Purple - Welcome to the Heart of Europe

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Great Times > Reflecting
Are you a fan? I do not mean a real fanatic or even a head banger, but something like a steady supporter? Maybe one of the kind that every once in a while puts on headphones and cracks a smile over familiar tunes. And then even more once in a while pays a visit to a concert, as happening to us the other night, when Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake called... and we even answered.
 
And there they were in the heart of the Iron City: Deep Purple ensured a furious conclusion of the "Lovely Days" festival right behind the Esterhazy Castle in Eisenstadt, Austria. Flying in the day before from India, there'd be "Hell to Pay" for a certain visitor to keep his Delhi belly together during the legendary event.
 
David Coverdale gave his best during the "Forevermore"-concert in Vienna, although some were missing the melodic older tunes. The show included free heart rhythm massage by the bass drum and four voiced choirs on exchangeable new song material. For sure it was loud!
 
Among Purple People

Chocolate Ice Cream Music. Going places is a good time to think things over, and so the idea for this page came to me in the car. I would select the folder "Purple People" on my mp3-device, containing a collection of Deep Purple songs and compositions by spin-off groups in the "purple family" such as Gillan, Rainbow and Whitesnake, including further relatives like Dio, Bolin, Hughes and Blackmore's Night. Among others, the Gillan & Glover cover version of the classic nonsense track "It was a one eyed, one horned flying Purple People Eater" would come up. The other night I had read about Germanization of hit songs from the 1950's and 1960's and found out that its German version had been called "Er war der Wumba-Tumba Schokoladeneisverkaeufer – He was the Wumba-Tumba Chocolate Ice Cream Man." Speaking of the deep cool guys, I always felt that "What I did on my vacation" was such a great idea for a record name. The same double volume, collecting highlights from Ian Gillan's solo career, was released shortly after the purple reunion of those "Perfect Strangers." A tale of sorrow after a relationship rather than the imaginary story of a football team called Perfect St. Rangers, as Ian would joke on stage. A perfect example of "Gillanism" and a song around the ultimate question: "Can you remember? Remember my name?" In the end a dream came true. A "Lovely Days" festivals brought the deep cool guys into the Palace Gardens of the Iron City, former location of the city's legendary "Festival of 1000 wines" and secret cradle of the Austrian hard rock movement.
 
Forevermore in the House of Blue Light
 
Snakes in Town. It had been so many years ago since Deep Purple had transformed the Vienna City Hall into a "house of blue light." Now we were back to see "the snakes," purple spin off group of the very first hour. Our full focus was on sweet songs that had accompanied us "forevermore," as they turned the same place into a trembling beehive of screaming sensation. "In an equally sensational and lively hard rock-threesome, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Judas Priest would stomp the gas pedal in the Vienna City Hall," the daily newspaper reported. As an opener, "the boys" from Thin Lizzy were "back in town" with new singer Ricky Warwick, warming up the audience with the bilingual question: "Are you ready – Seid Ihr bereit?" During the encore "Rosalie," we were encouraged to "do it again for Mr Phil Lynott and Mr Gary Moore." They skipped "Sitamoia" though, an early song and a malapropism of the Irish "Si do mhaimeo." Then Whitesnake started to bring back memories of "the best years" and made loud statements with guitar duels and drum solos that "here they go again," until we would be left behind once more "in the still of the night." Priest "concluded the evening's soiree," but tired "purple people" would "break the unwritten law" and leave before the lesson in "British steel" was over. Yet the richest part of the concert had been experiencing it with good friends, who had shared the same purple enthusiasm and had "stuck" over all these years At a nearby hot dog stand, we would slowly regain our sense of hearing over a cheesy Kransky sausage and a chewy "hunchback"-bread heel.
 
Dio, Moore, you name it... Lately, too many good musicians said good-bye forevermore. Fare thee well, and let them not be forgotten! So we had to just jump on those Whitesnake concert tickets. Who knows, how often they would return to play in the heart of Europe?
 
Look at this photograph: At a Nickelback concert in Grand Rapids... 
Live in the heart of Michigan!
 
In the Nick of Time for Nickelback

Seen the Rain? Attending a Nickelback concert was a great experience. Coming across the border from Canada, the band members would still be considered "locals" in Michigan and the atmosphere and view were great in the exclusive ambiente, although a bit distant from the cheering crowd in front of the stage. We had missed the first support band but were there right in time for the main act. Of course, they played all their big hits from "I wanna be a Rockstar" to "How you remind me (of what I really am)," while even intoning Garth Brook's "I've got friends in low places" and Journey's "Small town girl (living in a lonely world)." The latter song we had also experienced live in a local piano bar. Never seen so much screaming and dancing, even on top of the grand piano! Whenever hearing a Creedence song though, I'd reminiscence joining a colleague for a John Fogerty show, where he was so full of happiness during "Fortunate Son," "Cotton Fields," and other classics. Five years later – right after a speech and cake on the happy occasion of a project launch – I was informed that he had passed away. It was raining again, and when it rains, it pours. Half a day later, I was still speechless. Concluding a strange day between great joy and grief, I would listen to the CCR evergreen “Have you ever seen the rain... coming down on a sunny day.”
 
Sit Down and Be Quiet
 
Grandma's Pointed Finger. During a music lesson at school, a class mate held a speech about the Purple genealogy, an eye-opener. Another one recommended me buying the "Rainbow Rising" vinyl. From that moment on, Ronnie-James Dio accompanied us with his strong low voice, and after a long ball night we would assemble at my place to listen to his recommendation "Don't Talk To Strangers." Known for playing part in two of the greatest rock releases ever, Rainbow's "Rising" and Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell," also Dio, the solo act, would prove its legitimacy from the very beginning, starting with the jaw-dropping "Holy Diver" album. While kids are usually being told to "sit down and be quiet," Ronnie-James proclaimed the opposite: "Stand up and shout!" Dio fans would raise their hand in the sign of the horned beast, which his Italian grandmother had used to ward off evil spirits. His Italian origin and hence the source of his "corna" gesture ("corna" is Italian for "horns," in Greek "kerata" has a similar meaning – going back to the legend of the Minotaur) is revealed by his family name Padavona, which he dropped during his early days with the gargantuan music group "Elf" (with band members so short that they almost looked like elves). Instead, he adopted the stage name "Dio," the Italian expression for God. One of his live-releases would carry the bold title "Evil or Divine." Shortly after he had reformed his Black Sabbath buddies under the group name "Heaven & Hell," Dio, at age sixty-seven was diagnosed cancer, a dragon he couldn't kill... \m/\m/
 
The sign of the Metal Fork: At the Hard Rock Cafe in Athens even the silverware makes "metal horns," the most famous Rock'n'Roll gesture. Trend-setter R.J. Dio introduced the favorite hand sign of his Italian grandmother to the rock concert stage and left his unmistakable handprints at the Hollywood Rock Walk. We prefer to eat with regular forks though...
 
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