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Old Nov-29-2005, 6:58 AM
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Icon49 Plenty to celebrate in 2006



Glenn Hughes is moving mountains these days. For his steadfastly loyal fan base 2005 brought sustinence in abundance, courtesy of the masterly 'Soul Mover' solo album and collaboration with TONY IOMMI on 'Fused', plus a bright and positive look toward the future. For many fans, myself included, Glenn's change of tack from a scatter gun approach, spreading his talents far too thin over too many "guest sessions", to finally prioritising his own work paid rich dividends. That we'll discuss later, but for now Glenn is conversing to highlight the release of a really quite special DVD, DEEP PURPLE at the 1974 California Jam.

DEEP PURPLE fans have been served well by the band over the last decade with a strong emphasis on not only recognising their audio and video heritage, but actually getting it out there and celebrating it. A stream of live archive live material, from every version of the band, has been presented superbly, both in terms of sonic and aural quality and superior packaging. It's a lesson many other bands could, and should, take note of.

Now it's time for the big one - Cal Jam '74. The band's 1974 US promotion for the thundering 'Burn' album came to a final Gotterdammerung style party at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California. At the time, the MK III DEEP PURPLE, Ritchie Blackmore, DAVID COVERDALE, GLENN HUGHES, JON LORD and Ian Paice, was the biggest grossing act on the American circuit. Backed up by BLACK SABBATH, THE EAGLES and EARTH, WIND & FIRE, the group co-headlined (in a fashion…) with EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. DEEP PURPLE chose to go on mid evening and after a blistering set, 'Burn', 'Might Just Take Your Life', 'Lay Down, Stay Down', 'Mistreated', 'Smoke On The Water', 'You Fool No One' and 'Space Truckin', Ritchie Blackmore topped off proceedings with the grandest of finales. You really do need to see the DVD to see the black one in one of his most destructive episodes. After that, EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER was a damp squib.

I wondered first if Glenn had any concept of exactly how big the Cal Jam event was when they first arrived? After all, he and Coverdale were the new boys.

"No, although we soon got the full picture. They had sold 150,000 tickets before the gig but over 125'000 people just jumped the gate. So, I don't know the final number, but it was certainly over quarter of a million people."

What was going through your head when you walked out onstage?

"Without being arrogant, it didn't phase me. I suppose it was just so big that it became almost unreal. I remember walking onstage and seeing this blanket of people as far as the eye could see. My attitude was, well Glenn , this is why you signed up, this is what you wanted and here it is - go for it! I was actually thinking about how David would handle it, because he was newer than me to all this. I'd done big shows with TRAPEZE but for David it was all new, everything. We all did great though. David totally mastered the event and we were actually quite relaxed throughout the gig."

There's a lot of onstage banter.

"Oh yeah, David was funny as hell. If you notice, we say 'Where's the sunset?' That's because we had planned to go while the sun was setting, for dramatic effect I suppose, but the whole event was running half an hour early so our grand plan backfired. Still, we got to give a nice little surprise at the end."

What was the real deal with EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER going on after you?

"We were the headline band. It was our gig. About 3 months prior to the show we decided we needed another strong act on to bring in some ticket sales, someone like PINK FLOYD or something like that.. The deal was simple really. We got EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER and we didn't want to close the show. It was that simple. There was no way they could follow us."

You opened with 'Burn' before following up with 'Lay Down, Stay Down'. Now, that track was always missing from previous videos. Why was it excluded then? (The DVD includes this track for the first time.)

"You know, when Drew told me that song was on there I was surprised because I can't even remember it. I have no idea why it was left off before this DVD because we make a good job of it. It's a real highlight actually.
The other thing with the DVD is that is a lot more film footage., a lot of camera angles and extra stuff that has never been seen before."

And of course, the whole show ends with the explosion and Ritchie trashing everything!

"Yes, Ritchie being dynamic. When that explosion happened, none of us knew it would go off like that. I'm sure if we had any idea the fire marshalls would not have let it happen. It blew the wind up my ass and there were flames everywhere. The force of it was so great that it blew Ian Paice's glasses off!

Ritchie had this order that there were to be no wives or girlfriends side stage. He wanted nothing in his periphial vision so what did he get? He got this cameraman right in his face so Ritchie just let rip with the drama."

Were you involved with the process of putting together the DVD?

"Not at all. That was all Drew Thompson. It came up a few years ago, when they first started putting it together. I couldn't wait. The funny thing is, that it seems that whenever I used to visit someone's house they would have the old Cal Jam video, and they always wanted to put it on! I hated it, hate looking at myself like that y'know?

When I got a copy of this one it wouldn't actually work in my machine at home so I talk it over to Chad's (Chad Smith RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS drummer) and we watched it there. It's stunning. It made me really appreciate what a great band the MK III DEEP PURPLE really was."

OK, drawing us back up to date, 2005 has been a great year for you. I think you surprised a lot of people with the leap in quality in the 'Soul Mover' album.

"Thanks Garry. Y'know, right now, I'm just singing, playing bass and Rock n' Rolling. What more could I ask for? This year has been just wonderful."

I have to say that 'Soul Mover' is a lot better album than your recent solo catalogue.

"I agree. You know why? I worked harder. It's that simple. Before, I always spent 3 months on a record in total - the writing, pre-production and recording. With 'Soul Mover' I worked with my friend Chad Smith and felt I deserved better, so we took 9 months. We came up with 25 songs then made the album and the hard work really paid off. It's shown me how to do things in the future."

What did Chad bring to the album?

"Everything, absolutely everything. He has great knowledge to draw from about arranging hit songs, the studio, everything. He really pushed me, and I've never had that before. With 'Soul Mover' I got really focussed, it was just intense. The most important thing though was that I wrote these songs from the heart."

'Soul Mover' certainly raised your profile again.

"Yes, it has sold more than all of my solo records. That just shows you there."

Before 'Soul Mover' I think it's fair to say a lot of your fans were frustrated by the sheer amount of sessions you were doing and wondering why you were not putting all your energies into your own records. Is that fair?

"Totally, totally. I tell you though - it's over man."

That's good to hear.

"I'm a very happy go lucky, spiritual kind of guy and I just said 'yes' too many times. I have friends and acquaintances all over the world. Do you know how many times I got asked to sing on albums this year? 50! I can't sing an album a week. It has to stop. Now it's just my thing. Things have changed, it's not just the dough because now I'm saying no. I mean, you'll still see me doing a few things for close friends, but the other stuff - it's finished."

One album I really did like that you guested on was VOODOO HILL.

"I got to wear my Rob Halford hat for that one. That was good to do, a very aggressive side to my voice."

What made the change in the way you are working your career now?

"I simply stopped listening. It's that simple. I have this strange and very wide audience that I've been spending far too long trying to please. I have the Japanese fans who just want the DEEP PURPLE Glenn and to hear me sing 'Burn' all the time, I have the full on funkists, I have this kind of Michael Bolton type audience and the Heavy Metal people. I was trying to satisfy everybody all the time and it was impossible.

It was Chad actually who made me stop that nonsense. He said, just please yourself, give a statement about how you feel, not what other people want from you. The way he described it was to imagine I'm writing a musical postcard to myself. That was the big change."

How is 2006 panning out for you so far?

"Busy, very busy. As David Coverdale would say, my dance card is full. I'm writing songs right now for a new album, working with Chad again and the amazing John Frusciante. I'm looking at gigs in Australia during February to promote 'Soul Mover', then some shows in South America then there's some moves to get a symphony thing going in Europe for the summer. I also want to do another album with Tony. I think we really need to do that."

It was really nice to see you and Tony working again after all the chaos surrounding 'Seventh Star', then the aborted 1996 sessions. It kind of reinforced everything Tony Iommi had said about you.

"It was wonderful. I loved making that 'Fused' album. Working with Tony is such a pleasure. I can't begin to tell you how creative that man is."

There has been talk of you and Tony touring.

"We want to do it. Kenny (Aaronof) wants to do it too. It would be great and I'm sure the fans would just love it too. It has to be done right though. No more half measures. There's a will from myself, Tony and Kenny and I know the agent is looking at things. We'll see what happens."

Of course, besides your musical partnership with Tony Iommi the other great collaboration has been with David Coverdale in DEEP PURPLE. Are we ever going to see Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale on record or stage again?

"Well, believe it or not but people have been talking about this for quite some time. Will it happen? I would love to do it, JON LORD would love to do it. DC has expressed an interest. Maybe some live shows, maybe a DVD or something special like that. I think it would be fantastic for people to see the MK III DEEP PURPLE again."

That's quite an awesome possibility. How likely do you think that is?

"I can't say. We'd like to do it just for the crack but everything has to be just right. DEEP PURPLE split up with a lot of strong feelings and bitterness so it would be nice to heal that in a way. We all talk to each other, there's no hard feelings at all. It was all so long ago. MK III was unfinished business I think."

What about Ritchie?

"Ritchie? Who knows? Ritchie is in a very comfortable place right now, doing his own thing, making his own rules so that in itself is very important. Everything is open."

The prospect of seeing MK III DEEP PURPLE again is really quite mind boggling actually.

"There's probably someone talking about this behind the scenes right now."

Could it really happen? Before you scoff remember that those much maligned RAINBOW reunion rumours turned out to have some veracity in the end. Whatever, 2006 is certainly going to please the due hard Glenn Hughes fans in more ways than one. In the meantime, grab a copy of the 'Cal Jam' DVD and remind yourself just how explosive the MK III DEEP PURPLE really was.

Credit/s: Garry Sharpe-Young
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Old Nov-29-2005, 9:35 AM
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captmidnite1962 captmidnite1962 is offline

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Icon34 All sorts of great news!!

Pretty cool article!

While I do take issue with the way Garry Sharpe-Young summarily dismisses Glenn's entire previous catalog....*"Come on now, Garry..."Feel", "The Way It Is" and "Addiction" ain't exactly chopped liver!"*.... the article does highlight all the positive things we have to look forward to.

And Glenn with an orchestra???? "Good Golly" said little Miss Molly!!

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"Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins
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Old Nov-29-2005, 11:28 AM
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Talking Happy New Year!

2006 is the year, I can feel it in my water
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Old Nov-29-2005, 4:01 PM
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tony g tony g is offline

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your right captain he dismissed alot of good songs
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Old Nov-29-2005, 4:38 PM

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A new tour with mark III WILL BE A DREAM
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Old Nov-30-2005, 4:33 AM
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chrisloeb chrisloeb is offline

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... a very interesting read indeed!
Even if only half of the planned happens, 2006 will be a great GH- year!

And, me too, I'm very curious about the symphony thing - whatever that might be!?


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Old Nov-30-2005, 7:42 AM
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I am very curious about the "symphony thing" as well! I wonder if Glenn is composing new songs to mesh with an orchestra or if he will sing some of his classics such as "Coast To Coast" and "This Time Around" with the backing of the orchestra?
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Old Nov-30-2005, 9:05 AM
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captmidnite1962 captmidnite1962 is offline

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Icon33 Never say never....

Oh man....can you imagine if the Mark III reunuion were to actually happen?? I can almost hear Grace swooning and fainting as I type...thought I heard the unmistakeable clang of the ax hitting the floor!!

But speaking for myself.....I would love nothing more than to see Big Daddy and his Funky Little Brothers, Chad and JJ to do some gigs in the States. I know that the logistical obstacles are huge...but we can dream, can't we??

captmidnite1962's Sig:Yours In The Funk
Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford


"Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins
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