Monday, August 16, 2010

Deep Purple Mk4 documentary on the way

Deep Purple’s 1976 break-up gets the documentary treatment with “Gettin’ Tighter: The Story Of Deep Purple Mark 4,” set for release in early 2011.

Deep Purple – Gettin’ Tighter – trailer (2010)

In ’75, the revolving door that is/was Purple continued to spin – EXIT: Ritchie Blackmore, who went on to form Rainbow - ENTER: hired gun Tommy Bolin, who had just left The James Gang and signed a solo deal.

DPMK4 featured Bolin, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice; the lineup was intact for just one album, 1975’s “Come Taste The Band” - the band broke up following their 6-month tour to support the record amid a haze of drugs, death and despair.

At the time, Hughes was dealing with a cocaine issue, while Bolin had a hidden heroin problem; as a result, the tour was a rough affair, and performances were very hit-and-miss.

“Gettin’ Tighter” will feature footage of Purple’s infamous visit to Indonesia in December ’75; events surrounding the two shows at the Senyan Sports Stadium in Jakarta were surreal.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, 20,000 fans broke through fences to join the 35,000 paid ticket holders at the December 4 concert, without much organized interference from the police. Following the gig, Bolin’s bodyguard, Patsy Collins, died after a six-story fall down the elevator shaft at the band’s hotel, under suspicious circumstances.

Then - as a delayed reaction to the fence-jumpers on night one - the December 5 event was beyond heavy on police presence: 6000 police (and a pack of Doberman Pinschers) were on hand to forcefully muffle any of the audience’s enthusiasm and participation by clubbing and beating fans, seriously injuring over 200 people. Rolling Stone wrote that Jon Lord “recalled seeing one mammoth dog dragging a kid across the floor by his arm, its teeth sinking into the boy’s flesh.”

Police presence at the December 5, 1975 Deep Purple show in Jakarta:

DPMK4’s final show was March 15, 76 at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre; things had gotten so bad that Coverdale reportedly resigned three days earlier, without knowing that Lord and Paice had already decided to pack Purple in and move on - the only two out of the loop were Hughes and Bolin.

Purple’s split wasn’t officially announced until July, and it was 8 years before Purple MK2 reformed to give the band another life.

Tommy returned to his solo career, opening for bands like Blue Oyster Cult and The Jeff Beck Group, following which he was scheduled to support Fleetwood Mac. The first night of the Beck tour was his last: on December 3, 1976, after extensive post-show partying in Miami, Bolin died the next day of a multiple drug overdose at the age of 25.

Here's a shot of Tommy with Beck following the December 3 show, just hours before Bolin died:

“Gettin’ Tighter” will contain interviews with all DPM4 members: exclusive new sessions with Hughes and Lord are featured alongside archival footage from the tour with Bolin, Coverdale and Paice. “Deep Purple Rises Over Japan” – the concert film of the December 15, 1975 show at Tokyo’s Budokan Hall – will also be included in the package.

Burn Deep Purple - Burn (Live) - Live In Tokyo 1975

Deep Purple – Burn
“Deep Purple Rises Over Japan”
Budokan Hall – Tokyo, Japan – December 15, 1975