David Coverdale

ARTICLE ABOUT Deep Purple FROM SOUNDS, March 13, 1976

Well, well, well…. someone`s been a little naughty since I said that I would always post articles of the five bands/artists in my all-time hit-list on this blog. In the two days after I had a great number of hits on certain artists on my blog. I like it when people are a little naughty, trying to help their favourites up the list!
So status now is the following: Rainbow, Deep Purple, Lemmy, Ian Hunter and Steve Howe (Yes) is in at the moment.
Ian Hunter is a newcomer and Beck, Bogert & Appice just fell out from the top five.

The article was written by Geoff Barton. When the history of hard rock and heavy metal is written about 100 years from now – he will be among a small elite of writers they will mention. Still actively writing today for Classic Rock and with a great career writing for Sounds and as a founder and writer for Kerrang Magazine. He is, and will always be a true legend, as famous as the people he was writing about. Check this excellently written article as proof of his ability as a writer. Enjoy!


You keep on moving

Is the new Purple as good as the old?
Geoff Barton joins the band`s 24th tour of America to find out.

“This is my twenty-fourth American tour,” remarks Jon Lord, staring abstractly into his steadily diminishing glass of Cognac, “my twenty-fourth.”
Have they all been with Deep Purple?
He nods affirmatively, his empty gaze changing to one of mock despair, and finishes off his drink in one large gulp.
“But, you know,” he continues, “life on the road isn`t that bad any more. In the band`s early days, it was a trifle hectic. Now, eight years on, we can afford to relax a little.”
Indeed. A Deep Purple US tour is, today, a smoothly-organised, well put together affair – lots of long, black limousines which, even in the midst of a queue of similarly tank-like American cars, cause heads to turn.
No soundchecks, the roadies are veterans too, it`s a case of on the stage, off the stage, with a one-and-a-half hour set in between.
There`s even a customised plane, with the name `Deep Purple` emblazoned on its side, to fly you the 200 mile-upwards distances from gig to gig.
Yes, they can afford to relax a little – but they daren`t become complacent.

Jet lagged, weary and fighting off a flu bug, I arrive at the airport of San Antonio, Texas, in the early evening. Lois, Purple`s delectable American publicist, is there to meet me. The band, she informs me, are playing tonight. Did I want to go to the concert? Or would I like to go back to the hotel instead, to sleep off the journey and start afresh tomorrow?
The prospect of a soft bed sounds tempting… but no, although I`ll doubtless have several opportunities to see the band during my stay, curiousity gets the better of me. I`m interested to see new guitarist Tommy Bolin, I`m anxious to find out if the various disparaging reports about the band that have filtered across Britain since the beginning of this tour are founded and hold water.
“Deep Purple are going to break up,” a colleague had said, with a good deal of conviction, just before I left Britain for the States.
Are they?
Certainly, it seemed possible, watching the band from the back of the stage on that first night. Tommy Bolin, with streaked hair, tight velvet trousers and snakeskin boots, seemed less than convincing in his role as lead guitarist, front man, mainstay of the outfit.
Vocalist David Coverdale spent an inordinate amount of time offstage, graciously allowing bassist Glenn Hughes additional singing space.

Jon Lord seemed only mildly interested in the proceedings, his keyboard solo, save for the endearing snatch he played of `Yellow Rose Of Texas`, being mechanical and uninspiring.
Only Ian Paice had a good time, battling it out with his drumkit, his wiry hair flying in the breeze of the fan behind him.
It was, in all, disappointing.
But now, looking back, having seen subsequent sets at Abilene, Fort Worth and with the whole trip culminating with a supremely powerful concert at Houston Coliseum, I can safely claim true enthusiasm for this incarnation of the band. There are some faults, admittedly, but overall, I`m happy to report, Deep Purple are alive and kicking. Often fiercely.
But it was rough to start off with, touch and go for a while. Much of my initial reluctance to accept Purple Mk. IV stemmed, obviously, from the absence of Ritchie Blackmore. Tommy Bolin`s talents as a guitarist are not in question here – it`s just that he often fails to impress a positive identity onstage.
He`s not flashy enough – well, maybe `flashy` is the wrong word. Let`s say that he fails to flaunt his expertise, inflate his ego, straighten his shoulders and say, `Hey, I`m Deep Purple`s new guitarist. I`m better than Ritchie Blackmore. Here, I`ll show you what I mean…`
It took the aforementioned Houston concert to fully dispel any doubts and completely lay Blackmore`s ghost to rest – up until that time, things had looked decidedly dicey for the band.

Flying to Abilene the next day, I voiced my fears, albeit in a restrained manner, to the now-bearded David Coverdale. I mentioned that, as far as I could tell, `Come Taste The Band`, the debut LP with the new line-up, had had a pretty cool reception from Purple fans and critics alike.
“The last thing I heard, which was at the beginning of December, the album had sold 130,000 in Britain,” Coverdale counters, “I think at one stage it was at number nine in the charts, which is cool, Christ, what do people want? Worldwide, the album had sold well. I, for one, am not complaining,” he concludes, brusquely.
I asked him for his honest opinion of the album.
“It`s the freshest thing Purple have done since I joined the band,” he proclaims, “possibly even since `Machine Head`. I can only speak personally of course, but I`m very proud of the performance of each musician on the album.
“I`m very happy with my progression as a singer and as a writer. `Come Taste The Band` has lyrically and melodically, my best work on it to date. I can still listen to it after six months of living with it, which is incredible, amazing.”
As I said before, Coverdale spent a large amount of time offstage during the San Antonio concert, allowing Glenn Hughes additional space to exercise his own vocal chords. I wondered if he found his role in Purple`s current stage show rather restricting.
“Oh yeah – but I have no-one to blame for that but myself. I suggested the songs without realising how limiting they were, for me at least. They`re very monotone. I miss doing `Mistreated`, we`ll probably get that together for the British tour. But after all, I`m one-fifth of a concept and at the moment it`s very frustrating for me, because I know I can sing.

“Also, at the moment, we`re trying to get Tommy Bolin across – a lot of the act is centred around him, the same as it used to be around myself and Glenn, when we first started.
“But it`s really been all right so far – this tour`s profitable musically and profitable financially, which makes a change. Socially, it`s a lot more pleasurable.”
As the conversation continues, it transpires that a solo project is uppermost in Coverdale`s thoughts at the moment. Indeed, the ambition to prove oneself as a performer in one`s own right is a current preoccupation of several Purple members.
As well as Coverdale, Hughes has a album forthcoming, as does Lord (admittedly, his fourth) and of course Bolin`s `Teaser` LP is currently on release. In many cases, these solo plans override any thoughts about Purple.
“I`m very keen to find out what I`m able to do in a studio, on my own,” Coverdale reveals.
“When I record my album, it`ll be without any members of the band, because if I used any of them it would be judged as a Purple recording, not my own. I`m going to sing on this album, rather than scream my balls off. I`ve been fucking screaming for years now, you know…”
That night, in Abilene, the gig goes OK. Not spectacularly well just OK.
Apparently, Texans are wont to do a lot of ski-ing at this time of year. Somehow, it seemed sadly ironic when, mid-way through Purple`s set, a victim of a ski-ing accident who was present in the crowd thrust up his crutches high into the air, in a gesture that was supposed to denote appreciation.
To me, however, the action epitomised the situation onstage – Purple in some plight, having been dealt a serious injury with Blackmore`s departure. They were limping along, struggling desperately to equal past glories and falling far short of succeeding.


The next day in Dallas, near Fort Worth, some personnel friction makes itself evident. The afternoon`s round of interviews and personal appearances takes Tommy Bolin and Glenn Hughes to two record shops, one a vast disc emporium, the other a more intimate concern. In both places, however, displays for Bolin`s `Teaser` album far outweigh those for `Come Taste The Band`. Hughes becomes, not surprisingly, a trifle annoyed.
In the first store, the record supermarket, the manager entices Bolin to climb a stepladder and autograph a six feet square, handpainted cardboard poster of his `Teaser` LP sleeve, stuck high up on a wall. In the second shop, matters become worse.
`The Teaser on Nemporer Records – here, in person, today. 6.30 thru 7.30.`
Runs the banner outside. The whole of the right hand shop window has been taken over by Bolin publicity material. A `Come Taste The Band` cover is displayed unceremoniously in another window, alongside many others. Hughes is understandably peeved.
Later, when Bolin is busy signing autographs in the store proper, it is `Come Taste The Band` and not `Teaser` that blares out of the shop speaker system. A token acknowledgement to Hughes` presence, a passing nod to the fact that Bolin is a member of Deep Purple. The atmosphere is tense.
However, when I eventually talk to Hughes about Bolin`s role within the band, his enthusiasm for the new guitarist seems to hold no bounds. If he does resent Bolin`s success as a solo figure and its apparent interference with his identity as a member of Deep Purple, he hides it very well.

“Tommy`s come a long way in a short space of time,” Hughes relates, “he hasn`t even started properly yet. I`m sure that, by the end of the year, he`ll be a force to be reckoned with.”
Deciding not to push the matter much further, I nonetheless suggest that, in Britain at least, people are sceptical about Bolin`s position as Deep Purple`s guitarist.
Hughes disagrees, “I don`t think British audiences expect Deep Purple to be Deep Purple as before. They expect to see a new show with some of the old guys and a new guy. I think they`ll accept the change, I really do. I think it`ll be knockout.
“The band`s a lot funkier now, we have to be, I can`t play any other way. At the moment, I`m doing as much as I can do within the band, I can`t go any further because then it wouldn`t be Deep Purple. I`m almost totally in R`n`B, so much that it sometimes hurts to play with this band.
“But still, I feel a lot freer in Purple now than I`ve ever done before. I`ll feel even better after I`ve done my own album in May – or maybe August, it all depends on the availability of the people who I want to play with me. I`ve been working on the LP for some time now at home in LA and I`ve put down a few basic tracks in Herbie Hancock`s studio. I`ve got a lot of people in mind to do the album with me – Tommy (Bolin) might play on a few tracks, Ronnie Wood too, maybe even John Bonham…
Bowie`s going to produce it, along with myself (Bowie and Hughes being close friends). The album will contain lots of personal songs, very much in an R`n`B mould.”

With this consuming love for R`n`B in mind I suggested that Hughes might feel somewhat frustrated, playing with Purple.
“I don`t like heavy rock music, believe it or not,” he says, matter-of-factly. “But `Smoke On The Water`, `Machine Head` and all that is Deep Purple, I can`t change it. I don`t feel frustrated onstage when I`m playing, but I do sometimes when I`m offstage and I begin to think about it.
“That`s why I have to do this solo album – I want to get into the whole lead vocal trip again. I need to sing, my whole life is singing. I have to sing onstage. There`s no competition between me and David, I just want to sing.”
The Fort Worth concert followed much the same pattern as the one at Abilene. I was getting a little disenchanted.
Houston, space age city, all towering tinted glass, was my last night with the band and it just had to be good. As I walked out to sit behind the mixing panel and see the band out front, I was mildly depressed.
My mood, if I`d bothered to analyse it, was, I suppose, one of cynicism. But happily, at the end of the concert, I was aglow. Archetypal high energy, loud volume rock`n`roll had blown my doubts to pieces. At last, Deep Purple had come on as a brash, arrogant, self-assured, supremely confident band. They played the proverbial storm. It was great.
The Houston Coliseum, a large, old-fashioned, dusty hall, set just the right scene. Its grimy, sweaty atmosphere was much more suited to a concert than, say, Abilene (a massive dome-like structure, stuck out with the cacti in the middle of nowhere) or Fort Worth (imposing and clinically-clean baseball stadium).

As always, Purple opened the show in fine style with `Burn`. The stage all in darkness, the orange lights suddenly flicked dazzlingly on to reveal, backed up by regimented amps and grinding guitar, five almost malevolent figures – Coverdale adopting his ramrod pose immediately, mike stand held high in both hands, horizontal above his head, flanked by Hughes to his right and Bolin on the left, a formidable threesome in themselves.
Bolin, as the number progresses, still seems to be content to play an economic role, somewhat afraid to assert the power at his disposal as lead guitarist, but he pumps out the licks with appropriate rapidity. The rest bolster the sound – Hughes, Lord and Paice battling it out, each seemingly trying to maintain dominance over the other. Coverdale howls. It is loud, the loudest concert so far.
At the end of `Burn`, the sound mixer, a Scottish gentleman, remarks, “There`s a bit of power in those speakers tonight, eh? This is real Deep Purple”.
And how right he is. A selection from `Come Taste The Band` follows – `Lady Luck`, the US single `Gettin` Tighter` and `Love Child`. Bolin is more at home with the recent numbers and actually begins to strut a little, some of his cocksure offstage manner beginning to seep through. Coverdale leaves the stage during `Gettin` Tighter`, allowing Hughes to play a short bass solo, to sing a little and do a voice-guitar exchange with Bolin, impeccably rendered.
Predictably, the biggest cheer of the evening comes with the announcement of `Smoke On The Water`.

“This song tells the story of an album we made in Switzerland…” declares Coverdale, back onstage. The rap becomes mildly ironic, however, when you pause to consider that only two of the current Purple line-up – Jon Lord and Ian Paice – survive from `Machine Head` days and experienced the events in Mountreux first-hand.
Although Bolin corrupts the famous opening chords slightly, the number is still very classy and full of dynamics. It`s here, for the first time, that I manage to accept Bolin as Deep Purple`s guitarist. Sure, it`s strange to see him crashing out what is essentially a traditional Blackmore riff, but tonight he attacks it with such gusto, such genuine exhilaration, that at last the absence of the man in black doesn`t really seem to matter any more.
Nevertheless, it`s unfortunate, but necessary I suppose, that Purple`s present set still pivots around `Machine Head` – three songs are included in all, and each make a far more definite impression upon the audience than any of the others.
`Lazy` follows `Smoke On The Water`, a loosely constructed rendition this, leaving space for two solo spots, Lord`s and Paice`s. Both offer powerful testimonies to their respective abilities, while adding little to their past, pre-Bolin showcases.
`This Time Around` is next, turning out to be the most successful number of the evening. Hughes` sophisticated vocals give way to Bolin`s perfunctory guitar spot. Introduced as `the best new guitar player in the world`, Bolin, finally, successfully proves equal to the big build up. His past solos have been mundane – fingers running up and down the guitar neck, plenty of heavy strumming, little else noteworthy, together with a general lack of dexterity.

At Houston, however, he was very much in control. It was good to see – there was some clever use of the echoplex, some deft picking, some macho string bashing. The crowd was responsive and Bolin, gaining confidence, shook his fist at them, then made a gesture for more applause and received it back in spades. Even from the mixing panel you could see his eyes flicker with delight as he suddenly realised that the audience was his, his to shape and fashion, to silence or to inspire to rapturous cheers. He was enjoying himself.
`Highway Star`, the encore, saw me up front, five feet away from the stage, in the middle of the surging crowd. It may not have been 117 decibels, but it was awful loud.
Alive and kicking. Fiercely.
Backstage after the encore`s echoes had died down, I remarked to Purple`s manager that, as Houston had been the last gig I would see on the tour, that the concert had been a good way to end.
He shrugged, “An end for you perhaps, but not for us. We just keep rolling on.”
Hmm. Although Purple may never again match the triumphs of the Blackmore-Gillan-Glover line-up, at least that twenty-fifth American tour is assured.


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 New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Evelyn Thomas & Ian Levine, Shaun Cassidy, Jimmy Page, Cate Brothers, Julie Tippetts, Adam Faith, Pat Travers, Yes, Jesse Winchester, Phil Collins.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Deep Purple from New Musical Express, August 2, 1975

The last article I posted with Ritchie Blackmore as the subject was the most successful in the history of this blog.
Much of that success (number of readers was about 2400 the first day) was probably because the Official Blackmore page on Facebook chose to post it at their site. There are a lot of fans of his out there, but there are also a lot of Deep Purple fans out there too, many of them the same people, so will this post enjoy the same success? We will see!



Bolin`s zip gun does the trick

They were Deep. And very, very Purple. And very, very, very rich. Then somebody left. Then somebody else left. Finally Ritchie Blackmore left. Now there`s only two originals left. The whole thing is, can David Coverdale be said to be on a good screw and has the Bitchfinder General got the whole world sussed out?
Charles Vergette (in California) report.

“David Coverdale? No, never heard of him, I`m afraid,” says the Bob Haldeman lookalike, coming over from washing his car. “Are you sure you`ve got the address right? You might try down there,” he adds having to raise his voice over the sound of the thundering Pacific surf.
“He`s in a rock `n`roll band, Deep Purple.”
“Oh yeah,” comes Haldeman`s reply, his eyes flickering in recognition. “It`s down there alright, I`ve heard a rumour that there`s somebody down there like that.”
We finally locate the premises, right next door to Plum-Mouth. Thanks, man. Coverdale sneaks his head round the door. “You didn`t tell anybody else where the place is, did you?” he asks worriedly. We didn`t.
“I spend most of my time down here nowadays. I don`t like to go out much. You either go to a place that won`t let you in unless you`re wearing clothes to suit them or you go somewhere where people recognise you, come over and start laying down all sorts of shit on you about this and that,” says Coverdale as he leads through the kitchen into the living room.

It`s very chic: white furniture, white carpet, white walls, white table, white kitchen. Only a stack of records and the regular battery of tape recorders, amplifiers and a turntable betray the feeling that the place is best suited for a 40-year-old member of the nouveau riche.
Purple`s new guitarist, Tommy Bolin, walks in, his multicoloured hair glowing. It looked far more radiant in the afternoon sun than it had at the previous night`s lacklustre Bad Company show at the Forum where we`d first met.
How time flies! It`s nearly two years since Coverdale picked up his last boutique pay check before taking over Ian Gillan`s position as Purple`s lemon-squeezer extraordinaire.
Now Bolin`s the new boy with just three weeks of Purple membership behind him. A month ago the former James Gang/Billy Cobham axeman was sitting on his butt searching out a gig. Today he`s in the hot seat, having taken over the spot vacated by Purple`s founder, that doomy, dark and moody King of Heavy Metal Guitar, Ritchie Blackmore.
After a couple of hours drinking and enjoying the more exotic fruits of rock `n` roll success, the mood is hardly conduscive to serious conversation, but we try. Seems that Coverdale and I will make it, but Bolin is a little further out into the cosmos.

“Ritchie was worried about the direction he thought the band might be headed in,” opens Coverdale, getting straight to the cause of Blackmore`s departure, a move many had expected for months. “He didn`t like the soul that was creeping into the band. See, what Ritchie regards as funk are things like “Sail Away” and “Mistreated” and that`s the direction the rest of us saw the band headed in.”
Indeed, those two numbers, the bouncy “Hold On” and the haunting acoustic “Soldier of Fortune” on “Stormbringer” all marked changes for Purple, changes that the strongwilled Blackmore found hard to tolerate.
It was undoubtedly the introduction of bassist Glenn Hughes and Coverdale himself in 1973 that caused the marked realignment in Purple`s approach. First came “Burn” which saw a hint of the band`s infamous zomboid inhumanity being eaten away in favour of a more earthy approach. The pattern was exaggerated by months on the road to prove the worth of the new-look outfit. As confidences grew, Blackmore`s strangle hold over the band began to weaken.
Then came “Stormbringer”, a surprise to many die-hard Purple-haters. It served as consummation of the redirection its predecessor had pioneered. In essence, Blackmore`s guitar no longer held the rest of the band at gun-point.
Glenn Hughes` bass had created a far stronger rhythm section with Jon Lord`s organ and Ian Paice`s drums. Not only stronger musically, but stronger mentally. The Blackmore regime was over.

“Sure,” Coverdale agrees, between sips of white wine. “He was worried that the next album would be even more bass-oriententated. He wanted to go out and get the things he really wanted to do, the guitar things, out of his system so that he could get into being a fifth of Deep Purple without feeling compromised. So he went out and decided to do his solo album.”
Yet it`s hard to imagine Blackmore, ego and all, wanting to return to Purple if his solo venture worked. Once he saw new influences coming into the band that he didn`t like, and saw himself outvoted by the others, there was no way he could stay.
“Yeah, a lot of the songs on his album were ones that we all rejected for `Stormbringer`,” Coverdale concedes again, yet still adamantly refusing to say anything derogatory about his former boss. “He put forward a lot of ideas he knew we wouldn`t be interested in.”
Rumours started flying, each one adamantly denied by Purple management – who seemed to take any suggestion that Blackmore might split as a personal insult. The reason for the denials, says Purple manager Rob Cooksey, was that Blackmore had not yet decided to quit.


However when Rolling Stone quoted Blackmore as saying he considered “Stormbringer” a “load of shit” it seemed the end was nigh. “Ritchie never said that,” insists Blackmore`s mouth-piece, Cooksey. “It was a terrible piece of misquoting. The writer didn`t even put his name on the piece. Ritchie was really upset about it, especially because of what the other guys in the band must have thought.”
“We started the last European tour with Ritchie still a full member,” says Coverdale, explaining the final split. “After we`d done a couple of dates I began to feel strange vibes and knew something was going on. I went to see Rob Cooksey and I could just tell from his eyes that he was keeping something from me. I could sense that he didn`t want to commit himself because Ritchie had told him something in private and he didn`t want to break that confidence, even though it concerned us all business-wise.”
It finally transpired that Blackmore had finally reached the point of quitting.
“Now he can do exactly what he wants. I think he`ll be happier now: he`s got much more control with the people he`s working with. Instead of turning round to Jon and telling him what to play and Jon saying `I prefer it this way`, he`s got players who`ll do exactly what he tells them to,” says Coverdale adjusting his glasses, adding, “They`re good players too.”

The singer`s immediate reaction was to get on the phone and begin organising his own band. True to his soul roots, he got a horn section and chick back-up singers together first. “Then I suddenly realised I was calling Jon to play organ, Ian to play drums, and Glenn to play bass, so I thought, `what`s the point of doing it solo, why not keep the band together`?”
With Blackmore, the founding member, now joining the ranks of Purple refugees, some suggest the band should break up or at least change the name.
Coverdale gets very defensive about such talk. Very defensive indeed. “We still own the name Deep Purple, as far as people and musicians. We decided to keep it going because we wanted to keep working together, nothing else. We can keep it going without Ritchie. I think Glenn and I proved the band could keep going and maintain its validity with new members,” he says, getting edgey.
Ooops, sorry David.
Anyhow, having decided to keep it together, the first priority was to locate a new guitar player. Problem. Love him or hate him, Blackmore is a very distinctive player; those spine-searing, ear-bending riffs don`t come easy and though thousands tried to copy him, nobody got close.

Each member drew up his own list of choices and the names were pooled. Jeff Beck topped the popularity polls but, as Coverdale put it so succinctly, “He`s very much his own man and it would have been like taking on…” An even more determined Blackmore?
“Exactly, excellent! He`s very individual. It`s generally accepted that he`ll form a new band every month, go on the road or record an album, then disband it. It`s Jeff Beck and whoever else is with him is incidental.”
Next choice was Clem Clempson who was flown over from England to audition. He failed. “I think he`s suffered through his associations with Steve Marriott in Humble Pie. He`s just been a bandsman for too long, like a horn player with Duke Ellington`s band. He didn`t have the magic that we needed to inspire us all. You gotta remember man, that to replace Ritchie… well, you know. He wasn`t just anybody and you can`t get just anybody to replace him.”
Next in line to the throne was Bolin, an undisputed punk.
“I got on the phone to our agent in New York to find him because I thought he was an East Coaster and he told me Tommy was living just five miles away from me in Malibu. The management were a bit scared when they heard he`s played with Cobham: they thought, …`Oh no, a jazz-man`. But I called him up when we were both really stoned and we talked for half an hour about curry and chips and finally invited him down to a session.”

At the mention of his own name and getting stoned Bolin comes to life, brushing his peacock hair from his dilated pupils. The former replacement for Joe Walsh in the James Gang, then guest guitarist on Billy Cobham`s excellent Spectrum, Bolin tried to speak; “Uh… I`d been up all night… like… and I … er … wanted to call it off… but when we started playing…”
“He kept apologising,” interrupts Coverdale with a grin. “Saying `I`m sorry, really sorry, I haven`t played in ages` and I was just standing there going `Jesus Christ, there`s this phenomenal sound coming out, he hasn`t got his right guitar and hasn`t practised in months`.”
Bolin joined Deep Purple.
“Blackmore put a good word in for me, didn`t he,” he asks rhetorically.
“No, nobody said anything,” says Coverdale, slightly taken aback.
“You liar Blackmore… you lying…”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Rod Stewart, Ray Thomas (Moody Blues), Speedy Keen, Ian Dury, David Bowie, Larry Parnes, Rainbow, Gil Scott-Heron, The Flamin` Groovies, Amos Garrett, Steve Hillage, Maria Muldaur.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT David Coverdale FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, November 9, 1974

I have never transcribed two articles from the same paper before. This time I couldn`t help it – I just had to make room for this fairly long but early article from the start of David Coverdale`s career. This is way before he became one of rock`s foremost male sex symbols after his transformation around 1986/7. He is quite open and candid about himself here.
Have a nice read!


Coverdale – Imperator Rex!

Or, how a totally – unknown chariot-driver broke away from the Plebiscite and succeeded to the Imperial Purple

Scribe: Tony Stewart

I heard that Ian Gillan is leaving Deep Purple and my friends persuaded me to send in a tape. Please excuse the quality but I hope you`ll give it a listen.
My phone number is on the tape box if by some small chance you want to speak to me.
Regards David Coverdale.

Coverdale`s letter of application for the situation then vacant in Deep Purple certainly doesn`t exude an aura of either burning ambition or single-minded self-confidence.
But a struggling semi-pro singer who worked by day in a boutique probably believed it`d take more than a demo-tape, letter and snapshot to bring about an exchange between the drab interior of a Redcar shop and the bright lights of superstardom in the Metropolis. So naturally, there`s a reticent and embarrassed air to the letter.
Whether by mercy of providence or merely in recognition of an Enormous Talent Coverdale`s approach was, as you know, successful. A speculative gambit paid off.
And having just celebrated his first anniversary with the band he is in a position to clarify his intentions behind the letter by comparing it to another missive received recently by Purple.

“There was a guy who sent a tape of `Black Knight` with piano accompaniment,” he tells, “and a letter saying, `Dear Deep Purple, I`m not very good looking but me Mam thinks I am. But I would like to sing with your group because I think it would be great. I`m going to play `Black Knight` now.
“And the band were really touched, although obviously it was very naive. It could have paid off. I sent mine in with the same intention.
“When I came for the job with Purple I didn`t expect to get it,” he continues modestly. “But I would have liked it. I knew they had their own label and their own stable of artistes, and I was hoping for a job as a songwriter. But obviously I would have preferred the job singing with the band, but I didn`t expect that my throat was the one they were looking for. And I certainly didn`t have that sort of image.”
Even now Coverdale is still a little reluctant to forsake his previous anonymity and transform himself into the image of the Famous Mr. Coverdale. And his purpose in being frontman of this, or any other band, has not altered since being just another yob in Redcar.

“I`ll be honest,” he begins, “and I don`t want NME cynicism – but I never considered being a rock and roll star and I never wanted to be, and I don`t consider it now although it gets drummed into me occasionally.
“I wanted to be a purveyor of good music. Like, my record collection is excellent, displaying many tastes, all of which have got something to do with – not soul, but feel. I have things by John Williams, Sergio Mendes, Miles Davis and Otis Redding – anything I can interpret; anything I can identify with.”
Equally so Coverdale can now himself be identified as a stalwart member of Deep Purple, having successfully completed active service on extensive tours and in the studio. A glance at the composing credits of their second album together, “Stormbringer” – which is due for imminent release – shows he has not been idle when it comes to writing either – on this occasion, teaming up with both Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord. In all respects he`s rowed himself in nicely, you could say.

The absolute evidence of Coverdale`s undisputed position was when the rest of Purple apparently elected him their Official Representative to meet the press last week and so grab some publicity for the new album.
With that in mind their publicist rustled up as many journalists as possible, sat Mr. C. behind a desk at Purple Records` West One offices, and, at hourly intervals, gave him a change of face and tape recorder. When we arrived in the late afternoon, he appeared to be bearing up remarkably well, whereas other artistes in his position are usually drunk, harrassed or asleep at a similar stage.
He, however, was very much alert, amiable, talkative and sober. Producing a half-bottle of Teachers he assured us he`d soon remedy the latter misfortune. With the gentleman in such good spirits it would have been an appropriate time to discuss “Stormbringer”, but the PR machinery had temporarily malfunctioned and I`d obviously not had time to hear a test pressing produced only five minutes before my encounter with David. The fact that it was even mentioned at all was purely good fortune.

Had I not attempted to prompt a conversation into the intimate secrets of DP by recalling an anecdote involving Ritchie Blackmore, we might never have discussed it at all.
“I get on very well with Ritchie,” says Coverdale diplomatically, as he cautiously moves us away from a sensitive area.
“I accept him for what he is,” he continues, “and he accepts me for what I am. And it`s very successful when it comes down to writing. We have the same influences.
“I`ve also done some writing with Jon (Lord) this time, and we came up with some good ideas, the majority of which are not on the album. In fact, there`s two.
“There`s a song called `Holy Man`, and a thing called `Hold On`, which Mr. Bowie I believe is interested in recording.”
“From what I heard, yeah,” he replies with obvious pleasure.
“He came round to see us a few times in LA and was very nice, and I think he said he was interested in doing that particular song. I`d be interested to hear what he does with it, `cause it seems a little unusual for his taste.

“I`m chuffed with it,” he remarks (about the whole set), “because there`s a lot of new ideas going down, which are very negative to the general idea of Deep Purple.
“It isn`t contrived rock and roll. It`s just that we write what we enjoy and, fortunately a lot of people dig it.
“The thing is it`s so good adrenalin-wise to perform fast rock and roll. It`s a good fantasy to be involved in. Like, ten years ago James Dean was the thing. Everybody had their elbow hanging outside an open topped car. That was a fantasy.

It is in fact his oblique references that causes our discourse to trample pretty thoroughly through his pre-Purple days – and, thankfully, away from any further mention of the album.
No, I still haven`t heard it, but invariably when a set is first released musicians allow their enthusiasm for the recording to by-pass their critical faculties, and it`s only a year later they consider the set objectively.
Would you really expect Coverdale to knock it at the moment?
Anyway, it appears art was the only other worthwhile activity in which he was involved prior to writing his letter. Sadly it was short lived because his romantic illusions of painting and living in a grimy garret were shattered by the commercial realities of art college, which then caused him to consider Graphic Design as a career. But, again, he was disillusioned – and so turned to teaching.
“When I realised the amount of years it would take to get into that particular craft I couldn`t handle it,” Coverdale recounts.

“I just couldn`t envisage all those bloody years of sitting doing the Learning Bit. I`m very interested in learning, obviously, but I couldn`t handle the idea of living on six quid a week for that amount of time.
“It wasn`t immediate enough for my age. I was a young lad, with all the adrenalin and excitement of being young and going round jumping on ladies-`bellies and dancing on them.”
Nevertheless he still harboured romantic ideals and was greatly influenced by the lyrics of the songs of the time, even though he later discovered he`s been duped – again.
“Bolan has a song saying `You Can`t Fool The Children Of The Revolution`, – but unfortunately you can, I think. And a lot of people in my generation have been fooled. I was one of them. I didn`t realise people could get on the road and sing about the streets of Paris and South America only because they were millionaires. They could fly there and live in bloody luxury hotels and find out the street names and make it sound very romantic – for somebody, for instance, who lived in Redcar-by-the-Sea, Cleveland.
“But at the time this was terrific to me. My lifestyle was built around the philosophies of the Yardbirds and all that sort of thing.

“I tried hard to live-for-today, but I developed intellect – or a little more maturity – and got to the point of believing romanticism can certainly be overruled by material realism.
“Like, I love records, but you need a certain amount of sponds (bread) to be able to buy records. To hear records? Well, you`ll need a stereo. I remember sacrificing my little mono record player, courtesy of my mother, which was a Bush – a little bastard, it was grand. It cost £39 and I traded it in for 12 quid on an ITT KB 1250 stereo, which left a lot to be desired, but at the time was ace.”
So what you`re basically saying is you can`t be a hippy without some bread?
“Yeah. You can`t indulge in that kind of philosophy without it. From what I remember the hippy philosophy is to be totally self-sufficient, which you can`t be if you`re dependent on society – for instance, on social security, which I`ve been on as well. One pound and bloody five pence a week I got, mate,” he recalls with bitterness. “Grand, eh? And now they want 98 per cent of my money off me.”
But the beer was cheaper up North.
“It still didn`t pay the sodding flat, I tell you.
“But I had my eyes opened rudely by things happening around me. When I go home now I see a lot of my friends. A lot of them are very depressed. They`ve settled down with wives and started building homes. Which I admire.
“I haven`t got the feeling of wanting those sort of roots yet. Although I dash home whenever I can.”


At the time Coverdale mentions he was quite obviously living very much in a fantasy world – something he now readily admits, relating it once more to his present position.
“People indulge in fantasies,” he explains. “I`m quite sure you do. I`ve got them. I go and see `Dirty Harry` or `Magnum Force` and I think Clint Eastwood`s hot, and come out feeling a little drab. Or I see Bruce Lee and think `Oooh, I wouldn`t mind having a go at that`. A fantasy is something you create in your mind. I`m very against violence, but I would love to have the power to sort out half a dozen guys if they started pissing about with somebody. You need that fantasy because day-to-day life is dreary.
“What upsets me is people think there`s so much bloody glamour in this business. But it`s about time people realised there isn`t so much glamour”.

Hang on, David, you`d better explain yourself.
“well because the fantasy of that glamour thing, like the old Hollywood, is necessary to a lot of people. I don`t mean the supposed glamour that`s supposed to surround us when we have press receptions or anything like that. The glamour is when you walk on stage and you have thousands of kids going crazy. Audience reaction is the best dope in the world. It`s the greatest high I`ve ever had in my life.
“But I didn`t experience it until Copenhagen last year when I did my first gig with Purple.”
This quest for adulation has obviously been the motivating force to keep Coverdale going. In fact, one reason why he resorted to the hardship of Social Security benefits (“which made me feel like a shit-house as a human being”) was so he could pursue a musical career.
“The last job I had before being unemployed,” he remembers, “was a band leader. Which really meant I led a nightclub trio. But you can imagine there was animosity between me and the people I was asking for money because of this.
“I was living with a lady at the time who had a child – who wasn`t mine, although I felt he was because I loved him that much. So I was supporting a family. And the bastards gave me £1.5 a week. If it hadn`t been for my parents…

“What really pisses me off is for six years I made nothing – yet now they want so much money out of me. But I`m making a crust which might only be for a year, two years or three. God knows! But what the people in this silly tax thing don`t realise is… it could stop anytime.
“Purple is the sort of band that`s got to the top and if there`s any hint of them going down they`d call it a day.”
Really? Now this is worth asking about.
“It`s never been discussed with the band, but I certainly don`t think they`d go down. I don`t think they`d watch that happening. They`d rather retire up there,” he points to the ceiling, “separate and go their individual ways, but leave the name of Deep Purple respected by the fans as it is.
“Each member of the band is very proud, particularly the trio that Glenn (Hughes) and I joined last year. And I`m quite sure they wouldn`t ride downhill.”
“What I mean is, if they felt they couldn`t go any further – as they did with the last Deep Purple and the first Deep Purple – they`d change the band. But if they ever got that feeling with Glenn and I, I don`t think they`d bother again.
“Glenn and I walked in with our bread buttered. It could have fallen on its ass, but fortunately it didn`t. Which I`m very proud of because it was a big pair of shoes I was standing in.”

Coverdale was not without his opportunities before the Purple gig, and he now believes there would have been a strong possibility of his joining Alan Bown when Jess Roden left, or Colosseum before Chris Farlowe joined. Unfortunately, at the time he never considered he`d be seriously considered for either job.
The group which he would mostly dearly have liked to join was the Grease Band when Cocker departed. But then Monsieur Joe is one of the great influences on Coverdale`s vocals.
“I identified with Cocker immediately because he was like Ray Charles. I met him a few times, years ago, and I love him. I would like to line up and shoot the people who put him in the situation he`s in now. Because I see Joe as a tube of toothpaste which has been squeezed. That bloke was so talented.”
“I adapt from everybody who I like and it`s stored in my memory banks, and I use licks from everybody who`s made an impression on me. Which goes from Rod Stewart to Robert Johnson, Bobby Blue Bland, B.B. King, Albert King and so many other black cats. There are not really many white people I appreciate.”

Trying to explain how he is subconsiously affected by other artistes he refers to his writing style as illustrated by the title track of the new album.
“I wrote the lyrics about a mythical creature called Stormbringer who, in a surrealistic story, creates a lot of trouble. It`s similar to the idea of `Burn`.
“But I never even considered Michael Moorcock`s work.”
It was only when he showed the lyric to another member of the band that a comparison to the Moorcock work (“Stormbringer” is the name of a fearsome sword; was made. Then when David arrived home from Munich, where the album was recorded, he discovered some of Moorcock`s SF novels among a trunk of paperbacks.
“In my mind,” Coverdale asserts, “I`d created the character called `Stormbringer`. Which also could have come from my childhood interest in mythology. Thor, the God of Thunder had a hammer called `Stormringer`, didn`t he?” (no – Ed.)
“But mythology was another fantasy for me. I always imagined myself at the Pass of Thermopylae – you know, being a hero like the 300 Spartans who defended Greece or something.”

He does sound rather vague about it all, but assures me that “before I became a rock and roll star I could answer all the Greek mythology questions on University Challenge. Not bad for a 14-year-old, eh?
“It was,” he adds, “a fantasy I could indulge in.
“I was fortunate because I lived in a large house, which was part of a workingmens club, and I had what I called my music room. It was an enormous room in which I used to build all sort of constructions like a Roman galleys. I`d indulge in a terrific fantasy with friends of mine who shared all this.
“Steve Reeves was my hero at one time as well. Do you remember him?”
Ah, so he was into being Hercules?
“At the time, yeah. When I decided I wanted to be a rock singer I was really pissed off that I`d developed shoulders, `cause every pop singer I saw was really skinny.”

One look at David Coverdale`s broad shoulders, the clean cut square jaw line, and the overall physique of a man who appears to have come successfully through a Charles Atlas course, even now would prevent people recognising him as a rock and roll singer. But then, true to the tradition of all well-bred Northerners, one suspects he`d be greatly outraged if one suggests he should slip into some satin and lose a bit of weight. Or would he?
“I`ve never regarded myself with an image and I still don`t,” he tells. “I can`t imagine I ever will, unless my bones change shape and shrink to an impossible degree, and my acne vanishes.”
But David you`re not wearing your spectacles?
You ain`t got your specs on.
“Because they`re terrible glasses,” he responds with a nervous laugh.
So you haven`t dropped the glasses for the sake of your image?
“No. It`s because when I jump around they fall off. Practical purposes. So I`ve got contact lenses, because that was the first time I could afford them. And then I had to borrow the money to get them.”

Astutely changing the subject, he continues, “Everyone imagined the moment I signed with Deep Purple that I had £100,000 put into my bank account to put me on a social level with the other members. Several rumours say I`ve got a couple of Lamborghinis and Rollses and 21 acres of land.
“I live over a vegetable shop in Redcar,” he admits. “I`ve got a lot of bucks behind me, I`m not denying that, but I grafted for them. And I got myself some contact lenses so I wouldn`t trip over the microphone leads and look like a silly prat.”
Life with Deep Purple has apparently not unduly affected the personality of Mr Coverdale during his first year with the group.

As he puts it: “I`ve been given an opportunity which I`ve grasped firmly with both hands, which anyone would do, for a certain amount of financial security for a certain amount of years, I`d be a fool not to.
“I`m now able to indulge in choices: to eat fish and chips or to eat sirloin steak. Or to go to London for a couple of days and stay in an hotel – rather than sleep on a bench. Which I`ve done, by the way.
“I`m into the material thing because my biggest bloody pain years ago was financial insecurity. How the hell could I fall in love and say to the chick, `Come and live with me at my Mother`s and she and my father will take care of you because I`m a die-hard musician`?
“Fortunately my apprentice-ship paid off and I became a fitter.
“The only way I think I`ve changed is I`ve got a lot more confidence. 101 per cent instead of 99.
“I rely so much on human relationships – male and female. Male for communication and female for physical. And this,” he says in the same breath, “is the best interview I`ve had all day.”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Jeff Beck, Beckett, Stan Lee, Alvin Lee, Rashied Ali, Can.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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