, initially I did not like the Beatles for that very same reason, until I delved deeper.

I am glad my music posts are creating awareness.


Alexandra Heep said...

Hilary, I love their name too, purple is my favorite color,

thanks for commenting