Friday, February 20, 2009

Purple Haze

I recounted a snippet of my Deep Purple days in the "My Story" section of about my birthday trip to L.A. the year before I moved here. I was staying at the Continental Hyatt House on Sunset - aka the Continental Riot House - and was trying to meet people by hanging out in the bar, even though I wasn't old enough to drink. And lo and behold I met a bunch of roadies from Deep Purple.

Let me tell you, there's nobody better to meet your first time in L.A. than a bunch of roadies from England. They definitely put the 'Riot' in the 'House'. So much so that the whole thing is a little hazy. But I remember they seemed to be there for a while, at least long enough to take me sailing and long enough that I went to a Deep Purple concert which I thought was at the LA Forum but, now that I cleared some of the haze through my online research, it was actually at the Long Beach Arena. And from that research, I figured out that I met them near the beginning of my trip and then they took off up the West Coast (including Vancouver, my home town at the time) and then came back to LA near the end of my trip and played Long Beach.

The reason I did the research today is because I just found out that ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt passed away yesterday afternoon of a heart attack. And when I was going through my photos for doing the book I came across my Deep Purple pictures which included a lone photo of ELO. And I wasn't sure when I'd seen ELO - I remember seeing and meeting some of them at some rock'n'nroll bowling event after I moved to LA but who knows when I shot them. I finally found the Deep Purple tour info online and the November 20 date included a photo of a backstage pass...which included ELO as the opening act. And, duh, I have this photo of my car, which even appears in my book...with the very same backstage pass...

It's the second one from the right, next to the Eagles one.

And to further verify the title of this post, I took a grand total of 5 pictures at the show (at least that's how many I found) 4 of Deep Purple and 1 of ELO. And even through I had a backstage pass I didn't bother to take anything from in front of the stage. The five photos are taken from at least three different locations. I have a vague memory of hanging out around the sound board that was likely on a riser in the middle of the floor. But who knows? Obviously, I was enjoying my "vacation."
(Side note - I have a load of pictures from the sailing trip with the Deep Purple roadies so if anybody knows any of them, please tell them to get in touch. Hmm, maybe I'll do a set of mug shots as a future post and see if I can get them IDed)
this is my (sadly meager) tribute to Kelly...he would be the one in the white shirt behind Jeff Lynne also in a white shirt, toward the right side of the frame...

Kelly Groucutt
9/8/45 - 2/19/09

You can see him a little better in this...

And I strongly urge you to read the two part bio Kelly wrote about himself on his . After reading it I wish I had gotten to know him. He has a wonderful writing voice and posted some cool pictures and memorabilia, but sadly the final four words on the second page will not come to pass.

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