Deep Purple: 50 years in, where will the adventure take them next?
As Deep Purple release new album Infinite, all five members look back over almost 50 years of golden days and glittering success, dark clouds and stormy relationships. Where next?
The making of InFinite, Deep Purple’s looming twentieth studio album, is charted in a new Sky Arts TV documentary, From Here To Infinity. In one sense, at least, it marks clearly the span of time that has elapsed since the band formed in far-off 1968. Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, both now 71, the 68-year-old Ian Paice and Don Airey, and Steve Morse, at 62 the baby of the band, each wear the years with their greying hair and reading glasses. Or as Gillan puts it: “We’re all knocking on a bit. I walk down the road and hear a clang on the pavement – something else has dropped off.”
As well, there is the presence of ghosts and elephants in the Nashville rehearsal room where InFinite took shape. Notably and respectively, those of two of Purple’s founding members: Jon Lord, gentleman keyboard player, and Man In Black guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, the perceived villain of the piece. Yet in another regard the film seems frozen in time, ageless. In one scene after another, the band’s five current members hunker down in the room, arranged in a loose circle, and work songs up to tape. All the while, veteran producer Bob Ezrin prowls among them, coaxing and cajoling. This was how Purple made records in the 70s and during their pomp, trying on the fly to capture lightning in a bottle.