Growing up, Deep Purple was one of my favorite bands. They were the epitome of hard rock and I had heard stories of how they were in the Guinness Book of World Records for the loudest concert, something I found most impressive. When I saw Deep Purple, it was a big reunion thing featuring the classic lineup: Ian Gillan (vocals), Jon Lord (organ), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar). The band had been split up for years and Ritchie Blackmore had his solo band, Rainbow. But then the band got back together and released the album “Perfect Strangers,” which did quite well. So when they booked a show at the infamous Hollywood Sportatorium, I grabbed some tickets.
I went to this concert with my brother Mike. On the drive out to Pembroke Pines, we discussed what song they might open with (a typical discussion of ours before a show). Mike felt certain they would open with “Highway Star,” a pick that I discounted saying it was too popular and would be closer to the end. Well, my brother was right… “Highway Star” was the opening song!
The concert was impressive and everything I expected from Deep Purple. It was loud, energetic, and visually thrilling. The band had a great laser show that totally added to the overall experience. Some of the high points of the concert for me were “Lazy,” “Child in Time,” “Strange Kind of Woman,” and “Speed King.” And of course, the last song of the encore to close the show: “Smoke on the Water.”
Since then, there have been other incarnations of Deep Purple, but none with the classic lineup of members, so I could never bring myself to see them again. This show was perfect and I could not imagine a reconfigured version being anywhere close. So I will maintain the integrity of this concert memory.
Rock and Roll!!