On This Day (November 17)…Mark II Split For Good

Deep Purple performed on this day in 1993 at Helsinki Ice Hall in Helsinki, Finland. 

Guest pass for the show. Retrieved from here.

This concert, a part of Deep Purple’s Battle Rages on Tour, turned out to be the final concert ever performed by the band’s Mark II lineup before Ritchie Blackmore’s abandonment of the band. As of Jon Lord’s 2012 death, a true reunion has become impossible.

Blackmore had officially tendered his resignation from the group on October 30, apparently sending each member of the band a letter with his demands and declaring his intention to quit when they refused to meet them. This placed the others in a difficult position, as they still had dates in Japan in December of that year which he refused to partake in, even going so far as to tear up his Japanese visa in front of them and try to fire the road crew. Thankfully, the group was able to secure Joe Satriani as a replacement and complete the tour in a professional manner. The same happened the next summer, with Satriani remaining with them until a permanent replacement was found.

This concert has been recorded in full, has not been officially released, and is currently in circulation online.

The band circa 1993, as depicted on the bootleg cover for this recording. Retrieved from here.

This final concert took place in Helsinki, Finland, at the Helsinki Ice Hall (also known as Jäähalli in listings). This arena’s capacity is just over 8000, and it continues to host both ice hockey matches and concerts as of 2019. Deep Purple themselves have been back to the same venue, most recently in 2017.

Helsinki Ice Hall 2010.JPG
Jäähalli in 2010. Photo by Santeri Viinamäki. Retrieved from wikimedia commons here.

Postscript

After the schism, Blackmore would resurrect Rainbow, the other notable rock band which he has been in, with an all-new lineup. The group toured for a few years and released a final album in 1995, Stranger in us All, before Blackmore chose to take a 19-year hiatus from rock ‘n roll in 1997. He returned to Rainbow with yet another all-new lineup in 2016, and they have played a handful of shows each year since. During this hiatus, he explored his interest in medieval/renaissance music in the group Blackmore’s Night with his girlfriend, later wife, Candice Night. Night had actually been on the road with him in 1993. This group has ended up being his longest continuous collaboration, having continued to the present day; they have released ten studio albums in total.

Candice Night and Ritchie Blackmore onstage. Retrieved from here.

The rest of the band, meanwhile, remained together, first touring with Satriani and then recruiting Steve Morse to serve as guitarist. Jon Lord departed amicably in 2002, first pulling out of a 2001 tour due to an injury and retiring not long thereafter. He guested with the remainder of the band several times afterwards before his death in 2012. His post-Purple career involved symphonic work and collaborations with other noted rock ‘n roll artists.

Jon Lord at his own last date with Deep Purple playing “Highway Star”. Also present is his successor, Don Airey.

Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice have remained with Deep Purple to this very day, consistently performing and writing as a team. Since Blackmore’s resignation, they have created seven studio albums and have played at least one live date together every year since.

Image result for ian gillan ian paice roger glover now
Roger Glover, Ian Paice, and Ian Gillan on a recent tour. Retrieved from axs.com

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Edits

  • Edit on 2020-04-29: Formatting upgrade. Updated photo of Blackmore’s Night. Added some tags.
  • Edit on 2020-06-24: Formatting upgrade. Added information.
  • Edit on 2020-08-30: Optimized for new site

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