Deep Purple

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Self-portrait of Ian Gillan, lead vocalist of Deep Purple, in the lab, feeling ecstatic on having discovered the new colour, Deep Purple, for eventual use in their signature labcoats.

“With every passing year, the Deep Genius of Deep Purple is coming more and more into light.”

~ Stephen Hawking on Deep Purple

“Yeah Yeah Yeah, Space Trucking" - poetically, how can I compete with that?”

~ Oscar Wilde on Deep Purple


~ Noel Coward on Deep Purple

“Way to fucking confuse us. To think this whole time we thought that song was about sex”

~ Metalheads on the song "69"

Deep Purple is an influential group of airline pilots whose scientific and musical prowess is legendary.

In their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, the reclusive members of Deep Purple wore signature labcoats of deep purple whence they derived their name. Thereafter the band split to form Blue and Simply Red.

Early, Middle, and Final Years[edit]

As a Child In Time each and every one of the band members was Lazy and told to Hush by their parents because they talked to a Strange Kind Of Woman. Ritchie Blackmore was actually quite placid and timid, he did, however, become a Soldier of Fortune until April. They were all Perfect Strangers and one day Ritchie went Knocking at [Ian's] Back Door and asked him to form a group with no precedent. He agreed as no one could resist Ritchie Blackmore. The band began to record hits and eventually every band member became a Highway Star because of their protection by a robotic bodyguard which had a Machine Head and was Made In Japan. At this point they started to Smoke On the Water (that lake in Montreaux) until they ended up banging a group of groupies on one Black Night. These groupies were really Black Magic Women with a Demon's Eye which caused the entire band to get the Burn, which hurt like a Fireball. Ritchie Blackmore was, however, quite a Stormbringer and left the band to form Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. The rest of the band members had to resort to Space Truckin' to keep afloat financially. Despite their financial difficulties, however they remained Speed Kings the whole time. This, my dear friends, is the story of the various Shades Of Deep Purple, from its beginning to the Rapture of the Deep. Any Fule Kno That.

Principal achievements[edit]

The reclusive members of Deep Purple, today. Note the cumulative effects of the Smoke on the Water and the Purple Haze experiments.

Smoke on the Water[edit]

Physicists by training, the tuneful group members spent the prime of their professional careers researching, recording and (due to recurring technical problems) re-recording their signature song "Smoke on the Water". This song, part of their magma opus The Colour Purple, is about how the subnuclear properties of Heavy Water change when Heavy Metal is added. Because of the song's far-ranging geothermal applications, the group was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics.

Smoke on the water

Numerous locations were used for recording this famous track: Montreux (difficult because no-one spoke French), the Lake Geneva shoreline (also difficult to avoid getting amplifiers wet), Frank Zappa's Mother's house (not really a recording studio, but they tried anyway), the gamblin' house (the machines were too lousy), Funky Claude's (everything was on fire and kids were dragging themselves everywhere) and then finally the Grande Hotel. By this stage Deep Purple had actually given up, and had decided to get into the hospitality business. To pass the time between changing the sheets and preparing English breakfasts for customers, they recorded a few songs.

The introduction riff is extremely well-known, and is a must-learn for all new guitarists. In a guitar store, a guaranteed way to get a discount on a new guitar and make friends with the staff is to sit down and try to learn the riff. Here are a few tips to make sure that you play it right:

  • Get the right guitar - those Gibson Les Pauls that are hanging up really high are up there for a reason. No-one wants them anymore. Grab one that has a nice yellowy look to it - sort of like the sun rising at daybreak.
  • Crank up the distortion. Unless you really have a feedback-laden, ear-piercing trebly sound, you're never going to be able to reproduce what Ritchie Blackmore did. Get that Gain knob and turn it up to 12 (BEAT THAT SPINAL TAP!!!).
  • The best amps at the moment are Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifiers - Dream Theater and Linkin' Park use them so they must be cool.
  • The first time the riff is played is on the guitar. After the second time the organ comes in to give it a bigger sound. To get the same sound, make sure that you use 5ths like so:
E ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G -------3---5--------------3---6---5---------------3---5---3-------------------
D ---5---3---5---------5----3---6---5----------5----3---5---3----5--------------
A ---5---------pause---5---------------pause---5-----------------5--------------
E -------------pause-------------------pause------------------------------------
  • Make sure you only PLUCK the strings with two fingers.
  • Always learn these riffs standing up. Between each attempt, look vaguely around and ask people if it sounds right. Do not take into consideration too much what they say, because you're really after your own sound.
  • Hunt down Steve Morse or Ritchie Blackmore at a guitar clinic and ask them how to play the riff. They'll be happy to help out. Or try posting a message on their forum.

Purple Haze[edit]

The group pioneered the use of purple haze in experimental songwriting, culminating in the Purple Haze Concerto which was the first time that a symphony orchestra and a rock band played together. Thus, the new genre Heavy Classical came into being.

Deep Purple In Rock[edit]

Following on from their experiments with purple matter, the group decided to started to probe the secrets of alchemy. Turning gooses into gold was their primary concern, but all they could do was turn themselves into rock. While this had a slightly less fortuitous payout, they still released photos of themselves "in rock", but critics were less than pleased. One of their more famous performances, in Japan in 1973, showcased their abilities to turn to stone at will. The downside to this, of course, was that they were quite unable to play their instruments. John Kage applauded this performance calling it "a moment of genius". No one really noticed and he was beaten up afterwards.

Rupture of the Deep[edit]

Deep Purple continue from strength to strength with their latest release "Rupture of the Deep". With its subject matter of ruptures, deep things and other deep purple ruptures, they continue to produce shock and awe to their huge fanbase. At last measurement, the fan was about 20 metres high, which is pretty high, and therefore the base had to be something like 30 metres wide to ensure that the thing didn't fall over. It's getting almost as big as those power-generating windmill Don Quixote type things, which is pretty awesome.

Other achievements[edit]

In 1988 the band introduced a benchmarking scheme to which other heavy rock bands can apply, generally known as "Investors in Purple". Deep Purple have also won numerous awards:

  • Most dignified "but a bit sad" rockers from the 70's
  • Longest running schism with founding member - Ritchie Blackmoore/Deep Purple (shared award)
  • The "Rock band able to make the most money, while still sounding good plus being really really old Award"
  • Band with the biggest generation gap awarded to Steve Morse
  • Most likely to have heart-attack on stage - awarded to Ian Paice
  • Only rock band apart from Pink Floyd to sound alright with a keyboard player.

In 1998, to promote their album, Abandon, the band played chess against the chess playing computer Deep Blue. After playing for 17 hours, Deep Purple, in an amazing bit of teamwork, defeated the computer by convincing it to look the other way, and turning the board around when it wasn't looking.

But they still can't beat computer solitaire.

Yet, despite all these colourful achievements, they are still known as "that band from the 70s that wasn't Led Zeppelin".

Donny and Marie Osmond recorded a tribute song to this band called, what else, "Deep Purple".


Often confused, purple and Deep Purple are easily distinguishable to the naked eye. Unless you are naked, the colours could appear similar. (Please remove all clothes before looking at picture you may also have to remove your skin)

Deep Purple has often been known to be confused with the standard colour purple. Once the difference has been shown and noted (see diagram), most people do not make this laughable mistake twice. Only brain-dead simpletons confuse purple with Deep Purple; however, most brain-dead simpletons are able to distinguish the number of matches thrown on the ground, which more than makes up for their inability to distinguish between purple and Deep Purple.

Deep Purple laboratory equipment and supplies[edit]

To purchase Deep Purple records and other Deep Purple items, head to

Ian Gillian[edit]

It was in fact John "Ozzy" Osbourne that founded Deep Purple. It's just that he was too drunk at the time to remember. The "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" really came about because all the boys were stoned and walked in to the wrong concert. "Made in Japan" refers to the maker of the holes in the record of their famous bootleg album “Deep Purple in Concert with Scooby Doo and Shaggy”. Eric Clapton declined to play lead guitar with them until they gave him his ball back. Further rifts between John Paul Jones, John Paul Sarte and John Lord created a 3 way split which invented Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Philosophy. Which can be refuted if I think therefore I can.

See also[edit]