On This Day (February 29)…Deep Purple Taste Tempe

Deep Purple performed on this day in 1976 at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

Ticket for the show. Retrieved from here.

Deep Purple’s sole album from their fourth lineup is reasonably well-remembered today. However, their concert work, often marred by drugs taken by guitarist Tommy Bolin and bassist Glenn Hughes, is significantly less fondly remembered. Add to that the fact that one of their road crew had been murdered in Jakarta the previous December, and it is perfectly understandable why some members of the band were ready to throw in the towel by this period. Just fifteen days after this concert, Deep Purple would disband; the decision was made by sole remaining founding members Jon Lord and Ian Paice after a spate of bad experiences.

The band was supported here by the groups Nazareth and Montrose; Nazareth had been with the band throughout the year. They would play only one more concert with Deep Purple after this one before Purple disbanded.

There is no known recording of this concert.

The band performed at the Sun Devil Stadium, an American football stadium originally built in 1958.

Retrieved from here.

In 1976, the 30,000-capacity stadium underwent some renovations which increased its capacity to over 50,000. A source I looked at was unable to determine what exact time frame these renovations would have been undertaken, and neither can I.

The venue was used as a filming location for the 1976 version of A Star Is Born. Movie stars Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand performed for real, along with other rock ‘n roll acts. Reportedly, a crowd of 47,000 showed up.

It’s still in use today, and its website can be found here.

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