RECORD STORE TALES Part 141: When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll
I’d always liked Deep Purple, since I first heard the song “Knockin’ On Your Back Door”. But I wasn’t a Deep Purple collector until 1996. Until then I only owned three: Deepest Purple, Perfect Strangers, and Knockin’ On Your Back Door.
In 1996 two critical events occurred: Deep Purple released the incredible comeback record, Purpendicular, with Steve Morse. I was also dumped by a girl who went and married the next guy, a few months later. That kind of took the wind out of my sails. And what’s better for putting the wind back in, than some new music?
I had T-Trev order Purpendicular for me. I hadn’t even heard a note, or seen a review. It was an import. Wasn’t even released in this country yet. Yet, new music was what the doctor ordered.
The CD arrived open, as did almost all discs imported from England. (Do you not seal your discs in England?) T-Rev gave it a test spin before I arrived. The track was called “Vavoom: Ted the Mechanic”.
“There’s some crazy stuff on here. Hope you like it”.
In three listens, I loved it.
The quest was on to get more. I taped some rare stuff off my buddy Vuckovich: Anthology (the vinyl, not the CD version) , and Power House. Both contained rare tracks that were not available on CD at the time. We had copies of Shades Of and Book of Taliesyn, and I bought those as well. Book Of was a cheap reproduction, unfortunately I paid $16 for it without realizing. You could hear that it was taken from a vinyl copy. We also had a used copy of When We Rock, We Rock, so I grabbed that too. It had some live stuff from Made In Japan on it.
The local library had a copy of Deep Purple, the final Rod Evans album, which I recorded. It quickly became a favourite.
At Sam the Record Man downtown, I found both Concerto For Group and Orchestra and King Biscuit Flower Hour. I fell in love with the Concerto big time. Unfortunately, it didn’t work well for store play. The quiet parts were inaudible.
Later that summer, Tom directed me to a copy of The House of Blue Light, used with some water damage on the cover, at a Christian record store in Waterloo. I took it because it was impossible to find on CD. And finally, T-Rev and I hit HMV in Toronto, where I acquired a beautiful 25th Anniversary edition of In Rock, and the accompanying “Black Night” limited edition single.
Don’t break the case, the autographs are etched into the plastic!
That was just 1996, and I hadn’t even scratched the surface yet. I didn’t even have Fireball, Machine Head, Made in Japan, or Who Do We Think We Are yet! It would take time. Back then you didn’t necessarily buy in order of preference, you bought in order of opportunity.
It was a lot of Deep Purple to absorb in a short period of time, but that’s how Purple became one of my top five favourite bands today. Sometimes you just need to dive in…and sometimes you just need a little push to do so. Thanks for dumping me, chickie!