What will remain of Deep Purple once the "The Long Goodbye Tour" is over? Will the tribute bands and epigones take over and do justice to the hard rock legend? Can they re-create the myth of Deep Purple in their songs or concerts? Or does the group, which is celebrated as the Liverock band, remain unique because of all its facets? These and other questions are addressed in the fifth part of our series of articles on half a century of Deep Purple.
"Made In Japan", musicians - whether involved in Deep Purple or not - are still on their knees today. Ian Paice, Roger Glover, Lars Ulrich, Rick Wakeman, Farin Urlaub or Bruce Dickinson - the list of admirers is colourful, prominent and almost endless. It's exciting when you ask Ritchie Blackmore about it. "Do you really want to know how you sound when you're supposed to be at your creative and playful peak? No! As much as I have always taken up and understood concerts with Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night as a challenge, they are over for me as soon as the last note is played at the gig. As I was preparing for the Reunion concerts with Rainbow this year and the two years before, I listened to the studio versions of the Purple and Rainbow songs and none of the live albums, not even'Made In Japan'. Of course I have heard the album before, for the first time together with Ian Gillan as a finished record. I was surprised it sounded so good. After all, I had hepatitis before and it was the first gigs after the illness. Jon knew it before, of course, while Paicey and Glover were even in the mix. I could have relied on Jon because he would have prevented the release if Gillan and I had come across it badly."
Besides Blackmore, who manages and performs his own legacy together with Deep Purple with his newly formed Rainbow, Purple also do some rounds of honour live. "Because of me their farewell can become very long, because as long as they mainly play my songs, my till rings", the New York-based guitarist and composer is not entirely selfless. The various tribute bands also bring some change. But also Whitesnake with their "The Purple Tour" contributed to this. And Glenn Hughes is touring Germany this fall with a pure Purple show.