Hard Rock pioneers: Deep Purple return to Bulgaria and sell out huge hall

Written by on May 8, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on Hard Rock pioneers: Deep Purple return to Bulgaria and sell out huge hall

Note: An earlier version of this article was previously released on F&F Magazine, which is now part of The Sofia Globe.

Whoever needed a break from the blue and red Beatles albums or from “Exile on Main Street” by the Rolling Stones in 1972, would find “Machine Head”, a recording which would turn out to be one of the most important Rock albums of all time. “Machine Head” included “Smoke on the Water”, maybe the most recognizable Rock tune ever, which at the same time tells an interesting tale.

In 1971, Deep Purple had wanted to record “Machine Head”, using mobile studio equipment they had rented from The Rolling Stones. Frank Zappa and his band, The Mothers of Invention, performed at the Montreux Casino Theater one night in December of 1971. This was supposed to be the last gig before the building would be renovated during the winter break. For Deep Purple, it was supposed to serve as their studio, for the planned recording session. But after a man in Zappa’s audience set the building on fire by firing a flare gun at the ceiling, the entire building burned down. There were no injuries.

The Deep Purple members watched the fire from their hotel balcony. Thanks to them, everyone would know about that night, for many decades to come. “Smoke on the Water” tells the tale of “some stupid with a flare gun”, who caused the fire, of Frank Zappa playing there, of Claude Nobs, the promoter who saved people during the fire, who later ran the Montreux Jazz Festival and died only a few years ago in a skiing accident, and of all the smoke over Lake Geneva.

Deep Purple in the early 1970-s.

Deep Purple, the legend, the “loudest band in the world”, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, were in Bulgaria before, e.g. in 1998, for a gig organized by the first large promoter in this country, Sofia Music Entrerprises. Now, on May 14th, 2017, this coming Sunday, they will be back in Sofia, at Arena Armeec. The gig seems to be sold out, at least at Eventim. It was unclear whether more tickets will be sold on site, the night of the concert.

Three original members are still with the band today: Ian Paice on drums, vocalist Ian Gillan and bass hero Roger Glover. They are being supported by Steve Morse on guitar and Don Airey on keyboards. Jon Lord, the original keyboarder, died in 2012. Their first guitarist, Richie Blackmore, quit in 1993.

Deep Purple are one of the most successful and recognizable Hard Rock bands on the planet, they basically are the inventors of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, maybe along with Black Sabbath, and they have delivered many of the most memorable Rock tunes in history. Apart from “Smoke …”, “Highway Star” would be a famous one. So would “Child in Time”, “Strange Kind of Woman” or “Speed King”.

Almost half a century after their foundation, the legendary British band Deep Purple will embark on their “Long Goodbye Tour”. Sofia will enjoy the second tour gig after Bucharest. Via Zagreb, Vienna and Munich, they will go back to Geneva and many other places in Europe. Their 20th studio album, “Infinite”, was released a month ago.





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