OK, so it turns out that Deep Purple will be playing a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, on June 23, along with Ted Nugent and Lynard Skynard. I know, I know, this is one of those washed-up-rockers-package-tours, but I don’t care. I saw Ted a year or so ago, and it was great. I saw DP ten years ago (yes, they were already old then), and it was fantastic. Lynard Skynard I could take or leave.
The question is…does anyone know if this is the “real” Deep Purple, i.e. the one with Richie Blackmore and Ian Gillan? They’ve gone through so many changes over the years, and I don’t want to spend the money and travel down there to see “Deep Purple, featuring Joe Schmoe on guitar and Joe Shlabotnik on vocals.” (I understand this is a risk of seeing bands decades past their prime. For example, there were at one time, and still may be, two bands going by the name of Foghat traveling around the country at one time, each with a member or two of the “real” band. I want to avoid seeing Deep Purple Lite.)
If no one knows the answer, is there any place I can look to find the current lineup of a band? Thanks in advance for any help.
If that is still the current line-up I’d say its near enough the real thing, apart from the guitarist of course but it was always pretty hard to get Ritchie Blackmore to keep his opinions to himself, which is the reason that he left originally and why his bands had so many personnel changes.
It’s always good to ask that question: “Is this the REAL band?”
I was an Asia fan in college. A few years back, Asia was playing here in Austin, and the enwspaper ads said the names “Carl Palmer, Steve Howe, John Wetton, Geoff Downes.” Foolishly, I paid my money… and the band turned out to be Geoff Downes with 3 VERY young guys (probably grade schoolers when the first Asia album came out). Outraged fans screamed “WHO ARE YOU???” through the entire set.
Now, it sounds as if 4 out of 5 “classic” Deep Purple musicians are in the band now (I said “classic,” not original, because the original Deep Purple was led by Rod Evans and Nicky Simper, and were more a psychedelic pop band than a metal band). Steve Morse is a brilliant guitarist (Dixie Dregs fans know that) but his style is VERY different from Blackmore’s. Decide for yourself if 4 out of 5 is enough.
But VERY often, you find that a famous band touring has NO original members- that the 3rd drummer or the 4th bassist got legal rights to the name!
Worse still, the names of old soul/R & B bands often belonged to the record labels or to their managers. Thus, “the Platters” and “the Coasters” tour with kids who weren’t even BORN when those bands were at the height of their popularity!
I could take a cheap shot and say “Yeah, he’s too good to be Ritchie Blackmore”, but that would miss the point. I wasn’t aware of what Morse has been doing the last few years, but he strikes me as a rather odd choice for Deep Purple.
Morse became well known in some circles from a band called the “Dixie Dregs”, which synthesized a lot of influences, and might have been described as Jazz/Rock fusion with balls. More than a passing resemblance to Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Steve Morse has more than a passing resemblance to John McLaughlin (the guitar player, of course, not the PBS gasbag).
In short, Morse is one hell of a guitarist. Retreading Deep Purple just seems like an odd gig for him.