The Secret Museum
October 23, 2008
A musical dialogue between Jim Webb and Michael Mooney.
Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple: "Back in the late Sixties, there were few organists who could play like Jon. We shared the same taste in music. We loved Vanilla Fudge - they were our heroes. They used to play London's Speakeasy and all the hippies used to go there to hang out - Clapton, The Beatles - everybody went there to pose. According to legend, the talk of the town during that period was Jimi Hendrix, but that's not true. It was Vanilla Fudge. They played eight-minute songs, with dynamics. People said, "What the hell's going on here? How come it's not three minutes?" Timmy Bogert, their bassist, was amazing. The whole group was ahead of its time. So, initially we wanted to be a Vanilla Fudge clone."
-Guitar World Interview, Feb. 1991.
Quote hi-jacked from the The Highway Star: The Deep Purple Official Site
...thus began the long, slow decline of British Rock. Actually, Blackmore's full of crap. According to VF's official website, they didn't get to the UK 'til Sept. '69, well past their prime, and never played the Speakeasy. The Beatles by then were pretty much finished. If Clapton was there to "pose", Ritchie's gotta be off by 2 years. Blind Faith had debuted earlier that year; Eric's perm, robes, and poses were long gone. I remember seeing Purple on the Steve Allen show; had to be Summer/Fall '68. Their sound at the time was closer to Fudge than after Gillan arrived in 1969. Ergo too much cider for Ritchie…
That Blackmore quote comes from the VF official website, too. I agree that Ritchie’s wine/hash/Mandrax intake has burnt out memory cells. I did think it was interesting that Blackmore, the self-proclaimed inventor of Heavy Rock, actually gave another band credit for influencing him.
I think we should seriously consider writing a newspaper column for CD buyers to help them on their way toward building a collection. There are a lot of 15 to 30 year olds that missed the whole golden age (1966-74) of Rock, and possibly the best of the 80s and 90s, who need a reference guide that will tell them exactly what releases to stay away from as well as which gems to track down. We could either do it in a Siskel & Ebert format where we both give our thoughts on a title, or you could take certain artists and I’ll grab others… Chapters on “sacred cows” where we trash the conventional wisdom of greatness (Van Morrison, etc.), but also make sure that they hear about Gypsy Blood, Mellow Candle, and hundreds of other “lost” classics. You and I have invested too much time in music the last 40+ years to keep this information inside our heads. I am so tired of reading Amazon reviews that turn out to be worthless, or bloggers who are way off the mark. We need to act. This is our calling, something we can leave behind for the future youth. Besides the esoteric and lost releases, we will lay down the truth on “major” acts. Deep Purple’s best is NOT Machine Head or Made in Japan. We can also list the 10 best tracks from any band (for the i-Tunes generation). I have told you before how much time I’ve wasted buying a record and not liking a group- only to find out 10, 20, sometimes 30 years later that I DO like them, I just bought the wrong title(s)…
We have it in our heads, and just need to put it down on paper.
Let's also keep in mind that certain assumptions can be made regarding the older fans whom may already be familiar with (at least some of) this. We won’t intentionally insult anyone’s intelligence, while reminding the reader that this is primarily a beginner’s guide.
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