Deep Purple – King Of Scream (Darker Than Blue 043)


King Of Scream (Darker Than Blue 043)

Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA – January 28th, 1972Setlist: Intro., Speed King, Strange Kind Of Woman, Child In Time, The Mule (incl. drum solo), Space Truckin’
Bonus dvdr, “South Bank Summer”, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, England – July 28th, 1970: Mandrake Root

King Of Scream is Darker Than Blue’s version of the San Bernardino tape that surfaced a couple of weeks ago. It is astonishing how fast they produced this title, almost as astonishing as the tape itself. The taper is very close to the stage and is able to capture the very loud concert in a clear and powerful recording. There are occasional conversations between the taper and his friends about when to change the tape (with a tape flip at two minutes fifty two seconds in “Strange Kind Of Woman”) and the tape runs out about seventeen minutes into “Space Truckin'” eliminating the rest of the track and what was left of the show. It’s impossible to determine what songs are omitted but “Fireball”, “Lucille” and “Black Night” were the most common songs used to close the set around this time. We can hear the tapers talking about changing tapes and putting in a new one and it makes me wonder if the rest of the show is extant. There are no other editions of this tape on commercial bootlegs and no tapes from this short tour in common circulation either so this provides a rare glimpse into a very obscure period.

Surprisingly the set opens, after the people by the recorder demand it, with “Speed King”. Machine Head’s “Highway Star” was employed as the set opener dating back to the previous autumn and why it isn’t played in this show is not known. “Strange Kind Of Woman” is introduced as a “true story…about an evil woman” “Strange Kind Of Woman” gets so intense one of the tapers can only respond with a “God damn!” while Gillian and Blackmore go back and forth. “This is a song off of In Rock about a loser…’Child In Time'” before a moody version of the piece. Before the final track Gillian says, “this is a futuristic rock and roll number, lyrically that is.” This version of “Space Truckin'” is several months before the release of Machine Head and is close to the studio version. Gillian throws in some screams from “Bloodsucker” and the band jam on the instrumental portion of “Mandrake Root”. Jon Lord plays the Sabre Dance from Aram Khachaturian’s Gayane suite before Blackmore comes in and plays a delicate theme which morphs into a fugue with Glover on bass.

The initial run of this title comes with a free bonus dvdr from the BBC program “South Bank Summer”. This footage is more than thirty-five years old and looks very dated and faded. It is very clear though and enjoyable, great to see more footage of vintage Deep Purple. It is said this was filmed on July 28th, 1970 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Deep Purple didn’t play on that date however. They did play that venue on May 25th, 1970 so that must be the correct date, and this broadcast comes from the BBC on September 5th, 1970. It is unknown if the entire concert was filmed but all that was broadcast was “Mandrake Root” and it is a great piece of footage. Blackmore tramples his guitar and Paice destroys the drum kit in a spectacular display of rock and roll theater which played very well on television. Since there is so little Mark II footage in circulation it is a minor miracle this exists and is a great bonus by Darker Than Blue.

Addendum: I note with interest your comments about Deep Purple appearing on the show South Bank Summer. Some of your information is incorrect. The show was filmed on 28 July 1970 and Deep Purple were in attendance on that date, they even appear in the end title sequence with the other acts. I believe they actually performed two songs but only “Mandrake Root” was used and even that is edited (rather badly). The show was broadcast on 5 September 1970, it was made and broadcast by London Weekend Television not the BBC. The show was made to celebrate the company’s move to The South Bank.  My brother unearthed this show when he worked at LWT in the 1980s in the video tape library and it was of special interest to us because our dad worked with Purple’s manager John Coletta in the 1960s at a design agency in London. He worked on the typography on the band’s early album sleeves and later for Whitesnake.
Best wishes, D

Addendum:  Hi,  

Just stumbled on your site while running a search on Jeff Beck. Great stuff.

I was checking out your Deep Purple reviews and was surprised to see that there was a tape of the 1-28-72 Swing Auditorium San Bernardino show. I have maintained for years that they opened the show with Speed King against a lot of skepticism from my acquaintances.  The tape bears my crystal clear memory out.

That 1-28-72 concert is indelibly etched in my mind as I was at a very impressionable age and under the best of all possible circumstances that night. My friends and I arrived with the show already underway as Buddy Miles had just begun his set (he died just the other day). Uriah Heep was second billed and they were probably at their peak at this point. They were quite impressive doing material from their forthcoming Demons & Wizards LP as well as stuff like July Morning, Tears In My Eyes, Gypsy, Love Machine etc.

At that particular time, the Swing Auditorium had rows of folding metal chairs welded together with sucker rod on the ground floor stage area (The chairs would have their last stand a couple of months later at a Wild Turkey, Yes, Black Sabbath show. During the Sabbath headlining set, Ozzy encouraged the crowd to stomp their feet and clap their hands along with the bass drum beat intro to Iron Man. The fans fervently obliged by standing on their seats as they did so. As Ozzy continued to whip up the crowd’s enthusiasm, row upon row of folding chairs began to collapse under the sheer weight and force of the pounding. The folding chairs were forever gone after that show and the ground floor became general admission standing room. Prior to that it was general admission seating – first come, first serve – at least for rock shows) I was dead center about seven rows back and sitting in the concrete  aisle. It was a great show enhanced a bit by the hash laced joints we were smoking. Hell yes, they opened with Speed King. The tape that represents the King Of Scream CD is not the full show. Purple did play the as yet unreleased Lazy, Highway Star and Smoke. That’s why the show made such a big impression on me – it was the new stuff that blew me out. Hope someone finds the rest of the tape. I haven’t heard this bootleg yet but I have to secure a copy for old times sake.  I was feeling really good that night and spent some of my time lying on my back in the aisle listening intently to the music and gazing at the tinsel garlands that were draped across the ceiling of the building  from another era when dances were held in the venue.

One thing that always struck me about the Swing Auditorium is that they were always running 15″ reels at the sound booth located on a riser in the center of the ground floor.  Every show I ever went to there (and there are  100 or more that I attended through the years – I was a regular) had the reels spinning. What ever happened to these tapes?

The Swing was absolutely the best venue to see big rock bands at in Southern California. It wasn’t too large (capacity around 5,000 when stuffed to the eyeballs), the acoustics were pretty decent, the crowds were the absolute best and the atmosphere was generally relaxed. Unfortunately an airplane crashed into the roof of the facility in the early 1980’s and rather than repair the old building, the powers that be decided to tear it down. Since that time other venues in San Bernardino were used for concerts but they were all inferior with horrible acoustics etc. Probably because of this, since the late 1980’s San Bernardino doesn’t seem to be a tour stop for bands any more.  

Nice checkin’ in with you. I haven’t bought a bootleg in a year or so. Looks like there are many new titles or at least ones that my bootlegger wasn’t carrying.

Cheers, thought you might enjoy the background. I saw the guys that were taping the show, they were a couple of rows ahead of me.  

Tony Weeda

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  1. Here is another fans review I found on the “Deep Purple Tour Page” website I mentioned above.
    Certified real fans
    The night of January 28, 1972 changed my life. Tortured for weeks by newspaper ads heralding the arrival of Deep Purple, Buddy Miles Band and Uriah Heep, I placed my tickets in a strong box and took them out each day, like fine amethysts, to be ogled and carressed. Deep Purple was coming to my fave local hall, Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, and my friends and I were destined to be up front. The “Swing” was about an hour east of Los Angeles. Many bands, from the Stones to Zeppelin, used it as a dry run before hitting LA. I saw them all, but never did they approach what Deep Purple was about to do onstage. Then 17, I had been a fan since the first album, but a devotee since the arrival of In Rock. I had no idea that I was soon to hear several songs not yet released from Machine Head as well as some destined to be dropped evermore from the setlist. It was a fortunate cusp of scheduling, this strattling of two stage shows by a band that would soon be huge international stars. My pals and I made sure we were first in line that night. Indeed, we made it right to the lip of the five-foot-high stage, the monitors within our reach and no security between us and the bands. Uriah Heep kicked ass as the opener, with Ken Hensley rocking his Hammond on Easy Livin’ and playing some mean slide guitar on Tears In Your Eyes. David Byron was electric, and I was forced to wonder if Gillan could out-sing him. Buddy Miles, fresh from his career -topping stint as Hendrix’ drummer for Band Of Gypsies, was a musical palette-cleanser with his hard rocking soul on hits like Them Changes. As good as they were, the headliner was about to reduce the Swing to burning cinders with a set that remains the most powerful and masterful 70 minutes of music I have ever witnessed. Although some DP chronicleers list the band beginning with Highway Star, they are mistaken. As the lights came down, Blackmore appeared and tore into some hellacious power chords. Just as suddenly, the assault slammed shut and a small spot hit Jon Lord as he noodled the Speed King intro, followed by an explosion of light and bombast as Ian screamed the first verse of Speed King … the long version. Blackmore’s solo was riveting. I was directly in front of him, memorizing his Marshall stacks/reel-to-reel tape machine setup. He also had a mike stand in front of him … just to rub across the guitar neck, apparently. I gave him the thumbs up after his solo, and he the did the most remarkable thing: RB leaned down and shook my hand, pick in mouth. Then he stood up and mouthed “watch this” as he ripped into the end of the song doing his signature one-legged splits, behind the back picking and floor tapping his poor Strat. I could have left after that and been just as satisfied. After the song, IG came over and RB pointed to my group and mouthed to Ian “These are some real fans tonight.” Then Ian came over and shook our hands. After that, it became a swirl of majestic (and unbelieveably loud) rock’n’roll done by a very happy band at the peak of their form. I do not remember, at this late date, all the songs or their order. Highlights remain hearing Space Truckin’ for the first time, as well as Black Night and Lucille as encores. They gave us twoencores that night, ending with more handshakes from TMIB. I will always remember his startling virtuosity, but what spun my young head was his spontaneous generosity and friendliness towards us. It’s the reason I return to his music often, and the reason I still love rock n’ roll. I wish you could have been there. But from what I have read and heard over the years, my experience was a typical one from a band that continues to care about, and delight, its fans.
    Dave Linck … review from The Highway Star

  2. I have been on a bit of a Deep Purple bender lately and was finally able to track down this release and have to say it is a stunning recording. It sounds like the tapers are very close to the stage which produced an Ex- to EX crystal clear stereo recording with a wide atmospheric soundstage. I read on the Big O website that this tape came from the “Doc Tinker torrent” and was recorded on a reel to reel tape recorder which would not surprise me given the quality of the tape. It sounds like the tapers may have been on Ritchie’s side of the stage as his guitar is dominant in the mix but all the instruments can be heard with only Ian Paices drums getting buried at times when the band is playing full throttle. You do get to hear some of the tapers comments but they are not too intrusive and after “Strange Kind of Woman” one of the tapers asks someone if they filmed the song. The other taper responds that it was too dark but this makes me wonder if there may be some 8mm film of some eof this concert still in the tapers possession?

    In Tony Weeda’s concert review above he claims they played “Lazy”, “Highway Star” and Smoke on the Water” but I have my doubts as this goes against the setlists of other shows from this period. I found another fan review on the excellent “Deep Purple Tour Page website”

    where a fan claims the more common encores of “Black Night” and “Lucille” were played which makes more sense. I will post the review below.

    This honestly is one of the best quality audience tapes I have ever heard from that time period for any band and IMHO may be the best DP MKII audience tape period and as such should be in every fans collection.

  3. I was finally able to get a copy of this now as Darker Than Blue just re-issued this. This is a good show worth checking out.

  4. This looks like an interesting title but is unfortunately sold out. Darker Than Blue should reissue this for those that missed out.

  5. Interesting comments and thanks to the taper for capturing this amazingly clear recording. I always wondered if Deep Purple and Uriah Heep shared the same bill and the comments above confirmed that they did. I hope that recording is just as clear as Purple.


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