DEEP PURPLE Bassist Celebrates 40th Anniversary Of First Professional Gig

DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover has posted the following message on his official web site:

"1st April 2005. Today is an anniversary.

"1st April 1965 — 40 years ago today — I first stepped onto a stage with EPISODE SIX as a professional musician, having decided to drop out of Hornsey Art College.

"In Frankfurt, one flight up from the street, it was at a club that could hold about 150 people — The Tanz-Café Acadia, Grossefriedberger Strasse (I believe it is now a shoe store). We were booked for the month of April.

"Andy Ross - vocals; Sheila Carter - keyboards; Harvey Shield - drums; Tony Lander - lead guitar and Graham Dimmock - rhythm guitar (we all sang), were my fellow adventurers. I was playing a Fender Precision through homemade speaker cabinets, don't remember what my amp was, probably a dodgy bargain job from the Edgware Road.

"We started at 7:00pm and played for 45 minutes, broke for 15 minutes, and then back on for the next 45 minutes, and so on until 3:00am. On the weekends we started at 4:00pm. The pay was paltry. It was tough, grueling work and we played until our fingers were bleeding and our throats hoarse. We played all the latest hits, some rock'n'roll, and lots of blues, especially during the last set on a slow weeknight. The main meal of the week was on Sundays, at a Hungarian restaurant that served mountains of food (called a Balkan Platte) for a reasonable price. That would keep us going until Tuesday or so then nutrition would degenerate again to sausages or the like from the various Schnell-Imbiss stalls on the streets outside the club — cheap and greasy. By the time Sunday came around again, we were ready.

"Living in one room was cramped (although Sheila had her own bedroom — all quite proper!) but we were professionals now! What a buzz. Just like THE BEATLES!

"My appendix, showing a total disregard for my feelings, decided to explode without warning one night at the end of our third week and nearly killed me. (I had peritonitis, which can be fatal.) They were summarily removed at the Krankenhaus der Berharmazigen Bruder, a hospital staffed entirely by monolingual monks who spoke hardly a word, let alone in English. For the last week of the gig, the band carried on without me, Graham switching to bass. The club owner was so tight he took away a sixth of the money because I wasn't there. Can you believe that?

"In order to save my life, and being virtually penniless, I had to borrow money from a wheelchair-bound fan called Erhardt (I think), a regular at the club who always sat at the front and with whom we had become friendly over the weeks. He was a banker but despite that had been good enough to lend me the money anyway, for which I am eternally grateful. Over the following six months or so I paid him back in installments, but with great difficulty because upon my return to England, EPISODE SIX were in a shambles; we had no singer because Andy Ross (real name Andy Tait) had decided to leave and become a truck driver, and I was recuperating slowly and couldn't work anyway. A summer of lean times.

"Whilst the others had driven home a week earlier, I had flown back on a plane (how else?) — a luxury afforded me by Helmut Gordon, our manager at the time and the man who had once managed THE WHO (or, with his eastern European accent, 'Zee Ooo,') when they were THE HIGH NUMBERS and then briefly after they'd changed their name. He procured for us our Pye recording contract, which led to 'Put Yourself In My Place'. He also engaged a PR person, a sexy blonde called Gloria Bristow. We owe him.

"Within a few months we had regrouped, recruited Ian Gillan, left Helmut Gordon, took on Gloria Bristow as a manager and, very gradually, the diary started to fill up again.

"Maybe it's all been one great big April Fool's joke. ;-)"

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