The "New" DEEP PURPLE feat. Rod Evans
Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1980





To most rock fans, Deep Purple means Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Gillan, all best-known for their work with the heavy-metal supergroup. But none of those stalwarts will be on stage when the band headlines the Long Beach Arena on Aug. 19. In fact, no one seems to want to reveal just who is in Deep Purple these days. The group has been playing concert halls around the country despite the precense of only one original member, singer Rod Evans. The sudden appearance of this mysterious new lineup has many long-time fans, as well as several former band members, up in arms. "I think it's pretty disgusting that a band has to stoop this low and take somebody else's name," guitarist Ritchie Blackmore complaint recently. "It's like a bunch of guys putting together a group and calling it Led Zeppelin." Avalon Attractions' Gary Perkins, who's promoting the show, sounded equally displaced. "I feel like I've been duped," he said. "We just didn't know what we were getting into. I though the group was more legitimate."
Legally, the group is legitimate. Bob Ringe, the band's booking agent, insists that the group, which has been on tour for three months, has every right to bill itself as Deep Purple. "Rod Evans, the group's singer, owns the name," he said. "There are no injunctions, no restraining orders and no box-office attachments." However, according to Perkins, Ringe has refused to give Avalon permission to advertise the new band members' names. Ringe confirmed this, saying "Deep Purple has to prove themselfes as Deep Purple. It would be distracting to have the individual names on the ad." Nevertheless, Perkins plans to reveal the group's dentities in an ad in the Aug. 17 Calendar section, saying he feared a potentially explosive situation at the concert.
The new version of the band contends that merely represents the latest Deep Purple lineup. "It's not a bogus situation," said Ringe, a William Morris agent booking the group's tour. "Deep Purple never really broke up. There was just a constant changing of people. This band does all the original Deep Purple hits." When first contacted, Ringe refused to reveal the band members' identities, except for Evans, who served briefly as the group's vocalist in the late '60s. In a subsequent interview, he named the four new members, all little-known musicians with no known experience with big-name touring groups: guitarist Tony Flynn, pianist Jeff Emery, drummer Dick Jurgens and bassist Tom DeRivera. Patrick Goldstein