Deep Purple: “We were dangerous, unpredictable… it wasn’t cabaret”

The group take us through their career, album by album

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Roger Glover and Ian Gillan’s studio debut with the group. Jamming in a rundown West London hall creates on-the-hoof hairy rock greatness.

ROGER GLOVER: The Concerto was divisive. Ritchie let Jon have his way for that one. Without that, maybe In Rock wouldn’t have been so hard.


IAN PAICE: Every time we had a day off we’d go to Hanwell Community Centre, which was this wonderful, crappy place in West London and write stuff. In those days, if we had an idea on the way to a show, we’d try it out onstage – every day was a writing day.

ROGER GLOVER: It was a whole different level to what I’d known. I remember the first rehearsal I had with Purple and I thought, ‘I don’t know this…’ I didn’t realise they didn’t know what it was either – it was a jam. To me, a jam was 12-bar blues. This was something else: it was rock jazz. It was then I learned the measure of this band.

IAN GILLAN: We’d go into the studio and polish it up and record them two or three songs at a time. “Child In Time” was something that came out of a 10-minute studio jam: Jon was dicking around with a song called “Bombay Calling” by It’s A Beautiful Day, he slowed it down and that was the root of it.


ROGER GLOVER: My favourite song on that album is “Hard Lovin’ Man” because that’s where the fire of the stage came into the studio. [Long-standing engineer] Martin Birch was a big part of that, he was a great engineer. We were wringing sounds out of our instruments they weren’t intended to make.


A funkier, soulful set, this wasn’t what everyone expected – but it remains a Gillan favourite.

ROGER GLOVER: We were following up a big success and you can’t be unaware of that. We went down to a big old house, The Hermitage, in north Devon to write.

IAN GILLAN: That didn’t last very long. Pranks, axes through doors, that sort of thing.

ROGER GLOVER: It was Ritchie wielding the axe and it was through my door. He wanted to borrow a crucifix because he was having a séance. I didn’t want anything to do with it. I was in bed reading my book, and the next thing I knew, an axe came through my door and there was Ritchie. He’s a great practical joker, but I thought he went a little too far.

IAN GILLAN: I’m not sure what got done. We drank a lot of cider.

ROGER GLOVER: We’d been on the road about a year, and a little bit of drink came into it. I can’t remember what we wrote there apart from “Strange Kind Of Woman”.

IAN PAICE: I can’t remember much about it, but we did enjoy ourselves.


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