By having two articles concerning the same band straigt after one another I break a principle I usually have, but sometime life is more exciting if it is not entirely predictable. My friend Rad from Russia agrees with me when I say that you can`t really have too many articles about this band, so here is a really good article for you to enjoy. You can not be a fan of hard rock and dislike this fantastic band. So there…
In at the deep end
Pete Makowski interviews new man Glen Hughes
At the tender age of twenty-two Glen Hughes has acquired something all musicians strive for and often never get: security. That magic word ensures your daily meal and keeps you in the musical limelight. Recently after the hasty departure of Roger Glover it was confirmed that Glen Hughes was to replace him.
Joining a band of Deep Purple`s stature has definitely given Glen Hughes a more predominant position in the music business and made his future much more secure. He has kept quite cool about the whole thing although when I spoke to him at the Park Hotel in Frankfurt he seemed very excited about the reaction the new Purple were receiving.
I asked Glen how Purple originally spotted him. “It started about a year ago,” he replied with a slight tinge of Brummy accent. “Trapeze were playing in Miami Beach while Purple were on vacation. We were both staying in the same hotel and we met and we were playing some gigs in the same area and we used to go and see each other. I never knew they were checking me out, so it came as a complete surprise.”
I asked if he was worried about the fact that he and vocalist David Coverdale had taken the place of two people so well established within the group.
“I was a bit wary about it because at first I said no and yes. I said no because I wanted to sing, I didn`t care about anything else except although I love playing bass as well but I wouldn`t play with anybody if I couldn`t sing, because I love singing.
They (Purple) said it was OK because I would be singing and after that I went through a very horrible phase after the first month I had joined `cause they were looking for a singer, but they wanted two singers, but soon things became clearer and I realised they wanted to change the Purple sound by having two singers.”
What was the feeling at the time of Purple`s split?
“Fucking great! Because it was obvious the relationships weren`t good within the band and they knew they were going to split it just had to happen. It was planned that July was going to be the last tour.”
For people who aren`t too familiar with Trapeze, Glen`s previous band, they were a three piece comprising of Mel Galley (guitar), Dave Holland (drums) and of course Mr. Hughes (bass/vocals). The band originated as a five piece and released an album on Threshold. The strongest feature on the first effort was the powerful harmonies. The group eventually diminished to a trio and their second album – “Medusa” – was a start to the funky rock-soul feel they had.
Trapeze proved to be fairly successful in parts of America especially Texas where they shared their fans with ZZ Top, another hot three piece who were very close friends of theirs. They even had a chart entry in the States, “Black Cloud”, from the “Medusa” album, but alas they were cruelly ignored in Britain.
Even when the media buzzed with excitement on the release of their last and best album “You Are The Music, We`re Just The Band” there was still no flicker of hope for this ill-fated outfit.
I asked Glen how he felt about leaving Trapeze. “I was really happy with them, the only difference now is that now I`m getting treated better, I`ve got more money, which I don`t give a damn about because I`ve got lots more years to worry about something like that.
“But the thing is it got to a stage with Trapeze last year where it was so good and so tight but we weren`t getting anywhere at all. We did nine tours in America and we were just breaking it in some areas and that was after three years, there was no hope.”
Bass players and drummers are regarded as the guts of the band. I asked Glen how easily Ian Paice and he adapted to each other`s styles. “I felt as if I`d been playing with Ian so many years, because he`s so tight it`s a great feeling.”
How he felt the band had changed when he joined? “It`s like a new band, they`ve still got the three main guys in Purple. Ian Gillan and Roger were great but the original Purple were Ian Paice, Ritchie and Jon who I think are incredible and gave myself and David an opportunity and we took it.
“It`s a fight because some people want to hear the old songs, we do two old songs but apart from that it`s all new stuff and the majority of people reacted well. After only a few gigs I think it`s great!”
The European tour the band have just completed was to break in the new members; were the rest of the band worried about the replacements? “There wasn`t any bother about me because I had played a lot of American gigs but the biggest worry was David because he was taking Ian Gillan`s place.
“We`re singing together but he is taking his place on stage. Ian Gillan, as well as being great looking, had great feeling on the stage, that`s what they were worried about but he`s worked out all right.”
The band have just finished recording their new album “Burn” which proves to be an exciting recording. “It took ten days which is great, it was exciting to do; we used to spend all night playing. It was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, and most of the cuts were done in two or three takes.
“I`m knocked out with the album, it sounds great when it`s loud. When we mixed it and then listened we were knocked out with it.”
I asked Glen how he rated the rest of the lads in the band. “I`ve always rated Ritchie for years, Ian Paice completely knocked me out when I saw him. Jon I`ve always admired as a musician, too, but when I saw him play I couldn`t hear him so I couldn`t feel what he was playing. But now I can hear him the stuff he plays is absolutely knockout especially on the album. I can`t describe working alongside him because he`s so precise he never makes a mistake.
“Ritchie`s the greatest improviser I`ve seen since Hendrix. He gets a bit pissed off because he knows he`s good but doesn`t go round telling everybody in print. It`s a bit sad when people go round saying Beck and Ronson are the best and nobody mentions Blackmore.”
Ever since Trapeze, Glen has always had soul influence. I asked him if the American tours had anything to do with this. “I think it was the way I was brought up really, because I missed out on all the Shadows, the rock and roll and was brought up with Tamla and soul and that`s how I was brought up to play.
“I left school when I was fifteen. I joined a little local band, called the News, playing lead guitar and it was a blues type band. Then I joined this band called Finders Keepers because I was broke and they needed a bass player and Mel (Galley) was in the band at the time. About nine months after we formed Trapeze.”
One thing which surprised me was the fact that Glen nearly joined the Electric Light Orchestra. Roy Wood asked me to join ELO before it was ever thought about. It was going to be Jeff, Roy, Bev and myself and some guys which they got eventually. I said yes, he asked me while The Move were still going, and in fact I left Trapeze, you know, did the big number, left the band very early on and I was rehearsing and living with Roy for two weeks. I then decided to go back to Trapeze.
“Although he was going to allow me to sing I think it would have been a bad move. He`s changed so many times he might have done something I wasn`t into and I would have been stuck.”
Something which Glen keeps on returning to is his split with Trapeze, clarifying his reason for leaving. “When I was with the band for three years I kept on saying `I`ll give it another year` and we did nine ten-week tours in America, that`s enough to break any band. The thing was in the States we didn`t have any agency and we couldn`t back any big bands so we were doing shit gigs all the time.
“It got us together musically but it screwed us up physically. I used to go to hospital to get shots, we were never big enough to cancel gigs.”
But although he`s had some rough experiences in the past Glen still holds a deep affection for the band. “I love that band,” he said, “I shall always want to be associated with them no matter what they do I`ll always want to jam with them `cause I love them.”
There were stories and rumours claiming that the old Deep Purple only saw each other when on stage, which is a far cry from the new band who have rigorous rehearsals and keep close contact. “We rehearsed three weeks in this castle on the Welsh borders every day and were always together. When I`m in London I stay at Ian`s.”
How had the band`s music changed in comparison to the old Purple? “They always wanted to play with a little bit more bluesy feel and now it makes you want to `shake your arse` and I think that`s why they changed their line up.”
One thing that`s pleased Glen no end is the fact that he`ll be partaking in solo projects as well. “I`m knocked out they`ve asked me to do my own album, which I`ll definitely do, but I`ll wait till people become more familiar with my name.”
He lay back in his chair and you could tell by the contented smile on his face that Glen was more excited than he let show. “I think everyone`s excited about this band, the album, the gigs. From the past few concerts I know people are coming to see the NEW Deep Purple and that`s great.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Denny Laine, Hughie Nicholson, Savoy Brown, Queen, Greenslade, Gary Glitter, Dave Lambert.
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