On This Day (March 12)…Deep Purple Don’t Take The Empire Pool Swimmingly

“We`ve come to quash rumours that Purple have finished.”

David Coverdale reportedly during this concert. Retrieved from here.

Deep Purple performed on this day in 1976 at the Empire Pool in London, England.

Ticket for the show. Retrieved from here.

This was the second of five dates that Deep Purple’s fourth lineup performed England. After this, they swiftly came to an end. According to reviews at the time, the two shows the band performed at Wembley probably had a good deal to do with it. Ritchie Blackmore’s departure the previous year had left the band struggling to find direction, and Deep Purple fans proved themselves to be nothing if not fiercely loyal to what had come before. Adding to this, bassist Glenn Hughes and guitarist Tommy Bolin were both struggling with drug addiction at the time which negatively affected the group’s performances.

[T]his was hardly a musical event: Just a band out to prove it position on the prestige scale and an occasion to sell hot dogs and tee-shirts and all the tarry paraphernalia of rock has become.

Chris Welch with regards to the show. Retrieved from here

Apparently, the trouble began at the beginning when Tommy Bolin needed to be carried onstage. Meanwhile, the actual onstage concert somehow caused issues with vocalist David Coverdale, who was reportedly sidelined after a few numbers. No specific reason is given as to why in anything I have read. One source even goes so far as to suggest that Coverdale was so outraged that he quit that night. Overall, only Ian Paice’s performance was universally lauded.

File:Deep Purple (UK Tour 1976).JPG
Promotional image of the band. Retrieved from here.

This concert appears to have been recorded and is in circulation online. If there would be any interest among my readers, I will review it sometime in the near future.

I talk more about the venue at which they performed, the Empire Pool, here.

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