Deep Purple performed "Smoke on the Water" on NBC's Today show Thursday morning, July 23. The performance, which took place right in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza, was billed as a "Throwback Thursday" event.
It was 26 years ago this week that one of the greatest guitar hero gatherings of all time got under way. The occasion was a remake of the 1972 Deep Purple hit “Smoke on the Water” that featured some of the biggest players in rock, including Ritchie Blackmore—who wrote the song’s classic riff—David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson and Brian May.
Deep Purple have announced two new live albums, both of which will be released August 28. The first, From the Setting Sun... (in Wacken), was recorded at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2013. ...To the Rising Sun (in Tokyo) was recorded at the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo in April 2014.
On the nearly six-minute-long minor-key track, Blackmore employs a creamy, overdriven Strat tone. The track has an organic, almost live feel to it; you can even hear what sounds like Blackmore flipping his five-way pickup switch at the 1:01 mark.
“It was certainly not part of my agenda, but I really couldn’t be happier,” Coverdale says of the twists of fate that prompted him to revisit the Purple catalog. “It looked just like a cosmic plan, like God’s chessboard moving the pieces into place.”
Harmonic minor is always a very cool choice and a favorite of mine. It’s great to use when you’re improvising or coming up with song ideas and lead parts. So many impressive players have made great use of it in their songs — guys like Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and many others. Mozart was also a big fan.
Shortly after Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord died in 2012, Whitesnake vocalist—and former Deep Purple frontman—David Coverdale reached out to guitarist Ritchie Blackmore about the possibility of working on a project together in Lord’s honor.
The veteran guitarist has, in his infinite mercy, granted us a rare interview. (Perhaps the imminent release of the new Deep Purple album, Slaves And Masters, featuring Purple's latest member, Joe Lynn Turner, has something to do with this.) At the moment, Blackmore is dining with some friends; he is to join us at the conclusion of his meal.