Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Deep Purple!

LIVE & BLUE: DEEP PURPLE [South Africa 1996] Re-imagined and Expanded
LIVE & BLUE: DEEP PURPLE [South Africa 1996] Re-imagined and Expanded
LIVE & BLUE: DEEP PURPLE [South Africa 1996] Re-imagined and Expanded

A re-imagined and expanded mix of a live compilation CD released in South Africa-only in 1996.

Track List

  1. Speed King (live in Stockholm 1970)
  2. Child In Time (live in Stockholm 1970)
  3. Paint It Black (live in Stockholm 1970)
  4. Black Night (live in Stockholm 1970)
  5. Strange Kind Of Woman (live in Long Beach, California 1971)
  6. Burn (live in Graz 1975)
  7. Stormbringer (live in Graz 1975)
  8. The Gypsy (live in Paris 1975)
  9. Mistreated (live in Paris 1975) including Rock Me Baby
  10. Smoke On The Water (live in Long Beach, California 1976) including Georgia On My Mind
  11. Going Down (live in Springfield, Massachusetts 1976)
  12. Highway Star (live in Long Beach, California 1976) including Not Fade Away
  13. When A Blind Man Cries (live in Japan 1993)

Original CD

This CD was released in 1996 in South Africa by PT (Phase Two) Music with catalogue number RTFCD 100.

The first set of timings is taken from the inside of the CD cover, while the second is clocked by my CD player (note some of the big differences).

  1. Black Night [6.54 / 7.16] from Scandinavian Nights recorded live in Stockholm 12 November 1970
  2. Speed King [10.20 / 10.31] from Scandinavian Nights recorded live in Stockholm 12 November 1970
  3. Smoke On The Water [9.20 / 8.36] from On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat recorded live in California 27 February 1976
  4. Highway Star [8.18 / 7.05] from On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat recorded live in California 27 February 1976.
    Listed as Goin’ Down / Highway Star on cover, but does not actually include Goin’ Down. It does however include a snippet from Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away.
  5. Burn [7.23/ 6.28] from Mk III – The Final Concerts recorded live in Graz 4 April 1975
  6. Mistreated [13.00 / 11.29] from Mk III – The Final Concerts recorded live in Paris 7 April 1975.
    Includes a snippet from B.B. King’s Rock Me Baby
  7. Child In Time [17.25 / 17.34] from Scandinavian Nights recorded live in Stockholm 12 November 1970
  8. When A Blind Man Cries [3.33 / 3.30] from b-side of Never Before single 1972
    According to the sleeve, this is a studio recording from Stockholm 1970 featuring David Coverdale & Glenn Hughes!!! Which is completely wrong. It’s the ordinary studio version recorded during the Machine Head sessions and featuring the Mark II band. First album release was on the Mark I & II compilation.

Sleeve Notes:

During their thirty year history, DP have seen many personnel changes, but over the years each line up has added their own classic albums and live performances to the DP legend. This CD captures Mark 2 in Stockholm, Mark 3 in Europe and Mark 4 in California. The latter performance was long regarded as ‘The Holy Grail’ to DP collectors as it was the only great performance captured on tape with Tommy Bolin in the guitarist’s chair. As a bonus, the rare studio track ‘When a Blind man cries’ has been added to this CD capturing Purple at their most blue.

Deep Purple - Live And Blue
Deep Purple – Live And Blue

Review:

I wrote a review for this CD which appeared on the Deep Purple Digest Mailing List on 10th September 1998.

Deep Purple – Live And Blue (Out Of The Mists Of Time)

A review by Brian Currin, September 1998

This CD is a compilation of live tracks (and one studio release) released in 1996 in South Africa only. There are a number of mistakes in track timings, cover art and general info, but don’t let this distract you from a great listening experience. This CD is compiled from 3 Connoisseur Collection live CDs, plus the studio outtake (and b-side) “When A Blind Man Cries”.

All the live tracks are taken from:

  • Scandinavian Nights (recorded in 1970),
  • Mk 3: The Final Concerts (recorded in 1975) and
  • Live In California (1976, also known as On The Wings Of A Russian Foxbat)

According to the album cover, Glenn Hughes and Tommy Bolin are both left-handed guitarists (wait till Jimi hears about this!). This is the same photo as on Foxbat, just reversed and with a different logo style. The title on the cover is Live And Blue, but on the spine it says Out Of The Mists Of Time (and on the actual disc the title is The Deep Purple Connection!).

OK, let’s talk about the music which is why I wrote this review in the first place and why I listen to this CD so often. I bought this CD after already having all the other albums mentioned above, but I really liked the idea of a live compilation.

The CD opens with Black Night, which was the encore from Stockholm on the 12th of November 1970. A wonderful version especially considering this song wasn’t even a year old at the time. Great guitar/vocal interplay near the end.

This is followed by Speed King from the same show. This track “speeds” along and includes Ian Gillan telling us what a speed king is. (Someone who can sing at 100 miles an hour!)

Next up is Smoke On The Water from the Long Beach Arena, 27th February 1976. Whose says Tommy can’t play SOTW? (not me, anymore!). A superb version until Glenn Hughes starts his warbling, barely-recognisable version of Georgia On My Mind. Why did he bother?

Highway Star is the encore from the Long Beach show. A thundering track that includes a snippet from Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away. Listed on CD cover as Goin’ Down/Highway Star, but Goin’ Down has gone!

Burn, the fast-paced show-opener from Graz in Austria on the 4th April 1975 with an excellent organ solo from Jon Lord.

The last Deep Purple performance with Ritchie until 1984 included this majestic version of Mistreated from Paris on the 7th April 1975. This powerful blues song still gives me cold shivers when I hear it and you would never guess that this was Ritchie’s last show. The snippet from BB King’s Rock Me Baby is handled well by David Coverdale.

Last live track is a long (17 minute) version of Child In Time from Stockholm in 1970. Meanders in places, but overall a great version.

The last track on the CD is the Machine Head outtake When A Blind Man Cries, originally only available as a b-side in 1972. In South Africa, however, this track became a big radio hit and was (and still is) extremely popular, hence it’s inclusion here, I guess. South African DP fans were thrilled that this track was included on their 1995 Masters Of Rock tour (A double bill with Uriah Heep). This song was also played “unplugged” in the studios of South Africa radio station 5FM by The Deep Purple Trio (Jon, Steve and Roger) as part of the same tour.

Well, there you have it, a great collection of live tracks and one of my favourite DP compilation albums.

Sometimes I program my CD player in this order for a better flow:

  • Speed King
  • Child In Time
  • Burn
  • Mistreated
  • Smoke On The Water
  • Highway Star
  • Black Night
  • When A Blind Man Cries (or leave off, since it isn’t a live track)

My overall rating is a very big 9 (including any live version of ‘Strange Kind Of Woman’ would have got it a 10!)

More…

Please also see my review of the 4CD Box Set Deep Purple On The Road.

Posted in Music Research, My Favourite SA Songs, Reviews and Interviews, Sleeve Notes & Biographies, South African Music, Videos, What Am I Listening To?

Radio Rats – ZX Dan

Radio Rats – Into The Night We Slide
Radio Rats – ZX Dan
Radio Rats – ZX Dan

‘ZX Dan’, the album’s opening track, is a wonderful piece of new wave space-rock whose similar lyrical theme is a nod to David Bowie‘s 1972 smash hit, ‘Starman’. The song was also inspired by the 1977 Stephen Spielberg film ‘Close Encounters Of The 3rd Kind‘, and has a more polished production than the rest of the album, which is a closer reflection of the band’s raw live energy.

‘ZX Dan’ is still considered one of South Africa’s greatest pop rock songs of all time. In “The SA Rock Digest/Amuzine End Of The Century Big Vote” held at the end of 1999, ‘ZX Dan’ received the second most number of votes in the “All time favourite SA song” category, just behind Bright Blue’s classic, ‘Weeping’.

‘ZX Dan’ was released as a single (backed by ‘Rocking’) and it entered the Radio 5 (now 5FM) charts at number 15 on New Year’s Eve 1978. The song implores the listener to “turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll”, and it seems that is exactly what the public did. The song scuttled up the charts until peaking at No. 2 on 28 January 1979, where it stayed for two weeks. It was kept off the cherished No. 1 spot by Michael Jackson.

The original album version of ‘ZX Dan’ featured a brilliant, lengthy play-out guitar solo by Jonathan Handley, but sadly this was edited on the single version, which later appeared on the ‘Best Of SA Pop Volume 2‘ CD.

All the songs on ‘Into The Night We Slide’ were generally written by Handley in the Wimpy Bar, The Palladium, and a café in Springs. The album contains references to some very weird and wonderful characters and places, based on his observations of life in this East Rand town. ‘Plague Cafe’ is about a real place on 3rd Street and ‘A Visit To The Cinema’ is a reference to the old movie house ‘The Palladium’.

Lyrics

My name is ZX Dan, I am a spaceman.
My galaxy is doomed, so I’ve moved to your moon.
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

I’ve watched you on my screen, you’re sweet, sweet sixteen
I’ve monitored your mind, You’re just the loving kind…
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

Meet me tonight at your window;
Dress warmly for absolute zero
And I’ll come down as quiet as the snow
And we’ll go for a glide in my U.F.O.

The whole of outer space, is tuned into the human race
From pole to frozen pole, your world transmits rock & roll
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

Written by Jonathan Handley 12 April 1978


Die Lemme – ZX Dan feat Radio Rats, released 10 October 2013


Radio Rats Family Tree
Radio Rats Family Tree | Brian Currin, November 2002

Website

radiorats.co.za

Posted in Playlists, Reviews and Interviews, Updates

It Was 24 Years Ago Today… That I Saw Rodriguez Play!

Rodriguez and Brian Currin on the 7th March 1998... with just autographed, rolled-up set list clutched in his hand!
Rodriguez and Brian Currin on the 7th March 1998… with just autographed, rolled-up set list clutched in his hand!

The Set List

  1. I Wonder
  2. Only Good For Conversation
  3. Can’t Get Away
  4. Crucify Your Mind
  5. Jane S. Piddy
  6. To Whom It May Concern
  7. Like Janis
  8. Inner City Blues
  9. Street Boy
  10. A Most Disgusting Song
  11. I’ll Slip Away
  12. Halfway Up The Stairs
  13. I Think Of You
  14. Rich Folks Hoax
  15. Climb Up On My Music

    Encores:

  16. Sugar Man
  17. Establishment Blues
  18. Forget It

Scan of the sound engineer’s set list, dated and autographed.

Set List 7 March 1998

From Sweet Songs To Street Songs

Review by Brian Currin

From the simplistic, yet instantly recognisable bass guitar intro of I Wonder, to the last fading echoes of Thanks For Your Time, this was a show that enthralled everyone from the die-hard old fans with their balding heads and beer paunches to the new virgin devotees.

From sweet songs to street songs,
from bitter to beautiful,
from minor keys to metal mayhem,
from tear-jerker to tear-it-up,
from disgusting songs to rock anthems…this was truly a magic show of vast proportions.

Rodriguez has not released new material in over 25 years, he has no chart-topping singles, yet he opens to a standing ovation – and everybody sings along to all the songs.

Colin Taylor from KFM radio opened the show by shouting with great enthusiasm:
“Cape Town, put your hands together and welcome a true legend on stage – Rodriguez!”

Reuben Samuels started a slow drum beat and when Graeme Currie introduced that classic bass line (de-de de-de de-dum) the crowd went wild in instant recognition and when The Man slipped quietly onto the stage, the Velodrome stood up in adoration for this long-lost legend. I Wonder was wonderful and after the song, Rodriguez just stood and stared at the audience in awe.

Only Good For Conversation was done hard and heavy with great guitar from Willem Möller.
“..you’re so proper and so cute” sang Rodriguez with a smile in his voice.

Can’t Get Away was superb and when he started to sing the second verse again by mistake, the band supported him and the audience forgave him.

All the favourites followed with the arrangements staying very close to the originals and the crowd hanging on every word. Tonia Selley from The Pressure Cookies and Big Sky provided superb backing vocals throughout.

A highlight was the solo rendition of “A Most Digusting Song” sung with great humour. “There’s someone here who’s almost a virgin I’m told” was met with much laughter.
And when he sang “…your government will provide the shrugs” a responsive chord was hit, even though this song was written in 1970!

Rodriguez doesn’t say much, he lets his music and words speak to us, but he did give us one message:

I want to wish you the best of luck
in everything you do,
you’re gonna do it,
you’re gonna solve it,
you’re gonna heal ’em,
you’re gonna do it

– perceptive and profound words from this poet and prophet.

And then into an absolutely incredible blues-rock version of Climb Up On My Music. Willem Möller burnt up his fretboard with a classic rock guitar solo and Russel Taylor played a jazzy-blues keyboard solo which left us breathless.

Rodriguez slipped away as the band ended the song, but soon returned to perform a 3-song encore starting with Sugar Man, then Establishment Blues and ending with the perfect show-closer Forget It with those poignant words “Thanks for your time“.

Thank you, Cape Town” sang Rodriguez.

No, thank YOU, Rodriguez – the mystery and myth may be gone, but the music and memories will live forever and the magic of that night will stay with us always.

Originally posted on SugarMan.org

Posted in Charts, Cover Art, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, Sleeve Notes & Biographies, South African Music, Updates

McCully Workshop: After More Than 50 Years The Workshop Is Still Open

McCully WorkshopMcCully Workshop 2016

McCully Workshop is arguably one of South Africa’s finest pop rock bands. They started way back in the ’60’s, had their first hit single in 1970, dominated the South African airwaves in the ’70’s, continued through the ’80’s and ’90’s and in the 21st century are still going strong.

IN THE BEGINNING

When asked about their beginnings, vocalist, bassist and producer Tully McCullagh had this to say: “My brother, Mike, who plays drums and myself would play around and record ourselves in the lounge, I was about nine at the time. We recorded a track called ‘Swinging Time’ with some other friends when I was thirteen and sent it to a record company. The track didn’t get anywhere but it was quite interesting. We grew a bit more and when I was sixteen we started a band called McCully Workshop and a whole string of other bands and I started a garage studio.” McCully Workshop has had many line-up changes over the years, but these 2 talented brothers have always surrounded themselves with superb musicians. In 1965, the McCullagh brothers, Tully (born Terence on 31st May 1953) and Mike (born Michael on 7th April 1947) started as a folk-rock trio with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Hyam had previously been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie. After a few personnel- and name-changes, like The Blue Beats and Larfing Stocke, the line-up settled down (for a while) in 1969 and they called themselves the McCully Workshop because they used to rehearse in Mrs McCullagh’s garage. Vocalist Glenda Wassman later married Richard Hyam, and then formed the pop band Pendulum who had a big hit with ‘Take My Heart’ in 1976. Glenda Hyam then went on to major success with the all-girl group, Clout, who had a worldwide smash hit with ‘Substitute’, which went to #2 in the UK in 1978.

McCULLY WORKSHOP INC.

Their debut album, ‘McCully Workshop Inc.’ was produced by great South African singer and producer Billy Forrest (born William Boardman). The album features a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and early Pink Floyd. The Forced Exposure website has this quote: “A superb South African band’s stunning debut album. ‘Sgt. Pepper’ influenced psychedelic music blended with R&B, garage punk tunes. Great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitar work.”
Why Can't It Rain
Why Can’t It Rain
‘Inc.’ was released in June 1970 and included the epic and powerful ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, which went to #12 on the Springbok Radio charts in July 1970 and reached #13 on the LM Radio charts. This hit single featured a fiery guitar solo by Allan Faull who went on to form the eclectic Falling Mirror with his cousin Nielen Marais. Tully McCullagh was also very involved with Falling Mirror, but that’s another story… McCully Workshop also played on country-pop singer Jody Wayne’s ‘The Wedding’ in 1970 which hit #1 for 3 weeks on the Springbok Radio charts.

GENESIS

Genesis
Genesis
The follow-up to ‘Inc’ was the album ‘Genesis’ released in June 1971. This was a concept album based on the book of Genesis from the Bible and included a number of long tracks with sub-sections, typical of other prog-rock albums of the time. ‘Sweet Fields Of Green’ was released as a single, reaching #2 on the LM Radio charts in August 1971. The follow-up single ‘Birds Flying High’ (actually the flipside of ‘Rainbow Illusion’), recorded during the ‘Genesis’ sessions, but not included on the album, peaked at #9 on the LM Radio charts. Crocodile Harris (born Robin Graham), recorded the haunting pop classic ‘Miss Eva Goodnight’ (Springbok #5, April 1974) which was written by the McCullagh brothers and featured the musicianship of all the then current McCully Workshop members. Harris’s classic pop hit ‘Give Me The Good News’ released in 1982 was co-composed by Crocodile Harris along with Geoff Coxall. Tully McCully produced this single and played on it.

RICHARD BLACK

Richard Black (born 9th December 1946) joined McCully Workshop on guitar in 1975. Black had been playing since the early 60’s in bands like Rigar 5 and the Nu-Trends. In 1969 he had been in Elephant with Savvy Grande (who went on to form Suck) and George Wolfaardt from Abstract Truth.

AGES

Ages‘ was released in 1975 which reflected musical styles from the different ages of music and various influences could be heard: Uriah Heep, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, etc. The vocal harmonies are superb throughout. ‘1623’ is a wonderful violin-led instrumental and the keyboard-dominated ‘Guinevere’ reached #10 on the LM Radio charts and the band even appeared on the very early days of South African TV playing this hit song.

RUPERT MELLOR

In 1977 the best-known incarnation of McCully Workshop was formed with the addition of Rupert Mellor (born Anthony Rupert Mellor, 7th August 1947). Mellor had been in a variety of bands including The Difference, First Acquaintance, Hell’s Disciples, The Hedgehoppers and The Claude Larson Singers (yes, really).

WORKSHOP REVISITED

The 4th McCully Workshop album, ‘Workshop Revisited’, released in late 1977 shot them to prominence when it introduced South African fans to the hits ‘Buccaneer’ and ‘Chinese Junkman’.
Workshop Revisited
Workshop Revisited
‘Buccaneer’ entered the Springbok Radio charts on 11th November 1977 and spent 15 weeks on the charts, reaching the coveted top spot on 30th December that year and staying there for 2 weeks. ‘Buccaneer’ also hit #1 on the Radio 5 charts and Mike McCullagh won the 1978 ‘Songwriter Of The Year’ award for this composition. The follow-up single ‘Chinese Junkman’ entered the charts in March 1978 and peaked at number 9, spending a total of 8 weeks in the top 20. However on the Radio 5 charts it followed ‘Buccaneer’ to number 1. The next single which was released in 1978 was the non-album track ‘Villa Muddy Water’ which unfortunately did not chart.

CANTERBURY TALES

Canterbury Inn, Fairmead Hotel, Rondebosch
McCully Workshop used to play in the late ’70’s at the Canterbury Inn at the Fairmead Hotel in Rondebosch, Cape Town. They were famous for their comedy, ripping off many of the politicians and sportsmen of the day. On Saturday nights McCully Workshop were the resident dance band, and on Sunday nights wonderful renditions of classic progressive rock tunes could be heard. Chicago’s version of The Spencer Davis Group’s ‘I’m A Man’ (with a very long percussion section including all the band members), Barry Ryan’s ‘Eloise’, Traffic’s ‘Feelin’ Alright’ and of course their own songs like ‘Buccaneer’, ‘Fame And Fortune’, ‘Come Let Me Love You’ and ‘Dancin’ Tonite’ were all included in the set list. Of course no dancing was allowed on a Sunday in those dark days, so the audience had to just sit and listen… and listen they did (I know, ‘cos I was there).

THE EIGHTIES AND NINETIES

During the turbulent ’80’s a number of singles were released including a powerful re-recording of ‘Buccaneer’ featuring the guitar talents of Jethro Butow, but with no chart success. Richard Black co-founded Street Level Productions with James Stewart. Black released an instrumental solo CD ‘Skadu Dans’ (Shadow Dance) in 1997. In 1998 the line-up from the late ’70’s reformed and re-recorded the McCully Workshop classics and hits as well as 6 new songs and released the album ‘Buccaneer‘. ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ also received a make-over losing none of its power and gaining an even stronger production. Allan Faull again featured as guest guitarist.

IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Tully McCullagh kept running his extremely successful Spaced-Out Sounds Studio in Cape Town. He wrote most of the songs and played bass on the highly acclaimed 2003 release by Cape Town rockers BlueScream. Mike McCullagh had directed many popular musicals since 1988, most notably “Tribute To Bob Dylan”, “Beatlemania” (for Artscape), “Station 70”, “Sixty Something”, “Eighty Something” and “Milestones To The Millennium”. Rupert Mellor, a sort-after session musician, could be seen performing in and around Cape Town. Mellor and Black along with Flibbertigibbet’s Dave Williams on fiddle, released ‘Sheriff Bush and Deputy Blair’ as an mp3 single in January 2003. Calling themselves the Nukular Stompers they saw this novelty song topping the SAmp3.com charts for 3 weeks and they even appeared on eTV.

BIG IN KOREA

In 2003 a Korean label, Beatball Records, re-issued the first album, ‘McCully Workshop Inc.’ in a mini-gatefold cover. This CD re-issue included detailed sleeve-notes and a printed version of the online Family Tree.

THE WORKSHOP RE-OPENS

McCully Workshop re-formed in 2003 doing a large outdoor concert at Buitenverwachting which attracted over 2000 patrons. Then in 2004 they performed at Grand West for the Reach For A Dream foundation and raised more than R70000 for them. Other gigs followed in Paarl and Stellenbosch over the next 4 years.

REACHING FOR A DREAM

In 2005 McCully Workshop finally released a much-demanded ‘Best Of‘ CD. All tracks were newly remastered by Tully McCullagh at his Spaced Out Sound Studio, though in some cases the master tapes were missing, so the original vinyl had to be used. A brand new song, ‘Reaching For A Dream’ was also included on the ‘Best Of’ CD. This uplifting song was composed by all 4 members of McCully Workshop with lyrics by Alistair King and was used as part of a campaign for the Reach For A Dream Foundation.

LIVE!

McCully Workshop at Die Boer
L-to-R: Richard, Mike, Tully, Rupert
McCully Workshop at Die Boer, L-to-R: Richard, Mike, Tully, Rupert
In early 2008 McCully Workshop played gigs at Die Boer in Durbanville & the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to capacity crowds. A live album recorded at these venues, ‘McCully Workshop Live!’ was released in March 2008 and launched at a series of concerts at The Barnyard Theatre in Willowbridge. This album also included a new studio recording, ‘The Aliens Are Landing’. “Our version of ‘Blueberry Hill’, well known from Canterbury days became an on-demand classic again and is on the ‘Live!’ CD” said Mike McCullagh.

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

Work In Progress, 2013
Work In Progress, 2013
In 2009 McCully Workshop started working on a new album using new mics developed by Tully, which gave the sound an American feel. The album was scheduled for release in 2010 but ‘Work In Progress‘ eventually only saw the light of day in 2013. Journeyman musician Gordon Mackay, who with his brother Duncan, had started in the late 60’s with the band Tricycle, was added to the line-up playing guitars, keyboards, violin and also singing. Gordon had appeared on the acclaimed 1974 Prog Rock album ‘Chimera’ by Duncan Mackay. In 2015 the band won best South African group in the annual Wawela Awards with ‘Money In Your Pocket’ (featuring the rapper Brown) voted the best song off the ‘Work In Progress‘ album. They travelled to Johannesburg to receive the award and discovered that many black musicians held them in high esteem!
Infinity, 2019
Infinity, 2019
Tully sold his studio in Cape Town and built one at his home in Camps Bay which was finished in October 2019. A new album ‘Infinity‘ was released in October 2019 to critical acclaim. In January 2020, Richard Black emigrated to the UK. During 2020, Tully and Gordon, as McCullagh MacKay, recorded an album of all new keyboard-driven songs in the style of 70’s Prog Rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Rick Wakeman. After more than 50 years the Workshop is still open for business… Brian Currin, Cape Town, South Africa, July 2020
McCully Influence The music industry has felt our influence world wide as the Tulmic [microphone developed by Tully] is now generally accepted as the world’s best guitar mic and my son James … who started doing live sound from the age of 17 and worked extensively with Tully in the studio has now become one of the world’s top sound engineers having worked with top artists like JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, USHER, MILEY CYRUS, JOURNEY, JOE BONAMASSA, ADELE, KATY PERRY, ROGER TAYLOR AND QUEEN EXTRAVAGANZA and many more … and is held in very high esteem overseas. He is currently with THE BACKSTREET BOYS  and 2 years ago when he joined them he innovated their live sound by re-recording all their original tracks with a live band so it sounds like they have a real band behind them as he can mix all the tracks separately … shortly after other artists using tracks copied him … now they all do it … he has also appeared on the cover of the top Sound Magazine in the US last year. And we all know how successful KEVIN SHIRLEY has become having been taught by Tully. Mike McCullagh, 22 July 2020
 
At The Movies ‘Buccaneer’ was used in the movie ‘Moffie’ this year and 2 songs  ‘Hardcase Woman’ and ‘Gunpoint’ were used as soundtracks in the ‘Space’ movie …… we also had a track from ‘Work In Progress’ called ‘100 miles per hour’ by Rupert (Mellor) used in another movie ‘Shepherds And Butchers’ in 2017. Mike McCullagh, 22 July 2020
Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Playlists, Reviews and Interviews, Sleeve Notes & Biographies, South African Music, Updates

Abstract Truth – 50 Years Ago

It was 50 years ago, round about this time, that acclaimed South African band Abstract Truth released their debut album, Totum. Before the end of 1970 a second album and a compilation had been issued. And then during 1971 the band imploded.

This is their story.

Abstract Truth - Ken E Henson, George Wolfaardt, Sean Bergen, Pete Measroch
Abstract Truth – Ken E Henson, George Wolfaardt, Sean Bergen, Pete Measroch

Adapted from the sleeve notes for the RetroFresh CD release, July 2005

The band Abstract Truth existed only for a very short time, but it was a time of super-creativity. They played a fusion of blues, folk, jazz and Eastern music and lifted South African pop of the early 70’s from the syrupy blare of bubblegum music to new heights of progressive rock.

Spotify

Mixcloud

Abstract Truth (they shunned the prefix of “the” because they didn’t want to sound dogmatic) was the brainchild of one Kenneth Edward Henson (dubbed Ken E Henson by David Marks).

The band Abstract Truth existed only for a very short time, but it was a time of super-creativity. They exploded onto the Durban music scene early in 1969, released 2 studio albums during 1970 (as well as a compilation in the same year!) and, after numerous line-up changes, imploded in 1971.

Henson had been the guitarist in a band called the Leeman Ltd, which had formed in Durban in 1965. In 1966 he and the enigmatic Ramsay MacKay got together with ex-Navarones members Colin Pratley and Nic Martens to create Freedom’s Children, arguably South Africa’s greatest rock band. Clive Calder, who signed Abstract Truth to EMI in 1970, said in the early 2000s that Freedom’s Children in his opinion “was then and probably still is today (over 30 years later) the only South African rock group that, given the right circumstances in the right geographical location, could have become an internationally successful rock band just by being themselves and doing what they did.”

Henson was involved in the early single releases by Freedom’s Children, which were unbelievably credited to “Fleadom’s Children” because the government of the time considered the word “Freedom” as unacceptable! Henson then left Freedom’s Children to join The Bats for a six-week sojourn.

In 1969 Henson and sax-player Sean Bergin were in a jazz group called The Sounds. Henson says, “In February 1969 I was approached by the owner of a local hotel. He had heard that I played the sitar and asked if I could get together an exotic/Eastern-sounding outfit to back a belly dancer in the hotel’s disco/pub.” The pub was called “Totum” and was situated at the Palm Beach Hotel in Durban’s Gillespie Street.

Abstract Truth
Abstract Truth

Robbie Pavid, who had played drums for The Mods in 1967, remembers: “[The club owner] wanted a backing band for a belly dance act that would attract customers to his cocktail hour. Ken got hold of Brian Gibson who would play bass, formerly from the British group the 004’s, Sean Bergin who would play flute and sax, myself on percussion, who was with the band The Third Eye, and Ken on lead guitar and sitar. I was playing in The Third Eye at the same time as Abstract Truth (whose gig at “Totum” was a 5 to 7 cocktail hour gig) and would then rush off to The Third Eye gig…. ahh, what you can do when you are young!!!!”

A quote from a 1969 poster sums it up: “swing to Abstract Truth every night at Totum in the Palm Beach Hotel from five o’clock to seven.”

“To fill out the evening after the belly dancer had done her thing,” recalls Henson, “we started playing a hybrid of jazz standards, folk/rock and Eastern-type jams. We soon replaced the main attraction and the belly dancer was no more.”

“The music seemed to connect and flow from the very first night,” says Pavid, “so the belly dancer was duly dismissed and the band employed to continue in the very different style that evolved. Most evenings were packed out with young people eager to listen and experience the free form of sounds that flowed from the long improvised songs.”

Reporter Carl Coleman described their sound in a news article at the time as “totally unlike any other young group around Durban. They are probably the most advanced group in the country. Their music is exotic, progressive, and not commercial.”

“I suppose we’re something new musically”, said Henson in the same article. “Basically our sound is free-form music – we use the melody line, but improvise on solos. It’s really a fusion of blues, folk, jazz and Eastern music.”

Henson’s self-taught playing of the traditional Indian stringed instrument, the sitar, further enhanced the Eastern feel. “He plays this immensely difficult instrument with comparative ease”, said Coleman.

Brian Gibson came from Wales where he had started in cabaret. “I was into pop for two years then came to South Africa with a group known as the 004’s”.

Future Bats guitarist Pete Clifford was also in the 004’s and the band released a few singles and an album titled ‘It’s Alright’ in the mid-60’s. On the b-side of one of their singles was a version of boogie-woogie pianist Mose Allison’s ‘Parchman Farm’, which was later reworked by Abstract Truth and released on the ‘Totum’ album. This is not the same as Bukka White’s ‘Parchman Farm Blues’, which was recorded in 1937, though it does cover a similar theme.

The album ‘Totum’ was recorded in Johannesburg over a single weekend using a 4-track machine. The album was released in early 1970. “According to today’s standards it’s pretty rough,” says Henson, “but I guess it was an honest interpretation of what we were doing.”

Totum - 1970, Uptight, STIC 101
Totum – 1970, Uptight, STIC 101

In another newspaper review Coleman had this say about the release of Abstract Truth’s debut album: “Sean, Brian, Robbie and Ken have lifted South African pop from the syrupy blare of bubblegum music to new heights of progressive pop. What an achievement!”

The Freak Emporium online store had this brief review of ‘Totum’ on their website: “Excellent early ’70s melodic wistful freak rock blends with African sounds featuring assorted instruments: keyboards, flutes, electric guitars, saxophone, percussion, etc. A refreshing approach.”

Most of ‘Totum’ consists of unusual reworkings of jazz, folk and blues songs. The only band composition is the sitar-drenched ‘Total Totum/Acid Raga’. Donovan, Dylan, Gershwin, Simon and Garfunkel and others all get given the special Abstract Truth treatment that is reminiscent of early King Crimson in places.

Totum Advert
Totum Advert

3rd Ear Music had been involved with Abstract Truth from the beginning and mainman David Marks remembers that he had driven down to Cape Town to fetch Sean Bergin and George Wolfaardt to join a new Abstract Truth line-up. “Sean had been in the original band from mid-1969, but had returned to the Cape. Robbie Hahn had taken over – in what seemed to be a loose manager/friend’s role for Abstract Truth (before Big B Brian Pretorius was appointed manager.)” says Marks on the 3rd Ear Music website.

Brian Gibson left the band to go solo and then became a well-known gospel preacher. Gibson recorded a gospel album in 1981 entitled ‘Special Agent’, which was released on the Revelation label, distributed by WEA Records and co-produced by Hawk’s Dave Ornellas.

“The music of Abstract Truth was quite unique at the time as the line-up was totally different to what was generally happening,” remembers Robbie Pavid. “For me it was one of the best and most rewarding times of musical exploration and satisfaction. Playing with Ken especially was rewarding as we seemed to connect and go places musically.” Pavid then left Abstract Truth to devote his full attention to The Third Eye with Dawn and Ronnie Selby and they released three prog-rock albums between 1969 and 1970, but that’s another story.

David Marks takes up the story again: “Brian [Finch] and I wanted to get our musician friends Mike Dickman (acoustic guitar and vocals) and Pete Measroch (piano and vocals) – two born-and-bred Northern Suburbs Johannesburgers – down to stun Durban.”

“I’d heard George [Wolfaardt] playing with a three-piece Jimi Hendrix look-alike outfit in Cape Town [Elephant with Richard Black and Savvy Grande],” said Mike Dickman in July 2001, “and so, when Dave Marks happened to be going down there for some reason or another, I said to him: ‘Look – there’s this guy called George who plays the bass there. If you come across him, tell him we need him here…’ Oddly enough he did, and in the meanwhile we’d contacted Sean, so – in a single weekend – the band expanded. The band shifted quite rapidly into a fairly Zappa-esque mode, which wasn’t where I was headed, so I left, probably stupidly…”

“Mike Dickman couldn’t handle Durban,” says Marks, “he stayed for a gig or two and then went missing to re-surface in the Golden City back to his solo and wandering ways. Mike emigrated to France in 1985 – with French wife Vera – still playing guitar and translating Buddhist verse into French and English.”

A number of other musicians have played live as part of the ever-changing Abstract Truth line-up (Henson being the only stable factor) including Ian Bell, Eric Dorr, Harry Poulos, Ramsay MacKay and Brian Alderson. In late 1970, however, the line-up that recorded the superb ‘Silver Trees’ album was Ken E Henson (guitar, vocals), Peter Measroch (keyboards, flutes, vocals), Sean Bergin (flutes, sax) and George Wolfaardt (bass, flutes, drums).

Music collector and Abstract Truth fan John Samson wrote in the South African Rock Digest e-mag in 2002: “This is somewhat psychedelic prog that is full of swirling organ, steady rhythmic bass and loads of flute. In fact 3 of the 4 members of the group are credited as playing flute and it this that gives the album a lightness to it. Also of note is that there is only one song over the 4 minute mark, an unusual trait in a prog-rock album. The long song is the title track that features some awesome guitar from Ken E Henson and intricate organ playing from Peter Measroch.”

“Another interesting touch,” continues Samson, “is the African jive sound on the opening track ‘Pollution’ and the harpsichord on ‘Moving Away’, the former placing the album in Africa, the latter placing the album in Medieval Europe, both giving the album a sense of timelessness and universal appeal. It’s this wonderful brew of psychedelic, rock, jazz, classical, blues, funk and jive that makes this a special album that should be sought out, and with the wind instruments playing a major role on the album, this could make a really good (Retro) Fresh Flute Salad.”

“‘Silver Trees’ was an attempt to record our more structured, self-penned songs,” remembers Henson, “to make us a bit more accessible to the record company/record-buying public.” Unlike ‘Totum’, ‘Silver Trees’ features no cover versions and all the tracks were composed by various members of the band. The title track was co-composed by Mike Dickman, who had already left by the time this recording was laid down.

Silver Trees - 1970, EMI, PCSJ 12065
Silver Trees – 1970, EMI, PCSJ 12065

Peter Measroch has some interesting memories about the making of the album cover for ‘Silver Trees’: “The story behind that fuzzy looking cover is that the photo was shot by a Swiss photographer who was in South Africa for a while, Teak Glauser, I believe. Teak had been part of the group that had looked after Timothy Leary in Switzerland while he was on the run at one point apparently.

Anyway, he had come up with a photo technique where on a colour photo everything would appear normal except for objects that moved – these would get a rainbow aura around them, really trippy stuff. So the album cover was shot making sure that we all moved at the critical moment. EMI however refused to spring for a colour photo so it ended up just looking blurred in black and white. Oh well … the good ol’ bad ol’ days…”

Shortly after ‘Silver Trees’, EMI compiled an album called ‘Cool Sounds For Heads’ which featured tracks off both the ‘Totum’ and ‘Silver Trees’ albums and also included a previously unreleased track, ‘My Back Feels Light/What Can You Say’, which was probably an out-take from the ‘Silver Trees’ sessions.

Cool Sounds For Heads - 1970, EMI Parlophone, PCSJ 12070
Cool Sounds For Heads – 1970, EMI Parlophone, PCSJ 12070

The ‘History Of Contemporary Music Of South Africa’ by Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz, published in 1994, has this to say: “Abstract Truth produced ‘head-music’ (i.e. inventive, mind-stimulating music) and were one of the most progressive groups in South Africa. Unfortunately not too many other heads were into their music and so, a group which could have gone on to better things broke up in 1971.”

Abstract Truth’s recorded output and short life span as a band is far outweighed by their willingness to stretch boundaries and the fondness with which are they treated by old and new fans alike.

File them under “Classic South African Rock” along with Freedom’s Children, Hawk, Suck and Otis Waygood.

In July 2005, Benjy Mudie from Fresh Music re-issued most of the tracks off Totum and Silver Trees on a single CD and on iTunes.

A final word from Ken E Henson: “The group is dear to my heart as my ultimate musical experience. I would love to have us get together after 35 years and see what transpires musically.”

Unfortunately this will now never happen as Henson sadly passed away on the 24th May 2007.

Brian Currin, July 2005, updated March 2020

Photos courtesy of 3rd Ear Music website, thanks to Dave Marks, June 2005.

Abstract Truth CD
Abstract Truth CD 2005

Musicians (at various times):

  • Ken E Henson: guitar, vocals
  • Peter Measroch: piano, organ, flute, harpsichord, vocals
  • Mike Dickman: guitar, vocals
  • Robbie Pavid: drums, percussion
  • Ian Bell: flute
  • Brian Gibson: bass, vocals
  • Sean Bergin: flute, saxophone
  • George Wolfaardt: Bass, flute, drums, vocals
  • Brian Alderson: keyboards
  • Harry Poulos: guitar
  • Eric Dorr: flute
  • Ramsay Mackay: bass

Family Tree

Abstract Truth Family Tree by Brian Currin, July 2005
Abstract Truth Family Tree by Brian Currin, July 2005
Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, Updates

Modern Rock for Classic Rock Fans – Fever by Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine - Fever
Bullet For My Valentine – Fever

For me Classic Rock as a genre describes the music I listened to during my teenage years in the ’70s. Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and Black Sabbath were, and still are, among my all-time favourite bands.

Now I am not suggesting that ‘Fever’ by Bullet For My Valentine (their 3rd album) is a Classic Rock album or that they are even influenced by ’70s rock, but if you love epic and powerful rock songs,  with manic drumming and lots of guitar solos, that you wish would go on for longer, then this is an album to give a listen to.

Fans of Ian Paice’s drum-style will find plenty to love here. Some chord progressions remind me of Jimi Hendrix and more than a couple of times I thought I was listening to some undiscovered Rainbow out-take.

I am not a big fan of growling but I can hear now how it actually enhances a song and blends with the vocals to create a powerful musical force that picks you up, shakes you around and throws you into a corner. Just like Deep Purple did for me in the ’70s and that my father never understood.

My 18-year old son and I were driving along recently and I turned the volume up on “Alone” and remarked “what a cool guitar solo”. “You are not like other dads are you?” exclaimed my son, “usually they turn the music down!”

So if you want to connect with the music of your youth, and also keep up to date with the latest rock music, Bullet For My Valentine is a good place to start.

Track Listing

1.     “Your Betrayal”       4:51
2.     “Fever”       3:57
3.     “The Last Fight”       4:19
4.     “A Place Where You Belong”       5:06
5.     “Pleasure and Pain”       3:53
6.     “Alone”       5:56
7.     “Breaking Out, Breaking Down”       4:04
8.     “Bittersweet Memories”       5:09
9.     “Dignity”       4:29
10.   “Begging for Mercy”       3:56
11.    “Pretty On the Outside”       3:56

Bullet For My Valentine – Fever
Posted in Cover Art, Online Marketing, Playlists, Reviews and Interviews, South African Music

Announcement: The Invaders receive 2009 Rapport Vonk Music Award

The Invaders

The Invaders, a band who has not existed for almost 40 years received the 2009 Fritz Klaaste Music Award at the Vonk Music Awards held at Carnival City on 26 October 2009. Sean Burke, son of the late Johnny Burke, the leader of The Invaders collected the award and said: “If my father was alive today, this would be one of his greatest and proudest moments. As a musician in my own right, it really is an honour for me to receive this acknowledgement of the contribution my father made to the lives of many people through the music of The Invaders.”

The essence of The Invaders’ music was perhaps best formulated by Johnny Burke in an interview 40 years ago: “We are really bringing happiness to our friends. We make people forget their cares and worries. To most of our people life is a burden. When they come into the hall they are wrapped up in our music and forget all about debts and where tomorrow’s food is coming from. They can let out all their pent-up feelings and, for an hour or two, just forget about life. It’s a release for them. There can be nothing more thrilling than to have people screaming at your feet. This is a form of appreciation of our music. This, in fact, is our reward and payment” –Sleeve notes from ‘The Heart & Soul Of The Invaders‘ CD, released March 2008]

There has been a revival in the music of The Invaders since the launch of The Heart and Soul of The Invaders, double album in 2008. The music of The Invaders is still heard on the airwaves in South Africa and the musical Wa’ was Djy? will be re-connecting audiences in Cape Town from 1 December 2009.

Sean Burke and Marvin Moses with the Award

For more information on The Invaders go to rock.co.za/theinvaders

Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Playlists, Reviews and Interviews, Sleeve Notes & Biographies, South African Music

McCully Workshop Inc.

McCully Workshop Inc.
McCully Workshop Inc.

Tracks:

1. Why Can’t It Rain [4.12]
2. Hardcase Woman [2.34]
3. Ice Lover [3.05]
4. Four Walls [2.40]
5. Stargazer [2.48]
6. Rush Hour At Midnight [3.42]
7. Jackin’ Around [2.04]
8. Head For The Moon [4.00]
9. The Circus [4.00]
10. Years Of My Life [3.19]
11. Fast Car [3.41]
12. Séance [3.05]

 

Release information:

LP: June 1970, Trutone, STO 727
CD: February 2003, Merry-Go-Round Records,
a division of Beatball Music (Korea), BMRC-0001
CD: October 2009, Fresh Music, freshcd167

Musicians:

  • Tully McCully: Vocals, bass, guitar
  • Mike McCully: Vocals, drums
  • Richard Hyam: Rhythm and acoustic guitars, vocals
  • Glenda Wassman: Organ, vocals
  • Ian Smith: Trumpet, flute, flugelhorn

Additional musicians:

  • Allan Faull: Lead guitar on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, ‘The Circus’, ‘Hardcase Woman’ and ‘Stargazer’
  • Alan van der Merwe: Vocal harmony and organ on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ and ‘Stargazer’
  • Melanie Hyam: Vocal harmonies on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ and ‘Rush Hour At Midnight’
  • Produced by Billy Forrest

Sleeve  Notes:

“Of all the albums we’ve heard from South Africa this one scores top. What a beautiful masterpiece. Pepper-influenced underground music with great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitar work.” — review on Psychedelic-Music.com website.

The McCullagh brothers, Tully (born Terence on 31st May 1953) and Mike (born Michael on 7th April 1947), have been an integral part of the South African music scene for five decades now.

In 1965 they started as a folk-rock trio with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Richard had been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie. After a few personnel and name changes, like The Blue Beats and Larfing Stocke, the line-up settled down (for a while) in 1969.

“I had my own studio in the garage since I was 12” remembers Tully. It was a single garage in the garden of their home in Plumstead, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. The brothers’ father, radio personality Michael Drin (his stage name), painted the name “McCully Workshop, Inc.” on the garage wall. “McCully” was an easier-to-spell version of McCullagh and the “Inc.” was a tongue-in-cheek addition. “We had been playing music for 6 years” remembers Mike McCullagh. “In 1969 I was 22 and Tully was 16, along with Richard Hyam, his sister Melanie and Allan Faull the group started.”

“We all wrote our own songs”, continues Mike, “and we just took the best ones for the album. Tully wrote ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ in the middle of the night and this became a hit single putting McCully Workshop on the charts for the first time.” This song went to number 12 on the Springbok Radio charts in July 1970 and also reached number 13 on the LM Radio charts.“Why Can’t It Rain” drew the attention of the Gallo label, and they said they wanted an album. McCully Workshop signed probably the first independent licencing deal with a major label in South Africa.

Billy Forrest (born William Boardman in Kimberley in 1940) was the “top guy” at the time and was appointed as producer. He had recently had chart success with The Staccatos ‘Cry To Me’ and many others including The Dream Merchants and Quentin E Klopjager (one of his many pseudonyms).Tully remembers Forrest’s catchphrase at the time was “could happen”.

The “Inc.” album shows a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd. “’Sgt Pepper’ was very important, as were the pop charts at the time”, recalls Tully.Another big influence, according to Tully, was The Moody Blues ‘Threshold Of A Dream’ which was released in April 1969. Echoes of Graeme Edge’s poems can be heard in Mike McCully’s spoken words during the moon landing-inspired ‘Head For The Moon’. A photo of the garage was used as the album cover. The photo was taken by Sigurd Olivier from the Argus newspaper and the cat’s name was Sirikit.

When asked to name his favourite song on the ‘Inc.’ album besides ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, Tully says without hesitation, ‘The Circus’. This song is an up tempo psychedelic pop-rocker with strong vocal harmonies, distorted guitar sounds from Allan Faull and great flute playing from Ian Smith. Asked about an interesting studio story, Tully remembers feeling a few tremors and stuff falling off the walls one day during recording. “Everybody got a fright and rushed outside”, says Tully, “we thought it was a passing train.” Turned out to be the Tulbagh earthquake of 29th September 1969. The sessions were done, but another song was needed to complete the album, so a studio jam called ‘Jackin’ Around’ was added. Great organ sounds from Glenda Wassman, and a drum solo play-out from Mike McCully.

Alan van Der Merwe was a music teacher friend of Mike’s and was responsible for the vocal harmony arrangements. Tully cites South African band ‘The Sandpipers’ as an inspiration. This folk quartet, which consisted of two girls and two guys, and not be confused with the US folk trio, released an album titled ‘A Bird in Hand’ in 1967.

After “Inc’

McCully Workshop, with the McCullagh brothers always at the core, released a number of albums over the years including “Genesis” and “Ages” and of course are best known for their big 1977 hit ‘Buccaneer’ . 40 years after those first recording sessions in late 1969, Tully is still involved in recording and runs his successful Spaced-Out Sounds Studio in Cape Town. Mike regularly packs out concert halls with his various nostalgic revue shows including ‘Sixty Something’, ‘Station 70’, ‘Music Of The Millennium’, ‘Country Classics’ and many, many others. McCully Workshop still perform live on occasion and their first hit ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ is almost always included in the set list.

Glenda Wassman later married Richard, and they formed the pop band Pendulum and had a big hit with ‘Take My Heart’ in 1976. Glenda then went on to major success worldwide with the all-girl group, Clout, who had a huge hit with ‘Substitute’ which went to number 2 in the UK in 1978. Allan Faull formed Falling Mirror in the late 70’s with his cousin Neilen Mirror (nee Marais).

The legends of South African pop and rock live on…

Brian Currin

Cape Town, September 2009

www.McCullyWorkshop.co.za

Family Tree

McCully Workshop Family Tree

Complete Family Tree at the South African Rock Encyclopedia website.

Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Playlists, Reviews and Interviews

Deep Purple: Space Truckin’ Round The World – Live 1968-76

Space Truckin' Round The World - Live 1968-76
Space Truckin’ Round The World – Live 1968-76

Info from The Highway Star: Classic Rock magazine reports that there is a new live compilation in the works by Purple Records, to be released in November 2009.

Track list:

CD 1
1 Hush (Inglewood 1968)
2 River Deep Mountain High (Inglewood 1968)
3 Hey Joe (Inglewood 1968)
4 Wring That Neck (Aachen 1970)
5 Into The Fire (Stockholm 1970)
6 Mandrake Root (Montreux 1969)
CD 2
1 Child In Time (Granada TV 1970) see video below
2 Lazy (Denmark 1972)
3 Strange Kind Of Woman (Denmark 1972)
4 Burn (San Diego 1974)
5 Mistreated (San Diego 1974)
6 The Gypsy (Paris 1975)
7 Lady Double Dealer (Paris 1975)
8 Wild Dogs (Tokyo 1975)
9 Love Child (Tokyo 1975)

An eclectic compilation to say the least, it has ‘Space Truckin’ in the title, but this song is not included. Seems to be compiled mainly from albums released as part of the Sonic Zoom series.

‘Wring That Neck’ (all 20 plus minutes of it!) includes extracts and snippets from Lazy, Three Blind Mice, In The Hall Of The Mountain King, Rhapsody in Blue, White Christmas and Jingle Bells, in among the general noise and mayhem that I love so much from Deep Purple. The inclusion of the Christmas snippets is even funnier when you realize this show was recorded in July!


In February 2009 I compiled a similar type of  collection (based on a 1998 idea of mine) for PT Music in South Africa, but they were not able to get the licencing sorted, so it will have to just exist as an iTunes playlist on my computer. I have listed it here as part of my Virtual Collection series.

The title is taken from the lyrics of “Fireball”:

My head is getting broken
And my mind is getting bust
But now I’m coming with you
Down the road of golden dust


Deep Purple – Down The Road Of Golden Dust

Live Across The World And Through The Years

Deep Purple - Down The Road Of Golden Dust | design by John Hopkins (RIP), November 1998
Deep Purple – Down The Road Of Golden Dust | design by John Hopkins (RIP), November 1998
The Road of Golden Dust: The Deep Purple Story 1968-76, a book by Jerry Bloom [2015]
The Road of Golden Dust: The Deep Purple Story 1968-76, a book by Jerry Bloom [2015]

Single CD:

1    Hush (Royal Albert Hall Sept 1969)
2    Black Night (Stockholm 1970)
3    Strange Kind Of Woman (Copenhagen 1972)
4    Fireball (Copenhagen 1972)
5    Burn (Graz 1975)
6    Mistreated (incl Rock Me Baby) (Paris 1975)
7    Smoke On The Water (Paris 1975)
8    Love Child (California 1976)
9    Highway Star (incl Not Fade Away) (California 1976)

Double CD:

Disc One

1    Hush (Royal Albert Hall Sept 1969)
2    Black Night (Stockholm 1970)
3    Speed King (Stockholm 1970)
4    Child In Time (London 1970)
5    Into The Fire (Stockholm 1970)
6    Strange Kind Of Woman (Copenhagen 1972)
7    Fireball (Copenhagen 1972)
8    Burn (Graz 1975)
9    Stormbringer (Graz April 1975)
10  Mistreated (incl Rock Me Baby) (Paris 1975)

Disc Two

1    Smoke On The Water (Paris 1975)
2    Lady Double Dealer (Paris 1975)
3    Space Truckin’ (Graz 1975)
4    Lady Luck (California 1976)
5    Lazy (California 1976)
6    Love Child (California 1976)
7    Highway Star (incl Not Fade Away) (California 1976)