hard rock fans in Bangalore, Karnataka, heard that Deep Purple would
perform in their city on 1 April, many wondered if it was an April
Fool joke. After all, two of the numbers on the group's Fireball
album are ominously titled Fools and No one
They're coming all right -- the hard rock pioneers
who were also one of the first to fuse classical and rock music --
and they've chosen Bangalore among the Indian cities for a live
performance as part of their 30th anniversary Asia-Pacific
The group's previous concerts in India during the
mid-Nineties were in Mumbai and Delhi. It's a first for Bangalore,
and why not? Rock is part of this city's history and those who've
lived here long enough will recall its local groups, all of them
dead serious about music, most of them successful. But before we
name names, let's flash back to the early Seventies, when flower
power wafted gradually towards Indian shores and settled in the vast
wooded acres of India's premier institutes of higher
Some sociologist should examine why rock and the
hippie cult found hardcore fans in the IIMs, IITs and so on.
Grinding pressure of tests and grades? Wistful hopes of rebellion?
Bangalore had a faithful following who would religiously attend
Friday jam sessions. No self-respecting rock band would begin its
concert on time. The stage would show signs of life a good 60
minutes after the appointed hour, while checking of mikes and tuning
of instruments would take another half-hour at the very least. Long
hair, guru shirts, batik T-shirts, denim jackets and vividly
coloured headbands could be barely discerned in an all-pervasive
cloud of nirvanic smoke. Atomic Forest was far out, man. Human
Bondage, abs fab -- Babu Joseph, dig? and later, Radha the
husky-voiced singer. The Spartans, breaking up and re-forming.
Konarak Reddy, "our own Jimi Hendrix", playing at the RSI Grounds
with Stanley and Podgy.
Well, Babu made good in Spain with
the blues, and his band-mate percussionist Ramesh Shottam is a big
name in jazz and fusion today. Konarak now plucks nylon strings --
imagine! -- with Roberto Narain on drums -- they're going to play at
the Tata Auditorium next month, so watch out.
Purple comes to Bangalore after having played in 50 countries on its
largest ever world tour, there's going to be a sizeable population
of old rockers in the audience. Their teenaged kids, who wouldn't be
caught seen dead with them, would no doubt form their own clique as
they get blasted off their sneakers by 300,000 watts of sound.
Younger fans, who think coke is a soft drink, and speed, what they
do on a 100 c.c. bike on a straight stretch, may not be aware of the
Deep Purple's first hit Hush topped
the US charts in 1968. The famous line-up of Ritchie Blackmore (lead
guitar), Jon Lord (keyboard), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Gillan
(vocals) and Ian Paice (drums) came into existence in '69 when
Glover and Gillan left the band Episode Six to join Purple. Their
1970s album Deep Purple in Rock shot them into global prominence.
Then followed Machine Head in '72 and the live album Made in Japan.
They were at the height of their fame in '73.
Of course, the
band has had its ups and downs, ego clashes, breakups and
replacements. David Coverdale replaced Gillan on vocals for a while.
The band ceased performing in '76 and re-formed in '84 to make the
triple Platinum album Perfect Strangers. The brilliant but
temperamental Blackmore left the band in '93 and Deep Purple,
instead of dying, was re-born. They produced the critically
acclaimed Purpendicular in '96. The old line-up of Glover,
Paice, Gillan and Lord now includes lead guitarist Steve Morse who
has ably filled in for Blackmore.
At the Bangalore concert,
they will relive most of their classic numbers and, one hopes, play
some from their latest album Abandon.
The Bangalore concert of Deep Purple, sponsored
by BPL, is on 1 April 2001 at Palace Grounds, 7.30 p.m. onwards. The
event is produced by DNA Networks, the Bangalore-based international
concert promoters who have brought to India such artists as Bryan
Adams, Boyzone, No Doubt, and Yanni. Tickets, priced at Rs 250, are
available at BPL Gallery (the BPL products showrooms) on Brigade
Road (Phone 5580549, 5589914), on K.H.Road (2229160, 2271863), and
in Koramangala (5535682, 5522900). Also at PRO FX Global Theatre,
M.G.Road; Pai International, CMH Road (5219466); Vivek's,
Rajajinagar (3403437); Uday Home World, Sankey Road (2097722,
2097733); Kundan Electronics, Cox Town (5483171, 5484511); Uniq,
Ganganagar (3431518); Vivek's, Jayanagar (6343430, 6642430). You can
call the Current Booking hotline (5526622) to have your tickets
delivered at home but you'll be charged Rs 20 on each ticket.
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